University of Nottingham Malaysia

Special and Inclusive Education (MA)


Fact file

Qualification: MA
Fees: Malaysian – RM48,600 per course, Non-Malaysian – RM58,700 per course
Mode: 1-2 years full-time, 2-4 years part-time
Intake: September
Campus: Malaysia

In today's world, the importance of special needs and inclusive education cannot be overstated. It is a fundamental right of every individual to receive an education that caters to their unique abilities and supports their development. Special needs and inclusive education aim to provide equal opportunities for all learners, regardless of their diverse needs or disabilities.

By embracing special needs and inclusive education, societies foster a culture of acceptance, respect, and empathy. It promotes the idea that every individual has unique strengths and challenges and that everyone deserves an education that recognises and nurtures their potential. Inclusive education goes beyond mere integration; it ensures that all students are valued, included, and actively participate in the learning process.

In the Special and Inclusive Education MA programme at the University of Nottingham Malaysia, we recognise the significance of special needs and inclusive education in today's educational landscape. Our programme is designed to equip educators with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the diverse needs of learners and create inclusive classrooms.

Through coursework, practical experiences, and engagement with research, you will gain a deep understanding of the importance of inclusive education and develop strategies to effectively support learners with special needs. 

Course overview

This programme is designed for teachers or other professionals who have an interest in increasing their knowledge and skills in the field of special needs.

The MA Special and Inclusive Education is suitable if you are:

  • interested in developing your knowledge and understanding of children and young people with special educational needs 
  • working as a teacher or associated professional in mainstream education or specialised settings wishing to extend your skills and practice 
  • an experienced professional or new to working with children with additional needs 
  • Malaysia-based or an international student

The programme offers a comprehensive focus on contemporary debates within special and inclusive education including local, national and international policies and approaches. We focus on the specific needs of children with learning difficulties and disabilities, communication impairments, literacy difficulties/dyslexia, autism and ADHD to illustrate the challenges encountered in professional practice. 

Critical exploration of current theory and research inform consideration of pedagogical approaches as well as the development of effective systems and structures for working with parents/carers and different agencies.

This programme provides high quality professional development that offers flexibility for students to pursue areas of interest and specialisms. 

Advantages of studying MA Special and Inclusive Education at Nottingham

The internationally respected MA Special and Inclusive Education qualification supports career progression through:

  • evaluating effective approaches to supporting disabled children and young people including those with moderate to severe and complex learning difficulties and/or personal, social, emotional and behaviour difficulties 
  • exploring values and beliefs, policy, legislation, multi-agency working and involvement of families and disabled children and young people 
  • building confidence in your professional practice skills 
  • promoting personal development through reflection and critical analysis of your own beliefs and practices
  • increasing your academic and research skills which will support future doctorate level study including, for example, a Doctorate in Education or Educational Psychology or a PhD Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators

Course structure

For the MA in Education: Special and Inclusive Education, you will need to successfully complete 180 credits. This will be composed of two core modules and two electives of 30 credits each. In addition, you will need to submit a dissertation, worth 60 credits, in a subject related to one of the modules and approved by your tutor. 


Modules are assessed via a 6,000 word assignment. The dissertation is an original piece of work and should be of approximately 12,000–15,000 words on an approved topic.  

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A relevant second class honours degree (or international equivalent). Relevant experience may be required for some of the programmes. Non-UK qualifications will be assessed against this standard.

Malaysians applying as a mature student without the standard entry requirements but with substantial and relevant work experience (and have successfully passed APEL’s assessment through Malaysian Qualifications Agency) may be considered for an entry at the Postgraduate Certificate Level. Admission is at the discretion of the School.

Applicants must have graduated from an approved university. Other equivalent qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Entry requirements in the prospectus and website may not always apply and individual offers may vary.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic): 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each element)

TOEFL (iBT): 90 (minimum 19 in Writing and Listening, 20 in Reading and 22 in Speaking)

PTE (Academic): 71 (with no less than 65 in each element)

MUET: Band 4

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE (Academic) test results must be less than two years old and all IELTS must be the academic version of the test. MUET results are valid for five years from the date of the release of results.


Core modules 

Debating Special and Inclusive Education

This module focuses on critical issues in special education and inclusive education across the globe, and application of theories, policies, societal issues, and education and inclusive systems on educational provision for individuals who are marginalised, including those with special needs.

Key topics include:

  • Critiquing definitions of special and inclusive education.
  • Exploring the sociological, political and theoretical perspectives of inclusion.
  • Understanding inclusive pedagogies and systems. 
Practice Based Inquiry 

The content will involve you in active critical consideration of participating in and leadership of practitioner inquiry in relation to professional context mapping and workplace learning.

These processes will be achieved through:  

  • conceptualising different kinds of practitioner inquiry relevant to work-based understanding and development (purposes, processes, contexts, dilemmas, outcomes). 
  • examining a range of approaches to educational inquiry, with an emphasis on action research. 
  • developing an inquiry into your professional context. 
This substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course will normally be based on interests and skills you have developed in the course of the modules already studied. 

You will choose a topic in consultation with your course leader and an appropriate supervisor.  

Elective modules 

Students are required to choose two out of the three elective modules that we offer in each academic year.  

Communication and Literacy 
This module focuses on the importance of communication and its close links to the development of literacy. This module explores the development of both communication and literacy skills, issues that arise in individuals with communication and literacy difficulties and educational support for communication and literacy development.

Key topics include:

  • Critiquing theories of communication and literacy development.
  • Understanding the impact of communication and literacy difficulties including among individuals with learning disabilities, autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, visual processing disorders, and dyslexia.
  • Evaluating communication and literacy assessments and interventions. 
Responding Mindfully to Challenging Behavior
This module focuses on developing a critical understanding of theories on behaviour and relationship management, and reflecting on how these theories influence practical issues concerning the management of individuals with special needs.

Key topics include:  

  • Developing an awareness in reflexivity as a key resource and skill in facilitating other individuals and groups. 
  • Relating theories and practices related to managing relationships and behaviour in educational contexts. 
  • Understanding of whole school issues relating to responding mindfully to challenging behaviours and meeting the needs of individuals with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. 

Meet the tutor

Please note that we offer two to three modules at each teaching time point.

To maximise your study period, we highly encourage that you align your programme start date with the first module of your choice.

Please email the programme coordinator if you need help with module selection.

Programme coordinator: Dr Sharimila Ambrose

You can view the 2022/2023 course timetable and note this is subject to change. 


Find out about scholarships, financial assistance and specific research funding available to all mMalaysian and International students.


Find out about scholarships, financial assistance and specific research funding available to all Malaysian and international students.
Apply for this course


School of Education
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Jalan Broga,
43500 Semenyih,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
t:   +6 (03) 8924 8000  
f:   +6 (03) 8924 8005 
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Can I pursue this programme if I do not have a background in education?

While a background in education or related fields is beneficial, individuals from diverse backgrounds are also encouraged to apply. 

Are there opportunities for practical experiences and hands-on learning?

Yes, the programme integrates practical experiences and hands-on learning opportunities. These may include classroom observations, dissertations, and engagement with real-world case studies to enhance your understanding and application of inclusive education principles.

Can I pursue further research or a PhD after completing the Special and Inclusive Education MA programme?

Yes, the curriculum provides a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing further research or advanced studies in the field of special needs and inclusive education, including PhD programmes or research-focused positions.

Are there any scholarships or financial aid options available for this programme?

The University of Nottingham Malaysia offers a range of scholarships and financial assistance options for eligible students. 

What career opportunities can I expect after completing this programme?

Graduates of the Special and Inclusive Education MA programme can pursue various career paths, including special education teachers, inclusion coordinators, educational consultants, policy advisors, or researchers in the field of special needs and inclusive education.

Are there opportunities for networking and collaboration with professionals in the field?

Yes, the University of Nottingham Malaysia provides networking opportunities for students to engage with professionals in the field of special needs and inclusive education. These opportunities may include guest lectures, seminars, workshops, and collaborations with local schools or organisations working in the field.

Are there opportunities for international exposure or exchange programmes?

The University of Nottingham Malaysia offers various international exposure opportunities and exchange programmes. Students may have the chance to participate in study abroad programmes or engage in collaborative projects with partner institutions, expanding their global perspective on special needs and inclusive education.


University of Nottingham Malaysia

Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

DULN001(B) (473520-K)

telephone: +6 03 8924 8000
fax: +6 03 8924 8005

course enquiries: +6 03 8924 8686
Monday - Saturday 9:00am - 5:30pm (Except on public holidays)

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