Special Education Needs Inclusion Studies

BA single honours or in combination with another subject Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies 2019/20

Year of entry

Clearing places available
The content of this course is currently being reviewed and is subject to change. Applicants will be informed of any changes that impact on the structure of the course.

BA single honours or in combination with either Early Childhood Studies or Education Studies

There is a great demand for skilled professionals who wish to nurture the lives and futures of children and young adults with special educational needs.

On the course you will explore the areas of teaching, social work and health, and gain the skills and understanding you need to enter a multidisciplinary workforce.

You will be taught by experienced professionals, providing a dynamic and engaging curriculum drawing on many academic fields, and have the opportunity to gain practical experience in work placements.

You will explore areas including:

  • professional identity
  • health across the life span
  • physical and sensory development
  • from learning to labour
  • values, justice, participation and society.

This course is designed to provide you with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to enter a multidisciplinary workforce.

The course is taught by a range of professionals providing a dynamic and engaging curriculum. The current national agenda for special educational needs and the new recommendations of the ‘Special Educational Needs and Disability 0­25 Code of Practice’ (DfE and DoH, 2015) indicates a government commitment to supporting training which promotes positive quality services for all children, young people and adults with special educational needs (0-25), and their families. This requires developing newly skilled professionals to work collaboratively with education, health and social care services to support children, young adults and their families within multi­disciplinary environments.

You will also study theories of management and leadership, enabling an understanding of professionalism and partnership working. This degree makes a significant contribution to meeting the demands of the sector and it will provide you with a broad and in-depth theoretical understanding of these issues. It will also provide an opportunity to engage in a placement experience.

The success of the first year of the course is recognised in the External Examiner report which states: “The students have a strong sense of identity and recognise the importance of advocacy for vulnerable, children, adults and families.”

In the University’s Undergraduate Student Survey, this course received 100% satisfaction in the following areas:

  • “ Staff have made the subject interesting”
  • “ Staff are enthusiastic about teaching”
  • “Able to contact staff when I need to”
  • “I feel part of an academic community in my college or university”

“ The course is an exciting opportunity to inspire students to become advocates for children, adults and families making a difference for the most vulnerable individuals in today’s society.”

Whilst studying this degree, you will engage with theory and research using a multi-disciplinary approach. Specifically, you may draw on the fields of education, health, social welfare, sociology, psychology, geography, history, human rights, social justice politics, economics, anthropology, social policy, religious studies and philosophy.

You will study a degree which recognises inclusion as an integral element of human rights and social justice. You will analyse global and international policy and consider notions of a fair society. You will examine theoretical positions and recognise the political, economic, historical and ideological variables that impact on civil and human rights and oppression in society. The course is designed to enable you to develop your own interest through a broad range of assessment strategies.

When you study this course, through the themes of social justice and human rights, you will explore the participation of vulnerable groups in society and recognise the importance of developing strategies to protect and promote the equal opportunities of all children, young adults and their families

You will examine global and national ideologies and evaluate government legislation and policy to examine barriers to participation. You will also explore these themes individually in your transition to university life and develop knowledge and understanding of professional identity. This will enable you to become part of an undergraduate body that values reflection on academic study and practical experiences to support you in developing a diverse understanding of theoretical perspectives of special educational needs and inclusion.

In addition, you will gain specialist knowledge of specific areas of special educational needs through your module choices. You will recognise the importance of social and emotional development and the notion of resilience being fundamental to health and well­being. You will develop your knowledge of strategies and professionalism when working collaboratively to support children, young adults and families with a diverse range of special educational needs.

Work experience

There is currently an optional professional placement in year two. In addition, you will be offered the opportunity to engage in employment-based activities.

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion studies is a new course, which doubled in numbers in its second year. The course is current and dynamic and is designed to support students becoming specialists in the field.

Year 1

Reflective Practice and Professional Identity

The module aims to develop your graduate skills in the context of reflective practice and professional identity, and in doing so also support your transition into studying at higher education levels. Skills for independent learning, self­reflection and time management will be explored and developed, and this will include a consideration of pre­ existing study skills and work experience. Regarding professional identity, essential concepts and underpinning principles for practice in the context of working with those with special educational and inclusion needs will be explored.

An Introduction to Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies

The aims of this module are to ensure you develop a good understanding of the issues that surround discrimination, disability and equality in our society and of the concept of inclusion with a particular focus on children, young people and adults with special educational needs, and their families. The history, psychology, economic and social dimensions of these issues will be explored, along with an analysis of their impact upon individual impact upon individuals and their families.

Health Across the Life Span

The module aims to explore the concepts of health and well-being of all individuals from conception across their lifespan.

You will analyse and evaluate the contexts of health including physical, mental/emotional, environmental and social contexts including global, international, economic, political and social aspects.

Theories of Learning

The aim of the module is to provide opportunities for you to develop an understanding of different theories of learning and critically explore the implications of relating theory to practice. The module will explore current brain research and the contribution of neuroscience on theories of teaching and learning. You will also examine theories of child development fundamental consideration of working with children and adults with additional needs.

Social and Emotional Development

The aims of this module are to introduce you to the importance of social and emotional development. The module will examine emotions and cognitive processing, and the relationship between emotional and social behaviour. The relationship between health and social and emotional development will be critically evaluated.

Physical and Sensory Development

The aims of the module are to provide a broad overview of the features of typical sensory and physical development. The module will also explore the specific difficulties that can be experienced by children and young people who experience atypical physical and/or sensory development. You will practically engage in accessibility audits in the local community. Students in previous years have visited local museums and parks.

Year 2

In year two, you will study the following core modules:

Professional Placement

The aim of the module is to provide you with practical experience of working with children with additional needs and their families, in order to develop and underpin your knowledge of theory and literature. You will primarily focus on the issues surrounding provision for children and families in a wide range of contexts within the placement setting.  Examples of placement settings our student have been on include children's homes, children's hospital wards, special schools and shadowing a speech and language specialist.

From Learning to Labour

The main aim is to develop your knowledge and understanding of curriculum models within an historical, political and ideological context. You will recognise the historical progression of government policies and statutory curriculum models. You will have the opportunity to apply previous knowledge in developing a critical understanding of educational practices and encounter alternative international models and theoretical models of how children learn to identify and examine what constitutes an appropriate pedagogical approach.

You will then choose from the following list of likely optional modules:

Services for Specialist Provision for Children, Young Adults and Families

The module aims to provide a critical understanding of community provision for children and families in need of specialist support. You will consider service provision from universal to specialist, including support, education and intervention situated within the complex relationship between theory and practice (praxis), children’s agency and social policy.

Research Methods and Design

The module aims to provide you with an overview of different research traditions with a particular emphasis on the challenges of conducting research in sensitive areas or with vulnerable participants.

Speech and Language Development

This module aims to enable you to increase your understanding and awareness of typical and atypical development of speech, language and social communication. It will consider the differences between language delay and disorder.

Perspectives of Autism

This module aims to provide you with knowledge of the theoretical, clinical and person constructs underlying autism. You will become familiar with current policy and legislation and will explore through reading, direct input and discussion issues of classroom pedagogy and social inclusion.

Inclusive and Assistive Technology

The module’s aims are to develop knowledge of inclusive technology, assistive technology and the philosophical difference between the two in order to develop an understanding of the way in which technology can help people overcome elements of their impairments.

Inclusion in the Arts and Cultural Activities

This module aims to enable you to develop your knowledge of inclusive practice and education within the arts. Understanding of the philosophies of issues such as inclusion within disability arts, passive and active exclusion will be developed in the context of educational and creative environments, literature, broadcasting and digital media.

Disability, Film and Media

You will explore issues surrounding how images of disability is portrayed in film and media. Drawing from a range of material spanning across different eras, you will use your theoretical knowledge to analyse how these images impact on perception of disability.

Year 3

You will study the following core module in your third year:

Values, Justice, Participation and Society

The module aims to support your critical engagement with key theoretical perspectives, concepts, research and debates associated with social justice, inclusion and exclusion and (in)equalities as they relate to policy, education related issues and the wider contexts of children’s, young people’s and adult’s lives. You will be supported to engage with critical pedagogy and a range of political, sociological and philosophical perspectives to examine how societal systems and structures may reproduce and perpetuate social inequalities with regard to marginalised, vulnerable and excluded groups of children, young people and adults.

You will then choose from the following list of likely optional modules:

Global Perspectives on Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies

This module will examine global political, ideological, economic and social factors recognising global differences and embedded global inequalities.

Challenges and Opportunities in Managing the Inclusive Organization

The aims of the module are to develop your understanding of the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in a variety of private and public sector organisations.

Specialist Independent Enquiry

You will have the opportunity to research an area of interest related to special educational needs and inclusion. From this, you will produce a high quality structured research project which may inform your future career development. Projects by recent students have included cross-cultural comparisons of SEN in the UK and Cyprus and visual impairment and accessibilty. 

Cognition and Learning Difficulties

This module aims to give insight into the complexities of human cognition and learning and the impact of atypical cognition upon learning and development. It builds upon previous knowledge about theories of learning. After developing your understanding of key theory and research related to typical cognitive development, you will consider the history, classification and terminology related to children and young people whose cognition follows an atypical pathway.

Inclusion in Adulthood

This module aims to enable you to develop knowledge of inclusive practice for adults and will explore the difference between the needs of adults and children, and between people who are born with special needs and those who acquire impairments and special needs in later life.

We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

You could go onto employment or further study upon completion of this course. You will be able to apply to a range of postgraduate courses including postgraduate qualifications in teaching. You could also explore a number of relevant Masters level courses including: Special Needs and Inclusion, Social Work, Early Years, Education Studies and Health. In addition, there are also opportunities for you to work at doctoral level within education (including SEN and inclusion pathways).

The course may lead to a range of employment opportunities including teaching, social work, health promotion, children centres, charities, therapeutic services, local government, adult services, play work, youth work, inclusion management, consultancy work and advocacy posts.

Faculty Assistant Director Special Educational Needs and Inclusion - Georgina Gosden
“The course is an exciting new development enabling students to develop specialist knowledge in the field of special educational needs and have a range of professionals developing their knowledge of multi–agency working. The students will develop their knowledge of social justice and human rights enabling to develop a sense of agency to make a difference to enabling inclusive practice and opportunities for children and adults in today’s society. “


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,900

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips

You may have the opportunity to undertake a field trip abroad.  Field trips are non-credit bearing and entirely voluntary. You will be advised of availability and costs by your programme director.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

If you study a single honours pathway, you will take 120 credits per year. There may be optional modules to choose in your second and final years.

If you choose to study a combined honours degree pathway you will take 60 credits in Special Eduational Needs and Inclusion in your first year and then you can choose to stay combined (60 credits), or major (80 credits) or minor (40 credits). You will need to take the remaining credits in your other subject, so that in total you will take 120 credits each year.

You may be offered optional modules. The modules available will be subject to a minimum group size and timetabling restrictions. Additional modules may be offered to respond to student feedback and developments in the special educational needs field.

Your contact hours are allocated within each module of study and equate to approximately 50 hours of tutor time for each 20 credit module. You will be expected to engage in self-study time of 150 hours per 20 credit module. The Specialist Research module is a 40 credit module and you will receive four hours individual supervision to support your learning.

Teaching and learning may comprise of, but not be limited to lectures, seminars, workshop, personalised tutorials, guided learning, independent study, email or discussion forums, student groups, field activities and individual project supervision.

Academic input

You will be taught by a course team with dynamic and diverse backgrounds including policing, education, social care, health, psychology, local authority, third sector workers, charities and other agencies. This gives you a rich learning environment and opportunity.

Assessment methods include presentations, essays, artefacts, rationales, posters, portfolios, online tasks, and specialist research. 
You will explore your immediate environment: local parks, museums and Canterbury Cathedral to investigate access and inclusion for children and adults with special educational needs or a disability.
We have links with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) because we have accredited staff members. 

“It’s a very diverse course with a wide range of academic discussion about the current political environment. It enables you with a wide range of skills such as analytic and academic.”
Lauren, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies and Inclusion Studies, BA Hons (single)

‘Studying Special Educational Needs and Inclusion as a mature student I thought would be hard. Yet everyone in our group is so supportive, we work together. The lecturers are approachable and helpful. Each module works well together and I absolutely love this course and have learnt so much. It confirms how much I want to work with autistic children.”
Karen, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies, BA Hons (single)

“Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies is such an enjoyable course, the modules are interesting and you learn a variety of new subjects. The programme directors always offer support and they change the programme to suit the students. It gives you an insight into the careers you can head into once you’ve completed your degree.’
Kayley, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies, BA (Hons), combined with Early Childhood Studies

“Although the programme is relatively new, every student is engaging fully.  Today’s society is facing huge issues in the areas of special educational needs and inclusion in terms of health, care and education. The tutors are doing a great job in addressing those issues and teaching us ways to deal with them as professionals. The programme itself is extremely diverse, but every student is getting the support they need”
Rafaella, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies, BA (Hons), combined with Education Studies


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Email:  courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1227 928000
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000  (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • OHM1 Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies
  • X364 Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    4 years full-time including a Foundation Year


  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be between 88-112 UCAS Tariff points.

    A current satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be required. Where you do not already have this you can apply for this check through the University. There will be a charge for such applications.

    More entry requirement details.



Last edited 18/07/2019 13:53:00

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Last edited: 18/07/2019 13:53:00