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Study special education abroad

An in-depth guide to studying special education as an international student.

Special education degrees abroad

A degree in special education is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge required to help learners with a range of special educational needs. Many programs will mean you’ll be able to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning difficulties, dyslexia and sensory impairments.

Special education programs prepare you for a rewarding and challenging career. As an international student, you can choose from a wide range of special education programs from all over the world. Studying abroad also means you have the opportunity to study in a country with an excellent education system and strong career opportunities after graduation.

Special education program structure

It’s possible to study degrees focussed on special education at most levels of study including foundation, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate. If you want to study special education to become a teacher, make sure the program you choose qualifies you to do this, for example, you may need a PGCE or PGDE to teach in the UK.

At bachelor’s level, many special education programs are offered as a BA, and will take three or four years to complete. Postgraduate degrees can be either an MSc or MA qualification depending on the program and take one or two years to complete.

PhDs are usually for qualified teachers or education professionals who want to do further research in special education. Doctorates can take up to six or seven years to complete, depending on the country you study in, and whether you study part-time of full time.

Many special education programs will include time spent in classrooms working with children with additional learning needs and disabilities. The precise course content you’ll study will vary based on the degree level and qualification you choose to study, but common modules include:

  • Concepts in special needs education
  • Key principles for inclusive education
  • Early child psychology
  • Education policy
  • Protecting children and young people
  • Developing learning in education
  • Disability and equality
  • Supporting diverse learners
Special education program structure

It’s possible to study degrees focussed on special education at most levels of study including foundation, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate. If you want to study special education to become a teacher, make sure the program you choose qualifies you to do this, for example, you may need a PGCE or PGDE to teach in the UK.

At bachelor’s level, many special education programs are offered as a BA, and will take three or four years to complete. Postgraduate degrees can be either an MSc or MA qualification depending on the program and take one or two years to complete.

PhDs are usually for qualified teachers or education professionals who want to do further research in special education. Doctorates can take up to six or seven years to complete, depending on the country you study in, and whether you study part-time of full time.

Many special education programs will include time spent in classrooms working with children with additional learning needs and disabilities. The precise course content you’ll study will vary based on the degree level and qualification you choose to study, but common modules include:

  • Concepts in special needs education
  • Key principles for inclusive education
  • Early child psychology
  • Education policy
  • Protecting children and young people
  • Developing learning in education
  • Disability and equality
  • Supporting diverse learners

How to study special education abroad

  1. University & program search

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations
  2. Application guidance

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  3. Visa & travel advice

    Get help after application, all the way to your first day at university

Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
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Special education study abroad programs

Special education undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in special education

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    Childhood Education and Special Education - BSc Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    35,736 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 35,736 USD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Childhood Education and Special Education
  • false

    Special Education: Collaborative Teacher, K-6/6-12 - BSc University of West Alabama, USA
    • Online

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    11,700 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,700 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Special Education: Collaborative Teacher, K-6/6-12
  • false

    Dual Certification General/Special Education: Grades 1-5 - BSc Louisiana State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,700 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 28,700 USD

    Start date
    May, January
    Show program overview about Dual Certification General/Special Education: Grades 1-5
  • false

    Dual Licensure in Elementary Education K-6 & Special Education/Mild Intervention P-12 - BSc Trine University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    33,650 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 33,650 USD

    Start date
    June, August, January
    Show program overview about Dual Licensure in Elementary Education K-6 & Special Education/Mild Intervention P-12
  • false

    Special Education and Elementary Education (Tempe Campus) - BAEd Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    29,834 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 29,834 USD

    Start date
    August, May, January
    Show program overview about Special Education and Elementary Education (Tempe Campus)
See all bachelor's degrees in special education

Associate in special education

  • false

    Education: Secondary (also special education) - AA Hesston College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,992 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 28,992 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Education: Secondary (also special education)
See all associate degrees in special education

Special education graduate programs

Master's in special education

  • false

    Special Education - MSEd Pace University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,650 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 28,650 USD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Special Education
  • false

    Special Education & Literacy - MSc Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    44,100 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 44,100 USD

    Start date
    -
    Show program overview about Special Education & Literacy
  • false

    Special Education (Grades 1-6) - MSEd Manhattan College, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,620 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,620 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Special Education (Grades 1-6)
  • false

    Education - Special Education (Teacher Certification) - MA Felician University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,360 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,360 USD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Education - Special Education (Teacher Certification)
  • false

    Education: Special Education - MEd Saint Martin's University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,800 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,800 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Education: Special Education
See all master's degrees in special education

Doctorate in special education

  • false

    Special Education - PhD Duquesne University, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,112 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 23,112 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Special Education
  • false

    Special Education: Collaborative Teacher, K-6 - EdS University of West Alabama, USA
    • Online

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,680 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,680 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Special Education: Collaborative Teacher, K-6
See all doctorates in special education

Certificate in special education

  • false

    Special Education (Alternative Licensure) - GradCert Eastern New Mexico University, USA
    • Online

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    7,314 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,314 USD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Special Education (Alternative Licensure)
See all postgraduate certificates in special education

Future special education careers

Most graduates will look for a career working with children who have special education needs. There are several roles within special education you could pursue, including:

  • Special education teacher
  • Teaching assistant
  • Speech therapist
  • Language therapist
  • Support teacher
  • Education welfare officer

If you know what career you want after graduation, make sure you check to see what qualifications you need. For example, to become a teacher you may need to complete teacher training before you can qualify. Also consider where you want to study, as you may only qualify to teach in the country or state you’ve studied in.

Most programs will include placements in schools with children with special education needs. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and work out what role in special education is right for you.