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Studieplan 2021/2022

MASPED Master in Special Education: Practical Skills Transformative Learning

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Master in Special Education: Practical Skills Transformative Learning



Studiets nivå og organisering

The programme is taught over a period of three years.

As a part time program, the students do not qualify for a visa for living permanently in Norway. The costs for travel and stay are for the students themselves to cover.


Learning outcomes


At the end of the programme the student will have demonstrated:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the theory of knowledge and a critical understanding of different ideologies, paradigms and perspectives in special education
  • A comprehensive understanding of research methodology its applicability in varied contexts
  • A comprehensive understanding of learning theories and teaching methods, explored through direct experience of implementation in different locations and settings
  • A reflective awareness of the influence and importance of space, materials and practice in facilitating transformation and transformative learning


At the end of the programme, the student will be able to:

  • Identify pedagogic opportunities in children and young peoples’ development and learning journey
  • Undertake critical reflection and evaluation of academic arguments in respect of practical  and theoretical problems
  • Carry out independent and original robust research, using appropriate methods
  • Take responsibility for own autonomous learning and self transformation
  • Communicate research findings in an effective and accessible way, orally and in writing.
  • Use practical skills as tool to develop practice in special education.

General competences:

At the end of the course students will be have gained the following general competences:

  • To be able to write in a coherent and accessible way
  • To engage in innovative and entrepreneurial activities
  • To operate as an effective member of a team in an international context
  • To be able to plan and deliver projects, on time and to a sufficiently high quality


Course structure

The MA programme will be delivered on a collaborative basis in both the UK and in Norway. It will bring students together in a series of seven intensive study blocks over the three years of study. Students will be expected to complete a series of tasks, and learning activities to include academic reading, reflective peer learning and assignments in between the formal study blocks.

Learning will take place primarily at Inland Norway University of Applied Science and The Field Centre, Ruskin Mill Land Trust (UK). 

Course 1: The philosophy of science and the history of special education
This course will be taught in Lillehammer (Norway). 

Course 2: Research methods and situated transformative action research
Lectures and seminars in Lillehammer ( Norway) and at The Field Centre, Nailsworth (UK). The course is divided in two parts, each completed with an exam.

Course 3: Theoretical approaches to practical skills transformative learning
This course will be taught at the Field Centre, Nailsworth (UK). 

Course 4: Special education and symptoms of disabilities
This course will be taught at the Field Centre, Nailsworth (UK).

Course 5: Work based learning: Enhancing professional practice
This course will be taught at the Field Centre, Nailsworth (UK).

Due to the practical nature of the course and its intentions in respect of the development and evaluation of innovative approaches to pedagogy, the programme includes a work based learning element. Students will be expected to secure their own placement within a relevant role and/or work place, to be agreed by the programme team.


This international master programme in Special Education is fully taught in English and focuses on learning processes that arise when students engage in practical and estethical activities.

Through a combination of theoretical, practical and experimental approaches to special pedagogics we aim to facilitate critical debate and evaluate existing perspectives in the field. In addition we will work with developing new and innovative approaches in the field of education, especially with reference to children and young people with learning disabilities and / or special needs.

The primary goals of the Masters include:

  • Develop and create innovative practical approaches to teaching and learning in special needs education
  • Recognize and meet children and youth with disabilities and/ or special learning difficulties with knowledge, respect, dignity – in a collaborative process
  • Develop conscious awareness of educational potential, through the re-connection of the hand (practical), the heart (emotional) and the head (intellectual)
  • Develop conscious awareness of pedagogic possibilities and potential in new situations, contexts and locations
  • Facilitate transformative learning through the relocation of the point of learning from the head to the hands and heart
  • Effectively evaluate, reflect and research own practice in order to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning within a special needs context, reflecting the specific needs and resistances presented by the individual learner. 

Study in Nailsworth and Lillehammer

The study programme is organised around the students own practical and aesthetic skills. It is a part time programme with a duration of three (3) years and 120 ECTS credits (240 UK Credits). The programme will be delivered in Nailsworth (England) and in Lillehammer (Norway), through 4 two-week and 2 one-week residental blocks.

Theoretical studies and philosophical debates will be combined with practical use of experimental learning in a number of workshops.

Opptakskrav og rangering

The applicant must upload the following documents in their application:

  • Bachelor’s degree diploma with transcript (Degree must meet the requirements of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education)
  • A reflective essay on your practical aesthetic skill, describing your experience and its relevance to the programme (maximum 1200 words – this can include examples e.g. photographs)
  • Work certificate confirming a min. of 2 years full time relevant work experience with children and/or adults within an educational context (must be written by your employer. CV is not accepted. The certificate must state if it is full time or if it is part time (if part time; hours or work percentage must be included in the reference))

If you are not a Norwegian citizen: Copy of your passport

The qualification and ranking of the applicants will be based on the documents requested above.

If there are more qualified applicants than places on the program, candidates could be subject to an additional admission interview. 

Note that this master programme is part time with sessions in both Norway and UK. 

English Language requirements

Applicants must document their proficiency in English at a certain level.

The English language requirements applies to all except applicants native to UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia or the nordic countries, who do not require to document any language proficiency.

You will find the list of accepted courses and minimum scores accepted here.


Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Language of instruction - English


This programme adopts the following assessment and work requirements:

  • Oral exams
  • Written essays
  • Written reports
  • Reflective and evaluative reports
  • Reflective journal
  • Peer questioning and discussion
  • Professional practice portfolios
  • Peer learning sets
  • On-line seminar participation

All credit bearing courses will use the marking range from A to F (F=Fail).