Special and Inclusive Education (Autism) MA
This MA will develop students’ knowledge of special and inclusive education, focusing on autism. Led by the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), students will be introduced to cutting-edge theory and research, and consider how it links to policy and practice. This MA will appeal to students looking to develop their professional practice and/or progress to doctoral study.
Modes and duration
Part-time students typically complete three modules in their first year (90 credits) and one module plus the dissertation OR two modules plus report in their second year (90 credits).
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
A minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants will also normally have some related professional experience.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students will gain a comprehensive and critical understanding of theory and research relevant to special and inclusive education, as well as its applicability to policy and practice; all with a specific focus on autism as led by the CRAE team. Through a variety of taught sessions, independent activities and group/individual assessments, students on the programme will graduate with a broad range of knowledge, interpersonal contacts, and skills related to the field of inclusive education.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Special and Inclusive Education (Autism).
This course sits within the MA Special and Inclusive Education (MASIE) programme. Autism route students take three compulsory modules (90 credits) and a) two additional Autism modules (60 credits) plus 30 credit report OR b) one additional Autism module plus 60 credit dissertation.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
MA Special and Inclusive Education (MASIE) students taking the Autism route will take two 30 credit compulsory foundational MASIE modules, one 30 credit compulsory Autism-focused module, and one of two optional Autism-focused modules. They must additionally choose a 60 credit dissertation OR a 30 credit report in their final year.
- Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education
- Research Design and Methodology
- Autism: Research and Practice
In addition to the three compulsory modules students take at least ONE of the two optional Autism modules from the following list. If they choose to do a 30 credit report rather than a 60 credit dissertation they will take an additional 30 credit optional module in autism or, with permission from the Programme Leader, take another 30 credit optional module relevant to the field of special education.
- Autism Education in Practice
- Special Topics in Autism Research and Practice
Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 11,000 words (60 credits) or a research report of 6,500 words (30 credits). Students will work closely with a supervisor who will oversee their chosen research project related to autism.
Teaching and learning
The MA is taught through blended lectures, group discussions, small group and/or one-to-one tutorials. Compulsory and optional modules are assessed through a range of different assessment types, including written and oral assignments. For some modules students may choose from a selection of assignment titles or may be able to negotiate their own title. In addition, they will be required to write either a report or a dissertation in their final year of the programme.
Contact hours are module dependent, but each 30 credit module will equate to 300 hours of study time. Each module will include contact with faculty via a range of forums (e.g., individual tuition, whole/small group lectures/seminars).
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Deadline: 31 December 2020
- Full tuition fees and some allowances (Up to 3yrs)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates could seek future employment in a broad range of areas, for example: senior leaders in mainstream schools, special schools, or other educational settings; and/or directly supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including those on the autistic spectrum. Graduates may follow pathways within specialist services for children and young people with SEND or SEND charities, including those specialising in autism. Graduates may choose to pursue a research pathway and/or work in Higher Education, or in government and/or policymaking positions, or as consultants.
Students on this programme can broaden their career horizons within the educational settings in which they work (if applicable) and/or develop skills that can be used in a wide range of careers (within or outside the field of special education). Students will also develop skills in the areas of: personal and time management; oral and written communication; collaborative working; computing and IT; critical and adaptive thinking; problem solving; research and inquiry.
Why study this degree at UCL?
This programme provides students with the opportunity to engage with the latest theory and research on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), whilst concurrently specialising in autism. Led by academics from the world-leading Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), together with a team of internationally-recognised tutors (researchers, academics, and professionals) from the Department of Psychology and Human Development (PHD), students will benefit from a cutting-edge programme of taught sessions, independent activities and group/individual assessments; all of which will deepen their knowledge, challenge their thinking and enhance their employability. London offers a rich and diverse population so students can focus on neurodiversity within a wide range of individuals and communities.
Students on this MA benefit from a rigorous academic programme. Critical engagement with current research and evidence-informed practice on special and inclusive education (focused on autism) provides a thorough grounding for those new to the field. It also challenges the thinking and deepens the knowledge of those with prior (academic, personal or professional) experience in special and inclusive education and/or autism. Input from a broad range of experts (including autistic people, their parents and their educators) ensures strong relevance to practice and the crucial inclusion of insider expertise.
The programme is designed for national and international students with rich and varied professional and/or personal experiences; offering a valuable opportunity for networking and collaborative learning. At the end of the programme, students are encouraged to join professional learning networks; to continue their personal and professional development and to provide further opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. The programme, along with the diverse range of events and initiatives provided by CRAE, PHD, UCL Institute of Education and UCL, offers a transformative experience for students interested in special and inclusive education (with particular reference to autism).
Department: Psychology & Human Development
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Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
This programme would appeal to those working within education (e.g., teachers, teaching assistants) who have an interest in working with children, young people or adults with special educational needs and disabilities, particularly those on the autistic spectrum. We particularly welcome those with personal experience of autism (e.g., autistic people, parents/carers).
- Visa nationals
- 31 May 2021
- Non-visa nationals
- 30 July 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Special and Inclusive Education at graduate level
- why you want to study Special and Inclusive Education at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
We would additionally like to learn:
- Why you are interested in following the specialist Autism route and what attracted you to this programme.
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