University of Leeds logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 4.17k / Year (International)
  • Foreign: $ 4.17k / Year (International)
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 383pts.

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    If you ...

    * are working or planning a career in the field of disability
    * wish to bridge the gap between your understanding of theory and practice
    * need a postgraduate distance learning option so you can fit your study in the demands of a busy life

    then MA Disability Studies by Distance Learning is the programme for you.

    MA Disability Studies by Distance Learning provides a comprehensive insight into the changing and challenging nature of disability theory, policy and research, and gives you the knowledge and skills to meet those challenges.

    This unique and popular programme gives you the opportunity to explore theoretical and practical perspectives on a wide range of disability-related issues.

    We designed the programme in response to the growing demand from students unable to attend University. The programme is entirely computer-based to allow greater flexibility in teaching and learning.

    Students are also required to attend two residential study weekends: one in the first year and one in the second.

    MA in Disability Studies by Distance Learning is a two year part-time distance learning course.

    Compulsory ModulesYear One

    Theories and Definitions of Disability examines the various definitions of impairment and disability: medical, psychological and socio/political, alongside theoretical perspectives. You will also investigate the historical development of the 'disability' category and examine ancient myths and prejudices, social policy and disabled people since the seventeenth century; and charity and the welfare state.

    Social Policy, Politics and Disabled People focuses on social policy and disabled people throughout the post-1945 period with particular emphasis on developments during the 1980s and 1990s. The module explores 'special educational needs', legislation and employment, disability benefits, health and social support services for disabled people, self help, organisation, politics and public amenities housing, transport and public buildings.

    Culture, Researching Disability and Changing Practice concentrates on contemporary culture and its implications for disabled people, researching disability and the implementation of good practice. The module analyses equal opportunities, national and local disability information providers, what constitutes access and accessible information and how to involve disabled people in policy and planning.

    Year Two

    Disability Research Strategy and Design gives a comprehensive insight into the complexities of research training. The course provides a step-by-step approach to research design that concentrates on key issues and questions researchers need to recognise, confront and resolve on the design of social research.

    Disability Dissertation consists of two parts: one 5,000 word essay outlining the research topic, and a 15,000 word dissertation. The additional length of the dissertation allows you to utilise knowledge and skills gained from previous modules and to explore and research your chosen topic in more detail. The Dissertation may be a secondary analysis or an empirical study of a previously unstudied topic.

    Module assessment is an essay of up to 6,000 words, or the equivalent, for each module.

    Diploma in Disability Studies by Distance LearningAvailable on a 12-month part-time basis, Diploma in Disability Studies by Distance Learning students take four compulsory modules. You study the following MA modules as part of the diploma.

    * Theories and Definitions of Disability
    * Social Policy, Politics and Disabled People
    * Culture, Research and Changing Practice

    In addition to these modules, you also take the Disability Project module. This module enables you to pursue and investigate an appropriate topic at length, utilising the knowledge and skills you have gained from previous modules. The project may be a secondary analysis or an empirical study of a previously unstudied topic.

    On the basis of a good performance in a full-time student's first semester, or a part-timer's first year, students initially registered for the Diploma may be transferred onto the corresponding MA.

    Due to the high demand for places on the Disability Studies by Distance Learning programme, we advise you to apply early.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    If you wish to apply for our postgraduate taught programmes, you should normally hold a good honours degree (upper second class or first class) in a Social Science discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification. Relevant experience will be taken into account where appropriate.Candidates who have narrowly missed securing an upper second result may be considered on their merits. We also welcome applications for the Social and Public Policy programme from good candidates from the Humanities that are keen to enter the public or voluntary sectors, or who work in these fields already.Postgraduate diploma routes are available for candidates that do not wish to take the full MA programme. It is also possible to consider candidates for the Diploma who are not appropriately qualified for immediate MA study. Such candidates may be considered for subsequent transfer to an MA programme, depending on performance. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL iBT® test: 92 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

    The school invites applications for the following awards from postgraduate taught students who wish to commence study in September 2014.All applicants should have or expect to obtain a good honours degree (upper second class or first) or its equivalent in Sociology, Social Policy or related discipline. Candidates must have applied for or been offered a place on one of the schemes available within the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

    School Scholarships

    · Full Fee Scholarship for a Leeds Graduate

    · Full Fee Bursary for International Students

    · Partial Fee Bursaries and matched funding for students with sponsors

    University Scholarships

    · Alumni Postgraduate Bursary


    Studying Medical Sciences at Leeds offers:

    * the chance to study in a faculty ranked 4th in the UK for research in biological sciences by the leading scientific journal 'Nature' based on members of staff producing research that was "world leading or internationally excellent"
    * teaching quality rated "excellent" in last two QAA reviews
    * a very high level of student satisfaction in NSS survey results

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