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Masters Degrees (Teacher Of The Deaf)

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MA Deaf Education is taught over two years through a combination of face-to-face and online learning. Read more

MA Deaf Education is taught over two years through a combination of face-to-face and online learning. Approved by the Department for Education (DFE) to offer the Mandatory Qualification for Teachers of the Deaf, the programme integrates cutting-edge research knowledge with practitioner expertise to develop skilled, knowledgeable and critical practitioners. All students are enrolled on the MA Deaf Education (ToD) programme but they may choose to graduate with a Post Graduate Diploma (PG Dip) Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf). It is also possible to complete an MA Deaf Education without the teacher of the deaf qualification.

Central to the programme is an understanding that the establishment of language fluency and effective communication as a basis for cognitive development, social development and access to the curriculum must be the educational priority for all deaf learners. Individual auditory potential must be carefully evaluated and regularly reappraised in relation to the communicative and educational demands of the context, so that advances in personal and assistive hearing technologies combined with the latest thinking on optimal classroom management can be put into practice.

Unique to this programme is recognition of the plural and diverse linguistic contexts of deaf children’s lives. Through consideration of the roles of spoken and signed languages and increasingly sophisticated hearing technologies in deaf children’s lives and education, you will develop a broad language base and the skills to respond flexibly to deaf children’s dynamic and changing communication needs.

We welcome suitably qualified deaf and hearing applicants, and provide appropriate access and support arrangements for all students. Bursaries are offered to UK Deaf Education schools or services funding more than one student per school or service in a single year.

Course content

MA Deaf Education comprises four core modules delivered across two years. Your first module will be either Deafness and Development or Educational Audiology, depending on when you commence your studies.

If you are working towards the Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) award, you will also build a Professional Skills Portfolio throughout the two years. This applied aspect of the programme allows you to acquire and demonstrate the mandatory teaching, communication and audiological skills required of a ToD.

Course structure

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Educational Audiology 30 credits
  • Learning and Teaching in Deaf Education 30 credits
  • Professional Skills Portfolio (Teacher of the Deaf award only)

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Deafness and Development 30 credits
  • The Context of Deaf Education 30 credits
  • Dissertation in Deaf Education (not required for PGDip) 60 credits
  • Professional Skills Portfolio (Teacher of the Deaf) 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf Qualification) MA in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Each core module comprises a study day or a short residential in Leeds, followed by twelve online taught sessions, two online tutorials and a regional tutorial. Bespoke online meetings, phone, email and Skype support is also available from tutors.

We expect you to commit the equivalent of a study day per week to this programme -- to be negotiated with your employer at the application stage. Some practical requirements of the programme are difficult to fulfil without this allocated time. We also ask you to identify someone in your school or service who will act as a mentor for you throughout the training.


We assess the four core modules and dissertation through written assignments. The Professional Skills Portfolio is practically assessed and includes a minimum of a four-week supervised teaching placement.

Professional Skills Portfolio

The Professional Skills Portfolio module is compulsory if you are working towards the ToD qualification. The modules allows you to acquire and demonstrate the range of practical and practice based skills that you need as a Teacher of the Deaf. We outline the four strands to be completed below.


This strand provides guidance for developing practical skills with audiological technology and its management within different educational settings.


This strand focuses on the development of communication skills through reflective practice with both pupils and parents. It includes recording and analysing a pupil’s language use, evaluation of personal language use when teaching a pupil or group of pupils, and a reflective and critical review of a home visit.


This strand entails either one or two four-week teaching placements, depending on current and previous professional experience. At least one placement will be undertaken in an unfamiliar setting and be supported by a regional tutor.

Professional Competencies

This portfolio contains details of the ToD competencies against which you will track your progress throughout the two year course. It will also provide the means through which to identify objectives for continued professional development.

Career opportunities

MA Deaf Education provides Teachers of the Deaf with the specialist knowledge and skills they need to work across a range of settings in deaf education and provides the mandatory qualification required for England and Wales.

Graduates from the course have taken up a range of positions in specialist support services and schools. Many have subsequently progressed to management and leadership roles.

The programme also provides a route to further research and study at post graduate level via an EdD or PhD route. 

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The Qualifying Certificate in Psychology is designed to enable students with no previous experience of psychology in higher education to acquire sufficient knowledge and skills to study at FHEQ level 5/6 (second or third year of full-time study) at a UK university. Read more
The Qualifying Certificate in Psychology is designed to enable students with no previous experience of psychology in higher education to acquire sufficient knowledge and skills to study at FHEQ level 5/6 (second or third year of full-time study) at a UK university.

The certificate is offered as an entry qualification for the Oxford Brookes MSc Psychology, but it also meets the entry requirements for other universities' psychology conversion courses.

The course is available from September for part-time students, and from January for full-time and part-time students.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/studying-at-brookes/courses/postgraduate/2015/psychology-qualifying-certificate/

Why choose this course?

- Oxford Brookes has one of the largest groups of developmental psychologists in the UK along with expertise in cognitive neuroscience and qualitative methods.

- Our professionally-accredited courses allow chartered membership of the British Psychological Society.

- Excellent opportunities for progression into courses across psychology, education and health.

- State-of-the-art facilities including a video observation lab, Babylab, action research lab and perception lab.

- Strong connections through joint research projects with partners in health, education and industry.

- A comprehensive programme of research seminars offered by the department as well as specialist seminars organised by individual research groups.

Teaching and learning

Our department has a thriving community of research-active staff and research scholars. We include aspects of our research in all our courses, teach specialist modules in our areas of expertise and supervise dissertations in our specialist subjects. Learning methods include lectures, directed reading, seminars and practical work.

Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis, each involving approximately 150 hours of student effort and approximately 36 hours of staff contact.

Each course module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written work. Assessment methods may include essays, formal written examinations or in-class tests.

Specialist facilities

The Psychology Department boasts state-of-the-art facilities including a video observation lab, Babylab, action research lab and perception lab. In addition, postgraduate students have a dedicated study and social working space to facilitate group projects and provide a venue for our research seminar series.


The department offers advice on future career opportunities, including practical help with applications to future training and employment. For many of our students, their postgraduate psychology qualification is a stepping stone to professional training for careers in educational and clinical psychology. Some choose to continue their academic studies, progressing to PhD.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 95% of our research was internationally recognised and 60% of the impact of our research was rated internationally excellent.

Prof. Margaret Harris has been awarded a grant of over £315K from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to find out whether technological advances to aid children and babies with hearing loss have had a positive effect on deaf children’s literacy.

Prof. Anna Barnett and her colleague Dr Luci Wiggs have been awarded a grant of £59K from The Waterloo Foundation to examine sleep disturbance in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). This condition is characterised by significant movement difficulty and associated psycho-social and educational problems. Previous work suggests that sleep disturbance may be a relevant factor and this project will examine sleep in DCD with extensive and objective measures in relation to child and parent functioning.

Dr Kate Wilmut has been awarded a prestigious ESRC grant of over £160k to conduct research into forward planning of movement in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder. It is hoped that furthering our understanding of the mechanisms underlying this condition may lead to the development of effective intervention programmes.

With funding from the Leverhulme Trust, Prof. Vince Connelly is leading an interdisciplinary project conducting research into the writing problems of children with language difficulties. Embracing psychology, education and linguistics, this ground-breaking project is aimed at bridging the gaps in current knowledge and will help practitioners to develop literacy strategies to help this already disadvantaged group of children.

Dr Clare Rathbone has been awarded a grant from the ESRC to examine the relationship between memory and identity across the lifespan. Memory impairments can lead to more than mere forgetfulness; they can affect our sense of self and identity. This work will explore the changes in memory that take place in both normal ageing and in dementia.

Professor Margaret Harris and Dr Mark Burgess were awarded £640k by the Technology Strategy Board, a public research council that facilitates innovative technological collaboration between businesses and researchers. They are conducting multi-method research into the critical socio-psychological factors that underpin people’s transition from traditional combustion engine cars to ultra low carbon vehicles and are feeding their results back to car manufacturers, energy companies, and the government.

Research areas and clusters

Developmental Psychology Research Group
There are three main strands to research in this group:
1. Cognitive & Social Development - this includes work on the impact of socio-cultural contexts on human cognition and identity development, children’s evaluation of other people as sources of information, children’s understanding of emotion, the nature of mother-child interactions, children’s interactions with their peers and explanations for school bullying

2. Language & Literacy - this has a focus on the development of speech, reading, spelling, writing and handwriting

3. Developmental Disorders - this includes research on children with hearing impairment, Specific Language Impairment, Dyslexia, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Autism and sleep disorders.

Some of our research focuses on the description of typical development and explanation of developmental processes in different domains. Other work is concerned with understanding the mechanisms underlying atypical development and an examination of ways to support children and their families. Several staff in this research group work with professionals from other disciplines including health and education and are concerned with the production of practical assessment tools and the evaluation of intervention approaches to help children achieve their full potential.

- Adult Cognition Research Group
Research in this group covers the exploration of basic mechanisms as well as higher order processes in normal and atypical populations. A variety of methods are employed (behavioural and psychophysical measures, eye-tracking, movement analysis, and neuropsychological instruments). Specific research interests include: memory processes in ageing, autobiographical memory and identity processes, visual and attentional processing, reading and, perception and action

- Applied Social Psychology
The work of this group involves the application of a variety of different research methods and theoretical perspectives to investigate a range of contemporary issues and social problems. Members of the group share research interests in the psychological processes that underpin significant life transitions, the self and identify, mental and physical health experiences, attitudes, autism and sex differences.

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Summary. The LLM in Access to Justice (A2J) is a distinct and unique clinical legal education course in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland, there being no comparable courses at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Read more


The LLM in Access to Justice (A2J) is a distinct and unique clinical legal education course in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland, there being no comparable courses at undergraduate or postgraduate level. The course gives students the opportunity to develop legal advice and advocacy skills by allowing them to represent appellants in Industrial and Social Security Tribunals. Students will also have the opportunity to engage their interest in the provision of legal services more generally as they are required to develop and manage the ‘Ulster University Law Clinic’.

The function of the course is to supplement the existing range of legal service providers by focusing on, and meeting, ‘unmet legal need’ in the fields of employment law and social security law. In doing so, students are tasked to analyze ‘unmet legal need’, the availability and consumption of legal services and reflect on wider issues of access to justice, ‘equality of arms’, and dispute resolution.


Students are expected to attend all classes associated with the programme and be punctual and regular in attendance. In semester one, students will undertake taught modules in Social Security Law and Policy, Employment Law, Tribunal Representation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Student will also begin clinical work placement with the Legal Support Project within the Law Centre (NI) in the area of Social Security and induction to the Ulster Law Clinic. In Semester 2 & 3, Students will be based at the Ulster Law Clinic and/or clinical work placement with the Legal Support Project for the Clinical Legal Practice module where they will provide advice and representation to users of the Law Clinic. Students will also undertake the taught module Housing Law and attend classes in the Dissertation module.

Work placement / study abroad

Student clinicans will have placement as volunteers with our placement partner at the pro-bono Legal Support Project at Law Centre (NI). Students will undertake training and will providing specialist legal advice and representation on social security cases.

Students can also engage in placement through collaboration with the Legal Support Officer at Citizens Advice Regional Office. Students would focus on providing support in Social Security Commissioner’s cases.

Students will undertake employment law cases through the Ulster Law Clinic.

Academic profile

The Clinic staff have recieved recognition through a variety of awards. The Course Team received the Distinguished Team Teaching Award in December 2014 from Ulster University, as well as Learning and Teaching Awards 2014 Course/School Team of the Year in the UUSU awards. Dr Eugene McNamee was the recipient of the US-UK Fulbright Public Sector Award 2014 - Scholar at Fordham Law School, NYC, 2015. Dr Esther McGuinness was runner up in the highly prestigious Law Teacher of the Year Award OUP.

Clinic staff continue to engage in leading research and justice innovations related to practical implications of, and solutions to, access to justice problems. The Clinic was awarded funding by the Legal Education Foundation to analyse the role of university law clinics in the UK in delivering access to justice. Dr Gráinne McKeever received funding from the British Academy/Leverhulme to understand how court litigants participate in court hearings. The Nuffield Foundation has awarded Dr Gráinne McKeever and Dr John McCord, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, to conduct a human rights analysis of the impact of litigants in person (LIPs) on the Northern Ireland court system. Ciaran White has engaged in research to review the access to justice barriers arising for deaf clients attending consultations with private solicitors in Northern Ireland.

Career options

You will develop skills highly relevant to legal practice, and to policy, research and advocacy roles in the voluntary, public and private sectors in the UK, Ireland and beyond. Successful completion may also open up a range of further study and research options.

The LLM A2J allows you to develop the analytical skills prized by employers in a wide range of career pathways within the United Kingdom, Ireland and internationally. Students obtain experience in all aspects of legal practice, from client-handling and case-related research, to advocacy and representation, as well as developing and managing a working Law Clinic. The degree is relevant to legal practice and policy, and to research and advocacy roles in the voluntary, public and private sectors. Successful completion also opens up a range of further study and research options.

We are proud to state that all our graduates to date have have transitioned into employment, practice or further academic study. The connections created by the referral network have generated opportunities for our graduates in the form of trainee solicitor positions with one of the members of our referral network, Sullivans Law, for example. Graduates have also been employed as research interns in the Law Society of Northern Ireland for the last two years. Other students have taken up funded PhDs examining issues and concepts arising from their LLM studies, and continued working across the legal advice field.

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This distance learning programme approved by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has been offered at the University of Birmingham since 1989. Read more
This distance learning programme approved by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has been offered at the University of Birmingham since 1989. It is open to teachers who are qualified to teach school-aged pupils who wish to gain the mandatory qualification of teacher of the deaf. The programme aims to equip teachers who are already qualified to teach school-aged children in England to meet the relevant NCTL standards to achieve qualified teacher of the deaf status.

It is also open to other professionals who do not wish, or are not eligible, to obtain qualified teacher of the deaf status – for example lecturers of deaf students, communication support workers and educational psychologists. Applicants who are not qualified teachers of school-aged pupils may take the University (non mandatory) Award but will not be eligible to obtain qualified teacher of the deaf status from the NCTL.

Study is supported through study packs, tutorial groups, telephone, email, web based learning and online materials, and through an allocated tutor in a small tutorial group which allows students to learn with each other. Internet access is required for the programme. There is a University based study week in January each year, at which attendance is compulsory.

Students who successfully complete all modules for the Postgraduate Diploma may choose to transfer to the MEd.

About the School of Education

The School of Education has a long-standing reputation as a centre of excellence for teaching and research in a wide range of areas of educational practice and policy. It is an international leader in education with a history of top rated research. In the 2016 QS World Rankings, it was ranked 28th in the World and joint 7th in Europe/UK.
The School employs over 100 academic staff who teach more than 2,500 students. It is home to a number of departments and research centres with a history of top rated research and is an international leader in education.
School of Education ranking:
- Ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Tables 2017
- Ranked 10th in the 2017 Complete University Guide
- In Top 3 for HEI provision in the Good Teacher Training Guide
- Ranked 28th in the World in the 2016 QS World Rankings
- Ranked 9th overall for Research in the 2014 REF (with more than 82% of research rated as ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) or ‘world leading’ (4*).
- Rated 'outstanding' in latest Ofsted inspection (2013) for its Teacher Training programmes
- Ranked third for Education in The Times Good University Guide 2017

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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The Special Education program at UBC concerns the education of students with exceptionalities, such as students with visual impairments, developmental disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, gifts and talents, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Read more

Program Overview

The Special Education program at UBC concerns the education of students with exceptionalities, such as students with visual impairments, developmental disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, gifts and talents, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Faculty are committed to promoting practices that facilitate inclusion, empowerment, and self-determination of individuals with disabilities and other special needs in home, school, and community settings.

UBC does not offer an undergraduate degree in special education.

The undergraduate courses in special education are open to students enrolled in the regular B.Ed. program or in one of the following post-B.Ed. special education programs: (1) Master of Education (M.Ed), (2) Master of Arts (M.A.), and (3) Diploma in Special Education. Most undergraduate courses are also available to Unclassified students.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Arts (research-based), Master of Education (course-based)
- Specialization: Special Education
- Subject: Education
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Faculty: Faculty of Education

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Our MSc Deaf Education course will help you to train as a Teacher of the Deaf if you are a qualified teacher, or develop research skills that can be applied to this field. Read more

Our MSc Deaf Education course will help you to train as a Teacher of the Deaf if you are a qualified teacher, or develop research skills that can be applied to this field.

Rapid developments in audiology and our understanding of language, communication and educational practice make teaching and learning for deaf children an exciting area of study.

The course uses an evidence-based approach to meeting the diverse needs of deaf children and places a strong emphasis on translation of theory to practice.

Our course has Department for Education (DfE) and Teacher Development Agency (TDA) approval, meeting the requirements of the mandatory qualification.

Most graduating students go on to teach and support deaf children both in the UK and overseas, although there are also opportunities to continue academic research in this area.

Both MSc (part-time on-campus learning) and PGDip (full-time or part-time on-campus or blended learning) options are available. If you already have the PGDip, you can take an additional unit to gain the MSc award.


This course aims to provide you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to ensure deaf children are able to achieve their full potential.

Special features

MSc/PGDip Deaf Education: Teaching placements overview

High-quality teaching

You will learn from a multi-professional team within a highly specialised and internationally recognised department. Deaf Education at Manchester works alongside the associated disciplines of Speech and Language Therapy and Audiology, giving students a unique experience. We have close links with services and service users, and ensure that a range of perspectives and philosophies are represented.

Watch our video to find out about teaching placements on the course. Click through to YouTube to watch the video with subtitles.

Teaching and learning

This online course provides an opportunity for you to learn at your own rate, at a time and place that suits you. The course is set within a framework of online support and workshops to ensure you have the chance to meet and share ideas.

The online research methods unit prepares students to undertake a long study, which may be in a range of formats.

You will also have access to student mentors (recently qualified teachers of the deaf) in addition to a personal tutor.

In addition to the full-time option, the University offers an on-campus option (2 years part-time) or an e-blended learning and distance learning course (2 years part-time) to make the course as accessible and flexible as possible.

The e-blended course is a new option offering online and written materials with 2x3 days on campus per year. All students undertake two placement blocks with a total of eight weeks on placement over the course of study.

All on-campus students are also required to attend a weekend workshop (this is optional for students undertaking the e-blended course). The weekend provides an opportunity to meet a range of professionals, to extend knowledge and understanding, to exchange ideas and to establish a strong group identity. It is based in a well-appointed University conference centre in Manchester.

Coursework and assessment

A variety of assessment methods are used within the PGDip, including written assignments, case reports, practical work and practical delivery of work. As part of the course, there are opportunities for formative assessments that help to shape individual studies but do not contribute to the final marks.

The MSc dissertation may be in the form of a:

  • systematic review
  • detailed critical review of a school/service
  • theoretical review
  • quantitative study
  • metasynthesis
  • policy review.

Course unit details

For the full MSc, the course consists of relevant theoretical and practical teaching experience and a dissertation.

Placements are arranged in consultation and you will be fully supervised.

PGDip students will study all units except the dissertation. Those topping up to an MSc will only take the 60-credit dissertation unit.

For those studying part-time, the first year will focus on research methods and will include a workshop to share ideas on projects and the appropriate methodological approaches. The second year will focus on the preparation and delivery of the long study.

All PGDip students must attain CACDP Level I as a minimum by the end of their course of study.

Watch our unit overview videos

You can watch brief introductions to some of our units plus the teaching placements on YouTube .

More detailed unit information can be found by clicking on the links in the Course unit list below for more information on each unit.

What our students say

Read about our students' experiences of the MSc/PGDip Deaf Education course and our graduates' subsequent careers by reading their posts on the Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .


You will be able to access a dedicated lab for audiology work, a student resource room, and the largest e-library and specialist deaf education resource in the UK.

You will also be able to access a range of facilitiesthroughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

Career opportunities

Most graduating students progress to a career in teaching deaf children. This is a diverse remit and a teacher of the deaf may work in a school for the deaf, a unit or resourced provision, at primary or secondary level, or a specialist nursery class.

They may also act as peripatetic support to deaf learners in mainstream classes, or early years child and family support, often moving through a range of these roles throughout their career.

Career opportunities can also include a move into academic research and higher education if that is an interest.

There are a small but growing number of teachers of the deaf who take time out to work abroad (eg through the UN or VSO) to support services in developing countries.

Accrediting organisations

This course has Department for Education (DfE) and Teacher Development Agency (TDA) approval.

Associated organisations

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