Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

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

The Leeds programme offers an MA in Deaf Education over two years that combines face-to-face with online learning and support. The programme, approved by the Department for Education (DFE) to offer the Mandatory Qualification for Teachers of the Deaf, integrates cutting-edge research knowledge with practitioner expertise to develop skilled, knowledgeable and critical practitioners.

The programme combines a strong research base with input from highly qualified and experienced practitioners in the field. It is delivered within a research intensive environment that prioritises working partnerships with schools/services and other stakeholders through collaborative research and professional development activities.

Central to the programme is an understanding that the establishment of language fluency and effective communication as a basis for cognitive development and access to the curriculum must be an educational priority for all deaf learners. Individual residual hearing and 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 hearing technologies and 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 sign and spoken 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/services funding more than one student per school/service in a single year.

The 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.

Educational Audiology explores the full audiological implications of deafness in both social and educational settings. You will develop a knowledge and understanding of the auditory system and gain practical experience of assessment procedures, and the implementation of audiological support programmes. You will gain an understanding of the effective use of all classroom related audiological and amplification systems, and ways in which different technologies maximise the use of audition.

Learning and Teaching considers the implications of deafness for individual learning and achievement, and explores ways in which teaching, learning and assessment opportunities can be maximised to facilitate pupil progress. You will gain a knowledge and understanding of ways in which the environment and the use of technology can contribute to the learning experience. You will develop skills in individual planning and the monitoring and assessment of learning, and how this is shared with other professionals, parents and deaf learners.

Deafness and Development focuses on child and language development and the potential impact of deafness on early childhood experiences and development. You will gain a knowledge and understanding of the language, communication and interaction issues associated with childhood deafness, and implications for cognitive development and social- emotional well-being. You will develop skills in assessing and developing the language of deaf learners and flexible approaches to meeting the language needs of deaf learners in the classroom.

The Context of Deaf Education provides you with an in-depth understanding of the current legislative and educational context for deaf education. This includes current statutory frameworks as well as in-school evaluation and improvement processes. As part of this module you will have the opportunity to broaden your experience of the different types of settings in deaf education and to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to support learners across the range of specialist and mainstream models of provision.

To receive the MA qualification you will also complete a research-based Dissertation. This is an independent piece of work that allows you to study a topic related to your own interests and to make a genuine contribution to the field. This aspect of the programme is supported by an online research methods module, two face-to-face study days, regional tutorials and individual supervision.

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

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

If you complete all the modules EXCEPT the Dissertation, you’ll receive the Postgraduate Diploma, with Teacher of the Deaf Qualification.

Year 1Compulsory modules
You must take one of these pairs of modules each year:
Educational Audiology
AND Learning and Teaching

The Context of Deaf Education
AND Deafness and Development
Year 2Compulsory modules
You must also take the remaining pair of modules:
Educational Audiology
AND Learning and Teaching

The Context of Deaf Education
AND Deafness and Development
Optional modules
Additional modules required for certain awards as below:
Professional Skills Portfolio (required for Teacher of the Deaf award)
Dissertation (required for MA award)

For more information on typical modules, read Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf Qualification) MA in programme catalogue

Learning and teaching

Each core module comprises a study day or a short residential in Leeds, followed by 12 online taught sessions, 2 online tutorials and a regional tutorial. Bespoke online meetings, phone, email and Skype support is also available from tutors.

You are expected 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/service who will act as a mentor for you throughout the training.


The four core modules and dissertation are assessed through written assignments. The Professional Skills Portfolio is practically assessed and includes a minimum of a four week supervised teaching placement.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent qualification.

You’ll also need:

• Teaching qualification (QTS, QTLS, Diploma in Education and Training)
• British Sign Language CACDP/Signature Level 1 or equivalent
• Relevant and current experience of working in deaf education (normally two years’ experience)
• Access to school/service audiological resources and support
• Access to internet facilities for email and online learning
• Access to local sign language tuition.

For information on equivalent qualifications contact the School of Education Postgraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

How to apply

We generally advise you to apply before the end of July.


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • A copy of your degree certificate and transcript of your results
  • Two references
  • A personal statement of 750-1,000 words, telling us something about yourself and why you would be suited to the programme
  • If English is not your first language, you will need to send us evidence of your English language qualifications.

Admissions policy

School of Education Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £6,800

International: £14,000

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students read Masters fees.

Because you study this programme part-time, you’ll pay on a pro rata basis, splitting the cost equally across all three years.

Additional cost information

This fee includes the cost of the two programme residentials. It does not include the cover and travel costs associated with programme attendance and teaching placements.

Scholarships and financial support

Bursaries are offered to UK Deaf Education schools/services funding more than one student per school/service in a single year to the part-time MA Deaf Education (TOD) programme. For schools/services funding 2 students to start the programme in September 2016, a 5% bursary towards the part-time Deaf Education programme tuition fee per student per year will be applied. For schools/services sending more than 2 students to start the programme in September 2016, a 10% bursary towards the part-time Deaf Education programme tuition fee per student per year will be applied. Schools/services already receiving other National Scholarship funding are not eligible for this scheme.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

The programme 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 Ed.D or Ph.D. route.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats 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.

Professional Skills Portfolio

This module is compulsory if you are working towards the ToD qualification. It allows you to acquire and demonstrate the range of practical and practice based skills that you need as a Teacher of the Deaf. There are four strands to be completed:

  • Audiology: This provides guidance for developing practical skills with audiological technology and its management within different educational settings
  • Communication: 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.
  • Placement: This entails either one or two four-week teaching placements, depending on current and previous professional experience. At least one 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 progress will be tracked throughout the two year course. It will also provide the means through which to identify objectives for continued professional development.

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