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Children at school with a teacher

MEdInclusive Education

Why this course?

This course is a part-time, three-year taught Masters course which looks at additional support needs, inclusive pedagogy and collaborative practice.

It'll provide you with an opportunity to learn about the pedagogy and background, policies and procedures related to inclusive education.

The course is recognised by local authorities as desirable for all teachers working in, or looking to work in educational support.

You’ll learn from a wide group of teachers from all sectors and stages, like:

  • mainstream and special schools
  • early years
  • primary
  • secondary
  • further education

It's a requirement of the General Teaching Council of Scotland that teachers continually update their skills and experience throughout their careers. This course is designed to provide outstanding opportunities for teachers to develop their professional knowledge and practice in-line with the most current developments in research, practice, policy and legislation. 

Our lecturers are members of the Scottish Teacher Education Committee Inclusion Group and co-authors of the National Framework for Inclusion, commissioned by Scottish Government.


The course is only delivered part-time and classes are usually run on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays.

Guest lectures

Recognised experts in their field regularly contribute to the various classes throughout the course.

Speakers come from a wide range of disciplines and areas of practice including:

  • social work
  • speech and language therapy
  • educational psychology
  • early years practitioners
  • classroom practitioners
  • parents
  • lawyers
  • members of the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children team
  • play therapists 

as well as representatives from organisations such as:

  • Place 2 Be
  • Police Scotland
  • Inclusive arts organisations
  • Disability groups
  • Local Authority and Scottish Government representatives

What you’ll study

Year 1

You'll attend three classes in Year 1 - one class per semester. Each class is three hours per week, delivered either on a Tuesday evening or on Saturday morning. In total each class should take 200 hours including self-study.

Postgraduate Certificate

If you decide to complete your studies after one year, you'll graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert).

Year two

You'll also attend three classes in Year 2 - two elective classes and one compulsory.

The compulsory class - Research Methods and Reasoning - will give you the necessary skills and understanding to undertake a dissertation at Masters level. It's delivered entirely online via our virtual Learning Environment, My Place, during semester 1.

Just like Year 1, you'll have one class per semester. The expected study time is also 200 hours, including self-study.

Postgraduate Diploma

Students who decide to complete their studies at the end of year two will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Year three

You’ll carry out a research dissertation in a subject area of your choice or a strategic leadership and work based project.


If you go the dissertation, we'll allocate a supervisor for one-to-one support while you carry out and report your dissertation. We'll also try our best to match you with the best fit for your area of specialism. You can complete your final dissertation by distance learning so you have the flexibility to finish your studies around work commitments.

Work based project

As an alternative to a dissertation, you can instigate a strategic change initiative at work and evaluate its impact on your learning.


There will be a one-day induction over a weekend before the course begins where you'll be introduced to the course, receive guidance on study skills and be introduced to university systems, like the library and Myplace.

Programme Leader

Dr Lio Moscardini is the programme leader.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Understanding Inclusive Education

This class is designed for those who teach, or who might in the future teach children or young people with additional support needs. It focuses on:

  • return to study as an adult learner
  • historical development of provision for additional support needs and inclusion and on the ideas underlying patterns of provision
  • concepts of inclusion, additional support for learning and of educational support
  • effective provision for additional support needs and inclusion within the new legislative framework.
Providing Effective Educational Support

This class provides a framework that allows analysis and evaluation of the experience of the learner, of professional practice, provision and policy. Areas to be addressed may include:

  • theories of learning, teaching and the curriculum
  • consideration of the implications of the above for classroom experiences
  • strategies for observation and assessment of aspects of the learning environment
  • looking at the potential barriers in relation to learning and how to overcome them in order to support the needs of learners
Working Together in Educational Settings

The advent of Getting Right for Every Child and the Children and Young People Act (2014) creates a context in which those working in educational settings are required to work with a wide range of agencies, parents and carers, and children and young people themselves.  

This class will explore the opportunities, tensions, dilemmas and practical problems in implementing current policy and legislation. It aims to support collaborative practice by:

  • examining the concepts and issues involved in collaborative teamwork
  • identifying aspects of successful practice
  • recognising barriers to successful working, their source, and range
  • developing strategies to avoid or overcome barriers and build successful practice, thereby promoting and sustaining a positive learning environment.
Research Methods & Reasoning

This class provides support in developing a critical and informed understanding of research methods in relation to your own planned dissertation project. It also provides support in understanding research ethics and how they relate to your own research and provides support in meeting the requirements of the ethical approval process.

Elective classes

Inclusive Pedagogy

This class focuses on developing inclusive practice through supporting individuals within the context of a rich learning environment that is accessible to all children.

It's designed for all teachers who have a responsibility for meeting the learning needs of all children and young people. 

It focuses on of ways of identifying and responding to the learning needs of the individual within the context of classroom practice and support structures.

It considers issues related to pedagogy and problems that might arise from labelling and pathologising. 

Supporting Numeracy

This class aims to develop teachers’ understanding of children’s mathematical development so that they are equipped to identify and support children struggling in this area.

Teachers will learn to apply their knowledge of children’s mathematical development and processes of educational support.  This is within the context of an inclusive pedagogy which focuses on ways of teaching that are common to all learners.

The course content is theoretically underpinned by two internationally recognised research-based frameworks: Cognitively Guided Instruction developed at the University of Wisconsin: Madison and Maths Recovery. 

Supporting Literacy

It is a requirement of Curriculum for Excellence that teachers of all sectors and subjects address literacy in the course of their teaching.

This class is designed to support teachers’ developing understanding of their role in developing children’s literacy and in supporting other teaching staff in doing so.

You'll consider issues arising from the diverse requirements of the various school contexts.

You'll develop an understanding of ways of teaching, talking and listening, reading and writing within the context of inclusive pedagogies (Assessment is for Learning; emotional literacy; thinking skills; digital literacy), along with ways of relating this learning to your own learners, establishments and practice.

Health & Wellbeing

This class will focus on children’s health and wellbeing and their main determinants.

Understanding the social nature of childhood and the child underpins work with children.

It's essential that those who work with children have a developed an up-to-date understanding of recent research evidence as well as accepted theories of children’s social development. 

The impact of Scottish Government policy and initiatives on practice will be examined and you'll be encouraged to evaluate your own role in supporting the well-being of children, for example, nurturing children in ways that help them to learn.

Understanding Social, Emotional & Behavioural Needs

The first of these two modules focuses upon enabling students to come to an understanding of why pupils may present with SEBD and the needs that derive thereof.

It will explore a wide range of explanations - psychological, sociological and physiological; issues around self-esteem, motivation and identity; and the relationship between SEBD/N and learning.

Responding to Social, Emotional & Behavioural Needs

The second module focuses upon the range of responses advocated in the policy context and the literature, drawing from a range of disciplines and focusing upon inter-professional working, as advocated in GIRFEC.

Students will be encouraged to examine the responses in relation to their own professional contexts.

Please note - this second module can only be undertaken by those who have successfully completed the first module.

Supporting Positive Futures & Transitions

Supporting Positive Futures & Transitions is a group work programme designed to support children and young people (aged 10-14) who may require additional support in terms of their mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

The approach draws upon social constructivist theory, multiple intelligence theory and theories of motivation.

Students will gain insight into the approach and its theoretical underpinnings.

They would be expected to implement the approach within their own professional settings and/or to demonstrate impact upon their own professional practice.

Attachment & Nurture

This module builds upon the three core modules within the MEd in Inclusive Education.

It draws upon a range of insights from a range of disciplines to enable students to further their understanding of how to support children who have experienced trauma and highly adverse circumstances, enabling teachers to adopt a pro-active, rather than a reactive, approach to underlying behavioural difficulties.

It offers a contemporary perspective on early psychological development important for mental health and effective learning. It will also provide a context for operationalising this knowledge within existing educational supports and structures, such as GIRFEC and Staged Intervention.


The dissertation will enable you to carry out a detailed study focussed upon an area of specific interest. It can either take the form of a literature-based study or an empirical study. If an empirical study, you might be able to gain access to an educational establishment to carry out your study subject to gaining ethical approval from the University of Strathclyde and undertaking disclosure procedures which are required by the Scottish Government if requiring access to a school. 

Learning & teaching

This course is taught on campus and provides the opportunity for teachers to learn alongside colleagues from the widest possible range of educational settings, from mainstream primary and secondary schools to highly specialised provision, including secure units, teachers within the prison service, home visiting teachers and more. 


Each class is assessed by written assignment. These are usually practice-based.

Entry requirements

You'll need:

  • a degree/relevant professional teaching qualification and GTCS registration
  • relevant experience within an educational setting
  • employed in a context where you are working to support the learning of children and/or young people

Contact us


Inclusive Education

Qualification: MEd, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

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