Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module EDUC2431: Disability and Educational Needs: Impairment, Empowerment and Education

Department: Education

EDUC2431: Disability and Educational Needs: Impairment, Empowerment and Education

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop knowledge and understanding of and critically evaluate specific Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
  • To develop critical approaches to analysing and evaluating educational and multi-disciplinary research, policy and practices
  • To critically examine a range of perspectives on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities based on educational, historical, social, psychological, pedagogical, cultural and individual sources.


  • This module will encourage and provide opportunities to develop a viewpoint that all individuals possess varying degrees of skills and untapped potential. This viewpoint will be debated critically using a variety of lenses, including the interplay between popular, cultural and research informed understanding.
  • The module will explore different ways of understanding SENDs, and the challenges inherent with these different conceptualisations.
  • We will spend time exploring several specific SENDs and their implications for learners, teachers and wider society.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, the students should be able to demonstrate:
  • A critical understanding of contemporary themes within the research and inquiry in the field of Special Educational Needs and Disability.
  • An awareness of the links between ideology, policy and practice in SEND and wider society.
  • An understanding of how Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are characterised.
  • An awareness of sensory impairments (HI/ Deaf, VI/Blind), specific learning disabilities (SpLD) and social-emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEMH) as specific areas of focus to examine wider module themes.
  • A specific interest and expertise in an issue or Special Educational Need which will inform one summative assessment.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to critically evaluate how Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are conceptualized and characterized and the ways in which these judgments effect the educational experiences of individuals.
  • The ability to communicate understandings about a specific special educational need or disability in a research informed and evaluative manner.
  • The ability to critically evaluate a range of multi-disciplinary research relating to special educational needs.
  • The ability to identify the practical and theoretical implications of research relating to the inclusion of learners considered "special".
Key Skills:
  • The ability to participate in debates/discussions.
  • The ability to research specific topics of interest and communicate these findings to others
  • The ability to undertake an independent critique of current research
  • The ability to communicate complex ideas and explore sensitive issues with skill and sensitivity appropriate to the academic context

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module will be taught intensively over one term with two lectures per week and a weekly seminar.
  • This module will be taught through interactive lectures, seminars, digital video material and tutorials. Special Educational Needs and Disability are a broad and complex area of study which is approached from many disciplinary perspectives. Throughout the module students will be expected to read and research their own particular areas of interest in addition to materials provided by module staff.
  • Summative assessment will comprise of a poster on a specific SEND addressed in the module, critically examining major module themes. The summative submission deadline will be set after the taught section of the module has been completed.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Twice-weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Seminar to prepare for assignment 1 Occurs once prior to the submission date 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Poster Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Academic poster 1000 words or equivalent 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Students will be given opportunities for formative feedback before the summative assignment. A seminar dedicated to development of the academic poster will be offered to students. Formative feedback will typically be returned two weeks after submission.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University