Language, Literacies and Dyslexia MEd/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate

Language, Literacies and Dyslexia

The Language, Literacies and Dyslexia programme, is aimed at teachers, speech and language therapists and other professionals working with children, young people and students in further and higher education at pre-16 and FE/HE education levels who have difficulties with learning literacy skills.

This distance learning masters level programme is essential for practitioners seeking to become specialist practitioners, employable to assess and teach learners with dyslexia and literacy difficulties of school age or in further/higher education. Successful completion of modules 1-3 which meet the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) criteria in practical assessments, allows students to apply for the BDA professional qualification. 

The University of Birmingham offers three awards at masters level. 

  • Postgraduate Certificate (3 modules, 12 months of part-time study, Sept – end of August)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (6 modules, 24 months part-time study, Sept – August)
  • MEd (6 modules+ dissertation, 36 months part-time study, Sept – August)

You can register for the first year’s study and half way through the year you will be invited to consider if you to wish extend your registration to a further award.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, , taught

Study Options: Distance learning

Duration: MEd - 3 years; PGDiploma) - 2 years; PGCert 1 year

Start date: August

Details

The programme provides a broad and critical perspective of language literacies and literacy difficulties/dyslexia through sociocultural and cognitive research, as well as education policies. It embraces school and further educational demands of literacy skills, the demands of family and social literacy practices, and peer demands of new literacies, such as digital literacies. The programme establishes the fundamental relationship between language and literacy in typical and atypical development. Students study literacy difficulties/dyslexia in contexts of monolingual, multilingual and multimodal (eg digital literacies).

Studying at a distance means you can work from anywhere, such as in your home or workplace in the UK or overseas. All your studies will be in English and it is a requirement that you practice in an educational context of monolingual or additional English (EAL/ESL/EFL). Reference would be made to contexts that are multilingual and multimodal.

Specialist professional practice in dyslexia/specific learning difficulties

All students follow the same programme and module requirements for study and assessment that develop knowledge and practice in specialist assessment and teaching for learners with literacy needs and difficulties.

Successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) award of the first year of study, meets the specialist professional practice competencies required by the Joint Qualifications Council UK, and the British Dyslexia Association’s AMBDA accreditation, in diagnostic assessment, and intervention/ specialist teaching with learners with literacy difficulties/ specific learning difficulties at school and FE/HE levels of provision.

The PGCert award allows practitioners, who wish, to apply for the BDA’s accreditation (ATS, APS, AMBDA) depending on their professional qualification (eg QTS) – please visit the BDA website http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk for further information.

pdficonsmall Download the Language, Literacies and Dyslexia flier (PDF, 93.5KB)

The Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) in the School of Education, has a very strong profile in professional development, regionally, nationally and internationally.  The tutors who run this programme have strong national and international profiles in the field of research and practice in language and literacy difficulties and dyslexia. The department also runs a number of other courses in special education which may interest you.

FAQ

Does the Language, Literacies and Dyslexia PostGraduate Certificate award (3 modules) combined with QTS provide eligibility for BDA professional qualification to practice professionally to diagnostically assess and give specialist teaching / intervention with learners with literacy difficulties/dyslexia/specific learning difficulties? 

The SpLD Assessment Standards Committee for an Assessment Practising Certificate (SASC) website states that individuals eligible for a practising certificate:

‘must hold a current practising certificate in assessing specific learning difficulties
issued by their relevant professional association, for example, PATOSS (the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties), Dyslexia Action or the British Dyslexia Association.’

You can obtain a practising certificate from the BDA. There are several routes to obtain this certificate, but one route is to have AMBDA. The University of Birmingham Language, Literacies and Dyslexia (LLD) masters –level programme is recognised by the BDA. Students who successfully complete all assessed requirements on the LLD programme (that is, the University of Birmingham assessed requirements that include requirements for AMBDA or ATS, as required by the BDA) can then apply to the BDA for AMBDA or ATS.

So the LLD programme will give you eligibility for ATS/APS or AMBDA. AMBDA gives you eligibility for a BDA Practising Certificate. The BDA practising certificate gives you eligibility for the SASC Practising Certificate.

Modules

Module 1

Language and literacies in development. The first module provides students with an introduction to the nature of development of language, literacies and literary practices, and literacy skills. Research-based theories of dyslexia are introduced. This module provides a necessary foundation for upcoming modules.

Module 2

Identification and assessment of dyslexia/literacy difficulties. The second module introduces students to theories, research and practice in identification, diagnosis and assessment in relation to literacy difficulties/SpLD/dyslexia. Assessment will be through professional practice in assessment of dyslexia as well as a written assignment.

Module 3

Managing curriculum and intervention for dyslexia/literacy difficulties. This module will cover intervention and curriculum management for dyslexia/literacy difficulties. Assessment will be through professional practice in intervention and curriculum management of dyslexia as well as a written assignment.

Fees and funding

Fees Home/EU 2014-2015

  • Code 9735 PGCert part time £2,380
  • Code 9736 PGDip part time £2,380 first year; £1,980 second year 
  • Code 9737 MEd part time £2,380 first year; £1,980 second year; £1,980 third year

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 September in 2014. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Fees Overseas 2014-2015

  • Code 9735 PGCert part time £4,555
  • Code 9736 PGDip part time £4,555 first year; £4,400 second year 
  • Code 9737 MEd part time £4,444 first year; £4,400 second year; £4,250 third year

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 September in 2014. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Please view our Fees for International Students page for further details. 

Learn more about fees and funding  

Scholarships and studentships

School-based students each year may apply for and be awarded government scholarships which will fund all or part of the programme. Please view the gov.uk website .

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

Entry requirements

Applicants need to have: 

  • a degree (2.1 or equivalent); 
  • professional access to working with learners who have literacy difficulties, e.g. as a teacher, teaching assistant, SLT, OT. Access in parental or voluntary capacity does not meet this criterion; 
  • two years professional practice experience is highly recommended for Masters level study in literacy difficulties.

You will also be expected to have: 

  • professional access to learners with these specific difficulties in your work context, 
  • opportunities to assess and work with at least three learners with literacy difficulties in September-July, 
  • access to age appropriate, up to date assessment/ testing tools and intervention programmes for literacy difficulties, 
  • opportunities to observe age appropriate, up to date standardised tests being used, 
  • access to filming yourself for the observed practice tasks (i) using a standardised test with a learner and (ii) engaging in specialist teaching with selected learners, and 
  • some professional support for this work in your wider professional context.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

At the beginning of each year of study, there is an online induction module to the University of Birmingham programme. This module will give all the necessary information to induct students into the programme so that a residential visit is not required.

The method of learning involves online reading, literature searches, enquiry based learning through activities and discussion with fellow students in your tutor group, and your tutors. Learning is orientated to relating your study to your professional practice. 

Study activities include reading chapters and articles on research and practice, quizzes, online discussion of case studies, webinars. Developing studying skills include online searches for research papers, policies and teaching materials, critical reading, problem-solving, and writing skills. There is personal online tutorial support through ‘reflective journaling’ and discussion with your tutor. Regular group monthly tutorials with your tutor group and tutor are held by Skype.

International students

We recruit students to the programme from the UK, EU, USA and other countries. Study is through English and students can study literacy difficulties with learners who are learning through EFL or EAL. The programme covers all education phases: primary / secondary, and Further Education /Higher Education. Students are supported in tutor groups with other students who work in the same phase, (where possible in the same region/country) and with a tutor with specialist qualifications in dyslexia and professional experience with learners with dyslexia in the educational phase.

Employability

The PGCert award in Language, Literacies and Dyslexia will allow professionals in the field to apply for BDA awards. The BDA offers two professional practice awards on successful completion of the PGCert at the University of Birmingham. The Associate Member of the Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) is awarded to teachers with qualified teacher status or equivalent and the Associate Teacher Status (ATS) is awarded to professional practitioners with other professional qualifications and Speech and Language Therapists.

Together these awards are recognised in the UK as a basis for specialist practitioners to be employed to assess and teach learners with dyslexia and literacy difficulties of school age or in further and higher education.