Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

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

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.


Leanne Plews
The course gives a balanced view on all aspects of deaf education and facilitates students’ abilities to learn for themselves and develop their confidence to then help parents of deaf children.

Leanne Plews

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

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

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

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) credits

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.

Entry requirements

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

You’ll also need ...

  • a teaching qualification (QTS, QTLS, Diploma in Education and Training)
  • British Sign Language CACDP/Signature Level 1 or equivalent
  • two years of relevant and current experience of working in deaf education
  • access to a school or service's 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

Application deadlines

  • International students: 30 June
  • UK/EU students: 31 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 we will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)
  • Details of two referees.

Admissions policy

School of Education Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £8,000 (total)

International: £8,000 (total)

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.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

Bursaries are offered to UK Deaf Education schools or services funding more than one student per school or service in a single year to the part-time MA Deaf Education (TOD) programme.

For schools or services funding two students to start the programme in September 2018, a 5% bursary towards the part-time Deaf Education programme tuition fee per student per year will be applied.

For schools or services sending more than two students to start the programme in September 2018, a 10% bursary towards the part-time Deaf Education programme tuition fee per student per year will be applied.

Schools or 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 may be 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

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.

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

The Professional Skills Portfolio module is compulsory if you are working towards the ToD qualification. The module 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.

  • Audiology
    ​​This strand 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 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.

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