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Foundation Degree in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Apply Now »

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Level: 5

Location: The RoundHouse

Years: 3

Weeks: 24

Hours: 3.00

Start: 17/09/2018

Days / Times:

Tuition (£): 4000.00*

Interview: Y

Course Summary

Are you a non-graduate educational practitioner working with children and young people who have been identified as having a special educational need or disability?  Are you working in settings such as education, health and social care?  Would you like to develop a sound base of understanding and enhanced specialist knowledge in the area of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?  If so, our Foundation Degree in SEND is for you.

You will take a module to develop your study skills, engage in personal and professional development, and gain an introduction to SEND.  You will explore developmental diversities, ethics, attitudes and values, and protecting children and young people with SEND. 

As you progress through the course, you will also learn about working with parents, carers and caregivers, conduct action research in a SEND context, and study two optional modules.

This HEFCE-regulated course will be delivered at the Roundhouse Campus through a three-hour weekly session. The sessions will include lectures and student participation in group activities and presentations. You will be expected to undertake independent study for at least an additional 100% of contact time to research and fulfil module assignment requirements.

All students need to be employed or volunteering for at least two days a week within an environment which is supporting children or young people who have been identified as having a special educational need or disability. This is an obligatory requirement for the duration of the three-year course.

The course will run with a minimum of six students. It is taught by a small team of staff who have an array of experience with SEND and children's and young people's services.


  • This course will provide you with a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary understanding of the primary drivers of SEND locally, regionally and nationally
  • It offers an opportunity to develop further the range of knowledge, skills and understanding required for working in SEND settings
  • It provides a progression pathway for teaching assistants who may wish to upskill in the area of SEND
  • Options enable you to select modules to meet your personal, professional and employment needs
  • Achievement of this qualification provides a firm basis for progressing to a full honours degree (top-up only required)

This course is regulated by HEFCE and awarded by the University of Derby.

Entry requirements

All applicants will be invited to an interview to discuss their qualifications, experience and any other related issues. You will need:

  • 80 UCAS points from A-level or equivalent relevant qualifications such as the Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support in Teaching in Schools
  • To be working or doing voluntary work in the sector, with access to a suitably qualified mentor to support your professional development during the course
  • Five GCSEs at grades A*- C, including Maths and English or the equivalent.

However, if you cannot evidence all of the entry criteria, we do consider all the information that you include in your application. We will want to see that you are enthusiastic and motivated to take this course and that you have the potential to benefit from university study.  

International students will need to demonstrate the minimum IELTS score identified for this course in English, in addition to having a successful interview.  Please contact the College for more information.

All applicants are subject to approval from the University of Derby. 

Course Content

Core modules:

  • Ethical Practice, Attitudes and Values
  • Introduction to Developmental Diversities
  • Introduction to SEND
  • Personal and Professional Development for the SEND Practitioner
  • Protecting Children and Young People with SEND
  • Starting to Study
  • Action Research in the SEND Context
  • Exploring Developmental Diversities
  • Working with Parents, Carers and Caregivers in the SEND Context

Optional modules:

  • Introduction to Speech, Language and Communication
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • SEND and Transitions into Adulthood
  • Supporting Learners with SEND
  • The Changing World of the SEND Practitioner

Modules may be subject to change and will be timetabled at the beginning of each academic year.

How will I be assessed?

You will learn through reflective tasks, work-based activities, presentations, tutorials and the use of online resources. There are no exams so you will be assessed using your work-based activities, creative presentations and essays.

Everything you study will be relevant to your everyday work. You will also have the support of a work-based mentor as well as the teachers at College.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?


What can I do after this course?

You can:

  • Move ahead in your vocational field into senior roles in a variety of settings
  • Continue to a PGCE (Post-14 Education) after completing Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree or Higher Diploma in Teaching Disabled Learners
  • Progress with direct entry to the third year of an honours degree programme such as the BA (Hons) Education Studies (SEND Pathway); BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies; or BA (Hons) Health and Social Care

This qualification is awarded by the University of Derby.


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* Tuition - This figure is the fee to be paid if you are not entitled to any concessions.
*** Co-Tuition - This figure is the fee to be paid if you are entitled to any partial concessions.

Please Note: All fees for Higher Education courses are per year

This course is run at the Roundhouse Campus

About the Roundhouse »

Harli-Marie Richards

Harli-Marie Richards

Exploring the rewards of a childcare career

Taking children to see piglets and new-born lambs is all part of a day’s work for nursery practitioner Harli-Marie Richards. Having completed her childcare apprenticeship, Harli-Marie was taken on permanently by Derby College’s Little Explorers nursery at Broomfield Hall campus.

Before embarking on her apprenticeship, Harli-Marie took A-levels but had no interest in university. She spotted the nursery opportunity and hasn’t looked back since. She worked towards an advanced NVQ qualification while undertaking on-the-job training.

It’s a great job and I love the fact that the children are free to enjoy the outdoor space. Little Explorers is special and I can’t imagine any other nursery quite like ours. I definitely see my longterm career in nursery care – and I applied straight away when a permanent role became available at Little Explorers.
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