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Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - MA, MPhil

Course Description

The Centre offers excellent opportunities for full or part-time research in intellectual disability and community care leading to higher degrees.

The Tizard Centre has a strong track record of attracting University and ESRC research studentship funding.

2016 Postgraduate Tizard programmes will close to applicants at 23:59 hrs on Thursday 21 April 2016. Applications received after this time will be held for consideration for 2017 entry. The final tranche of interviews for 2016 will be held during the week of 23 May 2016. Applicants unable to make themselves available this week (in person or via skype or telephone) will be considered for 2017 entry.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/110/intellectual-and-developmental-disabilities

About the Tizard Centre

The Tizard Centre is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and has excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments.

The Centre is at the forefront of learning and research in autism, intellectual disability and community care, and in 2013 received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its outstanding work in these areas.

The Centre has excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments. Our primary aims, through research, teaching and consultancy, are:

- to find out more about how to effectively support and work with people with learning disabilities

- to help carers, managers and professionals develop the values, knowledge and skills that enable better services

- to aid policymakers, planners, managers and practitioners to organise and provide enhanced services.

The Tizard Centre is recognised as leading the field in deinstitutionalisation and community living, challenging behaviour, quality of staff support, sexuality and autism, and has had a significant impact on national policies in these areas. We are committed to addressing issues arising from social inequality.

Study support

All teaching takes place at the Tizard Centre. Postgraduate research students have a shared office space with a computer and telephone.

Acclaimed active department
The Tizard Centre runs an annual seminar series where staff or guest lecturers present the results of research or highlight recent developments in the field of social care. The Jim Mansell Memorial Lecture invites public figures or distinguished academics to discuss topics that could interest a wider audience. The Centre also publishes the Tizard Learning Disability Review (in conjunction with Emerald Publishing) to provide a source of up-to-date information for professionals and carers.

The Tizard Centre provides consultancy to organisations in the statutory and independent sectors, both nationally and internationally, in diversified areas such as service assessment, person-centred approaches, active support and adult protection. The Centre also teaches a range of short courses, often in conjunction with other organisations.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Mental Health; Journal of Applied Research and Intellectual Disabilities; American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; and Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/tstindex.html) for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subjectspecific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Research areas

Current research areas include: social inequalities and community care; intellectual and developmental disabilities.

View details of current research on the Tizard website (http://www.kent.ac.uk/tizard/research/Current_recent_research.html).


Our postgraduate courses provide detailed knowledge of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Graduates will have gained a very good understanding of the matters arising within this population and will be able to analyse and conduct relevant research.

Our postgraduate courses improve employability prospects for both those with established careers and new entrants to the field. Many of our students already work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in professional, management or supporting capacities. Our programmes support their continuing professional development and enhance their opportunities for career advancement. Other students, who are at the beginning of their careers, move on to a range of professional roles in health and social care including working as psychologists in learning disability or behavioural specialists in community learning disability teams; service management of development roles; clinical psychology training or a PhD.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - MA, MPhil page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Scott Bartle

Why did you choose to study at the Tizard Centre?

I chose to study at Tizard because it gave me the opportunity to learn directly from eminent academics.

The flexibility of the course also appealed to me; attending an intensive week-long workshop once a month gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the subject. I was able to run my life in a way that more traditionally structured postgraduate courses don’t allow. This is respectful of postgraduate students as consumers as well as adult learners, as it acknowledges that our time is valuable.

How would you describe your fellow students?

The cohort of students on my course is diverse in age, experience, profession and opinion, which leads to lively and engaging debates.

I have particularly enjoyed hearing the reflections of others, especially those from other disciplines. It has been an opportunity to gain an understanding of their perceptions, which is not often possible within the constraints of an employment setting.

The modules complement each other well and give you a thorough understanding of issues from an individual, service and societal perspective.

What is the level of support like here for postgraduates?

The level of support provided by the staff within Tizard has been great, wider support from the University is also available and accessible.

What are you doing now?

I am employed as an Assistant Psychologist within Learning Disability Services and am enjoying applying what I have learnt through the course in my day-to-day work.


Entry Requirements

A first or 2.1 in a relevant subject. You should send an outline of your research proposal with your application. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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