ME7020: Inclusive Education: Policy, Dimensions and Trends


Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

ME7020: Inclusive Education: Policy, Dimensions and Trends

Module Title Inclusive Education: Policy, Dimensions and Trends
Module Code ME7020
Module Tutor Lynda Kay
School School of Education
CAT Points 30
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

This module will enable students to critically consider a range of perspectives about mainstream, special and inclusive education. It will begin by considering the different theories and concepts through which a study of special and inclusive education policy and its development may be understood.  The module will also consider the wider contexts in which special and inclusive education policy is currently formulated and developed.  It will take into account the impact that social and political ideologies; discourses; key constituencies; economic and social imperatives may also have in the development of such policy and its differential effects in practice.  The module will draw upon concepts and theories from the fields of special/inclusive education; policy studies; politics; change management; sociology and philosophy in order to critically appreciate the nature, scope and values of special and inclusive educational policy and their implementation in practice.  There will also be an exploration of change management theory and the ‘top-down’ ways in which special education and inclusive policies have been implemented nationally, as well as a consideration of the ‘bottom-up’ ways in which policy may be developed at local, organisational and classroom level.


Students will develop a greater academic and professional understanding of both policy and implementation issues; improve their capacity to identify organisational problems, concerns and CPD priorities; undertake organisational audits and develop policies and practices with due regard to current legislation guidance and local needs and interests. 

Indicative Syllabus

In addition to the above descriptive content, the terms ‘inclusion’ and ‘special education’ will be examined in policy; human rights; international; historical and professional practice terms.  There will also be a critical review of the legal framework of inclusion including legislation, government and agency guidelines. The dimensions of Inclusion will be discussed and include not only SEN and disability but also social class, gender and ethnicity. Students will evaluate key theories of change and the roles of change agents and consider the implications of the terms ‘change’ and ‘improvement’.    A critical consideration will also be given to concepts of evaluation in relation to organisational improvement practices and initiatives.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should:


1  have a critical understanding of  how special and inclusionary policy may be influenced by ideological, global, national, regional and local dimensions.


2  analyse inclusion and relevant special educational policy using key theoretical and conceptual tools in a critical and constructive manner


3  develop greater knowledge and a critical understanding of theories, processes and practices of inclusive education and the impact these may have on an educational organisation.


4  have a critical understanding of how to influence organisational policy-making utilising appropriate change management theories.


5  develop a critical knowledge of ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ processes (including system and organisational factors) which can affect inclusionary developments and practice.


6  critically analyse the processes through which inclusive/special educational policy can be arrived at and evaluate the implications of policy decisions.

Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 20
Independent Learning Hours: 280
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 100% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 5000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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