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

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

The Inclusion and Special Educational Needs programme is part-time and is designed for students who wish to study a range of modules relating to Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (ISEN). The programme is delivered in a variety of modes:

  • In years one and three the programme is a distance learning programme, completed wholly online.
  • In year two, the programme is either distance learning or blended learning depending on the pathway taken.

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

ISEN aims to enable in-service teachers, school leaders, policy leaders, and others working directly or indirectly with children with disabilities in the UK, Europe, and around the world to study across a broad spectrum of inclusion and special educational needs.

There are three core modules within the ISEN programme which you will need to complete in the first year. These modules are Cross-Cultural Issues in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Evaluation and Policy Analysis for Inclusive Education, and Inclusion: Individual and group differences. The aims of these modules are as follows:

  • an overarching understanding of educational inclusion and SEND and associated policies;
  • frameworks for evaluating policies and practice; and
  • introductions to different SEND groupings (as conceptualised in many educational systems).
  • an exploration of the socio-cultural conceptualisations of disability and SEND practice in a global context 

Taking these three modules will give you credits for a 60 credit PGCert (ISEN), and will enable you to then follow a more specialist pathway in year 2 (PG Diploma) where you will benefit from studying on our existing programmes such as Autism, LLD (Language, Literacy and Dyslexia), and SEBD (Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties). In year 3, as an MEd student you will work towards completion of your dissertation under the supervision of University of Birmingham staff. 

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

You may also be interested in these programmes:


First Year

There are three core modules that most students will complete in their first year.

Second Year

The programmes which are currently available are:

Related staff

Fees and funding

Fees 2018 - 2019


  • Code 5330 PGCert £3,348
  • Code 5332 PGDip £3,348
  • Code 5336 MEd £3,300


  • Code 5330 PGCert £5,430
  • Code 5332 PGDip £5,430
  • Code 5336 MEd £5,430

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

The fees shown above are the first year fees for students starting their courses September in 2018 and fees may change in subsequent years.

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the Funding, Graduation & Awards 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.

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

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

The Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (ISEN) programme is part-time and in years one and three is completed wholly online. In year two, the programme is either distance learning or blended learning depending on the pathway taken. Blended learning consists of a mixture of both campus-based and distance learning elements. 

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 master’s level students complete within 3 years. 

This programme is designed to supplement professionals already working in the field, or those seeking a general introduction to topics within inclusion and special educational needs. In general, this includes teachers, education advisors, special educational needs coordinators, head teachers in schools, managers of community and charitable organisations, support workers in places such as a university or workplace disability service unit, social workers or nurses providing care for persons with disabilities, or a staff member of a Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health, amongst other things.  

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.