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Why choose the School of Education

Ofsted – we are a ‘Good’ provider with Outstanding in Quality of leadership and management across our partnerships.

95% of our Education and Teaching graduates are in employment or further studies 15 months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes, 2023)

Over 90% of students across all courses are employed within the first six months of graduation

100% of our undergraduate Primary Education graduates have secured jobs by the end of their course

Our Early Childhood Education course ranks 8th in its subject table for graduate prospects on track (Complete University Guide, 2024)

All teaching-training staff have QTS and were previously employed as teachers and/or head teachers; we also have teaching staff who are school governors or active members of their national subject associations

About the course

There is a growing demand for people with specialist skills in the area of special educational needs and disability (SEND). This one-year course - specifically for those who have completed a relevant Foundation Degree or higher education qualification - enables you to top up to a full degree and prepares you to develop your career within SEND settings.

Develop your existing knowledge of contemporary theories policy and practices in SEND using your own experience of working with children in a variety of educational settings including residential special and mainstream schools.

Explore the complexity of defining inclusive practice; the barriers to development and learning that some children face; and understanding SEND in the context of family and society locally and globally. There is a strong focus on using your workplace to provide context and practical application.

Application for this course is direct to the University only.

Why choose this course?

  • Our Education courses have a high student satisfaction rating for our teaching (91%) and academic support (90%) (NSS 2022)
  • Gain a strong knowledge base in special educational needs and disability studies from a variety of professional perspectives
  • Develop your own individual academic and work interests linking your current practice to your developing theoretical understanding
  • Learn the importance of educational research and enquiry and carry out research in your specialist area
  • Benefit from a course that prepares you to work in multi-disciplinary education and care teams able to take on leadership and management roles within a SEND setting

with Professional Practice Year

This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

*Only available to UK/EU students.

with Foundation Year

A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.

Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.

With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.

The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.

This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.

Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?

  • Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
  • Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
  • Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
  • Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees

The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.

During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.


Course Leader - Dr Kathryn Nethercott

My research interests are in the areas of children, young people and families, as well as, professional working in the areas of inter-professional working and communication. Specifically in the areas of how professionals working with children, young people and their families engage with social care processes. I am also interested in undergraduate student motivation.

What will you study?

Research Project In Applied Special Educational Needs And Disability Studies

The project is an essential year for Honours degree students. The unit builds on the work of your Research Methods unit (EDD 010-3), where you studied the elements required to enable you to carry out research, which included approaches to research design and data collection; support for analysing quantitative and qualitative data; the role of academic and research literature; and guidance on the Ethical Approval process .

The purpose of this unit is to give you the opportunity to carry out an in depth study of an applied nature in the field of SEND, synthesising learning from other units whilst pursuing one area of interest in depth. The project will encourage you to integrate theoretical principles with practice and will allow you considerable scope for choice under the guidance of a supervisor, who will support you in discussing and refining your research and providing formative feedback on draft work. The area of interest may have been stimulated from your Foundation Degree (Level 5) studies, by the desire to extend subject knowledge in an area of intended specialism or by experience in your setting. Your project will therefore be an in-depth study of an SEND issue and may be of a general pedagogic nature or subject specific. The importance of the project is that it allows you to focus on your own interests whilst developing key academic and investigative skills within an identified research focus. Your research also allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of an area of practice relevant to your future career and will prepare you well for the process of becoming a reflective practitioner within your field of work.

You will be provided with a detailed unit handbook which makes clear links between the requirements of the research project and the tools to support this identified within the Research Methods unit.


Send: Policy And Practice

This unit aims to enable an in-depth exploration of the policy and emergent procedures that support individuals working with the SEND agenda.
By applying a broad view of policy, this unit encourages an incorporation of multi-dimensional perspectives, to view the holistic lives of individuals, whether they be child, young person, family or professional.
As agenda continues to change, practice and procedure are further developed to provide supportive mechanism across the spectrum of SEND, but what implications do these changes have for the lived lives and experiences of those most sensitive to such developments?

For those who completed our Foundation Degree in SEND, this unit aims to build on the Level 5 Unit Schools, Families, Community and Context.

Developing Professional Practice In Send

What influences the links between theory, policy and practice in the workplace? What is the importance of good leadership and management in a SEND setting? How can multi-professional working be facilitated?

This unit aims to explore your workplace and the relationships between theoretical perspectives and their practical implications. It focuses on the issues of organisational, legal and interpersonal aspects of leading SEND provision and the challenges of working in a multiagency context with diverse groups of people and roles.

Work-based elements will enable the synthesis between the theoretical concepts studied in the unit and the practice and policy you are working with. The use of personal reflection is encouraged to support your understanding of your own professional growth and development, and this will be enhanced through observed practice and formative discussions in the unit.

This unit enhances understanding gained in the units SEND: School, Family and community and context at Level 5 and SEND Policy and Practice at Level 6.

Research Methods In Applied Education

This Level 6 unit aims to prepare you for your research project. You will be guided in how to choose an appropriate area for research within the context of your work based placement. You will be introduced to key aspects of the research process, including the understanding of approaches to research, the development of appropriate research methods and data collection tools, ethical research and the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. By the end of the unit, you will be in a position to carry out an extended research project within your educational or work-based setting. 

How will you be assessed?

At Level 6 the assessment strategy for the course is less formative in nature and more summative. The first Research Methods unit that you take will introduce them to assessment at Level 6 and will act as preparation for the major piece of work that they undertake in the research project. All assessments are applied to your work or volunteer experience.

The assessments will include formal essays poster and PowerPoint presentations research proposal ethic approval documentation and a dissertation report. The research based dissertation will enable students to carry out their own research project guided throughout by a supervisor and will be the culmination of your work on the degree through the academic year. Throughout the course extensive use will be made of the University VLE (BREO) to provide information and further materials for study and facilitate interaction and discussion between students and between staff and students.


This course offers a route into a growing number of careers where the needs of SEND have to be explored understood and responded to including education local government charities and commercial businesses; you can also go on to become qualified to provide therapeutic support to children young people or adults with additional needs.

Alternatively challenge yourself with further study to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) or progress to a Master’s-level course in a related area. Please note that studying to gain QTS/EYTS requires GSCE grades A-C in maths English and science (or equivalent).

Entry Requirements

Related Foundation Degree/HND

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