The MA in Education - SEND is relevant to a wide variety of settings and across the age range from early years through to post-compulsory education in college, university and other contexts. There is a strong focus on social justice and inclusion and the opportunity to reflect on your own professional practice throughout the courses.

MA in Education SEND is designed for people with an interest in autism and critical disability studies and for practitioners across the age range into post-compulsory education. Based on the principles of 'nothing about us without us' content is informed by the experiences of people who identify personally with autism and /or SEND.

You'll develop a particular strand of interest into the dissertation and have opportunities to disseminate your findings to the workplace and throughout the course. The Centre for Educational Research has a number of ongoing disability focused research projects and hosts the Disability Equality Research Network (DERN). This provides a vibrant supportive environment for your research and ensures that course content is always research-informed.

The programme will take place at LSBU (K2 Building) or in Special Educational Needs partners' schools and be delivered by academics and experts from the Special Educational Needs sector. Evening and weekend taught sessions are complemented by an extensive virtual learning environment and delivered on campus or elsewhere by arrangement. Students, wherever located, become part of diverse and stimulating LSBU community and the vibrant Centre for Education Research.

National Award for SEN Co-ordinator

You can choose to take the recognized 'National Award for SEN Co-ordination' or options that will further deepen your understanding of autism.

Key course information - ordered by mode

Mode Duration Start Date Location
Part-time 3 years September Southwark Campus


All modules are assessed by a mix of assignments, presentations, research projects and portfolio development.

Taught modules will differ from year to year, so please get in touch with Sophie Mackay to further discuss the course and modules.

Year 1

Students take two of the optional modules list below in year 1:

  • Special educational needs and disability
  • Teaching and learning:
  • Understanding autism and learning
  • Autism individuality and identity
  • Part 1 SENCO National Award
  • Part 2 SENCO National Award

Year 2

In addition to one of the modules listed above

  • Research Methods (compulsory)

Year 3

  • Dissertation (compulsory)


MA Education Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is designed to deepen your understanding of working with pupils /students in any educational setting, across the age range into adult education. It is therefore relevant to employment in a school, college, alternative education settings and to work with disabled students at the university. Content is applicable to teachers and staff in non- teaching roles, such as mentor, disability officer or learning support assistant. The content is also relevant to staff in strategic and operational leadership roles.

It is a professional and academic degree that provides an in-depth understanding of inclusive practice in education across the age range (in keeping with the 0-25 framework in the Children and Families Act 2014). The degree is relevant from early years to post-compulsory education in a wide variety of settings. The diverse requirements of learners identified with SEND and best practice to support inclusive learning and achievement will be explored. You'll be encouraged to critically engage with relevant theory and legislation contextualized and applied in practice.

This programme will contribute to your employability and the National SENco award may be a requirement of your workplace.

Students wishing to achieve promotion or develop a career in education benefit from having a higher degree. Progression from the MA to the EdD further enhances employability and promotion prospects, particularly in academia and research. CVs are improved by having publications in refereed journals and this is encouraged and supported on the MA as well as the Doctorate in Education.

We are the University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.


Access to the workplace (including voluntary work) is essential for most of the modules within the MA.

Teaching and learning

You'll be taught by Dr. Nicola Martin who has substantial experience in the field of autism including working with Professor Baron-Cohen on the Cambridge University Autism Project. She was also formerly director of the Autism Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. Dr. Martin is currently a lecturer at LSBU and is a Principal Investigator for Research Autism.

You'll also be taught by Gianna Knowles who has considerable experience of working with school staff to develop their Special Educational Needs Departments. Gianna has published a range of academic textbooks that support staff development in this area.

You'll benefit from an up to date Virtual Learning Environment via Moodle and be actively encouraged to make use of the extensive range of support services across the university. You'll have access to a supervisor during the dissertation phase.

Entry requirements

An honors degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent. Please discuss your qualifications with the admissions tutor if you are unsure.

All modules are subject to change by the university and may differ from the modules you are offered during your studies.

Program taught in:

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Last updated September 8, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sept. 2019
3 years
2,500 GBP
Year 1 Part-time UK/EU fee: £2500; International fee: £4375
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