Psychology and Learning Disability MSc
MSc Psychology and Learning Disability
Whether you're currently working with people with a learning disability or you've recently graduated and looking to start a career in this field, this MSc Psychology and Learning Disability degree course provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to develop your learning disability scholarship and practice.
You'll explore how to create a positive difference in the lives of people with learning disabilities, their families and supporters. Working on units written by topic experts, you'll take a critical approach to knowledge of learning disability and contemporary practice as you enrich your understanding of this field. You'll also have opportunities to develop your research abilities.
This is a part-time, 2-year distance learning course, which allows you the flexibility to fit your studies around work commitments.
When you graduate, your MSc will enhance your career prospects in services for people with learning disabilities and their supporters.
This course focuses on learning disability or intellectual disabilities rather than specific learning difficulties, so we don't cover issues such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
MSc Psychology and Learning Disability Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants with a professional qualification not at degree level may be accepted - each application is considered on an individual basis according to academic qualifications as well as professional qualifications and experience.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Be supported by experienced learning disability academics
- Learn through a combination of live web-based chat forums, e-conferencing, remote seminars and workshops, and individual tutorials, where you'll discuss your work with lecturers and other students
- Work on units written by topic experts
- Complete an individual project based on an original piece of research
- Tap into the Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, and borrow books locally via the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCOLNUL) scheme
Careers and opportunities
Career opportunities when you complete this course differ according to your prior experience.
What can you do with a Psychology and Learning Disability Master's degree?
If you already have a professional career related to learning disability or other developmental disorders, you'll be in a stronger position to make significant progress in your career after the course. Previous students who were already in professional roles during the course have progressed to senior management positions, academic posts and doctoral level study.
If you're a new graduate, you'll strengthen your CV to either gain appropriate employment in this sector or apply to study for advanced academic qualifications such as PhDs or professional doctorates.
If you have a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited BSc in Psychology, you could apply to do a taught doctorate in areas such as Educational Psychology (EdPsychD) or in Clinical Psychology (ClinPsychD).
Work experience and career planning
When you complete this course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work. You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our this service as you advance in your career.
What you'll study on this MSc Psychology and Learning Disability degree course
Core units on this course are as follows. Each unit is written by an expert in that topic.
- Psychology and Learning Disability: Core Issues (30 credits)
- Critical Intellectual Disability Studies (30 Credits)
- Autism Spectrum Conditions (30 credits)
- Neurodiversity Studies (30 credits)
- Research Project (30 credits)
- Quantitative, Qualitative, and Literature Based Research (15 credits)
- Psychology Project (by distance learning) (45 credits)
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin groups revision, memory and exam techniques
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
You'll be taught through distance learning, and be given resources, materials, help and guidance to complete your studies to your full ability.
Using our virtual learning environment you'll participate in group discussions with other students in an online class environment. Plus real-time chat with lecturers will ensure you receive all the support you need for the topics you study.
The academic year runs from October to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – October to January
- Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
- Teaching block 2 – February to May
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- practice files
- critical reviews
- data analysis and reports
- literature reviews
- a research project
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- Home/Channel Islands/Isle of Man and International students: £6,130 in year 1 and £3,070 in year 2 (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students: £6,130 in year 1 and £3,070 in year 2 (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
September 2021 start
- Part time study (2 years)
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.