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Postgraduate Taught

MA Special Educational Needs

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
Entry year September 2024
Campus St Luke's Campus
Discipline Education and Teacher Training

Programme Director Dr Hannah Anglin-Jaffe
Web: Enquire online
+44 (0)1392 723192

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

Normally a 2:2 Honours degree – other qualifications and experience may be accepted

Contextual offers


  • You’ll study a range of topics such as critical perspectives on inclusion and disability, creativity in education and education policy
  • We’ll encourage you to reflect critically on your own practice and investigate educational issues that interest you
  • Our Education Studies module will provide you with a thorough grounding in education research, theory and practice
Apply for Sept 2024 entry

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View 2024 Entry

Fast track (current Exeter students including PGCE students)

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Programme Director: Dr Hannah Anglin-Jaffe

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

100% of our Education research has internationally excellent impact*

Based on research impact rated 4* + 3* in REF 2021*

Top 150 in the world for Education

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2023

Home to one of the largest Education libraries in the UK

Entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a minimum 2:2 Honours degree with 53% or above in a relevant subject area such as social sciences, humanities or education.

While we normally only consider applicants who meet this criteria, if you are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant teaching experience, we would welcome your application

Please note, that for the optional module Special Educational Needs: Teaching and Learning and, in some circumstances, research projects as part of a dissertation, students will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

We welcome applications from students who hold qualifications and degrees that are not in education. These may include degrees and qualifications undertaken in the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, arts or business studies. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and every application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We would encourage applicants to use their personal statement to indicate their interests in education and any relevant work experience.

Some modules require Disclosure and Barring Service checks.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Course content

Our MA in Special Educational Needs (SEN) enables students to develop an excellent understanding of special educational needs and disability 'policy practice and provision' in the UK. At the same time, students are given opportunities to consider key concepts pertaining to special educational needs and inclusive education in international and country specific contexts. Students can often focus on an area of choice, such as deaf education, dyslexia, inclusion. The dissertation in particular enables students to focus in-depth and research, usually through gathering and analysis of empirical data, an area of their own interest.

There is the option to choose a module 'Reflecting on Educational Practices' as your optional module, thereby gaining skills which can be helpful in finding employment following the course. This module strongly supports you in connecting theory and practice. We also host a number of visiting speakers, including people who work with children with SEN in schools or other educational settings.

You must take 180 credits in total to qualify with an MA qualification. This will either consist of taught modules to the value of 120 credits and a dissertation worth 60 credits, or a combination of modules, dissertation and accredited prior learning or experience.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£10,300 full-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.


The flexibility of this programme means it is ideal for students from a range of subject, professional and career backgrounds including teachers, lecturers, administrators, education advisors, or other related professions. This degree also offers excellent progression – visit our EdD pages for more information about undertaking a Professional Doctorate.

Students considering an academic career and progression to PhD are advised to undertake the MSc Educational Research.

Graduate destinations

The University has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students compete very successfully in the employment market. Our graduates have gone on to a range of careers in the UK and overseas with examples given below.

Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations listed below are independent and do not correspond.

Job Titles

  • Teacher
  • Subject Specialist Teacher (including music, arts, drama)
  • Special Needs Teacher
  • Head of Department
  • Arts Manager
  • Educational Therapist
  • Education Officer
  • Dyslexia Assessor
  • Headteacher/Principal
  • Education Consultant
  • Dean, Faculty of Arts
  • Lecturer


  • Ofsted
  • Devon Education Authority
  • Jersey States Education Department
  • Plymouth City Council
  • FEA Training and Development Centre
  • Camden LEA
  • Exeter College
  • Hong Kong SAR Government
  • Danish National School of Contemporary Dance
  • Ministry of Education, Cyprus
  • Saltash Community School
  • University of Reading

Career support

Careers support including skills training, internships, jobs vacancies, employment fairs and other events is available through the Career Zone.

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Reflecting on Educational Practices

You are encouraged to consider taking the Reflecting on Educational Practices (EFPM918) as your optional module, thereby gaining skills which can be helpful in finding employment following the course.

This module is focused on experiencing and reflecting on educational practices. The module involves two parts: a series of lectures and seminars focusing on critical reflection, experiential learning and professional development within education; and a set of educational experiences. It allows you the unique opportunity to observe, experience and reflect on practice and to use this as an opportunity for personal, professional and academic development. The module will provide you with the tools to reflect critically upon your experience of educational practices. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your learning in your experience of educational practices and to consider how this relates to the wider issues, processes, practices, policies and theoretical ideas that you have explored in your academic study. This module thus strongly supports you in connecting theory and practice.

The educational experience of practice may either: be based on curated digital online activities; take place physically in a place of education; or occur in a virtual place of education. In the curated digital online activities, you would engage with a wealth of initial resources selected by module tutors to allow you to experience a variety of educational settings, and will build on this independently to develop your own particular focus. You will have the opportunity to search for your own physical/virtual experience, and support in this process may be available from the college Employability and Placement Advisor. It is not expected that experiences will take place in the formal school setting. You are encouraged to think about the variety of settings where education might occur and to consider experiences which will challenge your existing assumptions, perspectives and skill sets.

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