OCR Level 5 and Level 7 Diploma Specific Learning Difficulties/Dyslexia
Current government policy priorities improving achievements in literacy for all students, including those with specific difficulties. These courses enable professionals to achieve specialist teacher status and to be fully trained to administer tests, write diagnostic dyslexia reports and reports for access arrangements.
Modes of study
Duration varies depending on which level candidates seek to obtain. However, there is a minimum attendance requirement of 80%.
Level 5 (10218) Diploma (one year): Candidates attend 20 three-hour sessions and complete two teaching practices.
Level 7 (10219) Diploma: Candidates attend all Level 5 year one sessions, plus 14 sessions and a study day in year two. there are individual or small group tutorial sessions during the year. There is an additional teaching practice and an observed diagnostic assessment in year 2.
For important information regarding financial support for the fees attached to this programme, please go to the ‘Fees and funding’ tab
(or others by arrangement)
Level 5 Diploma: Candidates should have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Some Learning Support Assistants (LSA), Teaching Assistants (TA) and other professionals can apply, and are accepted depending on experience and qualifications.
Level 7 Diploma: Candidates should have QTS.
Candidates who have previously completed the OCR Level 5 Certificate may apply directly for Year two level 7 courses.
All candidates must have access to learners for teaching practices and assessments. We encourage candidates from all phases of education to apply.
These courses are designed for education professionals who are working to support learners with specific learning difficulties with literacy. The level 5 Diploma course is designed to develop candidates' knowledge and understanding of dyslexia and their ability to deliver effective teaching and support to learners with specific learning difficulties affecting literacy and numeracy. The Level 7 Certificate and Diploma have been designed to develop candidates' skills, knowledge and understanding as specialist teachers and their ability to carry out diagnostic assessments, write reports and deliver effective teaching to learners with dyslexia and other learning difficulties affecting literacy and mathematics.
The Level 5 Diploma is designed primarily for qualified teachers and teaching assistants who wish to develop their skills to provide specific support for dyslexic learners. The Level 7 Diploma provides a specialist teacher and assessor qualification recognised by Examination Boards, enabling them to write reports for learners needing special arrangements in National Curriculum Tests (NCTs) and external examinations. Level 7 candidates will also be able to write dyslexia reports in support of students applying for a Disabled Students' Allowance for university entry. The Level 7 Diploma provides a qualification appropriate for specialist teachers needing in-depth knowledge of theory and practice relating to specific learning difficulties in more than one context with advisory, training or managerial roles and responsibilities, and can be used towards an MA Education at the University.
Special course features
- Combining the theoretical knowledge underpinning the identification, assessment and teaching of dyslexic learners with the practical skills needed to provide appropriate support
- Specialist teachers who achieve the level 7 qualifications should be able to apply for a Practising Certificate that provides evidence of their competence to write reports for students needing Access Arrangements in external exams or needing a Disabled Students Allowance for study at higher education
- Excellent annual external reviews from OCR
- Level 7 courses carry Masters level credit
Typical modules include:
- Assessing and teaching in the context of specific learning difficulties
- Assessing learners with dyslexia
- Planning and teaching one to one programmes for learners
- Multisensory teaching
- Communication and liaison with others
- Diagnostic assessment of learners
- Identifying, assessing and teaching learners with dyslexia within a particular area of educational provision
- Key theoretical concepts for teaching learners with dyslexia
- Psychometric and educational assessment methods
- Reporting special educational and assessment needs
- Special educational needs policy and context
Making a difference to your school
Debby Andrews talks about her experiences on the course
I have always been passionate about teaching children to read which is probably why I have taught for 20+ years in an infant/Key Stage 1 classroom. I decided to do the OCR course so that I would be in a better position to help children who were really struggling to make sense of print. I also wanted to be able to assess children for dyslexia both within the school and, looking to the future, on a private basis.
I wasn't sure about studying again initially - it had been over 20 years since I last wrote an essay! But I needn't have worried. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of year one - in fact it was great to study again and I wasn't as rusty as I thought I would be! I suppose studying is a bit like riding a bike, you never forget.
OCR's impact on my practice
I teach in a small village primary school with just less than 100 children on roll. I have been the SENCO since I joined the school in 2000 but my role has been to co-ordinate rather than to teach children with special educational needs. However, this year, the head felt that because of my OCR training, it would be sensible for me to actually teach children with reading and spelling difficulties. I therefore have the luxury of being out of the class and working with individual children/ small groups putting into practice all I have learnt over the last year. What a privilege! I am working with children with dyslexia, children with reading and spelling difficulties (as yet undiagnosed) and booster groups. We are only four weeks into term and already there are small success stories. My only problem is sleeping - my enthusiasm is keeping me awake at night. New ideas for inspiring children are great but I wish they'd stick to daylight hours!
I am looking forward to what promises to be an exciting, challenging year two. I then want to go on and finish my Masters in Education - my thirst for study has been rekindled!
Candidates complete course work and undertake assessment and practical teaching practice. Qualifications are internally assessed and externally verified by OCR.
For general application information please see our how to apply page.
Fees quoted are for home and EU students commencing their course in the academic year 2013/14. Tuition fees are payable for each year of the course. The fees are subject to annual increases in subsequent academic years.
OCR Level 5 Certificate (OCR 10218): £2,200 OCR Level 7 Diploma (OCR 10219) £3450
This course is not eligible for student support from Student Finance England.
Students are liable for their own tuition fees. If your employer agrees to pay your tuition fees please provide a sponsor letter or purchase order when you enrol on your course.
For further information regarding payment of tuition fees please contact the School of Education on 01604 892130
Scholarships and bursaries
The following scholarships may be applicable: