Inclusion and Special Educational Needs MEd/ Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate / BPhil/ Advanced Certificate

Quick links: Fees and Funding | Entry Requirements | How to apply

The Inclusion and Special Educational Needs programme is a distance learning programme designed for students who wish to study a range of modules relating to Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (ISEN).

Download information on all the postgraduate study programmes in the School of Education (PDF)

Please note that this course is now closed for 2017 entry. It will reopen again, later in the year


This programme is designed for participants who wish to combine modules from two SEN related programmes.

The ISEN programme is suitable for:

  • UK, European and overseas students 
  • professionals in schools, further education, social services or health related roles who are interested in the education and needs of children or students with a range of special educational needs (SEN) 
  • people who have completed a first degree and are attracted to study and gain knowledge about children and students with special educational needs

The programme utilises material for home study, tutorial and seminar groups, together with a university-based residential weekend in Birmingham. Our distance learning programme has a reputation for excellence both nationally and internationally. 

Levels of Award

The level at which an individual is admitted to study on the programme will depend on their previous academic qualifications as well as their professional experience.

 Download information on the different levels of award and progression routes (PDF opens new window)

You may also be interested in these programmes:


On this Distance Learning programme, students join an existing programme to focus on one area of special educational needs for each year of study.

The programmes which are currently available are:

Related staff

Fees and funding

Fees 2017 - 2018


  • Code 5300 AdCert £3,115
  • Code 5328 BPhil £3,115
  • Code 5330 PGCert £3,115
  • Code 5332 PGDip £3,115
  • Code 5336 MEd £3,115


  • Code 5300 AdCert £7,605
  • Code 5328 BPhil £7,605
  • Code 5330 PGCert £5,220
  • Code 5332 PGDip £5,220
  • Code 5336 MEd £5,220

Fees for distance learning programmes are based on students studying 60 credits per year.

The fees shown above are annual fees for students starting their courses in September 2017. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries

Scholarships, Studentships and Loans

Funding for part-time students

The UK Government provides non-means tested loans to cover the full cost of part-time tuition for all eligible English resident or non UK EU undergraduates. Find out more about the funding for part-time students.

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

A postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will provide up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas including part-time and distance learning. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available, please view the Scholarships webpage in the School of Education. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the international scholarships page.

For further information contact the School directly or Fees and Financial Support university webpages.

Entry requirements

There is only one intake per year at the beginning of the Academic Year (September/ October).

Please refer to the School of Education entry requirements webpage  

International students

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements

In order to undertake the ISEN programme of study, you will need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English. You can demonstrate your level of English with IELTS or alternative qualifications. The following link to the English language qualifications page will give you more detailed information about grades you will need.

English language support - during your studies

The Birmingham International Academy (BIA) provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham.  Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials. 

How to apply

Please make sure you specifiy which specialist area of study you wish to follow in years one and two.

Please note that this course is now closed for 2017 entry. It will reopen again, later in the year

The Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (ISEN) programme is available through Distance Learning and is only available to be studied on a part-time basis. Studying by Distance Learning enables you to complete your studies at your own pace and from anywhere in the UK or the world. The ISEN programme is unique in that it enables you to study two distinct specific areas of SEN. Dissertations, in a chosen area of study, are carried out at degree and masters levels. Please note that we require you have at least 2 years professional experience in the areas you wish to study before you can be considered.

Studies can take between 1 – 6 years, depending the level of study and the individual situation of each student, however most masters level students complete within 3 years. Studying by Distance Learning means that you will be expected to attend residential study weekends once or twice each year depending upon the specialist area you decide upon (See under programme dates, below). Currently students who study by Distance Learning have access to regional tutors as well as university course tutors.

If you study at BPhil, Postgraduate Diploma or Masters level - at the end of the Year 1 you will transfer to a second specialist area of study from your programme choices. 

If further advice is needed regarding choice of specialist areas of study then please contact Neil Hall

Programme Dates

The ISEN programme officially begins in September of each academic year. Most start with a residential weekend, at the University of Birmingham. Some courses have another residential in the Spring. It is important you attend the Residential weekends as they are an important part of the courses. You will meet your tutors and other study group and the cost of the programme reflects the incorporation of the residential accommodation, meals and visiting speakers. 

Autism 29 September 2017 - 1 October 2017, March 2018 (TBC)

Multisensory Impairment 15 - 17 September 2017, April 2018 (TBC)

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties 6 - 8 October 2017, 4 - 6 May 2018

Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties Module 1: 20-22 October 2017, Module 2: 16-18 Febraury 2018, Module 3: 25-27 May 2018

Assessment methods

At the end of each module there is a 4,000 word assignment for level M and 3,000 for level H. The content of the assignment enables you to study aspects of the module in depth and relate this to your own work.

There is the opportunity to work towards a further professional qualification in the field of Education, which includes progression to a PhD or EdD. Many of our graduates successfully apply for roles working with children and young people with special educational needs. These include: teachers, education advisors, special educational needs coordinators and head teachers in schools and managers of community and charitable organisations.


Aggeliki Pappa   

Aggeliki Pappa has founded 'i love dyslexia', a holistic EFL educational institute. Read more....