Special Education Needs Inclusion Studies

BA single honours or in combination with another subject Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies with Foundation Year 2020/21

Year of entry

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.

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following the Foundation Year you will go on to explore areas including:

  • orientation to higher education
  • person-centered and collaborative practice
  • health across the life span
  • physical and sensory development
  • theories of learning
  • social and emotional development.

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.

The course offers a range of optional modules alongside specialist modules. These modules will enable you to acquire interdisciplinary skills and concepts to help you work across a variety of disciplines.

Year 0

You will take 5 core modules plus one optional module. Optional modules will be offered subject to cohort size and you may choose to take a module which relates to your overall degree choice.

Optional module choices are made in the second semester and become the last module taken.

However, you are not locked into the choice of overall course but may choose to change pathways at the end of the Foundation Year (Year 0). Alternatively, you may choose to take a Certificate of Completion and apply to another degree course, subject to entry criteria.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Education
  • Applied Literacy, Numeracy and Science Skills for Education
  • Communication and Academic Skills for Higher Education
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Introduction to Human development through the Lifespan

Optional module 

Year 1

Core modules

Orientation to Higher Education (20 credits)

This module aims to provide an orientation into Higher Education and will introduce you to research within the context of Education. You will gain understanding of university processes and procedures related to assignment submission, as well as support that is available to them more broadly.

You will learn to develop study skills, independence, and time management skills, as well as developing an awareness of university structures and support.  You will be encouraged to review and build on your pre-existing generic academic study skills.

You will explore the process of and the importance of research which allows you to engage with information, to help you develop an analytical approach to their studies. You will be introduced to the concepts of critical reading and writing and the evaluation of source material. You will be encouraged to debate, discuss and analyse some of the key issues in their parent programme.

Person Centered and Collaborative Practice (20 credits)

The aims of the module are to provide a broad overview of how agencies and professionals work with each other to support children with special educational needs. The module will explore the person centred nature of collaborative care, but also the specific difficulties that can be experienced with a multidisciplinary approach. It will enable students to gain confidence in discussing these issues and to begin to analyse and evaluate the skills that are used in working with a variety of agencies, parents/carers and voluntary groups, as well as a range of professionals including those from health, social care and education. 

Optional modules

You will choose two optional modules, likely optional modules include:

Theories of Learning (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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.

Year 2

Core modules

Exploring Research: Methods, Methodologies, and Implications for practice (20 credits)

The module aims to provide students with the knowledge to equip them to be able to design and conduct a small-scale research project with or about children, young people or adults. Appropriate data collection and data analysis methods will be introduced in addition to methodological constructs and concepts and ethical considerations within research.  Students will also formulate research questions and hypotheses where appropriate, and recognise particular methodological issues such as researcher reflexivity.  They will consider the ethical approaches involved in their particular chosen setting considering the participants’ right to voice and agency. Additionally, this module will develop understanding of how research methods and investigative research projects can support career development.

Nothing About Us and Without Us (20 credits)

This module aims to build on students’ understanding of person-centred approaches to inclusive practice in order to support the embedding of the approach within current and/or future practice. The theoretical basis of the person-centred approaches will be explored, alongside the links with the human rights agenda, social justice, political, historical, economic and ideological factors that impact on vulnerable individuals, groups or communities nationally and globally. The impact of the ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ campaign on policy and practice-based developments across education, health, social care, third sector and commercial organisations will be considered. The ethical considerations and evidence base for a person-centred approach, and emancipatory practices, will be explored to help students to develop knowledge and practice skills that will enhance employability by preparing them for the complexities of working with children, adults and families with particular needs within a range of professions. 

Perspectives in Mental Health and Well Being (20 credits)

The aim(s) of the module is to consider and explore the different perspectives of mental health and well-being and the impact this has on children and adults in everyday life. The module builds upon previous knowledge about the Physical, Mental/emotional, Environmental and Social dimensions of health and how these relate to well-being. The module will develop students’ understanding of key theory, policy and research related to the identification and strategies to support mental health and well-being within a multi-professional environment.

Representation of the Media (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to recognise the significant media impact and influence on students’ understanding of diversity and Inclusion in contemporary society. The module will investigate disability, race, gender and sexuality through theory and media as well as the discussions surrounding the portrayal of all social diversities through media and film.  Through an examination of media and film the module will identify fundamental issues arising from portrayal impacting on stigma, participation, access and representation.

Optional modules

You will choose two optional modules, likely optional modules include:

Professional Placement (20 credits)

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.

Physical Activity and Sport (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the issues of inclusion in physical activity & sport with particular reference to how this concept is applied and used within the field of coaching. The module aims to combine a theoretical approach with practical engagement to challenge students to consider and experience a full range of issues related to inclusion, special educational needs and adapted physical activity. 

Curriculum Policy and Practice (20 credits)

The main aim is to develop in students a knowledge and understanding of curriculum models within an historical, political and ideological context. Students will consider the historical progression of government policies and statutory curriculum models, alongside theoretical models of how children learn to identify and examine what constitutes an appropriate pedagogical approach. 

Speech and Language Development (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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.

Year 3

Core modules

Research Independent Study (20 credits)

The module aims to present the student with the opportunity to undertake a detailed study of a particular aspect or issue related to their parent programme area that represents the culmination of their learning experience. The Individual Study will also provide students with the opportunity to further develop their understanding and critical appreciation of research strategies, methods and issues relating to their curriculum area.

Therapeutic Services: Creative and Expressive Arts (20 credits)

The aim(s) of the module is to consider and explore the benefits of using the creative and expressive arts in special needs and mental health setting and the benefits to wellbeing on both adults and children.  This module builds on the Perspectives in Mental Health and Wellbeing. This module will develop students understand of the growth of the use the arts in health (as distinct from therapeutic arts) and will look at key theory, policy and research which underpins this growth area.

Global Perspectives on Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies (20 credits)

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

Developing the inclusive organisation (20 credits)

The aims of the module are to develop students understanding of the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in a variety of private and public sector organisations. These include, but will not be limited to, legislation and best practice and organisational analysis and change.

Optional modules

You will choose two optional modules, likely optional modules include:

Supporting Speech, Language and Communication Needs (20 credits)

This module aims to explain the range of Speech, Language, and Communication Needs, which may be experienced by individuals across the lifespan.  It aims to enable students to identify the SLCN of individuals, and explore practical ways to support individuals in a variety of contexts. A range of strategies will be presented that may be used to support individuals with communication needs. The implications for social inclusion will also be addressed.

Perspectives on Dyslexia and Neurodiversity (20 credits)

This module aims to support students in developing a critical understanding of theories and research underpinning contemporary understanding dyslexia and its assessment, including examining cause, effect and impact on wider developmental domains. Students will develop their knowledge of specialist teaching evaluation of pedagogical approaches and programmes of study. Fostering inclusive principles and practices for individuals with dyslexia in educational settings will be examined as well as understanding how policy and legal issues may impact upon practices and professionals working with learners with dyslexia.

Cognition and Learning Difficulties (20 credits)

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.

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. “


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

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.

The foundation year is designed to provide you with the grounding you need to progress on to the degree course.   

The degree course will consist typically of 120 credits per level.  

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

  • X364 Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time including a Foundation Year


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • One AS Level pass or a pass in a Level 3 vocational study programme e.g. BTEC

    Candidates without formal qualifications will be considered following an interview and should demonstrate an interest in education.

    Candidates must be motivated to benefit from study at this level

    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.



Last edited 18/07/2019 13:54:00

Save, Print or Share this page

Connect with us

Last edited: 18/07/2019 13:54:00