Learning and Teaching with SEND BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
4 years part time
Work placement
Available to UK residents only

Course overview


This specialist degree is designed for people interested in, or 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 course has a strong special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) focus and is suitable if you are interested in or are currently supporting learners with SEND in specialist or mainstream settings.

Firmly rooted in professional practice, you’ll be provided with the skills, knowledge and confidence to move from learning and teaching support roles into delivering and managing learning.

The course is taught one afternoon a week on campus, so you can fit study alongside your other commitments. All course materials, relevant sources and video recordings of sessions are 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 SEND.

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 (LLC) provides specialist guidance, advice, and support to mature and part-time students, from pre-application through to graduation and beyond.

Course details

The degree is firmly rooted in professional practice and combines scholarly activities with learning through reflection on experience in working environments. The course develops knowledge and skills in supporting learners, delivering teaching and facilitating learning. Optional modules allow you to develop knowledge and expertise in more specialist areas relevant to your practice and areas of interest.

In Year 1, you’ll develop your academic and teaching skills and focus on learning theories of child development, inclusion and SEND. Compulsory modules cover educational policy and perspectives, contemporary issues and educational research.

You'll also choose optional modules which focus on dyslexia, autism, counselling skills, coaching and mentoring, leadership, the use of stories, learning identities and mental health. Practice based learning modules enable you to develop and reflect on your professional practice and skills. You'll also engage in a Final Year Project on a subject of your choice.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

The four-year, part-time course consists of 360 credits in total. You’ll undertake 100 credits in Years 1 and 2 and 80 credits in Years 3 and 4. In Years 2 and 3, as well as compulsory modules, you'll select two optional modules from a range on offer.

Year 1 compulsory modules (100 credits)

Introduction to Typical and Atypical Child Development (20 credits) - This module explores the spectrum of child development from typical to atypical (relating to SEND) and from pre-birth to early adulthood. Child development is explored from several perspectives, including relationships with the environment, family, culture and society.

How Do Learners Learn (20 credits) - This module aims to develop understanding of the nature and complexities of learning and the implications for lifelong education. Students will be made aware of some of the ongoing debates about learning and will be required to explore different perspectives and approaches.

Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability (20 credits) - This module introduces you to current and historical policy and practice relating to learners with SEND and explores the nature of and arguments for inclusive practice. Key concepts such as inclusion, SEND and models of disability are analysed and strategies for developing good practice in SEND are explored and evaluated.

Academic and Professional Development (20 credits) - This module provides the opportunity for you to develop and reflect upon key academic, digital, research and professional skills in relation to the core modules on the course. Areas of focus will include academic and reflective writing, digital skills, finding appropriate sources and referencing conventions, drawing on the elements most appropriate to study on your course. This can inform your future practice and enable you to identify your skills set and areas for further development.

Year 2 compulsory modules (100 credits)

Understanding Education Research (20 credits) - This module aims to introduce and critically analyse a range of research projects in education and reflect upon its outcomes in relation to educational settings. Students will develop an understanding of the theories underpinning the development of learning resources and will identify strategies and methodologies for developing and piloting new learning resources. Through this process, you’ll appreciate some of the ethical issues which arise from conducting research in education

Education Perspectives and Policy (20 credits) - The purpose of this module is to examine perspectives and policy in relation to educational settings, both their theoretical underpinnings and the process of policy development in education. Students will identify and evaluate education delivery models and analyse the impact of delivery models on educational achievement.

Professional Practice (20 credits) - This module provides you with the opportunity to reflect upon the application of academic theory, research and policy developments to workplace practice within your employment sector. This will enable you to develop your knowledge, capabilities and skills with a view to making improvements to your own practice and workplace.

Developing Teaching Skills to Meet Learners' Needs (20 credits) - This module aims to develop your understanding of how specific teaching approaches can enable learning. You’ll develop some of the fundamental skills required for effective teaching of diverse learners, including those with SEND, with an opportunity to practise these in a micro-teaching session.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Introduction to Dyslexia (20 credits) - An introduction to dyslexia which identifies the main theories relating to the causes and impact of dyslexia upon the individual as a learner. A diverse range of strategies to adopt when working with children or adults with a dyslexic condition will be identified and evaluated.

Using Stories to Develop Learning (20 credits) - This module examines the effectiveness of storytelling as a teaching and learning tool and gives you the opportunity to develop your creative skills.

Working with others in Children’s Services (20 credits) - This module will examine the role of practitioners in multiagency working in children's services and gain an understanding of the models used in practice.

Young people, Families and Mental Health (20 credits) - This module intends to dispel some of the myths that surround mental illness. It compares different perspectives on mental health and undertakes a strengths-based approach which might be applied to foster resilience in those experiencing mental health issues, and also with practitioners working with families where mental wellbeing is a problem.

Application of Counselling Skills (20 credits) - This module introduces you to counselling theories and skills and their application in a range of one-to-one situations likely to arise in working with learners, their families and colleagues.

Coaching and Mentoring (20 credits) - This module is for students who are interested in or will be involved with coaching and mentoring others in a workplace/practice setting. It will seek to differentiate between the roles of coaching and mentoring and to critically explore theories and models available, exploring ethical issues. Students will apply their learning to a coaching/mentoring situation and reflect on the practical interpersonal skills required in such roles.

Writing for children and young adults (20 credits) - This online module explores methods and theories of writing for children in three key age-ranges and you will write stories for each category. You will develop technical creative writing skills and critical skills whilst learning about the world of contemporary children’s literature.

Adolescent and middle years development (20 credits) - This module aims to explore children's cognitive and emotional development in two distinct periods in the life course; 'the middle years' (approximate ages 7-11), and 'adolescence' (approximate ages 11-18). The module is intended to develop the confidence of those students/practitioners working with or interested in working with these age groups.

Year 3 compulsory modules (80 credits)

Researching the Learning and Teaching Sector (20 credits) - Why is there a gap between research conducted in learning and teaching and its awareness by those working directly with learners? Why is research conducted in the 'classroom' often seen as less 'academic' than that of 'real' researchers? This module aims to answer these questions by critiquing current research, exploring practitioner research and creating a research proposal.

Advanced Professional Practice (20 credits) - This module provides you with the opportunity to reflect upon the application of a wide range of policy developments, as well as more advanced and specialist theory and research. This will enable you to develop higher level knowledge, capabilities and skills to inform improvements to your own practice and workplace.

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Introduction to Autism (20 credits) - This module is designed to promote an understanding of autism and an appreciation of the skills and range of approaches used to support learners appropriately.

Who do you think you are? Exploring Learning Identities (20 credits) - This module aims to support you to reflect and analyse how your identity has developed over time, drawing upon lived experience data and educational, psychological and sociological theories. Focusing on an in-depth understanding of yourself within social and cultural contexts will better equip you to consider the needs of others.

Leadership for Learning in Community and Educational Settings (20 credits) - This module aims to broaden your understanding of leader behaviour, particularly when faced with change. Change is a constant in all organisations, but probably more so in education and community settings. You’ll explore contemporary changes and identify proactive and positive ways of introducing and embedding successful change.

Creative interventions in the city (20 credits) - This module will provide you with the opportunity to understand the city of Leeds within a theoretical, socio-historical and practical context. It will allow you to identify your own 'problem' or 'opportunity' within the city for which you will then design a creative intervention - to help address the 'problem' or make the most of the 'opportunity'.

Year 4 compulsory modules (80 credits)

Contemporary Issues and Debates (20 credits) - This module explores contemporary issues in relation to children and their families. The module will be relevant to all those thinking of careers working with children, including teaching, social work and the therapeutic professions. It will examine critically the theory, practice and policy of a range of issues such as education, care, poverty, crime, social media, diversity, identity and conflict.

Creativity and Innovation in Professional Practice (20 credits) - This module provides you with the opportunity to reflect critically upon the application of current theories, research and innovation to workplace practice within your employment sector. This will enable you to develop creativity and inform innovation in your practice and workplace.

Dissertation (40 credits) - This module enables students to pursue in depth a topic, issue or research question of their choice from a learning and teaching perspective. Through independent research, which may include the collection of primary data, and with the support of their dissertation supervisor, you’ll evaluate and apply a range of theoretical models to practice and demonstrate an advanced level of analysis and synthesis in the research project report.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is imaginative and supportive to make sure you're intellectually stretched and helped to become an independent learner. Group sizes are small, enabling you to engage actively and be well supported. You'll learn through a mixture of campus-based blended learning opportunities including:

  • Face-to-face seminars on campus, in which you'll be encouraged to explore concepts and share their 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 student needs and preferences. For example, pair and small group discussions, whole class debates, group analysis of case studies or video clips.
  • Group tutorials which will be 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, 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. These are available on campus or online.
  • 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 course team who have years of experience as educational professionals in a range of fields. Visiting speakers will also relate to specialisms, experience or roles in the sector.

You'll be given opportunities to attend talks and seminars on a range of subject areas which are delivered across the Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC). You'll 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 course is assessed entirely through coursework assignments, with a wide range of assessment types which are authentic and relevant to work in the sector. For example, planning and delivering a microteach session to peers on a topic of your choice or developing a scheme of work for a group of learners you're familiar with.

You'll be provided with opportunities to focus on topics of interest in your assessments while there is scope to negotiate assessment titles with module tutors.

You're also encouraged to draw and reflect on your own experiences of learning and supporting learning to explore and analyse how theories of learning, teaching and published research can be applied to real life contexts.

You'll have the opportunity to develop your creative skills (for example, in developing stories for learners or learning resources), your digital skills (for example, through the development of interactive online learning resources or training packages), your research skills (through two research focused modules and your final year project) and your employability skills (in all modules), both for the educational sector and beyond.

Entry requirements


3 A-level passes or equivalent eg CACHE level 3

GCSE: English and Maths grade C/4 or above, or equivalent. T Levels will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications.

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 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: £9,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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 83% intensity (100 credits) for years 1-2. Fees for 2024/25 are £7677.50 (83% of £9,250). In years 3-4 you will study at 67% intensity (80) credits. The fee you are charged in years 2 to 4 will be calculated as a proportion of the full time fee agreed for that year.

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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.

We actively encourage applications from mature students (over 21 years at the time of entry).

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 the course 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.

If you're interested in progressing to a teaching role with QTS we can advise you on this, including options such as an ‘assessment only’ route after graduation, which can enable you to gain QTS within 12 weeks while remaining in your current work setting.

Recent graduates have progressed on to Primary PGCEs, MSc/MA studies in related subjects and to roles such as educational support in higher education, and behaviour and learning mentors in specialist schools.

Careers support

Our experienced careers guidance officers in the LLC can provide you with bespoke advice and guidance, focusing on career development and employment opportunities in the local and regional area. You'll be provided with regular updates on local employment opportunities in education and training and related sectors. You’ll also be supported with your job search, including support with your CV, application and interview skills.

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

As an entry requirement for the course, you'll be required to engage in a relevant working environment on a paid or voluntary basis. You'll undertake modules in Years 2, 3 and 4 which focus on your working environment and in which you'll reflect on your skills and knowledge development in the workplace, linked to topics and themes explored at different stages of the course.