University of Chester

Programme Specification
Inclusion and Marginalisation MA
2017 - 2018

Master of Arts

Inclusion and Marginalisation

Inclusion and Marginalisation

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester campuses;  educational and professional settings

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years part-time

6 Years

Variable - Variable




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

National Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (2014)


Academic and Professional Programmes PG Module Assessment Board

Wednesday 22nd July 2015

The MA in Inclusion and Marginalisation aims to:

  1. Develop knowledge and expertise around the issue of inclusion and marginalisation.
  2. Contextualise learning within selected theoretical frameworks which afford salient platforms for research.
  3. Enable students to generate evidence within areas of marginalisation and inclusion, and to use this evidence to analytically dissect problems and consider meaningful solutions.
  4. Enable students to evaluate changing contexts and the success of initiatives and lessons learned from them.

Programme Learning Outcomes 

  1. Critically engage with theoretical frameworks and literature regarding inclusion and marginalisation.
  2. Critically review policy relating to inclusion and marginalisation and its impact on individuals and groups of people in different contexts.
  3. Make critical use of research evidence in examining practices and behaviours pertinent to marginalised individuals and groups of people in different contexts.
  4. Formulate valid conclusions that link theory to practice.
  5. Think independently about the roles of agencies and professionals working in relation to marginalised individuals and groups of people.
  6. Critically review the ways in which research methodology supports enquiry in relation to marginalised individuals and groups of people.

Knowledge and Understanding

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Critically engaged with theoretical frameworks and literature;
  • Harnessed insights into subject knowledge;
  • Critically reflected on the ways in which research methodology supports professional enquiry;
  • Applied critical considerations when undertaking research;
  • Made effectual use of professional learning to assess impact on practice

Key Skills

  • Communication;
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology;
  • Improving own Learning and Performance;
  • Working with Others;
  • Problem Solving.


Application of Number

  • Selected and used appropriate research methodology, methods and applications for data handling.

Information Literacy and Technology

  • Used the University's VLE to access information;
  • Used electronic research skills;
  • Accessed data bases for research and information;
  • Used the University's e portfolio to maintain a professional learning journal, where appropriate.

Improving own Learning and Performance

  • Critically reflected on professional practice;
  • Developed new pedagogical and leadership skills;
  • Used initiative and managed own learning;
  • Made independent use of supervision.

Working with Others

  • Engaged in group presentations and disseminations;
  • Worked with professional colleagues to share ideas, research and good practice.

Problem Solving

  • Generated and applied new knowledge;
  • Analysed complex concepts.

Transferable Professional Skills

Transferable Professional SkillsThe qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  • The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;
  • The independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

(CD7501, CD7502, CD7503, CD7504, CD7505, CD7506, CD7507, CD7508, CD7509)

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

  • Made critical use of research evidence;
  • Formulated valid conclusions that link theory to practice;
  • Thought independently about essential issues, concepts and ideas.

(CD7501, CD7502, CD7503, CD7504, CD7505, CD7506, CD7507, CD7508, CD7509)

Practical and Professional Skills

  • Critically reflected upon aspects of professional practice in the light of key theoretical perspectives;
  • Make effectual use of professional learning to assess impact on practice.

(CD7501, CD7502, CD7503, CD7504, CD7505, CD7506, CD7507, CD7508, CD7509)


  • Written to academic standards required at Masters level;
  • Engaged in meaningful debate and critical discussion;
  • Read critically;
  • Synthesised written and oral information;
  • Maintained a learning journal where appropriate.

(CD7501, CD7502, CD7503, CD7504, CD7505, CD7506, CD7507, CD7508, CD7509)

   Key themes of the MA Inclusion and Marginalisation are: 

  •  The development of greater knowledge and understanding of inclusion and marginalisation;
  •  The impact of marginalisation on people’s development, experiences and lives;
  •  The critical assessment of policy and practices designed to bring about inclusion;
  •  Wider social, cultural and community issues that are integral to the study of inclusion and marginalisation;
  •  Research methodologies and theoretical perspectives;
  •  The promotion of research supported by the application of theoretical frameworks in the areas of inclusion and marginalisation, often with a particular local focus, as described above. 

The qualifications offered are in line with QAA (2001), the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), and are compliant with the Integrated Qualifications Framework for the Schools Workforce. The Programme is at Level 7 of the FHEQ and the IQF. This is a part time Programme. There are four taught modules and one research module. Two of the taught modules attract 20 credits (10 ECTS) through 14 hours of tutor contact time, and the other 2 taught modules attract 40credits (20 ECTS) through 28 hours of tutor contact time through lectures, workshops and seminars within a total of 400 hours of student engagement.  These are compulsory modules for the award of MA in Inclusion and Marginalisation.  The research module is the dissertation and attracts 60 credits (30 ECTS).  This module is also compulsory for the award of MA in Inclusion and Marginalisation.

Students will typically start with CD7501 before choosing two 40 credit modules from CD7502, CD7503, CD7504, CD7505, CD7506, CD7507.

They will then usually complete CD7508 before moving on to the dissertation module. We have chosen not to make CD7508 compulsory however to allow PG Diploma level study to be transferred from other institutions and just the dissertation module to be completed.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CD7501 7 Marginalisation: Structure, Agency and Society 20 Optional
CD7502 7 Inclusion and Marginalisation through Autism 40 Optional
CD7503 7 Inclusion and Marginalisation through Language 40 Optional
CD7504 7 Marginalisation through personal, and familial and development 40 Optional
CD7505 7 Inclusion and Marginalisation: Psychoanalytic frameworks 40 Optional
CD7506 7 Inclusion and Marginalisation: Ethnography 40 Optional
CD7507 7 Inclusion and Marginalisation: Policy 40 Optional
CD7508 7 Inclusion and Marginalisation: Research Design 20 Optional
CD7509 7 Dissertation 60 Comp

  • 60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to the exit award of Postgraduate Certificate Inclusion and Marginalisation
  • 120 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to the exit award of Postgraduate Diploma Inclusion and Marginalisation
  • 180 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to Master of Arts Inclusion and Marginalisation

The programme is designed to recognise former certificated and experiential learning through the Accreditation of Prior Learning process.

The MA Inclusion and Marginalisation is open to both graduates and non-graduates with professional experience. Graduates will have a background, through previous study (usually in the form of a Bachelor’s degree), to the themes and disciplines of the Programme. Non-graduates will be admitted to the award-bearing aspects of the programme by virtue of their professional experience.  All candidates for the Programme, where this is feasible, will attend a compulsory interview with the Programme Leader to ascertain their suitability.

Applicants shall also satisfy the requirements for English Language, where English is not their first language IELTS 6.5 is the minimum requirement.

The MA Inclusion and Marginalisation draws on and extends the QAA (2010, updated in 2014) Master’s Degree Characteristics contextualise the level of study within the new programme. This qualification at Masters Level is awarded to students who have demonstrated:       

  • A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at the forefront of practice research and knowledge in the relevant fields;         
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;         
  • Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in inclusion and marginalisation       
  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in
  • areas studied and relevant to working practice
  • An ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

Typically, holders of the qualification will:       

  • Be able to deal with the complex issues both systematically and creatively, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;      
  • Be able to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level;       
  • Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level;        
  • Have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and responsibility, decision–making in complex and unpredictable situations and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

The programme adheres to the central University Learning and Teaching Strategy. From this, the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services have developed a local level response in the form of the Faculty Learning, Teaching, Assessment Improvement and Development Plan. This commits to pedagogical principles which include:     

  • Promoting professional engagement and reflective practice;      
  • Encouraging independent and autonomous learning;         
  • Supporting continuing professional development;     
  • Valuing students' professional experience and prior learning;        
  • Supporting diversity and personalised learning;       
  • Encouraging dynamic and participative learning;
  • Promoting collaborative learning;
  • Encouraging Internet and Web-based approaches;         
  • Supporting reflective and Practitioner enquiry.

For further details, please access:

The programme includes a range of approaches to learning and teaching:

  • University-based Modules- These modules are held at the University in technology rich environments. A range of methodologies are employed which take account of best practice and maximise active learning, sensitive to the learning styles and needs of students. These methodologies include lectures, seminars, group work, directed tasks, independent research and individual, group tutorials and blended learning.
  • Independent Learning -Independent Learning is a philosophy of education which students are encouraged to adopt. It includes the opportunity to work with a supervising tutor who offers support as students work towards completing assessment tasks but is fundamentally a more over-arching concept about an autonomous approach to work.
  • Electronic Support Materials - The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an essential feature of the Programme. Each module has a dedicated module site where key information about the module and a range of materials and interactive elements to support learning and assessment, is available.
  • Electronic Tutorial Support – Students are able to contact their module tutor or module supervisor by email whenever they wish. Tutors will endeavour to respond to student queries within 3-5 days but often sooner. Tutorial support includes face-to-face tutorial support meetings and the opportunity for students to engage with online tutorial support. Individual tutorials can also be offered using a range of technologies such as Skype and Facetime.  This is an important feature of the Programme as it enables students who may not live in close proximity to the University to access tutorial support remotely.

The programme strives to maintain a diverse assessment palette and rigorous, consistent assessment practices which aims to enable students to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways.


All modules have a handbook that complies with University and Faculty Guidelines. All handbooks are available to students on the dedicated module space on Moodle (The University's VLE).

The module handbook includes:       

  • Module aims and learning outcomes;       
  • Outline content;       
  • Assessment method;       
  • Procedures for submission of work;        
  • Recommended reading;
  • Appropriate grading criteria;
  • Links to relevant documentation and University Policy eg. The Diversity and Equality Policy, The Disability, Gender and Race Equality Scheme, guidance on regulations governing the assessment of students.


All assessed work is graded according to a percentage scale 0-100 using the University's grading criteria linked to the appropriate QAA requirements All marking procedures comply with the central University Assessment Policies. Feedback to students is available electronically using the Turnitin and Grademark systems. Feedback on the work is intended to identify strengths and points of development. Assignments are not pre-marked.  Students may receive formative, verbal feedback on plans or on a specified amount of work identified by the tutor.

Assessment criteria are communicated to students through Programme and Module handbooks with specific assignment guidance explaining the important features of each assignment.

Students who engage in the MA Inclusion and Marginalisation Programme will successfully demonstrate subject-specific attributes and will become reflective practitioners and critical thinkers who can articulate their views with confidence and conviction. They will have in-depth knowledge and understanding of their profession and the political arena of education informed by current practice, scholarship and research. They will have read widely and will have engaged with theoretical frameworks which have challenged their values, beliefs and understanding. They will have become confident researchers, being able to use a range of techniques and research methods finding solutions to challenges in their professional setting and practice. Their professional integrity will have been affirmed demonstrating their ability to use initiative and take responsibility, solving problems in innovative and creative ways. They will have become sufficiently professionally secure to confront and manage change, make decisions and to lead others, should they choose. It is anticipated that graduates will continue to learn and to demonstrate advanced scholarship in their subject.

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

The MA in Inclusion and Marginalisation foregrounds empirical research focussed through a range of interesting, rigorously focussed and clearly honed theoretical frameworks: this is an approach that is designed to yield a pertinent and practical understanding of the issues surrounding inclusion and marginalisation, particularly in relation to the local context.  Part of the rationale for this design orientation is to foster interest and engagement within relevant sections and stakeholders of local communities with the work that the Programme undertakes.  Understanding social and other forms of exclusion, recognising the conditions that result in marginalisation and not accepting as either natural or inexorable the processes that persist in widening the gap between the most vulnerable and the most secure members of society continues to be a national and indeed global imperative.  Government and a range of non-Government agencies and charities have been impelled to address the problems inherent in marginalisation, drawing our attention not simply to the plight of the marginalised and vulnerable, but also to the dangerous implications for society as a whole if these issues are not urgently and substantially resolved.

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