About your course
Learn to develop and manage inclusive special needs provision on this flexible Advanced Educational Practice: Special Educational Needs Masters course from Liverpool John Moores University.
- Study part time over three years on a course designed to support effective practice in the classroom
- Develop your professional practice through an inquiry based approach
- Enjoy flexible course delivery and fit studying around your work commitments
- Follow a curriculum closely linked to your professional practice needs
Overall, the course has given me a sense of direction and a vision of what SEN provision in my school should be like. Having simply joined the course to update my knowledge in my role as SENCo, as the course has gone on, and as I have reviewed my own progress with it, I have come to realise it has had far reaching effects.
Introduction to the School
In the 2014 REF, LJMU's education-related research was ranked 4th in the UK’s Post-92 Universities, with over 60% of work considered world leading or internationally excellent.
This research helps ensure our postgraduate courses are at the forefront of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.
Our School of Education has over 100 years’ experience delivering teacher education in partnership with Primary, Secondary and other education providers.
All of our professional Masters programmes for educators are designed to make study relevant to your professional requirements. We provide space and support for professional study that will impact on the learning outcomes of young people and on the effectiveness of team leadership in schools and colleges as they enact change.
While developing an up-to-date perspective on specialist areas and key skills in critical analysis and practitioner research, our programmes offer a wide scope for you to relate your learning to your own professional practice or areas of specific interest.
Why study this course at LJMU?
The programme has been designed to help you develop the skills to manage and improve special and inclusive provision while reflecting on the philosophical and political tensions between practice and the wider inclusion agenda.
It differs from many other postgraduate programmes in its focus on enhancing practice and, as such, attracts professionals from across the educational sector. This mix of professionals results in a dynamic learning environment for all, where you learn from each other through the sharing of professional experiences.
Successful completion of this programme will give you enhanced knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice around current research-based initiatives in supporting learners with a range of special educational needs and the ability to critically assess their impact on learners.
Programme outline and structure
We recognise that our students are busy professionals and have taken this into account in the design of our programmes and assessments. Study on this programme is on a part time basis, enabling you to integrate your learning with your full time professional role.
The course is delivered around school/college term times, with 20 credits being studied per term for the first two years.
During your first year you will study three compulsory (core) modules specializing in key teaching and learning themes. Your second year will involve the selection of two optional modules from an identified suite, and the core module in Researching Professional Practice. Your final year will involve 60 credits of research-based study through completion of the Dissertation or Professional Enquiry modules.
University-based study includes taught sessions scheduled late afternoon (4pm to 7pm) and occasional conference style days scheduled on Saturdays.A blended learning approach ensures you can usually study at a time to suit you and all modules are supported by online study resources with additional guidance available through face-to-face or virtual tutorials.To keep on top of your study, you should be prepared to work between five and 10 hours per week (evenings and weekends). The practical applications of the course will involve the integration of study with your professional activity in school or college.
During your studies you will have access to LJMU learning resources including our libraries for independent study. You will be allocated a personal tutor to support your academic and professional development and will also receive guidance via email.
Taught sessions mostly take place at the IM Marsh campus, four miles outside Liverpool centre, although some sessions may take place in the city.
The IM Marsh campus has independent study spaces with IT facilities, a library with relevant stock and study spaces, access to student welfare and support, a gym and other sports facilities, a cafeteria and shop.
The campus library, open 8am to 11pm, houses the main collections linked to this course and you will also have access to the 24 hour, city centre Aldham Robarts and Avril Robarts libraries.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Teaching Young People with Special Educational Needs (Core)
Develops understanding of special educational needs and disability through engagement with current theory, research, policy and practice and their application.
Social Emotional and Mental Health Dificulties (Core)
Explores current educational theory, research and policy relating to SEMHD and the implications for professional setting.
Specific learning Dificulties (Core)
Investigates current educational theory, research and policy relating to ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and the implications for professional practice.
Researching Professional Practice (Core)
Provides an introduction to a range of research methods applicable to educational contexts, with a focus on practitioner enquiry, and how to develop a research project proposal and plan.
Developing Practice in Special Educational Needs (Option)
Explores the influences on the development and implementation of SEND policy in the education system and the implications for schools in the implementation of effective responses to policy in their organisation.
Identifying Dyslexia (Option)
Develops knowledge and understanding of the characteristics, complex nature and issues related to the identification of dyslexia.
Teaching Learners with Dyslexia (Option)
Provides opportunities for educational professionals to engage with research relating to the teaching of learners and to develop their own critical professional practice, in relation to learners with dyslexia.
Interventions for Learners with Dyslexia (Option)
Enables practitioners to explore issues relating to effective intervention for learners with dyslexia, and investigates a range of multisensory literacy programmes.
The Autistic Spectrum (Option)
Investigates current research relating to the features of the Autistic Spectrum and explores its implications for practice.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder: From Theory to Practice (Option)
Considers current research regarding the causal theories of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and develops a deeper understanding of effective support techniques and interventions used nationally and internationally.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder in the mainstream context (Option)
Develops critical professional practice in supporting learners with ASD through analysis of and engagement with current educational theory, research, policy and practice and its implications for your professional setting.
Involves the development and implementation of a major research project relevant to your subject area, with the support of an experienced academic tutor.
Professional Inquiry (Option)
Involves the development and implementation of several linked practice-based research projects relevant to professional practice in your subject area, with the support of an experienced academic tutor.
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require further guidance or clarification.
How will I be assessed?
All assessments are closely linked to school and college-based practice and involve the completion of reports, small scale practice-based research projects, presentations, and critical reflections on professional practice.
As a practice-based programme there is a strong emphasis on the application of ideas developed in the context of your own classroom, school or setting.
Assessments are also linked to school and college-based practice and involve the completion of reports, small scale practice-based research projects, presentations, critical reflections and a professional portfolio.
Staff research interests
Our staff offer a wide range of expertise.
Programme Team members are involved in national and regional CPD networks and significant educational research projects. Such activities directly inform teaching and learning on the programme, ensuring the curriculum reflects current practice and keeps you up-to-date with developments in the sector.
The principal research interests of staff working on this programme include: child and adolescent mental health; the relationship between dyslexia and BESD plus innovative and creative assessment procedures.
Entry requirements (Home)
The normal entry requirements for the MA Advanced Educational Practice pathways are:
- An honours degree (or its equivalent) in any subject
- Current employment as an educational practitioner
Applications are welcome from practitioners who may hold alternate qualifications, such as Certificate in Education (Post-16), with appropriate professional experience.
If your first language is not English, you will also need an IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum of Level 6 in reading and writing).
Application and selection
Applications are invited from all working in the education sector. Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis in consultation with the Programme Leader and, as such, we welcome enquiries from potential applicants who do not meet standard criteria but who feel their professional experience would enable them to succeed on the programme. Please note: A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formally the Criminal Records Bureau – CRB) is required for students needing to visit locations outside of their own workplace where there is access to children.
The programme is subject to the University's Principles, Policies, Regulations and Procedures for the Admission of Students to Postgraduate Programmes and will take account of University policy and guidelines for assessing accredited prior learning (APL) and accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL)
In addition to an administrative fee, there is a minimum charge of £6 per APEL credit to be paid before the agreed APEL credits are added to the student's record. There is no maximum fee payable. (Fees are reviewed each year).
Please note: this programme is not suitable for international students because, due to UK Visa restrictions, they are only allowed to study on a full time basis.
You may be interviewed face-to-face or over the telephone to further explore details of your application or your suitability for the programme.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.
Sources of funding
The Government recently announced that it would be launching a new postgraduate student loan scheme from 2016 onwards. These new loans are expected to provide funding of up to £10,000 for new postgraduates under the age of 30 enrolling on taught Masters degrees. Details on eligibility criteria, repayment plans and how to apply for these loans have not yet been announced but will be published on the LJMU website as soon as these details are released.
LJMU Alumni Award
Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 15% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).
Postgraduate International Scholarships
LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants.
English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary
A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.
Earn While You Learn
Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.
LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)
Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs.
Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.
Support for disabled students
Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.
Council tax exemption
All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.
Our Advanced Educational Practice programmes offer excellent networking opportunities. You will be encouraged to join the relevant professional association for your subject, providing valuable links with teachers and others interested in your chosen area. You will also be able to network with recent alumni and local professional communities.
After completing this course you may progress to research-based study through engaging with our MPhil and PhD programmes.
In general, AEP graduates go on to take up leadership roles or other posts of responsibility in schools and colleges. Many former students of this programme have progressed to roles of responsibility and leadership within the area of Special Educational needs.
"I have secured a new job as a direct result of the MA Advanced Educational Practice. I’ve undertaken a secondment within the college to be a Technical Researcher for a Government funded project that looks at the embedding of English and Maths in Apprenticeships. The secondment lasts for one year and I will be developing maths based resources for teachers within the college to use and be involved in various case studies. The main reason why I was offered the position is that my dissertation subject was based around numeracy and I also undertook different pieces of research when completing my MA. At the end of the project the results will be published and other colleges will be able to use the resources developed."
Martin O'Brien, Programme Leader, Service Industries Kingston College
Please note: this programme is not suitable for students who require a Tier 4 visa. Due to immigration requirements, Tier 4 international students must study on a full-time basis.
The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes