Learning and Teaching with SEND BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
5 years part time
Work placement
Typical A-level offer
3 A-level passes or equivalent
Full entry requirements
Available to UK residents only

Course overview


This specialist degree is a five-year, part-time programme designed for those who are interested in or are currently supporting learning and/or teaching in educational settings such as schools and nurseries, further and higher educational institutions, the voluntary sector, libraries or museums.

The degree has a strong SEND focus and is therefore also suitable if you are interested in or are currently supporting learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), in specialist or mainstream settings.

Firmly rooted in professional practice, this degree aims to provide you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to move from learning and teaching support roles, into roles involving delivering and managing learning.

The course is taught one afternoon a week on campus, to enable you to fit study alongside your other commitments. In addition to this, all course materials, relevant sources, and video recordings of sessions will be made available online in our Virtual Learning Environment. You’ll be taught by friendly and supportive staff, experienced in working with adult learners and with substantial professional experience in the sector, including areas of SEND.

If you're interested in studying full-time you may also be interested in the Learning and Teaching specialist pathway available through our Professional Studies BA.

Lifelong Learning Centre Support

We know that many mature and part-time students face unique challenges, including balancing academic study with other commitments. The Lifelong Learning Centre provides specialist guidance, advice, and support to mature and part-time students, from pre-application right through to graduation and beyond.

Course details

The BA Learning and Teaching with SEND is firmly rooted in professional practice and combines scholarly activities with learning through reflection on experience in working environments. This course will help you develop knowledge and skills in supporting learners, delivering teaching, and facilitating learning, with optional modules which allow you to develop knowledge and expertise in more specialist areas relevant to your practice and areas of interest.

In year one, you’ll develop your academic and study skills and focus on learning theories and theories of child development, inclusion, and SEND. Core modules in later years cover the development of teaching skills, curriculum and assessment, educational policy and perspectives, issues and ethics, learning resources, and educational research.

You will also choose modules from options that focus on areas such as dyslexia, autism, counselling skills, coaching and mentoring, leadership, the use of stories, learning identities, and mental health. There is also a placement option available.

You will engage in a final year project on a subject of your choice.

Course Structure

The modules shown below represent typical content/components and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions

Year 1

Core content
Introduction to Typical and Atypical Child Development - the spectrum of child development from typical to atypical (relating to SEND) and from pre-birth to early adulthood

How Do Learners Learn – the nature and complexities of learning and the implications for lifelong education

Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability - current and historical policy and practice relating to learners with SEND; the nature of and arguments for inclusive practice

Academic and Professional Skills for Learning and Teaching – the academic skills necessary for successful independent learning at university

Year 2

Core content
Developing Teaching Skills to Meet Learners' Needs - how specific teaching approaches can enable learning, and some of the fundamental skills required for effective teaching of diverse learners, including those with SEND

Education Perspectives and Policy – perspectives and policy in relation to educational settings; both their theoretical underpinnings and the process of policy development in education

Optional content

  • Introduction to Dyslexia

  • Using Stories to Develop Learning

  • Working with Others in Children’s Services

  • Application of Counselling Skills

  • Coaching and Mentoring

  • Work-Based Learning in Settings for Learners with SEND

Year 3

Core content
Curriculum and Assessment in Teaching and Learning - critical analysis of the design and purposes of the curriculum with which you are familiar, considering how they have been socially and politically constructed

Understanding Education Research – key educational research methodologies and the critical analysis of a range of research projects in education, including reflection upon research and its outcomes in relation to educational settings.

Creating Learning Resources – theories underpinning the development of learning resources through applying appropriate methodologies to support the development of a new learning resource

Optional content

  • Introduction to Dyslexia

  • Using Stories to Develop Learning

  • Young People, Families, and Mental Health

Year 4

Core content
Researching the Learning and Teaching Sector – educational research for those working directly with learners

Issues and Ethics in Professional Practice – decision-making in educational practice, based on local and national policies as well as up-to-date ethical theory

Optional content

  • Introduction to Autism

  • Exploring Learning Identities

  • Leadership for Learning in Community and Educational Settings

Year 5

Core content
Dissertation – you will pursue in-depth a topic, issue, or research question of your choice from a learning and teaching perspective. Through independent research, you will evaluate and apply a range of theoretical models to practice and will demonstrate an advanced level of analysis and synthesis in a research project report.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is imaginative and supportive to ensure that you are intellectually stretched and to enable you to become an independent learner. Group sizes are small, enabling you to engage actively and be well supported, and sessions take place both on-campus and online.

You will learn through a mixture of campus-based blended learning opportunities:

  • face to face seminars on campus for each module, in which you will be encouraged to explore concepts and share your applications to practice in your teaching and learning contexts. Active learning and a range of different approaches to learning will cater for a variety of needs and preferences, for example, pair and small group discussions, whole class debates, group analysis of case studies, and video content

  • group tutorials developed and negotiated with you in line with your needs and interests in order to support your learning; for example, Q&A, peer study support and mentoring and assignment workshops. These will take place both on-campus and online

  • individual academic personal tutorials which are supported by a range of online resources and tools covering topics such as wellbeing, career development, and academic and personal skills

  • multimedia online learning resources available on the University Virtual Learning Environment where the learning materials, sources, and resources for each module, including session recordings will be available

  • personal study using online and library resources and sources

  • visits to educational providers and attendance at events at the University of Leeds, in the region and beyond including conferences

Learning opportunities will be delivered by the programme team, who have years of experience as educational professionals in a range of fields, with the addition of visiting speakers relating to particular specialisms, experience, or roles in the sector.

You’ll also be given opportunities to attend talks and seminars on a range of subject areas which are delivered across the Lifelong Learning Centre. You’ll also be invited to engage in our Community of Practice, where existing and alumni students share experiences and expertise relating to practice, career development, and opportunities.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


The programme is assessed entirely through coursework, with a wide range of assessment types that are authentic and relevant to work in the sector, for example, planning and delivering a micro-teach session to peers on a topic of your choice or developing a scheme of work for a group of learners with which you are familiar.

You’ll be provided with opportunities to focus on topics of interest in your assessments; for example, to choose an area of SEND and deliver a short presentation to your peers. There is also scope to negotiate assessment titles with module tutors on some modules.

You’ll be encouraged to draw and reflect on your own experiences of learning and supporting learning, in order to explore and analyse how theories of learning and teaching and published research can be applied to real-life contexts.

Entry requirements

A-level: 3 A-level passes or equivalent

GCSE: English and Maths grade C/4 or above, or equivalent. T Levels will be considered on a case by case basis.

Other course specific tests:

Applicants should also be engaged in relevant work (paid or voluntary) with a minimum of 60 hours a year. Consideration will be given to your life experience and the circumstances in which you have gained prior qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 credits at Level 3 of which 30 must be at Merit or above and 15 at Pass

Other Qualifications

CACHE level 3

Alternative entry

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

If you are a mature applicant (over 21 at the point of entry) and if you don't have the required A Level or GCSE qualifications, you can complete our Alternative Entry Scheme. As part of this, you may be asked to take tests in English and maths and to write an essay. Contact the Lifelong Learning Centre for more information.

If you are a mature student or want to study part-time the Lifelong Learning Centre offers a free, confidential, and impartial pre-entry guidance service. Our experienced staff can also talk to you about how you might meet the entry criteria and what support may be available to you.


UK: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

You will study at 67% intensity (80 credits) in year 1. Fees for 2022/23 are £6,167 (67% of £9,250). In year 2 you will study at 33% intensity (40 credits) and the fee will be calculated at 33% of the full-time fee agreed for that year.

There are no upfront fees to pay. All eligible students are able to borrow the entire cost of tuition fees, making study free at the point of entry, with good repayment terms. You are eligible if you are studying for 30+ credits per year on a programme that is at a higher level than any qualification already held. Previous study in Higher Education may affect your eligibility.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK part-time undergraduate students starting in 2023 will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the Government and may vary if policy changes.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


For guidance on applying to a Lifelong Learning Centre course, visit our admissions guidance page. Apply to this course through the Lifelong Learning Centre.

We will treat all applications individually. We’ll take into account an applicant’s life experience and the circumstances in which they have gained qualifications and we encourage you to cover these things in your personal statement.

Your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Team, and if you’re successful you’ll be invited to an interview that will involve a piece of writing. If you’re entering through the Alternative Entry Scheme you’ll be sent details after your interview.

Once you’re made an offer you’ll be asked to engage with KickStart. This is a pre-entry programme designed to ease your move into studying at the University of Leeds.

Admissions policy

Lifelong Learning Centre Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

Lifelong Learning Centre

Contact us

LLC Learning and Teaching Admissions

Email: learnandteach@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

Graduates from this programme go on to a variety of roles both within and outside the education sector, as well as progressing to further education and training, including Masters level studies.

For those interested in progressing on to a teaching role with QTS, many of our students follow an ‘assessment only’ route after graduation, which enables them to gain QTS within 12 weeks, whilst remaining in their current work setting.

Many of our graduates progress to teaching or training, senior support roles or managerial positions, both within and outside the education sector. Recent graduates have gone on to Primary PGCE programmes, MSc/ MA studies in related subjects (Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Family Support), and to roles such as Educational Support in HE and Behaviour and Learning mentors in specialist schools.

Careers support

We have experienced careers guidance officers in the Lifelong Learning Centre who are able to provide bespoke advice and guidance for our students, focusing on your career development and employment opportunities in the local and regional area. You will be provided with regular updates on local employment opportunities. You will also be supported with your job search, interview skills, and writing CVs and applications.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

On this course, you have the option to take a placement module in your second year to enable you to gain experience in a different workplace setting. If you’re supporting SEND in a mainstream school, you’ll be able to experience learning and teaching in a more specialist setting.