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Education - Working with Children with Literacy Difficulties


Key facts

Start dates

September 2020


Harcourt Hill

Course length

Part time: 12 months


School of Education

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 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 students comparing notes

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/EU part time

Home/EU part time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2020 / 21
Home/EU part time

2021 / 22
Home/EU part time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

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.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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, if any, are detailed below.

Learning and assessment

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

Lecturer presenting to class

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Alternative Perspectives on Literacy Difficulties

  • an overview of normal literacy processes - literacy and self esteem
  • debates on the terminology and aetiology of literacy difficulties
  • the historical and policy frameworks for supporting children with literacy difficulties
  • reviewing the research on alternative explanations of literacy difficulties
  • dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder and related difficulties.

Literacy Difficulties - Assessment and Intervention

  • the phonics debate: what emphasis and which model (synthetic or analytic phonics)?
  • assessing literacy difficulties - reviewing a range of assessment techniques
  • interpreting evidence from specialist reports
  • teaching interventions: multi-sensory / precision teaching / phonological approaches / meta-cognitive approaches such as Reading Recovery, counselling support
  • maximising educational access - when to support and when to go around difficulties
  • developing organisational and thinking skills
  • shared workshops on case study material.

Managing Literacy Difficulties in School

  • whole-school policies, such as creating a dyslexia friendly school
  • talking with parents about their children’s literacy difficulties
  • acting as advocate for children with literacy difficulties (case building and report writing)
  • working with external agencies on children with literacy difficulties
  • creating a resource base to support good provision for children with literacy difficulties
  • working with / training teaching assistants to support children with reading difficulties
  • preparing pupils for formal examination procedures (eg amanuensis).

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that 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 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.