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Key facts

Do you work in the disability or human services sector and are you committed to advancing your career? Perhaps you’re a health or community services professional interested in pivoting into this highly specialised area. Our Master of Disability Practice has been developed to meet the demand for practitioners by providing them with specialist education and training, developed in line with the professional standards of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Our master’s degree was created to equip you with the key knowledge and skills to effectively adopt person-centred approaches to assisting people with a disability, and their families. The focus is also on building your expertise in addressing challenging behaviour from a functional assessment perspective.

Duration
  • Up to 6 years part-time
Start
  • Trimester 1 - Mar 2021
  • Trimester 2 - Jun 2021
  • Trimester 3 - Oct 2021
Mode
  • Online
Entry requirements
  • Guaranteed ATAR: Not applicable
View full entry requirements
Fees
  • Full Fee
    Full Fee

    Tuition fees for domestic students not admitted to a Commonwealth Supported Place (i.e. no available government subsidy).

View more fees information
UNE Course Code
  • MDIS

Course information

UNE student studies on computer and laptop in classroom

Why study the Master of Disability Practice with UNE?

The Master of Disability Practice is designed to prepare you to work effectively with people with a range of disabilities. The emphasis is on best-practice in the fields of neurodevelopmental, cognitive, behavioural, physical, sensory and other disabilities. You will develop evidence-based, person-centred assessment and intervention skills, that you will be able to apply in a range of settings. Functional behavioural assessment represents a key feature of this degree and is taught with applications to various disabilities, life stages and presenting behaviours.

This degree comprises three study pathways – research, clinical and general – depending on your career aspirations and interests. You will complete core units, then depending on your chosen pathway, you will also study additional units in neuroscience, biomedical science, and management. If you select the clinical pathway, you will also complete a supervised practicum unit which can be undertaken in your current workplace if it is disability related.

If you are interested in research and achieve good grades in your core units, you may undertake a major research project and thesis. Your research studies will be supervised by academics who have similar research interests to you. Completing the research pathway opens the opportunity for you to complete further research through a PhD or other higher degree research programs.

What makes our course different?

The focus in our Master of Disability Practice is on the practical, technical and professional skills needed to support and empower people with a disability in meeting their life goals. This course employs scientific and humanistic perspectives to assist you in addressing important issues such as successful client inclusion, enhanced daily functioning and, for those interested in organisational management, transformative practices in business and personnel. The course:

  • Examines the disability field from strength-based and client-focused perspectives.
  • Builds expertise in addressing challenging behaviour from a functional assessment standpoint.
  • Is taught by staff have worked extensively in the field of disability and understand what it’s like to help people with a disability to cope and thrive.
  • Is underpinned by internationally renowned research programs in Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, and depression, with research and teaching links to outstanding clinicians and researchers in Disability from the USA, UK and Europe.
  • Is available to study online, allowing you to fit study around your busy lifestyle, not the other way around, no matter where you are in the world.

Year after year, students award UNE the maximum 5-star ratings in The Good Universities Guide for Overall Experience and Student Support, so when you choose to study with UNE, you are in very good hands.

Study online

Most of our students choose to study online across three study periods with 24/7 tutor support* and fit study around work and family commitments. Uniquely, our online students are mostly over 30 and bring valuable experience with them. They form a community of adults juggling the same challenges and priorities and who bring their life and work experience together to build real world networks for the future.

Study on campus

Many of our students choose to take advantage of the on-campus lifestyle in Armidale, in the beautiful New England region, with access to unparalleled support, accommodation and sporting facilities. These students are often starting their first degree and have left school recently. Through access to academic and career support they get a fantastic start to their careers.

* 24/7 tutor support includes: essay feedback (within 24 hours); live chat 24/7 for generic feedback on academic writing; and subject-specific help at a foundation or first-year level for subjects including mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, business, accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics. There are also a wide range of workshops, resources and courses available in academic skills support to assist you and help you to succeed.

Offerings

Admission periodMode/location
Trimester 1Online
Trimester 2Online
Trimester 3Online

Entry requirements

A candidate shall:

(a) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in a relevant discipline*; or
(b) hold an AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate in a relevant discipline*; or
(c)hold an AQF Level 8 Graduate Diploma or Bachelor with Honours in a relevant discipline*; or
(d) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification or an AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma, in a non-relevant discipline; or
(e) satisfy UNE by means of other relevant professional experience by submitting a Statement of Service from your employer/s and a resume outlining a minimum of three years'' full-time (or equivalent) relevant professional experience and training, taken in the past 10 years**.

Applicants applying under Rule (d) or Rule (e) must submit a Statement of Service.

*Relevant disciplines include but not limited to:

Business
Counselling
Disability
Education
Health
Law
Management
Medicine
Psychology
Social work
Other similar disciplines as determined by the course coordinator.

** Professional experience refers to the provision of services in the area of disability, for example, a manager in a disability service provider or special education teacher.

Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Candidates admitted under Rule (a) or (b) may be granted up to 24 credit points of Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature.  Up to a further 24 credit points may be granted based on units that were not part of the degree on which admission was based. The advanced standing may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable demonstrated relevant professional experience, as approved by the Course Coordinator.

Candidates admitted under Rules (c) may be granted up to 48 credit points of Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature. The advanced standing may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable demonstrated relevant professional experience, as approved by the Course Coordinator.

Candidates admitted under Rule (d) or (e) are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing. Up to 6 credit points may be granted on the basis of considerable demonstrated relevant professional experience, as approved by the Course Coordinator.

No advanced standing will be granted for SCI501, SCI502, SCI505 or SCI599.

Fees and scholarships

How much will it cost?

Estimated fees for your first year of study in this course are:

Fee typeCost
Full Fee$24,368*
*The costs will depend on the units you choose to study as the cost of individual units vary. “Estimated fees” are provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking a study load of 48 credit points in the first year of this course. For courses that require less than 48 credit points the fees indicated are based on the total credit points required for completion of that course. For more information, please see fees and costs.

Scholarships

UNE scholarships are open for all to apply and offer financial help while you are studying. If you are commencing your university studies or if you are already a student at UNE, there are a number of scholarships to help you throughout your studies. There are UNE scholarships for students:

  • with high academic achievement
  • from rural areas
  • studying specific degrees
  • in disadvantaged groups
  • who excel at sport
  • living in a UNE residential college.

UNE scholarship applications are free and confidential. You may apply for more than one scholarship.

Course structure

To qualify for the award a candidate must pass units to the value of 96 credit points with at least 36 credit points at 500-level.

48 credit points

Complete the following units:

Note: When a unit with the same title is offered at multiple levels you can only complete ONE unit (eg. HDEV300 or HDEV500).

48 credit points

Complete 48 credit points from either the Research, Clinical Experience or General Pathways:

48 credit points

Complete the following units:

SCI599 is available only to students who have achieved a grade point average of 5 or above in both NEUR501 and NEUR502 and permission of head of school.

Candidates in the Research pathway who do not achieve a GPA of 5 or more in both NEUR501 and NEUR502 will complete SCI501 and SCI502 plus 12 credit points of Listed Units as approved by the Course Coordinator.

12 credit points

Complete 12 credit points from the following ensuring that the Course Requirements are met.

Candidates in the Research pathway who are unable to complete SCI599 complete an additional 12 credit points from the following:

48 credit points

Complete the following units:

12 credit points

Complete 12 credit points from the following ensuring that the Course Requirements are met.

Candidates in the Research pathway who are unable to complete SCI599 complete an additional 12 credit points from the following:

48 credit points

Complete 12 credit points from the following units:

36 credit points

Complete 36 credit points from the following ensuring that the Course Requirements are met.

Or 12 credit points, as approved by the course coordinator, from any other unit offered by the University subject to candidates meeting overall course requirements and prerequisite and timetabling requirements for individual units.

See UNE Handbook for more details. The Handbook contains detailed course information designed for enrolled students, including course plans, intensive schools, and work placement requirements.

Course outcomes

The Master of Disability Practice degree is designed for support workers and others employed by organisations that are delivering disability services or those seeking employment and students interested in the field of disability practice and management. The aim of this course is to enable students and disability workers to enhance their competencies and progress their careers in areas critical to the delivery of disability services. The course will produce graduates with specialised knowledge of disability practice and management including clinical knowledge, dealing and interacting with people with disabilities and case management and delivery and coordinating disability services.
  1. demonstrate through their own study and practice knowledge of disability management including: clinical knowledge, practice and management encompassing the broad context of health, family and community services, in order to be an affective clinical practitioner and case manager;
  2. utilise cognitive and communication skills, tools and digital technologies to communicate appropriately and persuasively with a range of stakeholders and working in a multidisciplinary team;
  3. demonstrate a well-developed ability to use creativity and judgement in analysing problems relating to disability client behaviour and case management and to work independently and collaboratively with others to generate solutions to problems;
  4. demonstrate advanced skills in the utilising and analysis of information, evaluation of evidence based practice/research which is drawn from a range of sources, such as reports, organisations and data sets;
  5. demonstrate and apply an advanced ability to critically evaluate and formulate responses to social, cultural and ethical issues that emerge in disability management; and
  6. practice preparedness to pursue a specialised knowledge and understanding to enhance professional skills and client outcomes.
Knowledge of a Discipline

Graduates will have an advanced knowledge of disability management through the learning and teaching activities associated with each unit and interaction with the unit coordinators, in lectures and tutorials, placement, online activities and discussion board. Students will be assessed using assignments, individual and group projects reports, placement logs and examinations.

Communication Skills

Graduates will have advanced cognitive and communication skills acquired through written assignments and reports, oral presentations and participation in online activities and discussion boards.

Problem Solving

Graduates will have well-developed problem solving skills in all aspects of disability management. All units teach and assess problem solving skills.

Information Literacy

Graduates will be able to analyse and evaluate information from a range of sources, using a range of technologies. Students are required to demonstrate information literacy in assessment tasks for all units.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

Graduates will have an in-depth understanding of the social, cultural and ethical issues related to provision of disability services. Social responsibility and professional practice is embedded in the course content.

Lifelong Learning

Graduates will have the fundamental skills required to supplement their knowledge and to keep abreast of any changes in the provision of disability services. This will be taught and practised in most units.

Independence and Collaboration

Graduates are able to apply skills and knowledge individually and as part of collaborative teams. They are able to work with intellectual independence, and to collaborate as part of a multidisciplinary team with colleagues and clients. Working in a group environment is an essential component of the course and in provision of disability services. To develop these skills, some units require students to work in groups and provide guidance and assessment on group work.

A five-star experience

Teaching Quality
Teaching Quality NSW
Good Universities Guide 2021
#1 in Australia Postgraduate Teaching Quality
Postgraduate Teaching Quality
Good Universities Guide 2021
Student Support
Undergraduate Student Support
Good Universities Guide 2021
Overall Experience
Overall Experience
Good Universities Guide 2021
Woman studying online at home

Studying online

At UNE we know it takes more than just being online to be a great online university. It takes time and experience. We pioneered distance education for working adults back in the 1950s, so we’ve been doing this longer than any other Australian university.

We understand the challenges faced by busy adults studying at home. We know that a vital part of online study is your engagement with the learning community. Communication with your classmates, teaching staff and university support staff will enhance your study experience and ensure that your skills extend beyond the subject matter. UNE’s teaching staff are experts in their field which is why UNE consistently receives five stars from students for teaching quality, support and overall experience.*

*The Good Universities Guide

Your career

Career outcomes

The Master of Disability Practice is designed for those already working in, or looking for a transition into, the fields of:

  • disability support
  • health
  • human services
  • rehabilitation.

Graduates of the Master of Disability Practice may apply for admission to research higher degrees and other doctoral programs if they complete the research pathway.

Other career information

The Master of Disability Practice is relevant to the training standards and requirements of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

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Why study with us?

I developed the skills to analyse data, critically examine research and apply it through my own thesis. I use those skills every day in my role.

Bachelor of Economics with Honours graduate James Pryor poses with testamur at UNE graduationJames Pryor

What happens next?

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1. Decide on your course

Got any questions about a course you would like to study? Don’t hesitate to contact us, our Future Student team is standing by to help.

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2. Apply

2021 applications are now open. The application process only takes 20 minutes to complete. Don’t delay, apply now!

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3. Receive an offer, enrol and start studying

Your start date is based on the study period you choose to apply for.

Future study opportunities