MA/ PGCert Education (Inclusion and Special Educational Needs)

MA/Postgraduate Certificate

Start date
September 2024
1 year part-time PGCert, 3 years part-time MA
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Annual fee for 2024 entry
AED 36,631

Scholarships are available 

Inclusion is part of a modern education system and as countries around the world adopt legislation that increases access for students with disabilities- there is a greater need for specialists and that is increasing every day.

This programme has been accredited by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education

University sponsorships are not available for part-time applicants. If you are a part-time applicant who requires visa sponsorship, please refer to our visa categories for further information.

The UAE is leading the region in inclusive initiatives from Expo 2020 to their schools. New education policies across the country have increased the need of schools and organizations to hire experts in disability, inclusion and special education needs. The University of Birmingham has always been a leading research and teaching institution in the area of disability, inclusion and special needs, now that expertise is available in Dubai. 

Why study this degree?

Our part-time ISEN course is tailored for students wanting to practise in Dubai, but is flexible enough to give you an understanding of the global legislation. We will encourage you to be critical thinkers, considering disability in different contexts to give you a broad understanding of disability, culture and inclusion. 

  • This flexible degree looks at disability in an international context, allowing you to personalise your learning, and practise your expertise anywhere in the world
  • We create advocates for inclusion and seek ways to break down barriers 
  • We use multiple assessments that allow you to showcase your learning in a meaningful way, from school improvement plans to academic essays
  • You will study in a supportive international hub; we have had students from around the world including: India, Pakistan, Lebanon, the UK, Nigeria and South Africa. This will enable you to discuss disability and schooling systems with colleagues from around the globe, creating a deeper understanding of the complexity of disability.

The Inclusion and Special Educational Needs course has been designed to supplement professionals already working in the field. In general, this includes teachers, education advisors, special educational needs coordinators, head teachers in schools, managers of community and charitable organisations (NGOs) or a staff member of a Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health. 

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs

The PGCert in ISEN is a year-long part-time course taught at the MA level. This course is designed to provide the theoretical and practical underpinnings of disability, inclusion and special education provisions. It is not a teacher certification but can support certified teachers to develop their inclusive practices. Upon completion of the PGCert you can choose to continue towards your MA Education (Inclusion and Special Education Needs).

Masters of Education (MA) in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs

On the MA Education, after completing the foundation modules you will choose from a selection of specialist modules in specific disability areas during your second year. The ability to tailor this MA to your specific interests while also providing the foundations of whole school inclusion is a unique and valuable experience. In your final year of study you will undertake a Master’s dissertation. 

Further information

If you are a student or teacher and wish to receive further information and updates about this programme, please register your interest at: 


Prospect Q&A

Find out more about our Education programmes every Wednesday afternoon from 4-5 PM. Learn about how to enter the teaching profession, how to move into leadership or inclusion through our Masters' and Postgraduate Certificates. Just join online to speak to our faculty.


As Dubai International Academic City celebrates a decade of excellence, we are honoured to welcome one of the world’s top 100 universities, University of Birmingham, to our vibrant and diverse higher education community. University of Birmingham’s commitment to knowledge transfer through cutting-edge research makes it an ideal partner of choice, contributing to the enhancement of the UAE’s vision of creating innovative and enduring solutions that meet the demands of key sectors of development such as STEM and Education.

Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City

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The following modules will be covered:

Cross-Cultural Issues in Special Education Needs & Disabilities (20 credits)

You will be supported to undertake critical analysis of cross-cultural dimensions of SEND and inclusive education, with particular attention to your own context in Dubai. You will also examine the potential of ‘interventions’ that have a cross-cultural basis (e.g. in disability studies, philosophy and the arts) to stimulate inclusive policy and practice.

Inclusion: Individual & Group Differences (20 credits)

Key areas of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and educational placement will be broadly mapped in relation to different SEND groupings, e.g. Autism, dyslexia, hearing impairment / deafness, MSI, PMLD, SLD, vision impairment and you will discuss examples of broader inclusion debates, dilemmas, positions and solutions.

Evaluation & Policy Analysis for Inclusive Education (20 credits)

Specific topics for reflection will be identified related to current educational / SEND issues. Students will be asked to consider and critically analyse how educational settings are currently reflecting on your SEND provision in the light of the current governmental direction and changes. Other subjects include, policies related to SEND practice and their efficacy and effectiveness; organisational structures in schools and social systems that impact inclusive education practices.

Specialist modules

On the MA pathway, after completing the foundation modules you will chose from a selection of specialist modules in specific disability areas for your second year. Modules could include special education needs of students with autism, classroom behavior management, understanding dyslexia The ability to tailor this MA to your specific interests while also providing the foundations of whole school inclusion is a unique and valuable experience.

Dissertation (60 credits)

In your final year of study you undertake a Master’s Dissertation (60 credits) in an area related to your practice.  We will provide you with the research methods training that will allow you to conduct a piece of critical research and to develop an in-depth understanding of an educational topic of personal and/or professional interest. You will receive individualised supervisory support as you undertake your dissertation


Fee for 2024 entry

AED 36,631 

The fee above is the annual fee. The total fee for the 3 year MA programme is AED 109,893.


There is no bursary for these courses but there is a chance to apply for a scholarship. Find out more about the scholarships

How To Apply


Our Standard Requirements

We recommend our applicants be working in an educational setting however those who are working in non-profit organisations or within governmental organisations associated with the support of persons with disabilities will benefit. To be considered by the University of Birmingham you will also need to meet our general entry requirements: 

  • A degree (equivalent to a UK Bachelors Degree of at least 2:2 or above) or a recognised equivalent qualification and this will be a condition of any offer where the degree has not already been awarded.
  • Two references, of which one must be academic (e.g. previous university tutor) and one professional, that confirms your current role in an educational setting and evidences your motivation and ability to study.  
  • A Personal Statement (minimum 500 - 500 words) on your motivation for and commitment to wanting to complete this programme of study as well as information about your educational context. 
  • If English is not your first language you may need to demonstrate proficiency in English through the completion of an academic level IELTS or equivalent. You should achieve a score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6 across all four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

If you are unsure about the equivalences of your qualifications, simply contact our team and we will do this for you.  Please contact  or Text, Call or WhatsApp us on +971 (0)55 182 8937

International Requirements

As part of the admissions process you will need to provide the following information on your application form. 

  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence
  • A personal statement
  • Evidence of your qualifications
  • References 

You will be part of a close-knit multinational student community, studying on a technology-rich campus that makes our blended learning easier to access. 

You will learn through bi-weekly evening classroom and synchronous online lectures alongside intensive teaching weekends. Each is an opportunity to work collaboratively with peers and learn from each other.

You will have the option to choose an assessment that meets your needs, from school improvement plans, policy evaluations and lesson plans along with academic writing assignments.

Course delivery

We offer a combination of evening classes and once-a-month meeting on Saturdays, designed to accommodate working professionals.

Our draft timetable for part-time students is designed to deliver teaching on one or two evenings from 17:30-20:30 and one Saturday a month from 10:00-16:00 (timings vary per module). 

Please note that the example timetable is to be used as a guide and is subject to change. Our term dates are also available online. For further information, please contact the Programme Director, Sarah Benson at

Example timetable for the MA/PGCert Education programme (PDF)

A PGCert ISEN is not a teaching certification and does not include a practicum or teaching experience. If you need a teaching certification we suggest you join either our PGCEi or PGCE iQTS course. If you are already a certified teacher or have your BA in Education, then this course can help you become an inclusion teacher or head of inclusion. 

You will benefit from a Russell Group university education, and will leave the University of Birmingham Dubai a better communicator with a globally respected qualification that is identical to our UK qualification.

Education in the UAE is booming and there is a growth in the need for inclusion specialists. Our strong focus on connecting research to practice creates reflective practitioners who contribute positively to their school and the wider education community.