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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MSc/PGDip Deaf Education: Teaching placements overview
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .
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.
This course has Department for Education (DfE) and Teacher Development Agency (TDA) approval.