Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia) MA

London, Bloomsbury

This leading programme in the field of dyslexia prepares teachers to critically evaluate and develop evidence-informed practice to become specialist teachers and specialist assessors of learners with literacy difficulties. This programme is recognised by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and leads to Approved Teacher Status (ATS), Approved Practitioner Status (APS), and Associate Member of the BDA (AMBDA) and an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC).

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Fees to be confirmed
£5,900
Part-time students take 120 credits in Year 1 and 60 credits in Year 2, but tuition fees are split equally across both years (90/90). Therefore, students withdrawing in Year 1 must pay additional fees for the extra 30 credits.

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Fees to be confirmed
£14,500
Part-time students take 120 credits in Year 1 and 60 credits in Year 2, but tuition fees are split equally across both years (90/90). Therefore, students withdrawing in Year 1 must pay additional fees for the extra 30 credits.

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
Not applicable
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. A minimum of two years’ experience in an educational role e.g., teacher/teaching assistant is also a requirement and ideally, appropriate experience of working with children with literacy difficulties. Students will need access to pupils under the age of 16 with literacy difficulties to teach and assess. Students will need DBS clearance for modules two and three and the research report.

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: Level 3

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.

This programme is not suitable for international students on a Student visa.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree



Students will gain an understanding of how learners typically develop literacy skills and what happens when difficulties occur. Students will learn how literacy difficulties can be assessed and identified and how to develop a personalised support programme. As part of this programme students will learn to administer standardised psychometric tests (in their own educational setting), write full diagnostic reports and provide specialist teaching (in similar settings) for learners with literacy difficulties. Students will learn all the skills necessary to become a specialist teacher and assessor.

Who this course is for

This programme is suitable for applicants with a minimum of two years' relevant experience e.g. as a teacher/teaching assistant/speech and language therapist or in related fields. Applicants should have an interest in working with learners with literacy difficulties, and/or wish to gain the ATS, APS or AMBDA qualifications that will enable them to become specialist teachers or practising assessors with an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC).

What this course will give you

This programme is taught by a range of leading researchers and professionals in the field of dyslexia. It uniquely offers a rigorous academic programme combined with professional practice qualifications, fully recognised by the British Dyslexia Association and taught at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, an internationally recognised university ranked as world number one for education (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022). Students have access to leading researchers in the field and opportunities to create their own piece of research supervised and guided by the Department of Psychology and Human Development. We encourage continued contact with our alumni students, who continue to attend professional learning networks that occur regularly during the year.

The foundation of your career

Successful completion of the first two modules enables students to achieve the Approved Specialist Teacher/ Practitioner Qualification (ATS/APS) to support learners with dyslexia (up to the age of 18 years). Completion of the first three modules enables students to achieve the AMBDA qualification and an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC) qualifying them to undertake full diagnostic assessments (including reports for access arrangements and Disabled Students' Allowances) as well as to support learners as qualified specialist teachers. 

We encourage students to complete the full master's and in their second year students will also develop their own research skills and are taught to utilise these in future practice.

Employability

This programme offers opportunities for students to broaden their career horizons within their educational settings and elsewhere. Our graduates are currently working within a wide range of areas: some as specialist teachers of children with SpLD (dyslexia), others as specialist assessors; many combine both. This can be within educational settings or as consultants.

Graduates can also be found working as headteachers, special educational needs teachers, literacy lead teachers, special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos), local authority advisors, university lecturers, disability advisors, workplace skills advisors, university study skills tutors, specialist AMBDA tutors and in research roles. Students have also set up in partnerships together or independently, running their own consultancies and tuition/assessment services.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and associated professional practice qualifications are awarded by the BDA. Please note that whilst this course is accredited by the BDA, the BDA is not responsible for the day to day running of the course. Any feedback or queries should therefore be addressed directly to the Programme Leader at IOE.

Teaching and learning

Programme delivery will be 'mixed mode'; through a combination of online and face to face learning. A range of assessment methods are used, including: coursework assignments, portfolio of evidence, recordings of administering assessments and teaching pupils, plus a research report.

It is expected that for a 30 credit module there will be approximately 300 hours of study. This includes both lectures and self directed study.

Modules

We encourage students to study over 2/3 years via the Flexible/Modular mode. The part-time option is only recommended for students taking the government loan, as there is no flexibility to extend the time over 2 years. For loan students there are no exit points for a Post Graduate Diploma or Post Graduate Certificate and early exit may result in financial penalties.

The Evidence Informed Practice module and the Assessment of SpLD (dyslexia) module are both 45-credit modules as they include professional practice. The professional practice elements associated with these modules continue over more than one term.

The following three compulsory modules must be taken in this order: Understanding SpLD (dyslexia), Evidence Informed Practice (dyslexia), Assessment of SpLD (dyslexia).  

We recommend a Flexible modular journey for this programme. Students have a maximum of five years to complete all five modules.

The Evidence Informed Practice module and the Assessment of SpLD (dyslexia) module are both 45-credit modules as they include professional practice. The professional practice elements associated with these modules continue over more than one term.

Please note that the following three compulsory modules should be taken in this order: Understanding SpLD (dyslexia), Evidence Informed Practice (dyslexia), Assessment of SpLD (dyslexia).

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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake 5 modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a in Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia).

Fieldwork

Students are required to work with children and young people up to the age of 16 to demonstrate core competencies of the programme. Additional learners under 18 may be allowed with permission of the Module leader.

Placement

Students must find and have access to pupils: we do not find placements for students. Approximately thirty hours of teaching intervention is required (with one or more learners) and students will also need to find three pupils they can assess.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) Fees to be confirmed £5,900
Tuition fees (2023/24) Fees to be confirmed £14,500

Part-time students take 120 credits in Year 1 and 60 credits in Year 2, but tuition fees are split equally across both years (90/90). Therefore, students withdrawing in Year 1 must pay additional fees for the extra 30 credits.

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students can access loans of psychometric assessments from the department during the programme; students may want to purchase some of these for personal use whilst studying and after the programme ends. Prices will be provided during the programme. Please note purchase of tests is not a requirement.

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their report or dissertation.

This programme requires a completed DBS check for some compulsory modules. You will receive more information from UCL on how to complete the check once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer for the programme. The DBS application cost will be covered by UCL, but offer holders will also need to have their ID checked and verified at a Post Office, for which they will incur a charge of £12.75. The offer holder is also required to arrange and pay for any overseas police check that may be necessary; costs vary by country. For more information about the DBS application process, please contact the UCL Graduate Admissions team.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Part-time students may apply for the UK Government Postgraduate Loan. Visit the DfE website for information. Payments for the full master's are spread equally over the two years (students pay for 90 credits per year). Please note if a student leaves the course at the end of the first year, they will be required to pay the outstanding fees, as they will have attended the first 3 modules in year one (120 credits).

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding should take note of the funding application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • Why you want to study Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) at graduate level?
  • Why you want to study Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) 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. Please ensure you clearly outline your prior experience in the personal statement and demonstrate this meets the entry criteria.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.