Education - Working with Children with Literacy Difficulties


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Key facts

Start dates

September 2024 / September 2025


Harcourt Hill

Course length

Part time: 12 months

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.


We have designed our PGCert Education – Working with Children with Literacy Difficulties in collaboration with the Oxfordshire Local Authority.

This course is for those who want to lead on work with children with literacy difficulties in primary and secondary schools. It is ideal for experienced teachers and graduate teaching assistants.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • network with other practitioners
  • access information about local jobs specialising in work in the sector.

Our School of Education, Humanities and Languages combines high quality teaching, significant research and consultancy activity. We teach in collaboration with the Oxfordshire Local Authority. This reflects a long standing, ongoing partnership with the Authority and local practitioners.

The course meets the criteria for the taught elements of Associate Membership to the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA).  You can apply for full AMBDA status by completing additional observed and mentored practice with a qualified AMBDA practitioner. You can organise this through the course for an additional fee.

Two Education - Working with Children with Literacy Difficulties, PGCert students comparing notes on campus at Oxford Brookes University

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

A degree in a relevant subject area and experience of working with children with literacy difficulties.  For the associated AMBDA award  (Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association), Qualified Teacher Status is also needed.

Please contact the Programme Administrator to register your interest.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

Pathways courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) part time

Home (UK) part time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) part time

2024 / 25
Home (UK) part time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

Learning and assessment

To gain the Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Literacy Difficulties, you will complete a three modules.

Education - Working with Children with Literacy Difficulties, PGCert lecturer presenting to class on campus at Oxford Brookes University

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Alternative Perspectives on Literacy Difficulties (20 credits)

    If you are working with children with literacy difficulties in either primary or secondary school, this module is for you. You’ll examine and evaluate theories and research on the reasons for failure to develop literacy skills. You’ll go on to review the implications of these ideas for school provision and your own current practice. 

    The issues you’ll investigate may include:

    • debates around the terminology and aetiology (causes) of literacy difficulties
    • policy frameworks for supporting children with literacy difficulties
    • an overview of normal literacy processes
    • reviewing the research evidence on alternative explanations of literacy difficulties and dyslexia, including the neuropsychology of literacy and notions of the ‘dyslexic brain’
    • the phonics debate – what emphasis and which model? (eg synthetic or analytic phonics)
    • self-esteem and the social consequences of learning failure.
  • Literacy Difficulties - Assessment and Intervention (20 credits)

    If you work with children with literacy difficulties in either primary or secondary school, this module will be of interest. You’ll develop skills in a range of assessment and teaching strategies for working with children and young people with significant literacy difficulties.

    You’ll tackle subjects such as:

    • assessing literacy difficulties, principles of assessment, and reviewing a range of assessment techniques
    • interpreting evidence from specialist reports
    • using ICT to support children with literacy difficulties
    • developing organisational and thinking skills
    • workshops on case study material: discussion of assessment strategies / working theories as to children’s difficulties / approaches to intervention / choice of resources.
  • Managing Literacy Difficulties in School (20 credits)

    If you work with children with literacy difficulties in either primary or secondary school, this module is for you. You’ll examine the role of teachers with specialist knowledge in literacy difficulties, and the different ways in which they can provide whole-school support. You’ll carry out a project-based study in your own school, deepening your knowledge of your topic area. Along the way, you’ll examine issues like:

    • whole school policies, such as creating a dyslexia-friendly school
    • identifying areas for development in schools’ policy and practice 
    • working with parents around their children’s literacy difficulties
    • acting as the child’s advocate (case building and report writing)
    • working with external agencies
    • evaluating resources and creating a resource base to support good provision
    • critiquing the available ICT resources and support strategies
    • working with / training TAs to support children with reading difficulties.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Our teaching methods support both the theoretical and practical elements of the course, such as the practical projects in modules 2 and 3. They include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops.

For each module, the course contact time is typically:

  • one whole day and five evenings (approx. 24 hours contact time)
  • two online discussions (approx. six hours of contact time).


Assessment methods used on this course

Each module is assessed with a 4000 word essay or report. Assignment schedules are timed to meet your needs as a busy practitioner. Your assignments will be based on the work in your own professional context. For example, case studies of the assessment and intervention of two children.


The School of Education, Humanities and Languages is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development.

Course Leader, Georgina Glenny, currently runs a project investigating the use of text-to-speech software to support reluctant writers in local primary and secondary schools. Students of this course have been involved with this study. Rachael Falkner, co-tutor on the course, is researching children's perspectives on assessment.

We hold two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. All students are invited to attend our annual Research

Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers).

The School’s six research groups exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View our staff profiles

After you graduate

Career prospects

The course is organised by Oxford Brookes in partnership with Oxfordshire Local Authority and meets the criteria for the taught elements of Associate Membership to the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA).

The PGCert enables teachers to assess people for exam concessions and the AMBDA qualification is the leading quality standard for specialist work in the field.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.