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Postgraduate study

Get the qualifications you need with the Master of Disability Studies, administered and delivered by NextSense Institute in affiliation with Macquarie University.
Masters of Disability graduation ceremony

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Course overview

The Master of Disability Studies offers the opportunity for qualified professionals to undertake postgraduate studies to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to adapt content, develop teaching methodology, and apply specialised instructional techniques to meet the needs of individual learners with sensory disabilities.

This course will support your career development and increase your employment opportunities in inclusive education and within the disability sector. It will also prepare you with the expertise to conduct research or complete further study in this field.
The course is offered by NextSense Institute, in affiliation with the Macquarie School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University.

Choose from one of three specialisations—advance your knowledge by studying Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Education: Blindness Low Vision; or Sensory Disability.

Our students

Our students come from diverse professional backgrounds including education, health, and disability. They are highly motivated and share a common desire to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with sensory disabilities. Our students seek the knowledge and skills to achieve inclusive practice based on evidence, competency, empathy and understanding.

Eligibility criteria

  • AQF level 7 bachelor's qualification in a related field or recognised equivalent

AND

  • Minimum two years (full time equivalent) work experience relevant to chosen specialisation:
    • The Education specialisations require applicants to demonstrate a minimum of two years professional experience as a teacher
    • The Sensory Disability specialisation requires applicants to demonstrate a minimum of two years of professional experience.

Features and benefits

  • Study online full-time or part-time to suit your needs, in an inclusive and accessible environment with recognised experts and researchers in sensory disability
  • Professional experience placements enable you to apply the specialiased knowledge gained through the course
  • Commonwealth Supported Places and scholarships are available
  • Attain professional recognition in your chosen field with eligibility for membership of major professional associations NAATD and SPEVI.
  • Benefit from our strong partnerships with educational institutions and other service providers
  • Your learning will be enriched by the innovative research undertaken by the NextSense Institute as a leader in the field
  • You are entitled to all services and benefits offered to students by Macquarie University
  • Students are supported every step of the way and after they graduate and join our professional community.

Specialisations

Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing

The impact of being deaf or hard of hearing goes well beyond hearing alone. Individuals with hearing loss may experience a range of social, psychological, cognitive and health issues that can impact their development as children, and in later life affect their professional and personal lives, potentially leading to social isolation.

In this specialisation, you will become qualified as a Teacher of the Deaf. You’ll learn how to effectively support young children and school-age students to develop language (listening and spoken language and/or Auslan) and English literacy, enabling them to achieve their educational and career goals.

You’ll also be eligible for full membership of your state branch of the National Australian Association of Teachers of the Deaf (NAATD) and become a service provider under the NDIS.

This specialisation is recognised in all Australia states and territories. This specialisation links to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) national accreditation standards, with reference to the National Association of Australian Teacher of the Deaf Elaborations.

Education: Blindness/Low Vision

People who are blind or who have low vision may experience social, emotional, developmental, educational and health issues that impact their quality of life. With the support of their families, the community and specialist practitioners, people with blindness or low vision can lead fulfilling lives and have productive careers.

This specialisation will qualify you as a teacher of students with blindness or low vision. You’ll learn how to help students gain the skills they need to enjoy a satisfying career that looks beyond their disability, as well as achieve their personal goals.

Completing this specialisation will enable you to join the South Pacific Educators of Vision Impaired (SPEVI) and become a service provider under the NDIS.

This specialisation is recognised in all Australia states and territories. This specialisation links to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) national accreditation standards, with reference to the South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment Professional Standard Elaborations.

Both Education specialisations are suitable for:

  • Classroom teachers in specialised programs
  • Itinerant/support teachers working with children in inclusive educational settings
  • Early intervention specialists working with families and children from the earliest possible stages of their development
  • Consultants working with teachers to assist with inclusion of learners with sensory disabilities.

Sensory Disability

It’s vital for those who experience deafness, hearing loss, blindness or low vision to be able to connect with those around them. With specialist sensory disability knowledge, you’ll be skilled to work with people with sensory impairments in a way that addresses their individual needs.

This specialisation will provide you with advanced knowledge in both hearing and vision within contemporary studies in disability, preparing you for roles that support the needs of children and adults with hearing and/or vision loss.

It’s suitable for a range of allied health and disability professionals who are seeking to complete studies in disability, and specifically in deafness, hearing loss, blindness or low vision.

This specialisation is suitable for:

  • Learning support professionals supporting students in higher education
  • Managers in disability organisations
  • Social workers
  • Youth and community workers.
  • Administrators in disability organisations
  • Allied health workers
  • Disability support/carers professionals.

Career outcomes

On completion of the Master of Disability Studies, graduates become important members of professional teams, applying their expertise in a wide variety of roles such as:

  • Classroom teachers in specialised programs
  • Itinerant/support teachers working with children in inclusive educational settings
  • Consultants working with teachers to assist them in their inclusion of learners with sensory disabilities
  • Early intervention specialists working with families and children from the earliest possible stages of their development
  • Learning support professionals supporting students in higher education
  • Many other roles supporting people with sensory disabilities to access a wide range of other services.


How to apply

Applications are managed by Macquarie University, via the CourseFinder page.

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