University of Chester

Programme Specification
Inclusion and Marginalisation MA
2015 - 2016

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


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 7.0 is the minimum requirement.

The MA Inclusion and Marginalisation draws on and extends the QAA (2010) 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.

At the heart of all teaching and learning on the MA Inclusion and Marginalisation are the essential skills of critical analysis and reflection, including reflexivity. Students are encouraged to listen and discuss different perspectives and act on the learning to become more effective reflective practitioners who have developed the skills of criticality which have enabled them to identify and address areas for professional and academic development.  The starting points for learning on the MA Inclusion and Marginalisation are the students' experiences and knowledge. The Programme’s learning and teaching strategies aim to build on this level of understanding through the introduction of a range of perspectives and the development of criticality, and to provide 'safe' opportunities for views and beliefs to be challenged, reviewed and discussed. Learning is further enhanced and progressed with tutors' teaching, experience, knowledge, reading and analysis of policy shifts, theories and methodologies that are applicable to the topics covered within the Programme.  •           University-based Modules –These modules are held at the University in technology-rich environments that create a flexible approach for part-time students, or those who live and work at a distance and students with specific needs or disabilities. Giving students this choice and flexibility greatly enhances the learning experience by adapting to the needs of the students and helping them to develop their skills. 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 compliant with the Faculty Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy. These methodologies include: 

•           Lectures 

•           Group work 

•           Practical workshops 

•           Presentations, discussions, debates 

•           Directed tasks 

•           Written assignments 

•           Independent research

•           Personal reflexion, contextual reflection 

•           Individual or group tutorials 

•           Students leading parts of sessions  

•           Formative peer assessment 

•           Formative self-assessment 

•           Use of the University Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) 

•           Use of the VLE to support a dedicated module site offering a range of support materials and specific learning information  

•           Independent Study–Independent Study enables students to work with a supervising tutor who offers support as students work towards the completion of an assignment on a chosen topic.  This will count towards academic credit.  

•           Electronic Support Materials–The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an essential feature of the MA Inclusion and Marginalisation. Each module has a dedicated module site in which a range of support materials are accessible. On the module site, specific information about the module is also available. 

Email 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. This allows for a tutorial dialogue to continue between module tutors/supervisors and students. It is an important feature of the MA Inclusion and Marginalisation in that it enables students to access tutorial support remotely.

Blended learning – The University embraces the technologies that support blended learning pedagogies; this is a central part of its more general commitment to enhancing student learning and widening educational access (as described in its current Learning and Teaching Strategy).  Blended learning is especially significant for some learning contexts, including this Programme: it provides flexible and practical opportunities for students to engage with lifelong learning, opportunities that otherwise may not exist for many reasons; these include reducing the necessity of face-to-face tutor and student contact that is inherent in the comparatively more economically exorbitant and rigid structures of traditional pedagogy.  If we did not exploit the rich opportunities provided by blended learning it would severely restrict the range of modules and access to learning that the University and therefore this Programme would otherwise be able to offer.  Blended learning is in keeping with the spirit and rationale of the Programme: its pedagogical motives are also reflected in the diverse range of assessment methods that the Programme supports.

The MA Inclusion and Marginalisation defines assessment as a process that appraises an individual’s knowledge, understanding, abilities or skills. Appropriate and effective assessment will enable students to demonstrate their capabilities and achievement of outcomes of learning intended for the Programme. During the first module of the Programme, students are offered an opportunity for formative feedback designed to help them improve their performance in subsequent assessments.

Assessment methods take the following form: All 20 credit modules are assessed using Assessment Method A.  All 40 credit modules are assessed in two components, using Assessment Method A for the first component, and one of the other Assessment Methods (B-I) as the module tutor judges appropriate.  All components for all 40 credit modules have an equal weighting.

Modules: 20 CATS  Points Assessment Method A  An essay

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%)
  • 100% of the marks will be awarded for the assignment.


Modules: 40 CATS points Assessment Method A An essay 

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%)
  • 20 CAT points
  • 50% of the marks will be awarded for this component.

 Plus one of the assessment methods below Assessment Methods B - I

  • 20 CAT points
  • 50% of the marks will be awarded for each component.

Assessment Method B Portfolio of annotated evidence

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)

Assessment Method C Professional log

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)

Assessment Method D Live presentation

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)

Assessment Method E Video presentation

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)

Assessment Method F Podcasts or audio diary

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)

Assessment Method G Report

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)

Assessment Method H Articles fit for publication

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)

Assessment Method I Reflective account

  • Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CATS points) (+/- 10%) (notional)



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.

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel