The study described here is part of a program of research investigating the application of a theoretical course design approach to pre-service teacher education. In this study the focus was to establish the effects of the design approach on pre-service teachers'mastery of pedagogical content knowledge about inclusive education. A quasi-experimental comparison group design was employed to establish the differential effects of two course designs, one based on the theoretical principle of embedded design derived from self organization and the other based on classroom instruction and practicum-type experience. The results indicated statistically significant findings in favour of the embedded design group for pedagogical content knowledge. Recommendations are made for the design of pre-service teacher inclusive education courses.