Inclusive Education & SEN

Portobello Institute

Inclusive Education & SEN

This contemporary MA in Inclusive Education and SEN is designed for professionals working within Special Educational Needs (SEN), including those who may not be working directly with children or young adults. This Masters programme builds upon knowledge gained during undergraduate studies and experiential learning in the workplace. The blended learning delivery mode is a flexible study option for those seeking to fit learning around work and family.

Build your professional practice

The MA in Inclusive Education and SEN offers you an opportunity to build a comprehensive understanding and critical professional approach to working with children and families with additional physical or intellectual needs. You will advance your knowledge, understanding, and professional practice through engagement with current research and thinking. It also involves a reflection on, and analysis of, your own professional practice, supporting your personal development as well as putting you in a strong position for career progression in this sector.

This master’s programme aims to facilitate exploration and understanding of the concepts, issues, policies, and legislation pertaining to inclusive education and supporting disability in care and educational settings, particularly for children with disabilities and additional needs.

Understand social justice in the context of inclusive education

Explore the Capability Approach (CA) and learn that freedom to achieve well-being is to be understood in terms of people’s capabilities, that is, their real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value. You will develop an understanding of some of the complexities of social justice and education with a particular focus on Special Education and Inclusion and consider to what extent schools, preschools, and care providers include minority groups or children with Special and Additional Needs.

Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded an MA in Inclusive Education and SEN. This is awarded by University of Essex and is aligned with a level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK

The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed on the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available at

The masters programme aims to provide an overview and general understanding on the topic of ethics and ethical engagement in respect of diversity and inclusion, with a focus on SEN and disability. A commitment to equality, diversity, social justice and advocacy are themes central to this Masters programme. You will develop a detailed understanding of current research and contemporary thinking in the field of special educational needs and inclusive education. You will appraise research and theory continuously and reflect on its impact on provision and practice with an emphasis on your own professional practice.

Developing an understanding of the historical, economic, social, cultural and political contexts which impact the lives of young adults, children and their families is a key benefit of studying this MA in Inclusive Education. You will also develop a comprehensive understanding of, and commitment to, issues of equality and diversity, social justice and advocacy in relation to the field of inclusive education.

During year 2, you may choose between the following modules;

A Critical Underpinning of Ethics for Inclusion and Diversity
Psychology of Development and Emotional Well-being

Subjects taught

Year 1
Facilitating an Inclusive model in Care and Education
SEN and Inclusion through a Capabilities Approach

Year 2
Critical professionalism in inclusive environments
An Introduction to Research with Children and Young People
MA Dissertation
Psychology of Development and Emotional Wellbeing

Delivery Mode
This MA in Inclusive Education and SEN has been specifically designed for delivery by online learning, with one-to-one tutorial support and modular webinars designed specifically to prepare you to complete the module. It is very suited to you if you are working full-time with limited spare time yet you want to achieve your Masters qualification.

Each module commences with an induction webinar and you will meet your lead lecturer during this session. You will be able to log-in and “attend” the lecture even if you are off-site or you can re-visit the lecture at a later date through our online portal. You can upload your assessments and your lecturer will give you feedback on whether you are on the right track before you submit the final version. Blended learning allows you to study at your time with support available throughout your learning journey.

What is a webinar?

A webinar, in the context of online learning, is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students. We use specifically designed e-learning software so you can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room. You can ask a question of the lecturer at any stage during the class.

Interactive break-out rooms

The software is designed with “break-out rooms” where you can discuss a topic or complete a group exercise with a smaller group from your class. You will need a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone that has internet connection, an audio facility so you can hear and speak during the class and a camera so your lecturer and fellow class participants can see you.

Secure online learning environment

The webinar is a secure online environment and only those permitted entry by the lecturer can gain access to the “classroom”. Webinars are recorded during each session and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access Webinars of the group you are assigned to.

Entry requirements

There are entry criteria available to students with differing qualifications however students must hold a relevant honours degree (at least 2:2) and it is preferable you work in a special educational needs role.

Applicants who do not meet the criteria, may be eligible for advanced entry into the BA (Hons) in Inclusive Education. This programme is available through Portobello Institute.

Please note places on this course are restricted and places only confirmed once tuition fees have been received. Early Application is advised.

Application dates

Entry to this Masters is by direct application to Portobello Institute.


2 years online learning.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 14th October 2023

Post Course Info

Career prospects
As our society has become more diverse, there is a growing awareness of the importance of inclusive education and its provision not just to children and families but also to society as a whole. This has resulted in a growth in the number and variety of job positions available, some of these are new roles not previously imagined.

Broaden your career opportunities with a Masters

A Masters in Inclusive Education and SEN can open up a range of job opportunities for you both in and out of the special educational needs environments that you may not have previously considered or even been eligible for.

Consider areas of administration, working as part of the inspectorate, tutoring on level 7 degree programmes, policy development, and research; The opportunities are much wider than you possibly are aware of and all of these opportunities put your expertise and experience to good use, enhancing your career opportunities.

Be a leader in inclusive education

With an MA in Inclusive Education and SEN, you have the opportunity also to lead and enhance provision of inclusive education to children and young adults. You will continue to have an impact on children at a critical part in their lives, but you can develop how and where you do this; by taking on advisory and consultation roles, lecturing roles, and inspectorate roles.

Elevate your employability

A Master’s degree will immediately increase your earning potential due to the wider range of career opportunities that will now be open to you. This Master’s in Inclusive Education and SEN will elevate your employability and give you the opportunity to command a higher pay scale than your less qualified peers.

What will a Masters mean to me in practice?
Gaining a Masters qualification in Inclusive Education and SEN, offers you a graduate qualification that will enhance your career prospects and professional knowledge in the area of Special Needs and Inclusive Education. This programme provides expert knowledge to support educators and those working with the increasing diversity of children with additional learning needs; but to further enhance the knowledge and understanding of the psychology and underpinning concepts in respect of Inclusion and SEN in the context of early education, Primary and post-primary education; and also from a parenting perspective, providing an understanding of the key principles which underly children’s physical, intellectual, mental health and wellbeing, and strategies and resources to help build inclusive environments in which these children can thrive.

The knowledge you will gain throughout this programme will enhance previously existing knowledge and will be beneficial for those working with children in early education, Special Needs, Primary education, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and specialists in mental health awareness and other specialisms. The Masters will provide valuable insights into strategies to support a range of disabilities, and you will develop an understanding of some of the complexities of social justice and education with a particular focus on Special Education and Inclusion. You will be encouraged to engage in a critical evaluation of what it means to allow children to flourish and attain well-being.

Throughout the programme you will be encouraged to engage with consideration of how cultural and societal contexts impact on children and adolescent development and learning, articulate the impact of social, cultural, and environmental contexts on the development of babies and children into adolescents and demonstrate the importance of providing appropriate resources reflecting the diversity of cultures and languages for the children with whom you will be working.

Completion of this programme will build upon your existing skills and competencies, enhancing the quality of education, and provision for children with additional needs in a variety of settings, thus opening up numerous career opportunities for those interested in working in this sector, for example in consultancy work, Lecturing in Higher Education, Management, non-governmental organisations, supporting the wellbeing of children and young people with additional needs, as well as developing your personal skills and academic knowledge.

Exit points on this Masters
After completing the two modules delivered in the first year of this course you will be awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Education should you wish to exit the programme and not continue to second year. If you wish to exit the programme after completing a further two modules (four in total), you will be awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Inclusive Education. Students who complete four modules and the required dissertation project will be awarded a Masters in Inclusive Education.

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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

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