Throughout this course, you will find out about special educational needs provision, tackle discrimination, and understand how to meet the needs of different groups across society. You will challenge your own beliefs and values, as well as those of others, and become an advocate for change.
Here at BGU, you won’t just study Special Educational Needs & Inclusion (SENI) through theory and lectures – you’ll learn through placements, organising workshops and interacting with different individuals and groups within the local and regional community. Throughout the course, you will complete a number of modules which take a more thematic approach where you’ll explore critical issues such as Inclusion, Equality and Entitlement. During your final year, you will explore wider issues of inclusion including policy and leadership. With advice and guidance from academic staff, you will also choose the subject of your final year research-based dissertation, meaning you can focus on a topic, need or theme that is of particular interest to you. This allows you to tailor the course to your own interests and particular career aspirations. The SENI programme is carefully structured to guide you as you develop as an individual student, from broad themes in your first year to more specialised topics in later years. Most of your teaching is delivered through lectures and seminars but you’ll also have smaller groups, workshops and individual tutorials – so you’ll benefit from one-to-one time as well as interactive group discussions. Special Educational Needs and Inclusion can be a fascinating, challenging and emotional subject to study; it will most definitely be rewarding.
About Special Educational Needs & Inclusion at BGU
You will have the opportunity to examine legislation and contrast it with the reality of what is provided in educational settings, developing skills in critical analysis of current issues, and looking at how those issues impact on the individual and their learning environment. In addition, you’ll become equipped with the confidence and competence to make a difference to your own life and the lives of others.
This course combines both theory and practical experience of Special Educational Needs along with work placements in each year of study in a choice of different settings. You’ll be encouraged to increase your understanding of competing political agendas in relation to inclusion, and you’ll study hidden inequalities in depth. The areas you study will be dynamic with current, contemporary themes, which change and develop from year to year.
We recognise that individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and, accordingly, use a wide range of teaching and assessment methods. We will give you detailed feedback on how you are doing and give you the support and guidance to improve your work – gradually increasing your skills and independence as the course progresses. By the end of your third year, you may even have the opportunity to get your research work published!
As well as the regular placement opportunities throughout your course, you’ll also have the chance to take on extra volunteering, participate in the Erasmus scheme (studying modules with European universities) and learn extra skills such as Makaton. This will all increase your employability once you’ve finished your degree.
What You Will Study
There are four modules offered in the first year which those on a single honours route will follow. Students on a combined degree will complete two. The first year will introduce you to the social and historical context of inclusion with a particularly focus upon special educational needs. You will also explore different theories of learning and consider how these apply to the classroom and other settings. You will develop an awareness of why some children fail to reach their full potential in educational settings and how practices to address this can be developed. you will have opportunities to complete placements in both mainstream and special school settings. The first year enables you to develop a sound academic understanding of issues around policy and practice to progress onto level 5.
In your second year, you will study Equality & Entitlement which considers the broader explanations of Inclusion; gender, race, age. Issues of human and social capital which impact upon equality will be considered at local, national and global levels. Another focus of the year is working with different groups in society, and placement opportunities can reflect your interests. Students have previously elected to work in a variety of settings including secure units, hospital schools or with Traveller Communities. Students following the single honours route will look more closely at learning needs as well as exploring behaviour for developing an understanding of how children cope in different settings.
In your final year you will start to focus upon your own developing interests, applying knowledge and skills from years one and two. Topics covered include hidden inequalities, mental health, specific learning disabilities, leadership and policy. Again, you will have opportunity to complete placements which will inform a research project that you devise and conduct with tutor support.
Throughout your course, you will be encouraged to develop confidence in meeting the needs of others and skills in addressing social inequalities. The development of self-advocacy skills and advocating for others is integral to the course. You will have opportunities to work in groups and under your own initiative. Enrichment activities are also offered which include external conferences and exhibitions, visits to a range of different providers and residential trips abroad.
Your first year is important. We know that you will need time to settle in to university and build up your academic skills and so, we will give you detailed feedback on how you are doing and set you targets to improve your work. We use a wide range of different types of assessment throughout the course, including coursework portfolios, group discussions, multimedia technology presentations and individual projects, as well as essays and exams. You may even have the opportunity to get your dissertation research work published!
What Our Students Say
“Having a younger sibling with special educational needs made me first consider the course. I like that the course explores lots of different topics and issues surrounding SEN and provision.” Charlie, Education Studies and Special Educational Needs & Inclusion graduate
Careers and Further Study
Possible careers for SENI graduates may include:
- Primary or special school teaching
- SENI Classroom Assistant
- Youth Work
- Social Care Setting
- Private Sector Educational Providers
Successful graduates of this course have also continued to study for higher degrees, with many choosing to pursue further study in social care or therapeutic professions. Upon completion of the degree those wishing to pursue a career in teaching will need to take one of a variety of teacher training courses either at BGU or elsewhere (subject to separate application).
Fees and Funding
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sorting out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step. Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.
How To Apply
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.
From Excluded to Included: A Century of Change
This module will introduce you into the field of SEN and Inclusion and will act as a foundation for future study. You will be expected to reflect upon your own experiences and perspectives and will begin to consider in outline key areas for further study. The module will look at educational and social models of inclusion within schools and across the community. The introduction and induction to study skills will be integral to this module including engagement with VLE.
A Social Pedagogy for Learning
During this module, you will begin to understand issues relating to increasing participation across society. This will emphasise areas such as cognition and learning, communication and interaction, and the social context of inclusion. This module will introduce you to the concept of holistic support and approaches to learning, exploring boundaries and opportunities between education and social provision.
Teaching for Learning
This module provides a foundation for developing an understanding of the role and responsibilities of special education practitioners, teachers and support staff in meeting pupils’ needs. The concept of differentiated and personalised learning is a key component in the consideration and development of inclusive education systems. This module provides teaching and classroom-based experience through which you will develop knowledge and understanding of the ways in which cognition, sociological and cultural factors such as socio–economic background, gender and ethnicity affect the educational outcomes of learners and how these issues are addressed in schools. You will critique different learning frameworks and how schools structure curriculum to meet needs.
Obstacles to Learning
This module enables you to identify some of the causes which impact upon learning in both educational and social settings. You will be introduced to policies and strategies adopted and adapted in response to different learning behaviours, which facilitate inclusive practice. The module will develop issues and experiences of classroom placements in relation to complex learning needs and behaviours.
- Claiming Independence: An Independent Research Project
Voices, Interests and Concerns: Politics and Practice
This module will introduce you to a critical evaluation of issues associated with the leadership and management of policy and practice in SEN and inclusion.
Syndromes & Labels
This module will consider elements of the pathology and neurology of differing learning needs including syndromes, sensory and physical disabilities. In recognition of the increasing number of children with more complex needs within the school system, this module will examine causes and needs of those considered to have profound and/or complex needs. You will begin to critically examine the causes and impact of disability on individuals’ educational experience and life opportunities.
This module will consider the range of disabilities which can often impact upon learning but which may go un-noticed. You will consider the impact of psychological, social and emotional disruption upon learning which can range from Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, the Autistic Spectrum and Gifted and Talented learners to mental well-being. By the end of the module you will be able to recognise how individual learning needs can be effected by a range of disabilities which are commonly found in a variety of settings. You will also have gained an understanding of how different support networks and interventions can enable positive learning and life experiences for those who live with hidden disabilities.
Challenges & Issues
An understanding of the principle reasons which create challenge and concern in meeting needs and leads to individuals becoming disengaged from education will be considered. You will explore the nature and origins of disengagement from formal schooling, both in the UK and in Europe, with reference to contemporary social and cultural changes. Contemporary initiatives and strategies aimed at countering learner disaffection will be examined.
Dr Julia Lindley-Baker – Academic Coordinator for Special Educational Needs & Inclusion
Julia Lindley-Baker coordinates and teaches on undergraduate programmes in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion, and Education Studies. Julia originally trained as a special needs teacher with a focus upon the primary age range. She has both taught and held senior leadership positions across different sections of education; always with a special education focus. Julia joined the staff of Bishop Grosseteste University in 2010, following ten years as Vice Principal at Linkage College.
Julia is the coordinator of undergraduate Special Educational Needs and Inclusion and teaches on a range of modules. Teaching interests include the sociology and history of special needs, pedagogy of special needs and the diverse nature of inclusive practice.
Dr Maria Efstratopoulou
Dr. Maria is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences. She joied BGU in September 2015 and teaches on the Special Education and Inclusion program. She holds a Doctoral Degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Faculty of Kinisiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and also an European Master in Psychomotor Therapy for Children (KULeuven, Belgium) and a Master in Human Performance and Health for Special Populations (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece).
Head of School
Dr Graham Basten – Head of School of Social Sciences
Graham holds a PhD from the UK Government’s Institute of Food Research and has researched and lectured extensively over the past 10 years on clinical biochemistry, nutrition and folate at the Medical Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham (UK). He was previously Acting Head at the School of Allied Health Science at De Montfort University (DMU) and a DMU Teacher Fellow. As a expert in Clinical Chemistry, and Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science he has written and published several journal articles and textbooks on interpreting blood results. Graham has completed the award winning DMU Leadership, Management and Development Programme, as well as a series at BGU from the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education. He is an advocate of authentic, empowered leadership.