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Inclusive Studies in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Diversity BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:


  • Level:


  • Duration:

    3 years full time
    4 years full time (with foundation)
    4/6 years part time

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    Integrated Foundation Year £6,780

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £13,000
    Integrated Foundation Year £13,000

  • Location:


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 894503


This degree explores the key issues in inclusion for special educational needs, disability and diversity within children’s, young people’s and adult education and professional services within the inclusive field.

You will be challenged to explore concepts of inclusion and exclusion locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. You will become aware of  the social and cultural contexts of inclusion and will explore the implications of different models of disability and the intersectionality of diversity. The content of this course has been specifically planned to prepare you for a career in the inclusive field. It aligns closely with the Changemaker values and principles that the University has in place.

Updated 14/07/2021


  • Travel abroad opportunities*
  • TEF Gold award level teaching
  • Work Experience and Shadowing Opportunities
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
  • HP Laptop and software included with this course for eligible students.**

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Course Content

  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goal: SDG4 Quality Education.

    You will learn through seminars, small group teaching contexts and active blended learning. We regularly have external speakers from the inclusive field talk about current practice. Additionally, this course will give you the opportunity to undertake work based learning and visits across all three years of your degree in a range of settings, facilitating a focus on your future career throughout your degree. Opportunities may be available for you (Government guideline dependant) to go on international visits and exchanges to explore special educational needs, disability and diversity in other countries and contexts, making lasting professional connections. There are also optional specialist routes that explore the use of ICT for working with individuals with special educational needs and/or disabilities and the use of media and creative arts approaches to exploring inclusion.

    This course is underpinned by a selection of key themes:

    • Inclusion as an integral element of a human rights agenda encompassing recognition of difference and the intersectionality of diversity
    • Comparative and international perspectives of special educational needs, disability, diversity and inclusion
    • Historical, legislative and policy dimensions impacting on current agendas
    • Professional contexts and roles across the available services leading to career pathways
    • Development of creative skills and experiences to facilitate and support others’ learning and social development
    • Focus on approaches to supporting advocacy, empowerment and social action for diverse individuals
    • Emphasis on inclusive and participatory approaches that encourage the voice of children, young people and adults with special educational needs and/or disabilities

    You will be able to choose your own dissertation topic. Subjects that have been covered recently have included a wide range of interests and issues:

    • How has having a sibling with SLD/PMLD impacted the lives of typical individuals? A birth order study.
    • Understanding the perceptions of teachers and parents in the role of imaginative play and social and emotional development in children with special educational needs
    • The inclusion of children with special educational needs and disabilities during unstructured times – A case study
    • Individuals with autism found wandering in the community; exploring the skills and responses of UK police officers
    • An exploration of sleep related issues for children with autistic spectrum disorder: a parental perspective
    • Does a whole school approach to mindfulness produce observable impacts on behaviour for children with social, emotional and mental health issues?
    • Teachers’ attitudes of the impact of ADHD on learning and the strategies used to support the individual as well as their peers
      • Module code: SEN2001
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to explore current issues and developments in inclusive policy and practice from the perspective of multi-agency approaches involving initiatives within education health & social care and community settings. This includes the examination of developments undertaken across the state voluntary and independent sectors and how these link to the role of practitioners. The module typically involves work-based learning to facilitate critical reflection on a practitioner's role within the inclusive field.
      • Module code: SEN2002
        Status: Designate
        The major theme for this module is the development of approaches to SEN and inclusion across different countries. The differences and similarities towards inclusion are explored and comparisons of educational systems policies and practices from an international perspective are made. The rationale for study is to understand and appreciate how systems and approaches to inclusion develop how SEN and disabilities are defined and supported within different country contexts and the factors that impact on the development of support. The various historical economic political social and cultural influences upon policies practices and attitudes towards SEN disability and inclusion are reflected upon. Current comparative research studies in SEN and Inclusion are identified in addition to the study of specific countries that are representative of different stages of progress toward inclusive policies and practices.
      • Module code: SEN2007
        Status: Compulsory
        Students undertaking this module will study the broad nature of sensory and/or physical difficulties including visual impairment hearing impairment and multisensory impairment. Work based learning is utilized to support reflection on module themes. Specific areas of study include identification and characteristics including early identification assessment strategies and intervention including current theoretical perspectives and work based learning. Students will consider issues of accessibility and audits of environments to support inclusion from childhood to adulthood.
      • Module code: SEN2008
        Status: Compulsory
        This module studies the nature of communication and interaction difficulties (including speech and language difficulties and autism) and the implications for individuals during the early years through childhood into adulthood. The historical development of knowledge and understanding of communication and interaction difficulties is explored in order to gain an appreciation of current theoretical perspectives. Key areas of difficulty are explored which inform diagnostic criteria and other characteristics accepted as a feature of the autism spectrum and other communication and interaction difficulties. A range of approaches to meeting communication and interaction needs will be considered.
      • Module code: SEN2009
        Status: Compulsory
        This module studies the broad nature of cognition and learning needs (including specific learning difficulties) and the implications for individuals from childhood into adulthood. Critical reflection by students upon theoretical understanding and intervention strategies in practice will typically involve work based learning.
      • Module code: SEN2010
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is the study of the diverse nature of social emotional and behavioural aspects of development through childhood and adolescence into adulthood. The module will explore perspectives on Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) and strategies and interventions to support individuals experiencing SEMH difficulties.
      • Module code: SEN2011
        Status: Designate
      • Module code: SEN3004
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to examine the issues surrounding the use of assistive technology and technology for inclusion that can support the range of SENDs. This includes identifying and reviewing current and emerging practice in the field gaining practical experience of technologies assessing user needs and relating these experiences to literature and research.
      • Module code: SEN3005
        Status: Designate
        This module will address the complexity of transitions their effects on life courses and how professinals support transition processes for those individuals who are vulnerable in a variety of contexts. There will be critical analysis of the role of professionals in supporting effective and succesful transition processes. Students will be asked to draw from their own experiences of transitions to consdier how professionals can impact upon successful transitions. Critical reflection by students upon theoretical understanding in practice will typically involve work based learning.
      • Module code: SEN3006
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is preparation for working in education. It provides students with an understanding of current educational policies and practices in the field of Special Educational Needs Disability and Inclusion in educational settings. The module typically involves work based learning to facilitate critical reflection about a pedagogical approach.
      • Module code: SEN3007
        Status: Designate
      • Module code: SEN3008
        Status: Designate
        This module focuses upon a range of relational responses including the ecological model to address a range of individual needs. It will consider responses from governmental and non-governmental sources and draw upon the views of various stakeholders. The module typically involves work-based learning to facilitate critical reflection on a specific response to need from a professional and individual perspective.
      • Module code: SEN3009
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide a work-based learning opportunity which explores the possibilities of creative arts approaches in enabling and supporting the inclusion of children young people and adults with SEN and disabilities within the community. It will identify theoretical models that underpin the different uses of creative arts approaches including those for supporting self-advocacy and empowerment in the community for personal and social development in educational settings and as therapeutic interventions.
      • Module code: SEN3010
        Status: Designate
      • Module code: SEN4001
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides a framework for students to develop their understanding of research in relation to the field of SEN and Inclusion. This framework will allow students to understand critical factors related to research design data collection analysis and commentary together with an appreciation of relevant literature and ethical considerations.
  • In addition to standard entry requirements, applicants are normally expected to hold English and Mathematics equivalent to a GCSE grade C/4. A typical offer is CCC at A Level or MMM at BTEC. For details about CACHE qualifications and entry requirements please contact our Admissions Team. Applicants are expected to demonstrate commitment to inclusive practices. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance is required.

    For more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year Entry Requirements

    Admission to this  foundation programme is normally DEE at A Level or MPP at BTEC. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.

  • 2021/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate).
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000
    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK and EU – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK and EU – Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module
    • UK and EU – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,750 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate).
    • International – Full Time: £12,900
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £12,900
    Additional Costs

    All the study trips are optional and the costs vary year on year. Typically, this is £250 for Romania (first year) and £450 for Sweden (second year). Students normally allow an additional £100–250 for their expenses.

    Scholarships and Bursaries

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • Our postgraduate courses are a great way to enhance the skills you have already learnt. Benefit from our 20% alumni discount on postgraduate fees to give yourself a CV that will catch the eye of employers.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time degree at Northampton you will receive a laptop when your course begins. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks visit our Student Perks page.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • How will I be taught?

    We adopt a range of teaching approaches including active blended learning. You will be expected to complete pre and post session tasks to support your engagement in taught sessions. The taught sessions will involve teaching from the lecturers, opportunities for small and whole group discussion as well as various interactive activities.

    How am I assessed?

    The range of assessments you will undertake has been chosen to reflect the diversity of our student cohorts and to support your development of employability skills. The assessment types typically include traditional written formats such as essays, reports and case studies, but you will also be asked to complete e-portfolios, posters, presentations, assessed interviews and professional dialogues.

    How long does it take to get a Special Educational Needs and Inclusion degree?

    You’re most likely to complete your course with the University of Northampton within 3-4 years.

    Are there work experience opportunities?

    Work based learning including work shadowing and visits in a wide range of settings are typically offered throughout the course

    • First year formal work based learning in educational contexts (SEN1002)
    • Second year formal work shadowing in a range of multi professional contexts (SEN2001)
    • Third year work based learning in a range of multi-professional contexts (SEN3004, SEN3005, SEN3006, SEN3008, SEN3009)
    Are there international opportunities?

    International study visits* are typically offered at the end of year 1 and the end of year 2.

Upcoming Open Days

Open Days give you the best experience and insight to courses, people and facilities that interest you. Make your choice easier and come meet us.


Julian Brown

Subject Leader in Education
Inclusive Studies in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Diversity BA (Hons)

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Una Lodge

Senior Lecturer in Education (SEN and Inclusion)
Faculty of Health, Education and Society

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Careers and Employability

This degree allows you to keep your career choice open, as it will support you to go into different professional and work contexts in the inclusive field to support children, young people and adults in various settings.

Some examples of roles available to those graduating with a special educational needs qualification include;

  • Special Education Advocate
  • SEN and Disability specialist in local authorities
  • Special Educational Needs teaching assistant or teacher
  • SEN and Disability educational support

With additional study you could become a:

  • Teacher in a mainstream or special education school
  • Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
  • Social Worker
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Specialist dyslexia teacher and assessor

Autism Reality Experience

Students of an education degree saw their career prospects get a boost following a new addition to their programme that let them see, feel and hear the world as a person with autism would.