Special Education Needs Inclusion Studies

BA single honours or in combination with another subject Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Studies with Education Foundation Year 2018/19

Year of entry

Apply from September 2017. Come to an Open Day
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:

  • 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 a professional placement in year two. The team hopes to expand this and develop a further module for year three if possible.

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 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

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.

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.

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.

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

This module is aimed to provide you with an opportunity to follow a sustained line of enquiry in an area of interest area related to special educational needs and inclusion and to produce a high quality structured and relevant research project which may inform your future career development.

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.

There are many exciting opportunities for employment or further study. Graduates may apply to a number of postgraduate courses including postgraduate qualifications in teaching, (PGCE or School Direct), or a Postgraduate Certificate in Speech and Language Therapy. There are also 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 to work at doctoral level within education including on SEN and inclusion.

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 2018/19 have not yet been finalised - please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.


The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Part-time N/A  N/A 

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

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

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

All learning enhancement activities are non-credit bearing and entirely voluntary. Students (and prospective students at Open Days) are told the nature of these activities and the funding model underpinning them.

South India – Annually in July. Three (3) weeks duration. Cost per student £1100.00 which includes airfares, ground transport, accommodation and two (2) main meals per day. Students are advised to budget a further £200 as personal spending money. Working in partnership with staff and students from Gandhigram Rural Institute. The university provides full travel insurance for all students and staff undertaking such activities.

I am currently negotiating a possibility of organising a trip to the Gambia or South Africa for two weeks with accommodation ,the cost would be minimal and would be limited to flights and their own spending money. The approx. cost to the student would be £1500. The students would opt to do this and it would not be linked to any course work.

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) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
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 course consists of three levels of study: Year one (Level 4), year two (Level 5) and year three (Level 6). You will study 120 credits per year made up with modules valued at 10 or 20 credits. The majority of modules are 20 credits.

If you study a single honours pathway, you will take 120 credits per year. There may be optional modules to choose at Levels 5 and 6.

If you choose to study a combined honours degree pathway you will take 60 credits in Special Educational 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 on each campus 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. Expected self-study time is the equivalent to 150 hours per 20 credit module. The Independent Enquiry is a 40 credit module and four hours supervision per student is given.

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

The current team span various levels of status and include lecturers, senior lecturers, programme directors and directors and are from a variety of professional backgrounds. Several staff members are also continuing their own education at varying levels of higher education from Masters degrees to doctorates.

The current team have dynamic and diverse backgrounds including policing, education, social care, health, psychology, local authority, third sector workers, charities and other agencies. This gives our students a rich learning environment and opportunity, given the multi-professional experience of staff, their professional diversity and specialist knowledge, which adds to the overall learning experience.
Assessments are varied and offer you an opportunity to develop skills for the workforce as well as succeeding within your studies. Assessment methods include presentations, essays, artefacts, rationales, posters, portfolios, online tasks, an individual study and an unseen examination within an optional module.
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. 

Fact file

UCAS code

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

Institutional code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time including an Education Foundation Year


  • September 2018

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.



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Last edited: 13/04/2017 09:58:00