This programme is an advanced professional development programme involving some or all of the following: distance learning; study workshops. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities can be completed mainly by distance learning.
About the Tizard Centre
The Tizard Centre is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and has excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments.
The Centre is at the forefront of learning and research in autism, intellectual disability and community care, and in 2013 received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its outstanding work in these areas.
The Centre has excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments. Our primary aims, through research, teaching and consultancy, are:
- to find out more about how to effectively support and work with people with learning disabilities
- to help carers, managers and professionals develop the values, knowledge and skills that enable better services
- to aid policymakers, planners, managers and practitioners to organise and provide enhanced services.
The Tizard Centre is recognised as leading the field in deinstitutionalisation and community living, challenging behaviour, quality of staff support, sexuality and autism, and has had a significant impact on national policies in these areas. We are committed to addressing issues arising from social inequality.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research was ranked 2nd for research power in the UK. The School was also placed 3rd for research intensity, 5th for research impact and 5th for research quality.
An impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research, gaining the highest possible score of 100%.
Accreditation of Prior Learning and Prior Experiential Learning may be possible on this programme. You can transfer between this programme and other programmes offered by Tizard and also between levels, subject to meeting admission requirements.
Coursework is taught through a mixture of web-based resources, directed reading, videos, lectures, seminars and practical sessions, supported by a number of workshops, where you work with skilled professionals and have the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with fellow students.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
TZ830 - Research Methods
The aim of this module is to teach students about research methodology and the knowledge needed to access and interpret the research literature. For those who take the statistical analysis element, the aim is also to teach appropriate statistical techniques for the analysis of quantitative data. The emphasis will be on methods of data collection and analysis which will be useful in practice settings, so that advanced multivariate techniques will not be taught.View full module details
TZ861 - Social Psychology of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
All academic modules are taught using a combination of web-based resources, reading, the introductory workshop and a one-week workshop in the Spring. For each module, there will be web-based materials including video-recorded lectures, web-based discussions/seminars, and quizzes/group exercises. Students are also expected to conduct their own literature searches and follow-up the core reading and the reference lists for each topic covered
The aim of this module is to teach the basic facts about the nature and origins of intellectual and developmental disabilities, including definitions of learning disability, epidemiology, biological, social and environmental causes of learning disability. In addition, characteristics of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be considered (including cognitive and social characteristics) along with issues such as autism, ageing, transition, early intervention, physical & mental health, parenting, sexuality and people with intellectual and developmental disability in the criminal justice system.View full module details
TZ862 - Behaviour Analysis and Intervention
100% ExamView full module details
TZ863 - Service issues in Intellectual and Development Disabilities
The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of organisational issues involved in learning disability services, including institutionalisation and deinstitutionalisation, theories of normalisation and criticisms of these theories, methods of analysing quality of life and care and ways of producing change in services. This module is taught as a web-based guided study module with seminars at several points in the first term. For AIIDD students, this module is closely linked to the service placement and discussion and application of web-based units will occur during placement supervision.View full module details
TZ865 - Extended Essay
All students will write one 6000 word essay on a topic which requires them to draw on material from the service issues, social psychology and behavioural analysis and intervention modules. This will be done over the course of the year for full time students and in the second year for part time students and will be submitted during the third term of the final year.View full module details
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
TZ995 - Extended Research Project in Intellectual andDevelopment Disabilities
During the first term of the course students will develop ideas for their research project and will be given the opportunity to choose a research project proposed and supervised by members of the course team or other Tizard staff (see Appendix 4 of course handbook for the list of topics for the current year). Students who choose to design their own project will be allocated a dissertation supervisor. Students following the MSc in Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disability are required to do an empirical dissertation. All other students can choose between either an empirical or a non-empirical (e.g. policy or research review) dissertation.
Students develop a proposal (assessed) for their research project with advice from their supervisor and apply for ethical approval either to the Tizard Ethics Committee (Ethical Review Checklist available on web-based resources) or to another ethics committee such as those in the NHS.View full module details
Teaching and Assessment
Each of the four taught modules is assessed by a computer-based exam and an extended essay. In addition, the Research Methods module involves short assignments and a worked problem.
This programme aims to:
- provide you with detailed knowledge of intellectual and developmental disabilities and ability to interpret research in this field
- provide you with detailed knowledge of intellectual and developmental disabilities and knowledge of how to conduct and interpret research in this field (MA, PDip only).
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- definitions and epidemiology of intellectual disability
- cognitive, communicative and social characteristics of people with intellectual disabilities
- biological, social and environmental causes of intellectual disability
- behaviour analysis
- challenging behaviour and other special needs
- ideology, policy and service development
- definition and measurement of service quality
- relationships between service organisation and quality
- research methodology.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the ability to present critical, balanced arguments
- the ability to appraise and interpret evidence from academic literature and personal/work experience
- the ability to generate and interpret evidence through research (PDip, MA only).
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- how to conduct applied research on a topic relevant to intellectual and developmental disability. (PDip, MA only)
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to organise information clearly, respond to written sources, present information orally.
- the ability to make sense of statistical materials, integrate numerical and non-numerical information (MA only);
- the ability to make sense of statistical materials, quantitative and qualitative information (PDip only);
- if you are doing the statistical element of research methods module, you will make sense of statistical materials, integrate quantitative and qualitative information. You will also become familiar with ways of summarising and presenting data (PCert only)
- information technology: the ability to produce written documents and undertake online research
- working with others: work co-operatively on group tasks and understand how groups function
- improve your own learning: the ability to explore your strengths and weaknesses, time management skills and review your working environment
- problem-solving: the ability to identify and define complex problems, explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.
Our postgraduate courses improve employability prospects for both those with established careers and new entrants to the field. Many of our students already work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in professional, management or supporting capacities.
Our programmes support their continuing professional development and enhance their opportunities for career advancement. Other students, who are at the beginning of their careers, move on to a range of professional roles in health and social care including working as psychologists in learning disability or behavioural specialists in community learning disability teams; service management of development roles; clinical psychology training or a PhD.
All teaching takes place at the Tizard Centre. Postgraduate research students have a shared office space with a computer and telephone.
Acclaimed active department
The Tizard Centre runs an annual seminar series where staff or guest lecturers present the results of research or highlight recent developments in the field of social care. The Jim Mansell Memorial Lecture invites public figures or distinguished academics to discuss topics that could interest a wider audience. The Centre also publishes the Tizard Learning Disability Review (in conjunction with Emerald Publishing) to provide a source of up-to-date information for professionals and carers.
The Tizard Centre provides consultancy to organisations in the statutory and independent sectors, both nationally and internationally, in diversified areas such as service assessment, person-centred approaches, active support and adult protection. The Centre also teaches a range of short courses, often in conjunction with other organisations.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Mental Health; Journal of Applied Research and Intellectual Disabilities; American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; and Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
A good honours degree, typically in psychology or other relevant social sciences, or comparable professional qualifications and experience.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
English language entry requirements
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Current research areas include: social inequalities and community care; intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Professor Julie Beadle-Brown: Professor in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Autism and social impairment in learning disability; the implementation of active support in services; the effect of grouping people in services; personcentred approaches; exclusion of people with challenging behaviour from services.View Profile
Dr Jill Bradshaw: Lecturer in Learning Disability
Staff attributions; communication and personcentred active support; communication environments; total communication approaches; augmentative and alternative communication.View Profile
Dr Nick Gore: Senior Lecturer in Learning Disability
Relational Frame Theory; acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT); challenging behaviour; supported employment.View Profile
Dr Michelle McCarthy: Reader in Learning Disability
The sexuality of people with learning disabilities, in particular women with learning disabilities, and sexual abuse; sexual and reproductive health; the menopause for women with learning disabilities.View Profile
Professor Peter Langdon: Professor of Clinical and Forensic Psychology
Adapting, developing and evaluating psychological therapies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; forensic mental health problems including sexual offending and their treatment; information processing models; use of technology in psychological therapies.View Profile
Professor Peter McGill: Professor of Clinical Psychology of Learning Disability
Applied behaviour analysis; challenging behaviour; positive behaviour support; family support.View Profile
Professor Glynis Murphy: Professor of Clinical Psychology and Disability
Effectiveness of cognitive behavioural treatment for men at risk of sexual offending; effectiveness of treatment for people with untreated phenylketonuria (PKU); symptoms of abuse for people with severe learning disabilities; capacity to consent to sexual relationships; early development of self-injurious behaviour; effectiveness of early intervention in autism.View Profile
Tony Osgood: Lecturer in Learning Disability
Positive behaviour support for challenging behaviour; behaviour analysis; person-centred planning; autism and asperger’s; organisational influence on human services outcomes.View Profile
Dr Paraskevi Triantafyllopoulou: Lecturer in Learning Disability
Sleep functioning and sleep problems in children and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism; sleep and challenging behaviour; offending in people with learning disabilities; person-centred active support.View Profile
Dr Ciara Padden: Lecturer in Learning Disability
Applied behaviour analysis; positive behaviour support; skill teaching; challenging behaviour; family wellbeing; family/staff training.View Profile
Serena Tomlinson: Lecturer in ABA/PBS (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
Early intervention and prevention for challenging behaviour in children with intellectual disabilities / developmental disabilities (IDD); education for children with IDD; socioemotional support for family carers; the use of ABA and PBS in the UK.View Profile
Dr Peter Baker: Senior Lecturer in Learning Disability
Challenging behaviour, positive behavioural support, applied behavioural analysis, staff support, community participation.View Profile
Dr Magali Barnoux: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Offenders with IDD (aetiology, risk and rehabilitation); staff in the Criminal Justice System working with offenders with IDD; Mental health; animal assisted interventions.View Profile
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - MA at Canterbury:|
|Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - PCert at Canterbury:|
|Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - PDip at Canterbury:|
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com
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