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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MA Special Educational Needs

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMA Special Educational Needs Programme codePTA1EDUEDU09
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)St Luke's (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The Masters in Special Educational Needs at the University of Exeter gives you the opportunity to further your studies in education, with a particular focus on special educational needs. It is designed for individuals from varied educational backgrounds and establishments, and from related professions such as health/social care or law, who want to develop their understanding of the theory, research, practices and policy related to special educational needs. Our programme will support you to develop your knowledge and understanding, prepare you for further research and provide a firm foundation for developing your career in education and associated disciplines.

This MA will enable you to look in depth and with a critical perspective at the key concepts, theories, aims, values, and practices involved in special and inclusive education within a variety of international socio-political and historical contexts.  You will also explore theory and practice related to the teaching and learning of students with special educational needs and disabilities.

Furthermore, this programme gives you the opportunity to reflect critically on your own practice and to investigate educational issues that interest you. By giving you a framework of study and academic support, it will help you to become a more informed, more critical, and a more independent practitioner.

You will join a community of peers and academics with varied but complementary interests and experiences in exploring theories, policies and practices associated with special and inclusive education at different stages in the life course and in different contexts.

There is the option to choose a module which includes reflection on educational practices, using this as an opportunity for personal, professional and academic development. This experience is invaluable for a range of future professional roles such as teaching or advisory work. 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The principal aim of this programme is to facilitate critical examination of a range of concepts related to the education of students with special educational needs and disabilities within a variety of international, historical and practical contexts.

The programme will enable you to:

  • critically examine the concepts of inclusion and special educational needs, their relationship to related concepts (e.g. disability, diversity, rights) and the implications for the practices of inclusive and special education 
  • critically examine conceptions of, and approaches to diagnosis, assessment and intervention, and teaching approaches for a range of specific types of special educational needs/disabilities (e.g. autism, dyslexia, learning difficulties). 
  • develop knowledge and understanding of approaches to teaching for diversity (e.g. curriculum models; differentiation and personalisation).
  • explore specialised provision and inclusive education from an international and inter-cultural perspective, including legislative frameworks and provision in different countries, and examine the relationships between the general education and specialised/separate systems for children and young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
  • critically consider the role which education might play in creating more inclusive education systems.
  • problematise practice in terms of disability/difference/special educational needs/inclusion.

During your studies, you will experience a variety of teaching approaches and learning methods. Assessment methods vary from module to module and can include presentations, academic essays and research studies.

 

4. Programme Structure

The MA Special Education Needs programme is a 1-year programme of study at Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme consists of one stage. A stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.

 

Interim / Exit  Awards

The modular format of the Programme provides exit points in the form of Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) and Diploma (120 credits) organised in line with the national framework established by the QAA. You may exit the programme with these qualifications provided you have obtained the requisite number of credits as shown below.

 

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

2 x 30 credit modules

OR  1 x 60 credit module

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)

4 x 30 credit modules

OR 2 x 30 credit modules plus 1 x 60 credit module

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/studyinformation/

Stage 1


Stage 1: 150 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

A - Students must take either EFPM308 Preparing for Educational Research and Dissertation OR EFPM331 Preparing for Education Inquiry Portfolio

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
EFPM914 Education Studies 30No
EFPM270 SEN: Teaching and Learning 30No
EFPM919 Critical Perspectives on Inclusive Education 30No
EFPM200 SoE Success for All 0No
EFPM308 Preparing for Educational Research and Dissertation [See note A above]60Yes
EFPM331 Preparing for Educational Inquiry Portfolio [See note A above]60Yes

Optional Modules

Students choose one of the following modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
EFPM294 Technology and Education Futures 30No
EFPM907 Creativity in Education: Valuing, Facilitating and Assessing It 30No
EFPM913 Debating the Big Questions in Education 30No
EFPM910 Education Policy 30No
EFPM375 Education for diversity 30No
EFPM918 Reflecting on Educational Practices 30No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate sound understanding of the theories which drive research and practice in inclusive education and special educational needs
2. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of approaches to teaching for diversity (e.g. differentiation; inclusive pedagogies; personalisation) particularly critical understanding of theoretical models of learning and teaching pedagogies applied to the needs of learners with special educational needs and disabilities.2. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of approaches to teaching for diversity (e.g. differentiation; inclusive pedagogies; personalisation) particularly critical understanding of theoretical models of learning and teaching pedagogies applied to the needs of learners with special educational needs and disabilities.
3. Demonstrate ability to critically evaluate inclusive and special education practices in different contexts across the world.
4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of approaches to diagnosis, assessment and intervention and teaching approaches for specific types of special educational needs/disabilities.

Whilst there may be some differences in terms of teaching and learning methods across modules, you can expect to engage with a range of learning activities.  For example, in addition to lectures, you will also take part in seminar sessions where you will get the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding even further by contributing to group discussions, taking part in debates, critically engaging with academic literature and research, (guided and independently) and encouraged to work independently and collaboratively with others.

As a Masters level student, you will be expected to prepare for seminars by completing set tasks and readings before the sessions; contribute to seminar tasks and discussions; and regularly meet set deadlines.

The different ILOs will be assessed through a range of assessment methods and will be particularly relevant to the two core SEN modules: Special Educational Needs: Teaching and Learning and Critical Perspectives on Inclusive Education.

  • Formative Written assignment 2
  • Formative Types of special educational need poster – 2, 4
  • Formative Presentation – 3
  • Summative Written assignment – 1,2,3
  • Summative presentation 2, 4

The ILOs may also be demonstrated in optional modules and the dissertation depending on what the focus is.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Demonstrate ability to understand and communicate key messages from research about inclusive education and special educational needs
6. Compare and contrast different perspectives regarding the values and conceptions of inclusive and special education
7. Apply a systematic approach to the synthesis and analysis of ideas in relation to the field of inclusive education and special educational needs
8. Problematise theoretical understandings and enacted practice in terms of disability/difference/special educational needs/inclusion

Teaching and learning methods across modules will enable you to develop core skills and knowledge related to the discipline of Education.  In addition to lectures and seminars, you will also take part in seminar sessions where you will get the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding even further by contributing to group discussions, taking part in debates, critically engaging with academic literature and research, (guided and independently) and encouraged to work independently and collaboratively with others.

As a Masters level student, you will be expected to prepare for seminars by completing set tasks and readings before the sessions; contribute to seminar tasks and discussions; and regularly meet set deadlines.

The different ILOs will be assessed through a range of assessment methods and will be particularly relevant to the two core SEN modules: Special Educational Needs: Teaching and Learning and Critical Perspectives on Inclusive Education.

  • Formative Written assignment 5
  • Formative Types of special educational need poster – 8
  • Formative Presentation – 5,7,8
  • Summative Written assignment – 5-8
  • Summative presentation 7, 8

 

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Synthesise and organise ideas to present an argument
10. Engage in critical, reflective debate
11. Consider the application of theoretical ideas, policy positions and research implications to educational practice
12. Undertake both directed and independent study to recognise, justify and analyse key ideas in the literature and relate these to research, theory, policy and practice

Whilst there may be some variation in learning and teaching activities across the programme (depending on optional module selection), you can expect to attend lectures and seminars, as well as take part in group discussions and debates, and critically engage with academic literature and research (guided and independently).  Throughout the programme, you will be encouraged to work independently and collaboratively with others.

As a Masters level student, you will be expected to prepare for seminars by completing set tasks and readings before the sessions; contribute to seminar tasks and discussions

Dissertation/extended research project – 9-12

Formative and summative presentations 9, 11, 12

Formative posters - 12

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring : It is University policy that all Faculties should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

As an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student in the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS), you will be allocated a Personal Tutor at the commencement of your studies.   In normal circumstances your Personal Tutor will remain your tutor throughout your study programme. Your Personal Tutor is normally available through scheduled office hours but should also see you as a matter of course three times a year.  These meetings may typically commence soon after registration. These meetings will take place termly to discuss your progress

You should feel that you are able to approach your personal tutor for advice, pastoral support or academic support in a wider sense.

Library, ELE and other resources provided to support this programme:

The Library offers you core services for learning and research.  Whilst the various locations house a large collection of materials and services, many of our resources are available online through the library website for you to use at home, work or wherever you are located for your study. Each discipline has a subject librarian on hand to help you to find resources and we also work with tutors to digitise reading lists for inclusion in the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).  ELE is used throughout the University to make course materials available online. You will be able to access module information, presentations, handouts, reading materials as well as interacting with other students and your tutors. Many tutors use ELE to run assessments and set coursework assignments. In addition to the materials provided by your tutors, there are various other resources available on ELE to help you in your studies.

The University provides a range of IT services, including open and training clusters of PCs (available on a 24/7 basis). In the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences this includes a 24/7 suite in Amory and a second one in the St Luke’s Campus Library. These suites are accessible by swiping your university card. The majority of the Faculty also has access to the university’s wireless network. Network access is available from the majority of rooms in University halls of residence through the ResNet system.

Helpdesks are maintained on all campuses but for students based on St Lukes campus, your main point for help will be Info St Lukes.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

Application can be made via the application link on the MA Special Educational Needs webpage

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MA Special Educational Needs

19. UCAS Code

Not applicable to this programme.

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

25/05/2018

Date of last revision

13/12/2023