Course Overview

Disability studies allow us to understand disability in a different way; as a positive social and political identity, rather than a health issue or something to be 'fixed' or arouse sympathy. The study of 'disability' is inextricably linked to the concept of equality. This programme may be of interest to disabled people in Ireland, or people currently working in the disability, community, health and social care sectors. People working for, or living with, disabled people may also be interested in the programme.

Exit routes available at

  • Postgraduate Diploma (two years)
  • Certificate (one year)

See our

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Admission Criteria for entry to Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Disability Studies.

Applicants will normally have gained:

  • A primary degree (level 8) or evidence of equivalent academic credits. Students who do not have the aforementioned will be required to provide evidence of their ability to study at post-graduate level.
  • International students will require a degree of fluency in the English language. An overall score of 6.5 in the IELTS Academic Test is required

Criteria for progression onto Master of Science (Disability Studies).

Applicants will normally have gained:

  • A Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9) or evidence of equivalent academic credits 
  • Have successfully completed a postgraduate level 9 research module (or equivalent learning)
  • International students will require a degree of fluency in the English language. A score of 6.5 in the IELTS Academic TestThis equates to a score of 570 in TOEFL.

Additional Requirements


Three years, part-time

Next start date

September 2020

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date
NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended Learning.

ECTS weighting

PCert: 30; PDip: 60; MSc: 90


Master of Science (Disability Studies)
(exit routes also available)


Course code

Course Outline

The Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma / Master of Science in Disability Studies programme is modular in design and runs in three stages. Students undertake 3 modules in stage one (Year 1) worth 30 ECTS at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) (National framework of Qualifications (QQI 2014)) and 3 modules in stage two (Year 2) worth 30 ECTS at level 9 on the NFQ framework.

Students can choose to exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate in Disability Studies on successful completion of year 1, or a Postgraduate Diploma award on successful completion of year 2, or they can bypass this award, and subject to entry criteria, elect to continue for one academic year, to achieve the award of Master of Health Sciences at level 9 award on the NFQ for 30 ECTs.

Year 1 (Postgraduate Certificate in Disability Studies)

  • Historical Perspectives in Disability Studies
  • The Lived Experience of Disability
  • Personal and Social Perspectives in Disability Studies

Year 2 (Postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies)

  • Applied Social Policy & Disability Equality
  • Advanced Research Skills
Optional Modules (students will undertake one module from those listed below, modules will only run if there are sufficient numbers)
  • Disability and the Media
  • Social Inclusion
  • Building Competence for Community Activism
  • Education, Work and Disability
  • Disability Arts

Year 3 - Master of Science (Disability Studies)

  • Research Dissertation Practicum

Further Education

Upon full completion of the programme, it provides a pathway to PhD level education. 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme will offer a wide range of career opportunities. Graduates will have the requisite knowledge and transferable skills to work in the areas of or disability at the individual, group or community level. They may pursue a career in the public service, voluntary or statutory agencies or in the private sector.

  • Service delivery: actually providing the service that the community/ disability/ health organisation is focused upon.
  • Policy research or strategy: keeping abreast of political developments, identifying key stakeholders in the decision-making process at European, national, regional and local government level, researching international trends etc.
  • Administration: issues such as managing staff and budgets, and volunteer co-ordination (recruitment, training and co-ordination).
Graduates will be prepared to play leadership roles in such settings as:
  • Community Service Agencies
  • State and Local Government Agencies
  • International Human Rights and Non-governmental Organisations
  • National Policy or Advocacy Organisations
  • Disability and Community Care Services

The programme is also relevant to the needs of people already employed in these areas who wish to gain a relevant qualification.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,300 - Total Cost for MSc (2020/2021)

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€6,300 p.a. (2020/2021)


Fees can be paid securely through our Online Payment Facility

Exit routes at Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate levels:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Disability Studies:   €4,200
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies:      €2,100

Find out More

Dawn McGuinn
Department of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies
T: +353(0)71 913 5675