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Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf Qualification) (Distance Learning) MA

Course content

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. 

Visit the Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf Qualification) (Distance Learning) MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!





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