Kubra Akbayrak

I completed my master’s degree (with distinction) in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at the University of Birmingham in 2015. This programme provided me with outstanding knowledge and experience of special educational needs and disabilities in educational settings. Throughout the programme, I had opportunities to enhance my personal and academic development, and also meet many inspiring academic staff from the department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) which enabled me to further my career as a PhD student.

The experience I gained through studying for my master’s degree enriched my academic development with respect to the conceptualisation of disability within cross-cultural settings and my understanding of SEND practices and policies within international settings. One of the most beneficial attributes of my degree was the opportunity I was given every week to discuss literature, practises, and news in relation to recent SEND issues with tutors and classmates. The lectures were really inspiring and I particularly enjoyed discussing issues with people from different parts of the world. Additionally, the opportunity to experience a UK school was one of the most positive features on my degree programme.

The most challenging, but also one of the most rewarding aspects of my degree, was the process of writing my dissertation in the third term. Throughout this process, I was able to improve my research skills as well as my critical and analytical thinking skills with the support of my dissertation tutor. Overall, the experience I gained on the SEND programme was outstanding and this programme provided me with invaluable skills, experience, and knowledge to further career as a PhD student in the field of Special Education.