Special and Inclusive Education MA (2023)

London, Bloomsbury

The MA Special and Inclusive Education will develop students' knowledge of special and inclusive education. Students will be introduced to cutting-edge theory and research and consider how it links to policy and practice. The MA will appeal to those looking to develop their professional practice, progress to further study about disability, inclusive education, and educational policy, and/or progress to doctoral study. The MA also has two specialist routes in Autism and Specific Learning Difficulties.

UK students International students

Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)



Pathways include:
Specific Learning Difficulties (TMANUMSPLD01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)



Pathways include:
Specific Learning Difficulties (TMANUMSPLD01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.


1 calendar year

(Video) Special and Inclusive Education MA | UCL Institute of Education

2 calendar years

5 calendar years

Entry requirements

A minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.Applicants will also normally have some related professional experience.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa – study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Students will gain a comprehensive and critical understanding of theory and research relevant to special and inclusive education including subject-specific knowledge; intellectual, academic and research skills; and practical and transferrable skills. Through a variety of taught sessions, independent activities and group/individual assessments, students on the programme will graduate with a broad range of knowledge, interpersonal contacts, and skills preparing them to continue work in the field of inclusive education. Anyone interested in either of the two specialist routes should see our Special and Inclusive Education (Autism) MA or Special and Inclusive Education (Specific Learning Difficulties) MA.

Who this course is for

This programme would appeal to those working within education (e.g., teachers, teaching assistants) who have an interest in working with children, young people or adults with special educational needs and disabilities. We particularly welcome those with personal experience of disability (e.g., family members, individuals with disabilities).

Read about what it takes to study for a Master's at UCL

(Video) The power of inclusive education | Ilene Schwartz | TEDxEastsidePrep

What this course will give you

This high-level programme provides students with the opportunity to engage with the latest theory and research on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) delivered by world leaders in research and teaching.IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society is ranked #1 in the world for education (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022) and our team of internationally-recognised tutors (researchers, academics, and professionals) from the Department of Psychology and Human Development (PHD) will provide students with a cutting-edge programme of taught sessions, independent activities and group/individual assessments; all of which will deepen their knowledge, challenge their thinking and enhance their employability. London offers a rich and diverse population so students can focus on neurodiversity within a wide range of individuals and communities.

Students on this MA benefit from a rigorous academic programme. Critical engagement with current research and evidence-informed practice on special and inclusive education provides a thorough grounding for those new to the field. It also challenges the thinking and deepens the knowledge of those with prior (academic, personal or professional) experience in special and inclusive education. Input from a broad range of experts (including people with disabilities, their parents and their educators) ensures strong relevance to practice and the crucial inclusion of insider expertise.

The programme attracts national and international students with rich and varied professional and/or personal experiences; offering a valuable opportunity for networking and collaborative learning. At the end of the programme, students are encouraged to join professional learning networks; to continue their personal and professional development and to provide further opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. The programme, along with the diverse range of events and initiatives provided by our centres of excellence, PHD, IOE and UCL, offers a transformative experience for students interested in special and inclusive education.

Read about what you'll get out of a graduate programme

The foundation of your career

Students on this programme can broaden their career horizons within the educational settings in which they work (if applicable) and/or develop skills that can be utilised in a wide range of careers (within or outside the field of special education). Students will also develop skills in the areas of personal and time management; oral and written communication; collaborative working; computing and IT; critical and adaptive thinking; problem solving; research and inquiry.


The programme prepares students for employment in a broad range of areas, for example: as senior leaders in mainstream schools, special schools, or other educational settings; and/or directly supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Graduates may follow pathways within specialist services for children and young people with SEND or SEND charities. Graduates may choose to pursue a research pathway and/or work in Higher Education. Graduates may choose to work in government and policymaking positions or as consultants.

Teaching and learning

The MA is taught through a combination of face-to-face lectures/seminars, plus online materials and lectures, group discussions, small group and/or one-to-one tutorials.

Compulsory and optional modules are assessed through a range of different assessment types, including a range of written/oral assignments. For some modules students may choose from a range of assignment titles or may be able to negotiate their own title. They will be required to choose to write either a report or a dissertation in the final year of the programme.

Contact hours are module dependent, but each 30 credit module will equate to 300 hours of study time. Each module will include contact with faculty via a range of forums (e.g., individual tuition, whole/small group lectures/seminars, online materials on the learning platform Moodle).


Over the course of a year full-time, students undertake either two compulsory modules (Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education and Research Design and Methodology), two optional modules in the areas of special and inclusive education and a dissertation or two compulsory modules, three optional modules and a report.

Part-time students undertake one compulsory module (Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education) and two optional modules in the first year and in the second year a second compulsory module (Research Design and Methodology) and a dissertation or a second compulsory module, an optional module and a report.

Flexible modular students must complete the programme between 2 to 5 years. Students must take the compulsory module Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education in their first year of study. Optional modules can be taken at any point during the remainder of the programme. The Research Design and Methodology module, and either a Dissertation or Report, must be taken in the final year of study.

Compulsory modules

Research Design and Methodology

Report on Special and Inclusive Education

Dissertation on Special and Inclusive Education

Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education

Optional modules

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Development

Psychology for Special Needs

Language Development

Developing SEN Co-ordination: Leading and Managing Change

Developing SEN Co-ordination: Improving Learning and Teaching

Autism: Research and Practice

Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)

Reading and Spelling Difficulties

Special Topics in Autism Research and Practice


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Special and Inclusive Education. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a in Special and Inclusive Education.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the .

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students

Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £11,800 £5,900
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

Pathways include:
Specific Learning Difficulties (TMANUMSPLD01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their report or dissertation. Students are also expected to fund their travel if they wish to attend school visits that are offered as part of the programme.

(Video) The Special Education and Inclusive Education.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

See all the ways you can fund your studies

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Special and Inclusive Education at graduate level
  • why you want to study Special and Inclusive Education at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found on this Selecting your references page.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Apply for this course

Got questions? Get in touch

Special and Inclusive Education MA (1)

Psychology and Human Development Department


(Video) MA Special Education Needs and Disability - University of Chester

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.


What can you do with a masters in special educational needs? ›

Graduates may follow pathways within specialist services for children and young people with SEND or SEND charities. Graduates may choose to pursue a research pathway and/or work in Higher Education. Graduates may choose to work in government and policymaking positions or as consultants.

What is Ma inclusion? ›

A programme that explores the education of children and young people with learning difficulties, disability and other needs. It challenges exclusion, aiming to enable the participation and empowerment of all.

How do I become a SEN teacher in Ireland? ›

The person nominated must be a teacher eligible to hold a permanent post in recognised second-level schools. In order to be eligible for the programme, teachers must spend a minimum of 11 hours per week including in-class support working with students who have special educational needs.

What is the special and inclusive education in the United States? ›

Inclusive education guarantees the right of education for every child despite their physical and/or mental disabilities. In other words inclusion aims at placement of special education students in general classrooms giving learners equal possibilities of education within the differences in their abilities to learn.

What is the highest salary for a special education teacher? ›

Highest paying cities for Special Education Teachers near United States
  • Bronx, NY. $67,997 per year. 172 salaries reported.
  • $67,729 per year. 214 salaries reported.
  • Washington, DC. $66,821 per year. 101 salaries reported.
  • Brooklyn, NY. $61,211 per year. 121 salaries reported.
  • Chicago, IL. $60,573 per year. ...
  • Show more nearby cities.

Is Ma special education is equal to M Ed? ›

The degree of M.A ( Education ) is equivalent to M. Ed and also higher degree in comparison with B. Ed.

What are the four 4 key elements of inclusion? ›

There are four key features of inclusion which can be used to set expectations and evaluate inclusive practice in schools and early learning and childcare settings. These are present, participating, achieving and supported.

What are the 3 principles of inclusion? ›

3 Core Design Principles for Inclusive Learning
  • Know Your Audience. Knowing your audience means developing a deep understanding of learners as well as the culture of the organization before designing and rolling out new training initiatives. ...
  • Design for Authenticity. ...
  • Use Technology Wisely.
14 Jul 2020

Is SEN teaching hard? ›

One of the main personality traits you will need to succeed in this field is patience. The students that SEN teachers work with can take a long time and require a lot of repetition to fully learn and understand your subjects, and whether you as a teacher can deal with this must be considered before making the move.

Do SEN teaching assistants earn more? ›

The average Sen teaching assistant salary in London is £21,260. This is 4.9% more than the average national salary for Sen teaching assistant jobs. The average London Sen teaching assistant salary is 50% less than the average salary across London.

How much does a SENCO teacher get paid? ›

The average advertised salary for a Sen teacher in London is 42% below the average salary for all jobs in London which is £42,437. Sen teacher vacancies in London have gone up 0.7% year-on-year.
Highest Paying Areas for Sen teacher, London.
YoY Salary Change18.2%
Average salary£26,227
4 more columns

What are the 5 components of special and inclusive education? ›

Successful inclusive education happens primarily through accepting, understanding, and attending to student differences and diversity, which can include physical, cognitive, academic, social, and emotional.

What are the 3 main types of inclusive education? ›

There are different terms related to inclusion, namely Integrated Education, Special Education and Mainstream.

What is the main goal of special education and inclusive education? ›

The primary objective of inclusive education is to educate students who have disabilities in the regular classroom and still meet their individual needs. Inclusive education allows children with special needs to receive a free and appropriate education along with general education students in the regular classroom.

What type of teacher makes the most money? ›

Professor. When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.

Is special education teachers in demand? ›

Job Outlook

Overall employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 37,600 openings for special education teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Is special educator a good career? ›

A career in special education is best suited for those who have a strong desire to educate and care deeply about disabled children. Individualized instruction is provided to children with a variety of physical and mental disabilities through special education.

What is eligibility for MA Education? ›

Master of Arts eligibility candidates must have a Bachelor's Degree in Education with a minimum 50% aggregate score in the final examination. There is no age limit in the eligibility for MA education. The admission process can be either entrance exam based or merit-based.

Can I do PhD after MEd special education? ›

Ph. D. is a doctoral degree, which can be done after doing M. Ed or any post-graduation course.

Can I pursue MA and MEd together? ›

It is a dual degree programme integrated programme that combines both the degree programmes into one. Students who successfully complete it are awarded with dual degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Education. The duration of the MA M. Ed.

What is the golden rule of inclusion? ›

Golden Rule of Inclusion

Know the goals of your program. Modify the activities in keeping with the goals of the program. Challenge all the students. Encourage students to value difference.

What are the 6 steps of inclusion? ›

Six steps to embedding a diversity and inclusion strategy
  • Train people managers in diversity and inclusion. ...
  • Be aware of protected characteristics - but think beyond them. ...
  • Address your unconscious bias. ...
  • Promote and support employee networks. ...
  • Gather, report and act on diversity and inclusion data.
20 Jul 2021

What are two types of inclusion? ›

Inclusion has two sub-types: the first is sometimes called regular inclusion or partial inclusion, and the other is full inclusion.

How do you promote inclusive education? ›

  1. Make it Personal. Provide opportunities for students to share their own experiences and perspectives. ...
  2. Include Various Perspectives. Provide a variety of perspectives on the topics you teach. ...
  3. Know Your Students. Get to know your students. ...
  4. Respect Diverse People. ...
  5. Respect Diverse Talents.

What is inclusion example? ›

Inclusion is defined as the state of being included or being made a part of something. When multiple people are all invited to be part of a group, this is an example of inclusion.

What are the five faces of inclusion? ›

On this basis, five interrelated situations of inclusion and exclusion are constructed: self-inclusion/self-exclusion, inclusion by risk/exclusion by danger, compensatory inclusion, inclusion in exclusion and sub-inclusion.

What are characteristics of inclusive education? ›

  • “INCLUSION” MEANS... ...all children are welcomed in a shared learning environment. ...
  • High Expectations for ALL students. • multiple access points to grade-level content. ...
  • Full Participation in General Education Classrooms. • services delivered in classrooms. ...
  • Differentiated Instruction and Assessment. ...
  • Team Collaboration.

Why do so many special education teachers quit? ›

Lack of support from administrators and colleagues. Large caseloads. Non-teaching responsibilities (e.g., excessive paperwork) Student behavior.

What are the 4 levels of SEN? ›

SEN Support is the system by which schools should assess the needs of children, and then provide appropriate support. The system should follow four stages, often referred to as a 'cycle': Assess, Plan, Do, Review.

Does SEN include autism? ›

Examples of special educational needs include:

Autistic spectrum conditions. Specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Moderate learning difficulties.

Do you need experience to be a SEN teaching assistant? ›

Therefore, as well as finding the right training course, you will also need to get some experience working with children or young people with disabilities in order to build a good teaching CV. It is a good idea to take some training courses in specific learning difficulties beforehand.

Can you be a teaching assistant with no qualifications? ›

There are no compulsory qualifications or experience required for becoming a teaching assistant. That may sound like great news, but the truth is that you will likely still need some relevant qualifications or experience to prove that you're right for the job.

Is teaching assistant a stressful job? ›

Heavy workload

As a teaching assistant, you'll often feel as though you have a million things to do – under constant pressure to do an unrealistic amount of work! This kind of workload can put serious pressure on you, making you feel tired and stressed. Don't let your workload get the better of you.

Do SENCOs have to be qualified teachers? ›

You must be a qualified teacher to work as a SENCO. To achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) in England and Wales you'll need an undergraduate degree in any subject and a postgraduate teaching qualification (a PGCE).

What qualifications do I need to work with special needs children? ›

You'll need:
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses.
  • sensitivity and understanding.
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
  • the ability to work well with others.
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things.
  • knowledge of English language.

What are the six principles of special education? ›

Following are the six major principles of the IDEA, focusing on students' rights and the responsibilities of public schools to children with disabilities.
  • Free Appropriate Public Education. ...
  • Appropriate Evaluation. ...
  • Individualized Education Plan. ...
  • Least Restrictive Environment. ...
  • Parent Participation. ...
  • Procedural Safeguards.
18 Apr 2022

What are the 8 core principles of special education? ›

Special Education Principles
  • Zero Reject and Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) ...
  • Nondiscriminatory and Appropriate Evaluation. ...
  • Appropriate Individualized Education Program. ...
  • Least Restrictive Environment. ...
  • Student and Parental Participation.

What are the 6 pillars of IDEA special education? ›

Key to the legislation are six pillars that ensure a child's education needs and progress are met with:
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP). ...
  • Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). ...
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). ...
  • Appropriate Evaluation. ...
  • Parent and Teacher Participation. ...
  • Procedural Safeguards.

What is the main concept of inclusive education? ›

According to UNESCO, inclusive education is seen as “a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion from education and from within education.” The goal is that the whole education system will ...

What is the difference between inclusive education and special education? ›

Traditionally, the vision of 'special education' differs from an inclusive education system, since it relies on segregation or integration, instead of inclusion.

What is the role of teacher in inclusive education? ›

In an inclusive classroom, teachers work together to provide specially-abled children or students from diverse cultures and races with appropriate support to encourage their genuine and valued participation. The concept of inclusive education embraces human diversity at the ground level of a country's education system.

What are the four goals of special education? ›

The Four Goals of Early Childhood Special Education
  • Intellectual Development. Cognitive or intellectual development is one of the biggest goals of early childhood special education. ...
  • Physical Development. ...
  • Emotional Development. ...
  • Social Development.

What are the three objectives of special education? ›

The main objectives of a special needs school are to ensure that children are safe and cared for, that their social and emotional needs are met and supported, and that they have the required supports necessary for them to reach their true academic potential.

What are examples of inclusion in special education? ›

Examples of inclusion in the classroom is providing access to the same routines and curriculum, encouraging participation of all students in activities done inside and outside the classroom, and holding all students up to the highest of standards regardless of a disability.

What jobs can I do with a special needs degree? ›

14 jobs you can do with a special education degree besides teaching
  • Education coordinator.
  • Reading specialist.
  • Writer.
  • Corporate trainer.
  • Fundraising manager.
  • School counselor.
  • Advocacy manager.
  • Curriculum manager.
16 Nov 2021

What can you do with a special needs degree? ›

Related careers
  • Special educational needs (SEN) teaching assistant.
  • Primary school teacher.
  • Secondary school teacher.
  • Communication support worker.
  • Teaching assistant.

Can I do Phd after M Ed special education? ›

Ph. D. is a doctoral degree, which can be done after doing M. Ed or any post-graduation course.

What qualifications do I need to be a special education teacher? ›

While a pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not required to work in SEN, the Combined Post Graduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs is a one-year, part-time postgraduate programme of training in inclusive special needs education for teachers working in special schools, special classes, or as resource and ...

Which specialization is best in special education? ›

Here are some ideas for concentrations you could pursue:
  • Early childhood special education.
  • Education for students with visual impairments.
  • Education for students with hearing impairments.
  • Education for students on the Autism spectrum.
  • Education for students with learning disabilities.
  • Occupational therapy.

Is sped in demand? ›

Yes, special education teachers are in demand.

Special education teachers are responsible for ensuring students with certain educational and developmental hurdles are fully engaged in the educational experience and learn the appropriate materials according to both federal and state standards.

What qualifications do I need to work with disabled children? ›

All that is needed is empathy and understanding towards children with disabilities or special needs. However, some employers may require candidates to have an NVQ level two qualification in either Health & Social Care or Education & Childcare depending on the level of support they will be providing.

What are the disadvantages of special education? ›

Cons Integration of special education students and general education students may not work for all needs. Pros Class sizes are usually smaller (depending on the child's needs). Cons Instructional aides may limit a student's ability to work independently.

Are sped teachers in demand? ›

Employment. Demand for special education teachers will be driven by school enrollments and the need for special education services. Demand for these teachers and services should rise as disabilities are being identified earlier and as children with disabilities are enrolled into special education programs.

Is being a special education teacher stressful? ›

Special education teachers are at heightened risk for stress and burnout, which negatively impacts their effectiveness and well-being.

What is the benefit of M Ed? ›

A degree in Master of Education opens up ample career opportunities for students in the fields of teaching and education. A postgraduate in MEd can find promising jobs at places such as education consultancies, publishing houses, schools, colleges, coaching centres, research and development agencies, and so on.

Which course is best after M Ed? ›

One of the most sought after degree after M. Ed is PhD in Education which is also Doctorate level degree. The candidates can learn about various advanced aspects of education through this course including psychology, education policy, curriculum and teaching, etc.

What is the career after M Ed? ›

Ed or Bachelor of Education. Career scope after pursuing M. Ed degree is vast.
Salary for M.Ed Graduates.
Job TitleSalary Range (in INR)Average Salary (in INR)
High School Teacher151k - 739k347,311
Teacher160k - 617k312,496
Mathematics Teacher259k - 1m513,867
High School Principal308k - 3m879,702
3 more rows


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