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Bishop Grosseteste University: Special Educational Needs and Disability

Institution Bishop Grosseteste University
Department School of Social Science
Study type Taught


The MA in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is designed to reflect interests and ambitions of graduates and practitioners engaged in complexities and challenges related to SEND. The programme offers opportunities to explore, analyse and critique ideology, pedagogy and sociological frameworks concerning inclusive and specialist education. Completion of the degree leads to development of knowledge and skills across a range of special educational needs and disabilities, promoting competence and confidence in reflective practice, decision making in complex situations and completing independent research. By following this programme, you will develop a systematic understanding of knowledge related to SEND theory and practice.

This Masters course is designed to develop your in-depth knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to current and changing SEND practice. The modules will provide you with opportunities to investigate different social and educational contexts, demonstrating the acquisition of advanced knowledge and understanding of key issues relating to SEND. This will include a critical awareness and interpretation of theory and practice, which will inform and develop effective SEND practice. Building upon prior knowledge and /or experience, you will explore multiple perspectives on key issues through structured learning, independent study and research.

Whilst developing a broad understanding of diverse practice, you will gain confidence in applying learning, informed by leading research and practice in SEND. Essential to completing the MA is the acquisition of an advanced understanding of research-informed practice. You will investigate different methods of enquiry, working individually or collectively, to solve situational challenges. Successful problem-based learning will require you to develop intellectual and transferrable skills and apply them in a meaningful way. You will also be encouraged to explore different approaches to meeting SEND following demonstration and discussion of alternative interventions. The aim is to promote reflective practice leading to confidence in creating positive change in provision.

Learning and teaching on this course will be through a combination of approaches designed to promote engagement and independent learning. Approaches used to promote your knowledge and understanding will include lectures, seminars, group work sessions and tutorials.

Throughout the course of this programme, you will demonstrate skills in critical inquiry, reflexivity and analysis that can be applied to SEND contexts. A range of assessment methods will be used to ascertain your knowledge and understanding of the subject and your ability to integrate theory and practice. Typical examples would be academic essays, seminar papers, project work, report writing, small group project work, self-assessment exercises, and the impact project. Assessments will ensure that you are developing your power of critical enquiry, independent judgement and creative application of learning. A number of assessments may build upon creative skills in using new/alternative technologies.

Following the introduction of the SEND Code of Practice (2015), there are now significantly more organisations that require professionals working, supporting children, and young adults with SEND to have expertise in this area.

As this has raised the profile of working with children and young adults with SEND, many other organisations are increasingly requiring staff in teaching roles to have specialist knowledge in this area, such as those in the leisure industry and sporting organisations. By completing the MA in SEND, you will be better positioned to apply for such posts, demonstrating a range of skills which will support learners with SEND in various settings.

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