Special and Inclusive Education

The MEd(Special and Inclusive Education) program is designed to help candidates develop the skills, knowledge and values needed to specialise in teaching children with special-education needs, or to qualify for appointments as leaders, consultants and resources personnel in special education.

Although graduates are in high demand in mainstream education for their contributions to school communities, the special-education sector – where less than half of all teachers have a formal specialist qualification – remains the staple employer.

The master's program – but not the graduate certificate or graduate diploma – is recognised by the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) as a formal qualification in special and inclusive education, provided that all the units studied are from the Special and Inclusive Education designation.

Information about the entry requirements, tuition fees and opportunities for further study associated with all Master of Education designations – and their component graduate certificates and graduate diplomas – is published on the MEd homepage.


Course structure

Flexible-assignment requirements, tutorial presentations and topical debates within classes are among the techniques used to encourage students to pursue areas they find of particular interest.

Master’s candidates are required to complete eight units of study, including:

  • two core units; and
  • one capstone unit; and
  • no more than two units from outside the Special and Inclusive Education designation*.

*Master's candidates who wish their degree to be recognised as a specialist teaching qualification by the NSW DEC cannot undertake units outside the Special and Inclusive Education designation.

Graduate Diploma candidates are required to complete six units of study, including:

  • two core units; and
  • no more than one unit from outside the Special and Inclusive Education designation.

Graduate Certificate candidates are required to complete four units of study, including:

  • two core units; and
  • two elective units.

Core units of study

Elective units of study

Capstone units of study

Master’s candidates must enrol in either the Special Project (6 credit points) or the Dissertation (12 credit points).

Units of study outside the designation

Master’s* and graduate diploma candidates may complete up to one (graduate diploma) or two (master’s) units from the list of postgraduate units of study offered by the Faculty, published under "Full units of study list" on the Sydney Courses database.

*Master's candidates who wish their degree to be recognised as a specialist teaching qualification by the NSW DEC cannot undertake units outside the Special and Inclusive Education designation