2022/23 entry

BA (Hons) Education and Special Educational Needs with Foundation Year

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

4 years

UCAS code:


Points required:



Mt Pleasant

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
International (full-time):
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

School of Education:


International enquiries


Send a message >

About your course

Do you want to support people with a range of special educational needs and disabilities throughout their learning journey? This unique degree will develop your critical understanding of education and inclusive practice, leading to a diverse range of careers. We're a team of passionate and experienced lecturers who use research, practice and community links to shape your learning.

Additional course costs

There are no costs for off site day trips embedded into Core and Option modules. Optional international placements will have a cost attached.

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year offers a supportive environment to develop confidence with academic study skills and also introduces you to key subject specific content relating to your degree pathway. We particularly welcome applicants with non-standard qualifications.​​

This is a four year programme and once you have passed the Foundation Year (Level 3), you will progress directly onto the first year (Level 4) of the Honours degree. 

If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

Working with people who have disabilities or special educational needs is both challenging and rewarding. It requires an open mind and a flexible approach so that you are able to discard preconceived ideas and embrace alternative views and new ways of working. 

Through multidisciplinary enquiry, the course examines the socio-political and historical context that has often marginalised people within particular communities and pockets of society in general. The course engages with topical and controversial issues relating to disability and special needs such as: representation, access to learning, education, employment and health, end of life issues, embryo selection and euthanasia and considers specific needs such as dyslexia, ADHD, language and communication difficulties.

Throughout the course, there is a constant emphasis on the link between theory and practice, in order for students to become critically informed and reflective practitioners.

The course brings together all aspects of education such as the effects of poverty and social exclusion, and curriculum development. Lying at the heart of this course are the needs and rights of children, and your moral and professional role in working with them.

The course explores education in its broadest sense and draws on aspects of sociology, history, politics, psychology and philosophy to provide an understanding of current educational thinking and practice. In your second year of study there is an extended work placement, so that you can gain the experience and practice you need before embarking on further study or a career.

The course gives you enormous scope to tailor your studies to your own interests through optional modules, research and work-related practice. 

Please note: Mature applicants with sufficient relevant experience may be invited to attend an interview.

"This course explores education in its broadest sense and draws on aspects of sociology, history, politics, psychology and philosophy to provide an understanding of current educational thinking and practice"

Professional accreditation/links

​We have links with local organisations and schools who provide a range of interesting work placements, including Children's Centres, International Schools, child and adult mental health services and bereavement support organisations. 

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)


  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.


Completing this BA (Hons) degree in Education and Special Educational Needs will enable you to follow a range of rewarding career paths.

​This course is ideal if you want to pursue professional qualifications as a teacher (following a PGCE/PGDE course), special educational needs coordinator or inclusion support coordinator, behaviour support worker or learning mentor. If you prefer to work in the social care and health field, you might want to consider a career as a disability inclusion officer, local authority disability coordinator or disability support worker. Alternatively, your degree could lead to a career in community or charitable organisations.


Postgraduate Teacher Training

LJMU graduates who meet the entry criteria are guaranteed an interview for your chosen PGDE course.

Our PGDEs carry Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), so after successfully completing the one-year course, you will be qualified to teach the age range of students covered in your programme.

As well as our Core PGDE courses, we also offer School Direct programmes with our partner schools across the North West.

You can learn more about our postgraduate teacher training courses at ljmu.ac.uk/teach.


Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.

Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.

Applicant key information

Course review and revalidation.

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

News and views

Browse through the latest stories and updates from the University and beyond

What you will study on this degree

All modules at Levels 3 and 4 are Core (mandatory). You will then study a mix of Core and Option modules at Levels 5 and 6.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 3

Core modules

Exploring Childhoods
20 credits

In this module you will explore the ways in which children and childhood can be defined and viewed. The module aims to examine perspectives and debates through consideration of the representation of children and childhoods from historical, political and socio-cultural contexts.

Exploring Learning
20 credits

This module aims to make the processes and experiences of learning more explicit through activities that encourage discovery, exploration and discussion to enable you to think about and understand effective ways of learning that are personal to you and that you can apply at university and beyond.

Places and Spaces of Learning
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with guidance on how learners learn within traditional and less traditional places and spaces. Place based learning is considered alongside pedagogical and andragogical practices related to experiential learning, social constructivism, multicultural education and community based education. Reading, research and off site visits will support your understanding and reflection.

Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
20 credits

This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.

Investigating Liverpool
20 credits

This module provides you with the necessary skills to develop a research project on the Liverpool City region from your particular subject perspective. You will explain academic research methods, write a coherent piece of academic work based on an understanding of Liverpool, and locate relevant research to support your project. The module will help you to develop an independent approach to learning. 

Understanding Contemporary Social Problems
20 credits

This module introduces you to relevant and contemporary issues in society. You will learn to identify key social issues in the UK, to demonstrate an understanding of key concepts relating to inequality, to demonstrate the ability to locate and provide academic evidence relevant to understanding social issues, and to describe the impact of key thinkers in understanding contemporary social issues.

Level 4

Core modules

Learners and Learning in Contemporary Society
20 credits

This module is designed to introduce you to key concepts in the psychology of education, particularly as they relate to learning. In addition, it offers you the opportunity to explore how changes in culture and society have impacted on the nature of learning. The module is one of three modules at Level 4 introducing you to key concepts in the four disciplines of history, sociology, psychology and philosophy of education.

Education and Society
20 credits

This module introduces you to key concepts in the philosophy and sociology of education, as applied to issues in the relationship between education and society. It is one of three modules at Level 4 designed to provide you with a good grounding in the four disciplines of the history, philosophy, sociology and psychology of education.

Snapshots of Education
20 credits

This module introduces you to key developments in education. A range of historical sources and sociological research in education are drawn upon which will enable you to develop a conceptual understanding of developments in education. A chronological case approach will be taken to show how key influences, ideas and individuals shape education, reform and change. The lectures take into account key political, social and economic influences which have impacted upon education in various ways and at different historical moments.

Introducing Special and Inclusive Needs
20 credits

This module enables you to explore and build your understanding of key concepts and issues relating to your personal motivation to the study and practice of inclusion and disability. It will develop and enhance the skills necessary for undertaking independent learning and study in higher education. It will also include opportunities for the development of research/researcher knowledge and skills, and introduces issues relating to disability, special educational needs and inclusion.

What is Disability?
20 credits

This module is key in terms of introducing you to issues regarding disability. It sets the context for all other modules within this pathway. It not only introduces you to contentious debates but promotes a climate of critical discussion and reflection through group tasks and guided reading. The module will focus upon models of disability, with an emphasis on the social model of disability rather than the medical model. Attention will be paid to barriers often faced by disabled people, as well as legislation and policy that aims to support people with disabilities.

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion
20 credits

The module aims to provide you with knowledge and understanding of the differing educational provision for people with special educational needs/disabilities and the role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

Level 5

Core modules

Research Approaches and Methods
20 credits

This module aims to prepare you for future dissertation research. It enables you to practice planning a research project which you may choose to undertake at Level 6.

Schools and the Curriculum
20 credits

This module enables you to learn about schools, the remit and role of the teachers, and key issues in contemporary compulsory education. Learning activities will allow you to apply your knowledge and skills in the study of education to contemporary issues in schools, including those relating to the curriculum, learning and teaching, and the controversial issues surrounding schools and society.

Disability and Identity
20 credits

This module aims to develop your awareness and knowledge of the dynamic and changing relationship of identity and disability over the life course. Many contentious, topical, and ethical considerations will be debated and critically discussed.

Optional modules

Comparative and International Education
20 credits

In this module you will explore how the processes of globalisation and internationalisation impact on the national and international provision of education. This module further examines the educational implications induced by global social, political and economic factors.

Education, Equality and Social Justice
20 credits

This module enables you to examine the development of the concept of ethics and justice. You will learn to critically evaluate the dynamic relationship between education, social justice and equality.

Contemporary Issues for Young People
20 credits

This module provides you with an introduction to the nature and importance of the concept of youth. You will develop a critical understanding of the nature, causes and effects of problems, issues and concerns experienced by young people, alongside analysing the role of government legislation and initiatives in dealing with the issues faced by young people.

International Placement
20 credits

This international Work Related Learning (WRL) opportunity offers you the chance to experience different cultures and practices in relevant international settings. It facilitates current and future employment opportunities. You will be provided with the opportunity to undertake a work placement in an international setting relevant to your future career choice. The module will build upon your PDP and provide opportunities for you to reflect upon your own development and future work related targets.

Project Design and Implementation in Education
20 credits

Working in a real-world setting is essential to give reality and relevance to studies. It facilitates current and future employment opportunities. This module provides you with the opportunity to develop your organisational awareness and, for those who have previously completed the World of Work Bronze, to complete the World of Work Silver. A significant part of the module will involve the delivery of a self-negotiated project which is relevant within the field of education.

Developing Employability Skills Through Work Based Learning
20 credits

In this module you will be provided with the opportunity to undertake a work placement in a specific setting relevant to your future career choice. The module will build upon your PDP and provide opportunities for you to reflect upon your own development and future work related targets.

Supporting the Individual and the Family
20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of the impact of disability upon families where a member has a disability or life limiting condition. You will explore the roles and responsibilities of a range of professionals who work with and support individuals and families.

Picturing Disability: from Print to Screen
20 credits

The aim of the module is to enable you to explore the representations of disability and the participation of people with disabilities within popular culture including the arts, literature, film and media.

Creativity and Discovery Learning in the Early Years
20 credits

This module enables you to explore practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of creativity and how it can be supported in the Early Years. In this module there are opportunities for offsite workshops which support and enrich learning (these opportunities are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed).

Level 6

Core modules

40 credits

This module allows you to research a topic of your choice, which relates to your programme of study, using a range of data sources and appropriate research methods. Your research will be supported through introductory lectures followed with workshops for group work and practical activities. You will be allocated a supervisor who will meet with you over the research period. Online materials will also be available to guide and support independent study.

Inclusion for All: Supporting a Range of Needs
20 credits

This module aims to develop your critical understanding of the support available for people with a range of disabilities and additional needs. 

Optional modules

Gender and Ethnicity in Education
20 credits

This module provides you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to evaluate the impact of gender and ethnicity on educational processes and outcomes. You will also explore key theories and debates as to how gender and ethnicity intersect in relation to educational experiences and outcomes.

Education and Technology
20 credits

This module will provide you with a critical perspective of the role technologies play in educational settings. You will use, examine and evaluate a range of technologies and conduct a review and analysis of educational issues raised by technology use. The module enables you to develop an awareness and understanding of the implications of technology use in current educational practices and the future of education itself.

Working Therapeutically within Early Childhood
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with a knowledge and understanding of therapeutic practice with children and their carers in the UK. You will develop the ability to critically analyse what reflective practitioners offer therapeutically, in a variety of contexts, appropriate to the needs of children, their carers, organisations and society. We will also discuss therapeutic theory and practice for working within early childhood.

Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
20 credits

This module allows you to consider educational advancement and professional development beyond the university. It will broaden your understanding of educational opportunities and provisions for adults. You will learn to understand lifelong learning through the integration of knowledge of adult learning theories, methods, approaches and issues. This module will facilitate learning through the application of key philosophies, theories and concepts in adult education and lifelong learning.

Parents and Schools
20 credits

This module introduces you to the crucial importance of working effectively with parents, and potential barriers to effective parent-practitioner relationships according to social class, gender, ethnicity and special educational needs. The module will enable you to develop a conceptual understanding of key developments relating to home-school collaboration, and how to develop the engagement of parents that you meet as future practitioners. The module will also consider controversy surrounding 'problem' parents and intervention from the state, as well as relevant strategies (used in the classroom and beyond) which may develop parental involvement and home-school collaboration.

Radical Education
20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of radical theories of education and some of the key radical educational philosophers (e.g. Illich, Friere and A.S.Neill). It will also consider how such theories of education are developed both within and outside mainstream educational practice.

Education in Fiction, Film and the Media
20 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to explore how education has been represented in fiction, film and the media. The module will broaden your understanding of how cultural representations of education impact on educational thought and practice. It offers you the opportunity to explore one of several more specialist areas in the study of education at Level 6.

Informal and Non-Formal Education
20 credits

This module introduces you to alternative educational environments that you may choose to access and contribute to in your voluntary or paid work. It also adds to your understanding of the breadth of settings in which learning and education take place. It engages with radical theories in education and approaches the field from more of a contextual perspective.

Supporting Vulnerable Children and Young People in Education
20 credits

This module develops your understanding and knowledge of the issues and potential consequences vulnerable children and young people may experience in education. You will be given the opportunity to explore and critically evaluate a range of Government and multi-agency strategies implemented to support vulnerable children and young people in education.

International Perspectives on Disability and Inclusion
20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of the varying meanings and experiences of disability and impairment globally. You will critically explore international comparative frameworks of inclusion. It also enables you to assess the role that global forces have played in shaping these perspectives and understandings of disability, especially in relation to key inclusive educational policy and legislation.

Mental Health and Wellbeing
20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of the issues and factors that impact upon the mental health and well-being of individuals.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

Teaching on the course is via a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, use of ICT, online activities, placement experience and independent learning.

Work-related Learning

The course has a strong element of work-related learning, with a broad range of placement opportunities provided by local organisations and schools. There are guest speakers from Children and Adult Mental Health Services, and bereavement counsellors from children's hospitals and hospices. You might even want to get an international perspective on your future career through work experience abroad.

Work experience is a vital element of your studies as it gives you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt during the course, and gain new skills as well. It will also add real value to your CV, giving you a head start when you come to negotiate your way around the competitive job market.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will help and support you to become an independent and autonomous learner as you progress through your course. This kind of one-to-one support is particularly useful for discussing course-related issues or concerns you may have during your studies.

Library Services teams also offer a fantastic range of support and guidance services, including online help guides, online chat facility and on-site help.

Our dedicated Student Advice and Wellbeing (SAW) team provide a wide range of services including accommodation advice, disability support, counselling and money matters.


Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

​We recognise that all students perform differently depending on how they are being assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. Coursework may therefore include essays, reports, presentations, newspapers, posters, diaries and a dissertation. Exams are limited to the main core modules.

Constructive feedback is important in helping you to identify your strengths and areas where you may need to put in more work, so this will be provided regularly as you progress through each module.  

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Karen Broomhead

Dr Karen Broomhead

Programme leader

Karen is Joint Programme Leader (with Dr Mia Smith). She is also the Disability Co-ordinator for the School of Education. Karen is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, after completing the PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at LJMU in 2014. She is also a PhD supervisor. Karen completed her PhD at Lancaster University in 2013, which was funded by a studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Her PhD thesis focused on the home-school relationships between parents of children with Special Educational Needs (particularly those with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties) and educational practitioners.

I have over ten years experience of supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within schools and the community, having worked previously as a Support Worker for children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Inclusion Support Worker, Summer School Officer and Teaching Assistant.


What you can expect from your School

Soon to be based in the new Education Building in the heart of the Mount Pleasant campus, the School of Education features a wide range of cutting-edge facilities, including a pedagogy room, lecture rooms, computing facilities and a nearby Forest School for outdoor learning. Students also benefit from independent study spaces, a close-by cafeteria and library, and access to student welfare and support.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 72

GCSE and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below: • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number • Wales GCSE Mathematics Numeracy

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Average A Level offer: DDD
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

T Levels

A minimum of 104 UCAS Tariff points.

BTEC qualifications

  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: DM if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: MMP if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: 72 UCAS Tariff points

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: Acceptable with any other combination that equates to 72 UCAS Tariff points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 72 UCAS Tariff points with a maximum 20 UCAS Tariff points from Ordinary Level

Alternative qualifications considered

​​Applications are welcomed from mature and non-standard applicants, who will be considered on an individual basis. These applicants may be required to complete a written task and/or attend a meeting with a course tutor, and should demonstrate potential and motivation and/or have relevant experience.

International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.

Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.

Will I be interviewed?

Mature and non-standard applicants may be invited to attend interview


6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.

International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Can this course be deferred?


Is a DBS check required?


Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

A DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service - formerly CRB) will be required after you start the course for placements that involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because 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. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.