This exciting programme explores disability as an equal opportunities issue by focusing on contemporary organisations and institutionalised practice.
If you’re a service provider, practitioner or policy maker who wants to bring theory and practice together, or you’re planning a career in the field of disability, you’ll explore a range of disability-related issues from theoretical and practical perspectives.
Our refreshed core modules allow you to explore the frontiers of research in this rapidly developing field, and focus on social policy for disabled people in education, benefits, housing, transport, employment, health and social support services, as well as recent developments in social research on disability. You’ll also choose from optional modules to focus on the topics that best suit your own interests or career plans, from care to disability and development via research training or race and ethnicity studies.
Taught by academics from the Centre for Disability Studies, you’ll learn in a stimulating environment where tutors’ teaching is informed by their own cutting-edge research.
The interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies is at the forefront of international research in the field, using social model approaches that recognise disability as a form of institutional discrimination and social exclusion, rather than a product of physical difference between individuals. You’ll benefit from the expertise of researchers from diverse backgrounds, drawing on the experiences and issues raised by the disabled people’s movement.
In Semester 1 you’ll take a core module examining recent debates and developments in social research on disability. You’ll critically assess positivist, interpretative and ‘emancipatory’ methodologies and the data collection and analysis strategies that come with them, and consider the emergence of the ‘social model’ of disability.
You’ll apply these perspectives to contemporary social policy in Semester 2, as you explore topics such as disability benefits, self-help, public amenities like housing, transport and public buildings, education, employment and social support services.
In addition, you’ll gain specialist knowledge when you select from a range of optional modules. You could pursue further training in quantitative and qualitative research methods, or study topics such as special educational needs. You’ll also focus on a specific topic when you complete your dissertation – an individual piece of research that allows you to showcase the knowledge and skills you’ve gained.
We use various teaching methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials in core modules. Optional modules may also include methods such as practical classes, workshops or online learning. Independent study is also crucial to this programme, allowing you to shape your own research questions, prepare for taught sessions and build research and analytical skills.
Assessment methods are likely to vary, depending on the optional modules you choose. Most of our taught modules are assessed through written work such as essays and book and literature reviews.
There is a growing demand for students with a comprehensive knowledge of disability issues in all areas of social life.
In particular, there are many career opportunities in health and social support services, education, human resources, statutory and voluntary agencies, NGOs (non-governmental organisations), INGOs (international non-governmental agencies) and charities.
There are also excellent career openings in social research and universities – you’ll be well prepared for further research at PhD level.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Visit the Disability Studies MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!