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

Key Facts

  • Level:


  • Duration:

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

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK 23/24:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250

  • Fees International 23/24:

    Full Time: £14,750
    Integrated Foundation Year: £14,750

  • 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 893981


This undergraduate degree provides you with opportunities to gain a broad practical and theoretical understanding of inclusion in a range of contexts and settings. You will engage in the academic study of inclusion, special educational needs, disability and diversity and have the chance to gain workbased learning experiences in settings that support adults and young people to meet their full potential. Studies align with the values of Changemaker and you will have opportunities to engage with real social problems and create impact.

The Inclusive Studies in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Diversity degree and the in depth understanding of inclusion it provides, lead to a range of employment opportunities and possible further study in the field. Our alumni have gone on to work in education, advocacy, criminal justice, mental health and a range of specialist settings that support inclusion and meeting individual needs.

Updated 29/11/2022


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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 SEN 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

    Information about the modules on this course can be found on the Inclusive Studies in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Diversity award map.

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. The modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023.

      • Module code: SEN1002
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is the study of learning with reference to perspectives and theories that may inform understanding of the different and diverse factors that influence learning. Critical reflection by students upon theoretical understanding will typically involve work based learning.
      • Module code: SEN1003
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to investigate the social and cultural aspects of difference and diversity through an exploration of different discourses relating to SEN & disability and the social and cultural factors that impact on our understanding and experiences. It encourages reflection on the development from a Medical Model of SEND to the current Social Model which identifies the systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society.
      • Module code: SEN1004
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to develop an understanding of the range of professionals involved in the education and individual development of people with SEN and disabilites (SEN/D), and to consider the impact of these professionals on the identification and support of people with SEN/D in education and wider contexts.
      • Module code: SEN1005
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is this module involves the study of international approaches to inclusion and the development of policy and practice within different countries across the world. There will be consideration of the challenges countries experience on the journey towards greater inclusion and sustainable development.
      • Module code: SEN1006
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is the study of narrative voices in the inclusive field that detail unique perspectives of educational and social experiences to inform knowledge and understanding. Key areas of study include examination of the notions of inclusion and exclusion, participation and empowerment and how marginalized individuals and groups have given voice to their lives and experiences.
      • Module code: SEN1024
        Status: Compulsory
        This module involves the study of special educational needs (SEN), disability and inclusion. The construction of concepts of SEN and disability and models of SEND are reviewed in order to examine attitudes and beliefs of society and individuals. Relevant policy and legislation are considered in order to develop critical understanding of current issues.
      • 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
  • 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 or,
    • Pass (C and above) at T Level

    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 or
    • Pass (D or E) at T Level

    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.

  • 2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate).
    • International – Full Time: £14,750
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £14,750
    2022/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,500 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate).
    • International – Full Time: £14,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £14,000
    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.

  • 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 SEN 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?

    Unlike most disability education undergraduate degrees, 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 the SEN and inclusion course at 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.

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Julian Brown, Head of Education
Julian Brown

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

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Postgraduate and Careers

Guaranteed Interview: Teacher Training

If you complete your degree with us and apply for the PGCE Primary Education (5-11) (QTS) programme at the University of Northampton during your final undergraduate year, you are guaranteed an interview.

Terms and conditions apply:

  • Interviews are subject to you meeting the entry criteria for the course, we require a minimum 2:2 degree and relevant GCSEs
  • An interview does not guarantee an offer to study on the course
  • Places are limited and applications will close once the limit has been reached

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.

Studying for a SEN 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.

Student Story

" I have been given chances and directed to where I can gain and develop vital information, that will only enhance my career opportunities."