Education (Special Needs Education) - MA

Attendance:
Part Time
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:
Fees:
£656 per 20 credit module for UK/EU Part Time 2018 entry (view all fees)

If you need to get a good grounding in special educational needs, disability and inclusion at postgraduate level, this course will broaden and challenge your existing knowledge. It could be a starting point for a future career in a range of settings or help you to develop in your current role. If you are already a SENCO it will give you many skills for your role and help you develop and expand this in line with the range of special needs you may encounter.

What's covered in the course?

Our course doesn’t aim to provide you with all the answers. Instead it will enable you to explore and develop new thinking and ultimately work towards expertise in your field. If you believe that pupils with special needs have untapped potential, and you want to help them explore this, then this is the course for you. Inclusive learning and teaching are at the heart of any good practice; these modules will help you explore this further and understand the important role of nurturing development in all pupils with special educational needs.

You do not need a teaching qualification to study on this course, nor do you have to intend becoming a teacher. We welcome anyone who wants to expand their understanding, knowledge and skill set in the changing world of special education and disability. 

You’ll have the opportunity to explore how the education system works for special needs and disability, how it all evolved and the challenges it poses for these pupils. You’ll broaden your knowledge on the range of conditions and their impact on learning and develop new teaching skills to help pupils overcome their day to day challenges. The focus of all modules will be critical thinking, challenging and developing your knowledge to enable you to become an expert in your field.

Why Choose Us?

  • This course is delivered by qualified lecturer practitioners from NICE – Centre for Movement Disorders, making it a unique partnership merging theory and practice.

  • We’re proud of our high employability rates, with 98 per cent of the School’s postgraduate students in employment or further study six months after their course (DLHE survey results 2014/15).

  • The course focuses on development of pupil potential and how to meet all needs to promote a more effective teaching/classroom environment.

  • You will develop new ways of thinking and new skills to enhance your impact on the development and learning of these special pupils.

  • You can use this course to put you at the forefront of professional practice in special education and more importantly explore new potential in your pupils.

  • This recognised qualification will help you to meet a variety of Continuing Professional Development requirements.

  • You can use evidence of previous study or relevant experience to claim Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Saturday 4 November 2017, between 12 and 3pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now
This course is not open to International students

New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

NICE

NICE is a unique charity which believes that every person with a movement disorder has both the potential and the right to specialised services which recognise their needs, desires and wishes.

We teach children and adults with movement disorders strategies to gain greater control over their movements leading to increased confidence, skills and a higher level of potential. To achieve this we use a systematic programme of conscious movement strategies called Conductive Education. We have been working in partnership with BCU since 2012 providing both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the field of Conductive Education. 

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Applicants should have a degree or equivalent qualification, or professional experience that equates to degree level.

All suitably-qualified candidates will normally be interviewed and selection will be based on ability to benefit from and contribute to the course of study.

Exemption from some modules may be granted for appropriate prior learning, including credits gained on a PGCE course.

We welcome applications from mature students and from members of communities traditionally under-represented in higher education.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2018 PT 2 years £656 per 20 credit module

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

*Subject to any further inflationary increase as approved by the government. The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Course breakdown

PgCert and PgDip Stages

This course will develop you as an educator in your practice working with learners with disabilities and special educational needs. It will specifically focus on practical challenges that you may face on a day to day basis. The course will highlight change in policy locally and nationally and will explore underlying theoretical principles relating to policy and practice.

A PgCert requires successful completion of 60 credits at Level 7, while a PgDip requires 120. If you are carrying credit into this course through APCL or APEL, you may not be required to take as many modules, but this will be discussed on an individual basis.

 
Modules:
Introduction to Master's-level study (CORE)
20 credits

This module focuses on your transition to level 7 work.  The transition is important because although a typical taught Master’s programme can look very similar to its undergraduate equivalent there are a number of important differences, such as the greater emphasis on your ability to undertake independent, self-directed study. This is true for all taught units, not just the dissertation project that concludes a typical Master’s programme; we will expect you to prepare for assignments by independently researching your particular areas of interest and experience.

SEND Policy and Practice
20 credits

This module looks at the identification, assessment and provision for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 

You will be introduced to a range of issues related to social, emotional and behavioural difficulties as we examine national and local policies in relation to definitions, legislation and guidance documents. You will develop your understanding of the concept of SEND.

The Transformative Special Needs Teacher
20 credits

This module considers how, in order to be a successful pedagogue an understanding of self is as crucial as an understanding of the learner. This module will move you into a deeper level of professional self-reflection and provide a framework to help you to challenge your daily work practices to support transforming special needs pupils/students towards their full potential for learning.

Dynamic Model of Supervision in Special Education
20 credits

This module is concerned with adapting and applying professional skills and underpinning understandings to new working contexts which is a cardinal feature of the development of professionalism. It aims to provide you with a broad and analytical experience of the role of the supervisor within special educational settings. The skills developed will be applicable to working with any special needs learner and will reflect the responsive and dynamic approach to the learning process generally. 

Master's-Level Research (CORE)
20 credits

Doing a Master’s degree involves many skills, which will be familiar from an undergraduate programme of study; however, there are some crucial differences. This core module is designed to introduce you to the principles of educational research at Masters level encouraging you to build on your experiences of conducting independent research. The module covers everything you need to know in order to conduct research effectively.

 
Social Learning Theories and Application to Special Education
20 credits

Master's Stage

Dissertation (CORE)
60 credits

This is the culmination of your Master’s programme. It provides you with the opportunity to develop a systematic understanding of research in relation to your chosen area, and to develop your professional practice through the processes of educational research. You will be encouraged to use self-direction and originality in pursuing your development focus through this independent piece of independent research.

The course aims to give you a postgraduate qualification, whether you are interested in early years, primary, secondary further or higher education. You do not need a relevant degree to do it if you have the appropriate experience. The course will be run part-time and is designed for those who want to study alongside their current workplace. Individual modules can be studied separately and/or combined with other MA modules from BCU as a part of a full time MA Education.

You could use evidence from previous study, which relates to this subject, to claim Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL). This process involves mapping evidence against the learning outcomes for specific modules. You will need to speak to the Course Director first if you are considering this option.

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods on this course. You will attend regular lectures and seminars, where students can share their learning and develop an understanding of different international contexts.

You will attend some whole class and small group sessions and benefit from one-to-one support and online collaboration – using our virtual learning system, Moodle.

Our course team has a wide experience of the educational system and also in teaching, leadership and research.  

We believe the development of transferable skills is a priority. It is a very important aspect when teaching at Masters level and all modules will contribute towards this.

NICE

NICE is a unique charity which believes that every person with a movement disorder has both the potential and the right to specialised services which recognise their needs, desires and wishes.

We teach children and adults with movement disorders strategies to gain greater control over their movements leading to increased confidence, skills and a higher level of potential. To achieve this we use a systematic programme of conscious movement strategies called Conductive Education. We have been working in partnership with BCU since 2012 providing both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the field of Conductive Education. 

Assessment Methods

Assessment is by coursework only and participants need to demonstrate an ability to carry out in-depth critical analysis, effective research skills, critically evaluate research methodologies, have an enhanced knowledge and understanding of education and training in a special needs context and be able to critically evaluate their findings in relation to the academic literature.

Employment opportunities

This course allows those in the field of education to fulfil their continuous professional development needs by providing relevant courses for career enhancement.

Placements

Some pathways within MA Education include opportunities to undertake voluntary work experience in local schools and other educational institutions. There is also a Placement Experience module which can be used to gain credits for experiences like this as part of your studies.

This module provides opportunities for you to undertake a work experience in educational settings as part of your programme of study. You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and/or the wider school environment.

It will help you understand that professionals who continue to learn themselves, recognise that continual development can positively impact their own and others learning experiences.

You can complete this module at any time during the academic year and the number of days to be completed will be negotiated with individual module tutors and the programme team.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate Jobs

There's a growing recognition of educational practitioners who have studied at Master's level. Many of our students gain career progression opportunities, having demonstrated enhanced knowledge, skills and confidence.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

A fly through of the £41 million expansion of our City South Campus. It will provide specialist laboratories and teaching spaces for the new life sciences courses and a new home for the School of Education.

 
Science education facilities

Our laboratory and Science Education Learning Room have been newly built for the start of the 2015/16 academic year. The Science Education Lab will enable trainees to encounter and explore the latest Science Education pedagogies, and together with the Science Learning Room will facilitate trainees’ transition from “subject expert” to “expert subject teacher”. Trainees will work in a fully hands-on way with the core science education materials to develop excellent subject and pedagogic knowledge - the twin attributes of the outstanding teacher.

Campus

City North is a big, bustling campus, three miles north of Birmingham city centre. It's easy to get to and offers on-site parking. Located 5 minutes from Perry Barr train station, City North Campus is also ideally positioned along major bus routes.

The School of Education will be moving to City South Campus in Edgbaston during the 2017/18 academic year.

City south 1

New developments

Our new development at City South Campus will ensure students have access to the best facilities, including our specially developed replica classrooms with interactive whiteboards, enabling you to experience the classroom environment.

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

IT Support

Each student has a personal computer user name and server space Specific software for use by teachers and for use in classrooms.

Other items available include:

  • Training and training notes
  • Students can borrow cameras, LCD projector
  • Specialist technician support
  • Dedicated research base for postgraduate research students

Art and Design Department

There are fully equipped art studios suitable for 3D construction, printmaking, drawing and mixed-media. For textile and ceramics specialists, there are sewing machines and facilities for batik work and a large kiln for firing ceramics. The department has an ICT Suite for digital media that includes both Mac and PC computers. There is also access to a bank of Apple iPads for on and off-site digital working including the use of social media.

Design and Technology Department

The department has access to specialist facilities, including a dedicated teaching suite for food and textiles. The textiles area has 10 sewing machines, an overlocker, CAD/CAM embroidery machines, dye sublimation equipment, a felting machine and an electronic microscope that links to the interactive whiteboard. It is also well resourced with surface decoration and construction equipment.

The food area has five electric cookers, combination microwave/ovens, an extensive range of industrial and domestic equipment, eg industrial ice cream makers and electric pasta makers, bench top printer and a CAD/CAM icing printer. The specialist tutor is a Speed Step and basic food hygiene trainer.

There is a specialist room for design and technology teaching and independent work, as well as a well-stocked reference library that contains a wide range of resources that are relevant for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Other features include a recycling materials area, specialist work benches and a bank of computers linked directly to CAD/CAM equipment.

History Department

There are plenty of replica artefacts in the department and other superb facilities, including a huge library of dedicated subject books and an interactive whiteboard. We also inspire our trainee teachers to bring history to life by offering them opportunities to travel to historic sites.

English Department

The School of Education has two dedicated English teaching rooms that contain a substantial children's collection of works including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books and multicultural text. There is also a selection of phonics teaching materials, puppets and story bags that are used in teaching sessions.

You can explore the links between ICT and literacy through the department's Digital Blue cameras and electronic photo albums.

Mathematics Department

There are two dedicated teaching rooms for mathematics. The rooms make use of Promethean and Smart interactive white boards. Both rooms contain a library of recent and relevant publications as well as a wide range of resources for use while on teaching practice.

Trainees are supplied with the use of a laptop for the duration of the course. The laptops come with Autograph and Geometers Sketchpad software. There are a class set of iPads available for the teaching sessions.

Religious Education Department

This teaching room attempts to bring sacredness in its vicinities and a visitor will find precious collections of artefacts and devotional utilities, audio-visual resources, books, sacred texts and children's books from a range of religious traditions to support learning and teaching.

Early Years Department

As well as enjoying very strong links with local schools and specialist nurseries, we have a specialist teaching room that has a range of story sacks and puppets, an extensive selection of planning resources, copies of key texts, and toys and equipment that are relevant for foundation stage.

Music Department

The music department has two dedicated classrooms and seven practice rooms, five of which contain dedicated computer-based recording/sequencing equipment. There is also a fully equipped sound recording studio and Apple Mac computers for sound manipulation.

Drama Department

There is a fully equipped drama studio with stage lighting.

Staff

We have a small, dedicated team of four qualified conductor lecturers and one strategic manager. The lecturers all teach both undergraduate and post-graduate students, and have opportunity to develop their practical knowledge, as well as their teaching and theoretical knowledge.. We are a very experienced team who have worked in a number of different school settings, both in the UK and internationally.

Amanda French

Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise

Amanda has worked in higher, further, adult education and the voluntary sector for 30 years as a lecturer, writing developer and researcher and is currently employed as Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise in the School of Education.

Her PhD in Education: ‘Through a glass darkly”: Lecturers perceptions of Academic Writing’:  was about lecturers’ perceptions of academic writing and writing development practices in higher education. 

Her other research interests include academic writing, learner development in higher education , participatory research with children, transition experiences in education, employment literacies, widening participation and social justice, radical methodologies, critical pedagogies, postgraduate teaching and learning. I have presented on published on these areas nationally and internationally.

 

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295