Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (Autism Pathway) MA

Key Facts

  • Level:


  • Duration:

    1 year full time
    2 years part time

  • Starting:

    September, January

  • Fees UK 24/25:

    Full Time:: £8,250
    Part Time:: £4,140 per 90 credits

  • Fees International 24/25:

    Full Time: £16,995

  • 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 course will help you to develop your knowledge and skills in the field of Special Educational Needs and Inclusion, specialising in the autism spectrum, including Asperger syndrome. This specialist pathway is ideal for professionals working in early years, primary or secondary schools, further and higher education, voluntary sector, advisory roles, and residential settings. You can also study this course if you have a personal interest, subject to entry requirements.

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion will give you in-depth knowledge and understanding of various aspects related to autism. Our modules will help you to understand autism from the perspective of the individual and the family, focusing on theories that explore the strengths and needs of individuals. In order to help you evaluate best practice, including your own, we will take you through a thorough analysis of evidence-based approaches. Overall, we aim to help you to reduce the barriers that individuals with autism face in education and wider society.

Updated 09/02/2024


  • The course has a highly experienced and supportive teaching team who have a variety of teaching and research experiences in autism, which are embedded into the learning experience
  • Modules are relevant to those working, or have aspirations of working, in services or settings which support individuals with autism
  • The Subject Area has a strong reputation for research in autism. As a result, there are opportunities to pursue your research interests towards a PhD

Course Content

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

    The modules undertaken will vary depending upon the selected exit award (PG certificate, diploma, MA). Each module is equivalent to 30 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points at level 7, except the dissertation which is 60 CATS points. If you want to complete the full MA, you will complete three compulsory modules, an optional module and a research thesis.

    Module information can be found on the Award Map.

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 23/24. The modules relating to the academic year 24/25 will be available from June 2024.

      • Module code: EDUM100
        Status: Designate
        This module provides an opportunity for students to engage in completing an original research project, supported by structured research training, under the guidance of a supervisor. When the student is studying on a named pathway or programme this research thesis will be aligned to that field of study.
      • Module code: SENM019
        Status: Designate
        This module examines and analyses the historical, cultural, legislative, philosophical and practical origins of social and educational inclusion within the UK and globally. It includes the critical analysis of approaches used to develop more inclusive environments within settings and organisations and scrutiny of the various challenges which can exist.
      • Module code: SENM026
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to examine the nature and possible causes of autism, both from a historical context and by critical analysis of current perspectives, theory and research. The implications of behaviours and the continuumn of needs are examined along with exploration of perspectives of individuals on the autism spectrum, families and professionals.
      • Module code: SENM027
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate a range of approaches used to support individuals on the autism spectrum and their theoretical basis. Students will engage critically with research and literature relevant to the field.
      • Module code: SENM032
        Status: Designate
        This module focuses on enabling students to critically analyse how different theoretical perspectives influence the identification, inclusion and teaching/support of individuals with needs in the area of social, emotional and mental health (SEMH). Students critically engage with research and literature at international, national and regional level; for example, current policy.
      • Module code: SENM041
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to understand the causes of behaviours which are considered as challenging and to consider ways of providing appropriate and effective support to individuals on the autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental conditions who exhibit such behaviours.
      • Module code: SENM042
        Status: Designate
        This module provides students with opportunities to critically engage with research around adverse childhood experiences affecting attachment and relationships across the life-span, encompassing infant, childhood, adolescent and adult relationships. Individuals? social, emotional, physical and behavioural development is examined including identification, assessment and provision. International, national and regional contexts are considered.
  • Applicants will possess one of the following:

    • Good honours Degree of a UK University


    • Good honours Degree from a recognised University other than in the UK


    • QTS or equivalent. Applicants working in children’s services without QTS with an ordinary degree or Early Years Teacher Status or QTLS will be considered.


    • Applicants who have recent professional experience of three years or more will be positively considered.  In this case the applicants will be interviewed and must demonstrate suitability for the course by providing: portfolio evidence of significant professional engagement in education or services for children at graduate equivalent level and/or a piece of written text. This portfolio sets out details of the relevant career pathway of the candidate, including a summary of their specific responsibilities relating to children & young people in schools or other settings.


    • Applicants who have achieved level 7 credits undertaken on a UK accredited initial teacher education programme will be eligible to join the MA SEN & Inclusion with a maximum of 60 credits if applicants are able to demonstrate that their level 7 credits focussed upon an SEN specialism and was achieved recently.


    • Applicants who have achieved level 7 credits on the Postgraduate Certificate Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordination will be eligible to join the MA SEN & Inclusion with a maximum of 60 credits.

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

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • Minimum standard – IELTS 6.5 overall (or equivalent)
      with a score no lower than 6.0 for writing and no remaining band/compenent below 5.5 for study at postgraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 24/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £8,250
    • UK – Part Time: £4,140 per 90 credits year one and £4,140 year 2*
    • International – Full Time: £16,995

    *may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    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: £8,010
    • UK – Part Time: £4,005 per 90 credits year one and £4,005 year 2*
    • International – Full Time: £16,500

    *may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Additional Costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2020. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    Postgraduate Loans

    If you are starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 20/21 you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan Student Finance England.

    If you have previously studied a PGCE and have APL modules you will not qualify for a loan from Student Finance England.

    Scholarships and Bursaries

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

    For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.

  • How will I learn?

    We take an active blended learning approach to this course, providing you with the opportunity to learn in face-to-face and online settings. Your modules will be taught through lectures, seminars, group work, case studies, tutorials and independent study, over three terms.

    What is the schedule?

    For this course, taught study is usually three hours per week, per module. We also recommend that you spend 10 hours per week, per module in self-directed study time.

    This course is available to study full-time and part-time with a September start.

    The PG Certificate includes two 30 credit modules and takes one year full-time or between one and two years part-time.

    The PG Diploma includes four 30 credit modules and takes one year full-time or between two and three years part-time.

    The MA will involve completing four 30 credits modules and a dissertation and takes one year full-time or between two and four years part-time.

    How will I be assessed?

    Our assessment procedures are flexible and work around your personal interests and professional workloads. Assessment is usually in the form of essays, case studies, portfolios, reports and research projects.

    Can I get hands on experience?

    There are a number of local and regional services and settings for individuals with autism which you could get involved with during your study.


Julian Brown, Head of Education
Julian Brown

Head of Education

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (Autism Pathway) MA

Nicola Preston, Senior Lecturer in Education (SEN and Inclusion)
Nicola Preston

Senior Lecturer in Education (SEN and Inclusion)

Faculty of Health, Education and Society

Brenna Farrow, Senior Lecturer in Education (SEN and Inclusion)
Brenna Farrow

Senior Lecturer in Education (SEN and Inclusion)

Faculty of Health, Education and Society


Careers and Employability

If you are already working in the field of autism then the in-depth knowledge you will gain from this programme can help you to improve your practice or apply for management positions. A range of other career options in education, social care and voluntary sectors will be possible, such as being an advocate, learning mentor, or family adviser. For those who want to pursue further post-graduate research there is also a possibility of studying for a PhD.