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Masters in Education in Special Educational Needs (M.EdSEN)

Masters in Education in Special Educational Needs (M.EdSEN)
Course Code
Major Code
2 year, Part-time
Closing date of Entry
Friday 1st May 2015 at 5pm

Dr Joyce Senior


Dr Joyce Senior



The Master of Special Educational Needs programme is a 90-credit taught modular post graduate degree programme delivered over two-years on a part-time basis. The programme is designed for teachers and other professionals involved in the education and care of persons with special educational needs and impairments. The general purpose of the M.Ed(SEN) programme is to develop and enhance participants’ knowledge of discourse and legislation related to SEN, of modes of provision and educational practices, as well as models of support and management for persons with special educational needs, whether in mainstream special education, clinical or other settings.

The specific aim of the programme is to prepare teachers and other professionals to work with a diversity of persons with special needs in the most inclusive and least restrictive environments. The core defining characteristic of the M.Ed(SEN) is that it is multidisciplinary in its approach to the education and care of persons with special educational needs. External contributions to the M.Ed(SEN) programme include inputs from expert practitioners working in a variety of professional settings. This multidisciplinary emphasis reflects current and accelerating changes in the legal, political, educational, medical, therapeutic and organisational contexts of special needs provision, both nationally and internationally.

The M.Ed(SEN) programme is of two years’ duration. The first year of the programme comprises two twelve-week teaching semesters, of which one week per semester is free for independent study, reading and research. During the first year, the attendance requirement is two evenings per week, with lectures from 5.00-7.00 pm. During the second year, students attend lectures two evenings per week during the first semester (September-December). A research project is completed during the second semester of the second year.



Learning Outcomes

The students will:

  • explore the issues and processes involved in special needs education at national level and in mainstream and special  school settings
  • become familiar with contemporary perspectives on developmental psychology in relation to neurological, cognitive, motor, emotional,  linguistic and numerical development.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the aetiology, assessment of and interventions for a range of disabilities/special educational needs
  • become familiar with the main support specialisms and therapies for persons with impairments and special educational needs
  • examine approaches to curriculum development with particular reference to IEP formulation and access to mainstream curricula
  • become familiar with assistive, augmentative and information technology for persons with disabilities and special educational needs
  • explore the educational opportunities and possibilities for inclusive lifelong learning for persons with disabilities and special educational needs
  • critically review current Irish legislation for people with SEN, with particular reference to equality and human rights legislation in an international context
  • examine models of parent-professional relationships, counselling and family support
  • become proficient in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Assessment Procedures

The course is divided into modules which are completed and examined within the semester in which they are offered. For example in the first semester, students will be required to complete assignments relating to the two modules taken during the first semester.  During the second semester, students will also complete two modules which will be assessed at the end of the semester (late April).  By the end of the second year, students are expected to submit a research project.

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