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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course


The 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (DfE/DoH) outlines the need for schools and teachers to understand the social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) that can lead to behavioural difficulties.

This course helps teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of current research and best practice in this area.

This is a new and innovative postgraduate course that will enable you to study and research current and relevant issues concerning SEMH and its relationship to challenging behaviour.

It is suitable for teachers and allied professionals working within educational settings who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge of behaviour, SEMH and inclusion.

The course will allow you to develop skills to reflect critically on your own practice and current research. It will enable you to contribute to school development and strategic vision concerning behaviour and SEMH.


This course is relevant to both mainstream and specialist settings. The aim is to help teachers and other professionals respond effectively to the needs of pupils with behavioural difficulties and social, emotional and mental health issues (SEMH).

The two modules you will study cover theories of inclusion: how to make inclusion work for pupils with SEMH, behaviour theories and associated strategies to support pupils and a link to wider national policy.

Throughout the course, you will be helped to develop a critical understanding of theory alongside practical knowledge.

We will encourage you to make links between theory and your own practice and become a reflective practitioner who is able to think proactively and strategically about provision for pupils with behaviour, social, emotional and mental health needs.


  • Core Modules

    Critical Approaches to Inclusive Education

    • To engage with theories of inclusion and personalised learning.
    • To critically evaluate personalised learning practice in schools and educational settings.
    • To develop approaches to inclusive planning, teaching and assessment that ensures accessibility, challenge
    • and achievability for all pupils.

    Exploring Behaviour: Theories and perspectives for practice

    This module explores a variety of perspectives to understand the causes of ‘difficult’ behaviour. You will be encouraged to consider these different theoretical perspectives while developing support for students within an educational context. You will be able to reflect how your own practice and that of your context can be improved to provide holistic behaviour support. This module is aimed for teachers working in different contexts.


You will learn through lectures, face-to-face tutorials and by working in small discussion groups and pairs.

There is a focus on collaborative learning, building on the strength of shared experience, knowledge and expertise. During taught sessions, you will be encouraged to interact with your fellow professionals, allowing you to explore theory and practice.

Group activities also help you to develop your ideas through discussion with others before your approach the assessment tasks.

Each module is supported by a Virtual Learning Environment, where you can access key learning materials and use the discussion board.

In addition to weekly lectures, you also have access to the module tutor via email or in face-to-face tutorials. Our tutors have all worked professionally to a high level in the field, and have experience in supporting participants from a wide range of professional contexts and backgrounds.

Each module encourages you to link your developing knowledge and understanding to your own professional context.

You will explore inclusive practice for pupils with behavioural difficulties and social, emotional and mental health needs within lectures, and have the chance to consider how this applies to your own setting through discussion with other students and the assessment portfolios.


Due to the practical nature of the programme there are no examinations. The Postgraduate Certificate in Understanding and Supporting Behaviour is assessed by coursework.

Each module assessment will typically be a single submission portfolio of 5,000 words or equivalent.

Assessment tasks will involve critical reflection, professional work-based tasks and critical engagement with research and current thinking in SEMH.


Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford


The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

What we're researching

Dr Wayne Tennent, who teaches on the MA Education course, is an expert in reading comprehension, having written two books on the subject and led numerous projects in schools which have demonstrated impact on pupil achievement in this area. He works extensively with the United Kingdom Literacy Association.

The research of Nicole Whitelaw and Julie Gariazzo, is in the area of autism.

John Macklin, leader of the MA Leadership in Education, carries out research into leadership in schools in relation to complexity theory. Warren Kidd, PGCert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Course Leader, researches in the area of teacher identity and has published extensively in the area of sociology and teaching and learning. 

Our Professional Doctorate (EdD) course draws on the input of researchers from across the School of Education and Communities. It is led by Professor Gerry Czerniawski, who has published extensively in the areas of teaching and learning, teacher and teacher educator identity, continuing professional development (CPD) and pupil voice.

A founder member of the International Forum for Teacher Educator Development (InFoTED), he serves on the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Council and is chair of BERA's British Curriculum Forum. Gerry is a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

An important feature of this course is the support we give to students. Students are able to access support via email, as well as through one-to-one tutorials and within lectures. It is also exciting to see the support networks that students create themselves. The sharing of ideas and ongoing discussion about theory and practice allow students to explore and develop their own thoughts in a very supportive environment.

Nicole Whitelaw

PGCert Understanding and Supporting Behaviour, Course Leader

Dockland Campus

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This course will help you develop a range of transferrable skills that are desirable in a wide variety of careers.

These skills include knowledge of theories, legislation, policy and practice, computer literacy, planning and time management and written communication. It will also demonstrate your ability to engage in critical thinking.

The skills and knowledge developed on this course will allow those working in teaching to gain expertise in the increasingly sought after area of special needs.

However, this course could also support your career in areas such as therapy, support work, social work, educational psychology and work with adults with additional needs.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.