MA Inclusion (Special Educational Needs)

MA/Postgraduate Certificate

Start date
MA 36 months; PGCert 12 months
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning

2024 - 2025
£3,780 (UK)
£7,770 (International)
More Fees and funding details.

Dr Sarah Benson introduces the MA Inclusion

On the MA Inclusion (Special Educational Needs) specialist pathway, you will develop the key skills and expertise required to meet the needs of those working directly or indirectly with children with disabilities.

On this specialist pathway you develop an overarching understanding of educational inclusion and SEND and associated policies. You will examine the frameworks for evaluating policies and practice and you will explore the socio-cultural conceptualisations of disability and SEND practice in a global context. You will also be introduced to different SEND groupings (as conceptualised in many educational systems). Through this degree, you will be able to develop knowledge, understanding and critiques of research, educational policy and practice and have the opportunity to investigate historical and cultural aspects of disability.  

MA Inclusion

The MA Inclusion is a flexible, part-time distance learning course for those who want to make a difference to the lives of children, young people and adults with diverse needs. It has been designed for teachers and other educational and care professionals working in a range of national and international settings.

Our approach will enable you to investigate inclusive practice through multiple lenses and to embrace cultural, linguistic and developmental diversity. You will be able to choose module options from across an unrivalled range of provision in Inclusive Education within the School of Education at the University of Birmingham.

The MA Inclusion is made up of 180 credits which consists of 3 compulsory taught modules (60 credits) in the named pathway, a number of optional modules (60 credits) and a 60 credit dissertation. Successful completion of the 180 credits leads to the award of MA Inclusion.

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert)

We also offer a one year, part-time Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits in total). This option gives you the opportunity to gain a specialist qualification at Masters level after just one year of study , or (on successful completion of the modules) to transfer to the MA Programme. For the PGCert, you choose from one of the first year pathway options and for those who transfer to the MA, this would constitute your first year of the three-year course. The MA Inclusion entry criteria, teaching and assessment all apply to the PGCert option.

MA Inclusion pathways

You may also be interested in our other specialist pathways on the MA Inclusion.

Why Study this course?

  • The University of Birmingham is a leading provider of degree-level courses in inclusion and special educational needs.
  • Our courses develop real insight and encourage reflective practice. You will be tutored by senior practitioners and researchers in the field of inclusion who work within the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) 
  • The MA Inclusion degree offers both flexibility and choice from a range of modules.


Those taking a PGCert need to complete the three compulsory modules listed below (60 credits). Those progressing onto the MA will need to choose a further 60 credits in the second year from the optional modules, one module for each term (which includes core modules from the other pathways on the MA Inclusion) and complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.

Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024.

Compulsory modules

Optional Modules 

View the list of optional modules

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees 2024 - 2025


  • Code 578G PGCert £3,780
  • Code 579G MA £3,780


  • Code 578G PGCert £7,770
  • Code 579G MA £7,770

Fees for part-time 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 2024. The fees are fixed at this price for each year of study for the duration of the programme.

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the School directly or visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 

Scholarships and Loans

You may be eligible for a postgraduate loan which provides up to £12,167 (for 2023/2024 entry) for taught and research Masters courses in most subject areas. This includes Distance Learning. 

Other 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 visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via  online enquiries. 

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

Our Standard Requirements

Normally a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant area of practice or discipline. Vocational qualifications are accepted as criteria for entry to this course.

Most students will have some relevant professional experience and all applicants are encouraged to gain relevant experience in educational, care or other professional settings before, and during, embarking on a programme of study.

Speakers of English as a second language will be required to hold an IELTs 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each band or equivalent qualification.

English language support

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. 

International Requirements

Our MA Inclusion is delivered and assessed online. Some activities are scheduled – like meetings with your tutor – but otherwise you can work through the online learning materials at times to suit you. Each module is broken down into weekly study units and each week you'll have a mixture of reading, videos/recordings and interactive activities to work through at your own convenience. All you need is some time, and an internet connection. 

We also know how important it is to provide you with opportunities to meet, collaborate and network with like-minded students. We do this in two ways. 

Firstly, we provide a live induction event where you will get the opportunity to meet the teaching team and fellow students. We will also provide a step-by-step guide to working through materials on your first module of study. 

Secondly, in every module of study there are live (real time) opportunities to engage in module group work and seminars. This gives you the chance to discuss key topics, share your learning and to reflect on workplace experiences. 

How you will learn:

  • Interactive teaching materials and study skills resources available via our online learning platform             
  • Three live online tutorials per module within your own tutor group, hosted by a tutor experienced in your field of study       
  • Two live lectures hosted by your Module Lead             
  • Access to our extensive online library, research materials and a vibrant community of students with shared interests          
  • Access to a range of other study and research activities hosted by our department and the School of Education.

The MA Inclusion (Special Educational Needs) degree 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, including progression to a PhD. The excellent careers advice provided by personal tutors has encouraged many of our graduates to successfully apply for roles working with children and young people with special educational needs.