School of Education

Special and Inclusive Education Student Profiles

These reflective accounts describe why our students chose to study at the University of Nottingham, their experience of the course and how it has helped develop their career. Take a look at:

  • Sarah, who studied online on the MA Special and Inclusive Education (Distance Learning) course
  • Jiaying, who studied the MA Special and Inclusive Education here on campus in Nottingham



Sarah Arthur - MA Special and Inclusive Education (Distance Learning) studentSarah Arthur

Course: MA Special and Inclusive Education (Distance Learning)
Year of graduation
: 2020
Home country: UK



Why did you choose this course?

I appreciated the flexibility of the course, also the modules looked interesting and practical in nature. As I was working as a teacher and SENCO already within an international school when I applied, it seemed like a good fit. 

How has the course helped you in your career?

It has helped to get the knowledge and qualifications that contributed to different roles I’ve had over the years (I started in 2016 and finished in 2020 and worked in three different schools/roles over that time period). In particular the knowledge gained helped as a co-teacher within inclusive international schools and having the qualification also made me feel more confident about taking on the learning support team leader role in a larger and more established school this academic year.  

Was there a particular module that you enjoyed the most?

They were each useful in their own way. ‘Communication and Literacy’ was very practically useful, as was ‘Relationships and Behaviour’. 

What was the best part of the course?

I enjoyed the discussions with other practitioners around the world and in various settings and learned a lot from them and their various perspectives. Although the dissertation was hard work, I also enjoyed the opportunity for independent research and analysis.   

What do you want to do now you've completed your degree?

I’m currently working as a teacher and team leader for learning support within an international school in an African country. I plan to stay working within education and inclusion, although in what capacity may change. I would be interested in doing further research and/or training for teachers in the future

Why do you think students should come to the University of Nottingham to study this course?

Tutors were supportive, approachable and knowledgeable. I cannot speak about going to Nottingham physically as I did the entire course via distance. However I found the course to be well organised, with ample opportunity to discuss with other students. I appreciated that there were not many ‘live’ sessions meaning it was much easier to organise around my schedule, even with working full-time and having a family.     


Jiaying Li - MA Special and Inclusive Education studentJiaying Li

Course: MA Special and Inclusive Education
Year of graduation
: 2021
Home country: China



Why did you choose this course?

I chose the University of Nottingham because it holds a high reputation around the world. I also liked the structure of the course, it was well organised and allowed you to choose optional modules according to your interest and your future career plan.  

How has the course helped you in your career?

This course has helped me with my critical thinking a lot. The ‘Debating Special and Inclusive Education’ module required me to consider some issues of special education from different perspectives. It pushed me to think outside of box to some extent. Moreover, hearing diverse ideas from different students and professors coming from all over the world can also expend your understanding and your horizon about special education.  
You can choose optional modules according to your interests and career plans. My goal is to become a behaviour therapist, so I chose the ‘Education for Students on the Autism Spectrum’ module. I systematically learned the basic knowledge, related theories and intervention about autism. It provided me with a good understanding of why children identified with autism experience these challenges. It also provided me the opportunity to come up with appropriate solutions for them.  
Joining this course has helped me find a job in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong is an international city, it requires professionals from all over the world to possess broad vision, high inclusiveness and critical thinking. Studying this course has provided me with opportunities to learn from professors and classmates with different educational, cultural and working backgrounds. It is like offering me a window to see the world as well as improve my acceptance of diversity. 

Was there a particular aspect of the course you enjoyed the most?

Students on this course come from all over the world and have various kinds of learning and working experience. You can hear different opinions from them. It can provide you a wider understanding and thinking about special education, as well as learning from the experience of other countries or organisations.   

What are your plans once you've completed the course?

As I already have a job offer, I will start working immediately when I finish my dissertation. 

Did you undertake any work experience or a placement while studying?

Due to Covid-19, I did not get any work experience. However, our tutors tried their best to enrich our extracurricular activities as much as possible. They arranged some interesting seminars, inviting people with special needs to share their experiences as well as sharing information about online courses or seminars of other organisations.  

Why do you think students should come to the University of Nottingham to study this course?

The structure of this course is good, as you can choose optional modules according to your interest and career plan. 
The quality of teaching is excellent. The tutors organise the teaching materials well and teach in interesting ways, utilising group discussions and games. They also truly care about students. They will set aside time for personal tutorials not just for your studies but also for your life and future plans. 
You will also have the opportunity to study with excellent students from all over the world. You won’t only be listening to tutors, but also your classmates who bring with them a wealth of different educational and working background.     


School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Contact us