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This advanced professional development programme focuses on supporting practitioners in this field. Through campus-based workshops and clinical placements, you’ll gain a detailed knowledge of intellectual and developmental disabilities and learn how to arrange or provide support for individuals.
Our placement opportunities provide supervised experience in applying the knowledge you gain from your academic modules to working life.
Due to a high number of applicants we have been forced to put in place a deadline for receipt of applications for those wishing to be considered for entry to September intake.
Please therefore ensure that your full application (containing reference, all required documentation and evidence of English Language qualifications if relevant) is submitted online via the “Apply Now” link no later than 23:59 BST on 18 July.
Incomplete applications, or applications received after 18 July, will be considered for next year's September cohort.
Coursework is taught through a mixture of web-based resources, directed reading, videos, lectures, seminars and practical sessions. You also work with skilled professionals through a number of workshops, where you have the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with fellow students.
You work in two different placements during the course of the programme: a service placement based at the Tizard Centre and an individual clinical placement based in a community learning disability team or social care service. You complete a dissertation which must be based on empirical research.
A good honours degree, typically in psychology or other relevant social sciences, or comparable professional qualifications and experience. Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities students also need some practical experience in services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
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.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
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.
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.
All academic modules on the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities programmes 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.
Students will receive training on behaviour analysis and broader systems of support that have emerged from the field of behavioural science to support individuals diagnosed with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The module will critically evaluate the historical application of behavioural approaches, focusing on ethical and empowering support frameworks that can improve people's quality of life. Training will cover basic behavioural principles that link to how we learn, assessment strategies to better understand behaviour within its context, strategies to support individuals that might be exhibiting behaviours described as challenging, and ways to promote communication and the development of skills.
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.
All students will write one 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.
All students will be required to work in two different placements during their programme. This module is the first of these two placements. In the service placement students work as a team led by academic staff assessing the quality of care of selected residential or day services for children or adults with Intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping services to help develop or review their existing action plan to deal with issues raised and monitoring the effect of the implementation of the action plan/intervention. This placement will be organised into a series of workshops and face-to-face briefing sessions at the University during preparation and analysis stages and blocks of time in the placement service(s) during data collection stages. Full-time students will do more of the initial data collection and will finish their placement at the end of the Spring term. Part-time students will go back to monitor progress made by the service during the early part of the summer months.
All students will be required to work in two different placements during their programme. The clinical placement is the second placement, during which individual studies will have a clinical psychology attachment (normally to a local clinical psychologist or psychological therapist on a learning disability team).
Both full-time and part-time students will spend two to three days per week on clinical placements (i.e. between May and September, with two weeks annual leave). Part-time students will do this during their second years.
Prior to starting in the placement, students attend a workshops on campus to learn about assessment methods and the expectations of case work and what they need to keep in mind in planning and implementing the assessment part of the placement. In between assessment and intervention phases, students also attend another workshop at the university that will focus on intervention and where they will hear previous students present their case studies.
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 ( course handbook for the list of topics for the current year). Students who choose to design their own project will be allocated a project supervisor. Students following the MSc in Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disability are required to do an empirical project. All other students can choose between either an empirical or a non-empirical (e.g. policy or research review) project.
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.
Each of the four taught modules is assessed by an exam and an extended essay. In addition, the Research Methods module involves short assignments and a worked problem. Placements are assessed by two 2,000-word service reports and one 4,000-word case report, plus feedback by placement supervisors.
This programme aims to:
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You will gain the following transferable skills:
The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:
Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - MSc at Canterbury
Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - PDip at Canterbury
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
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In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of our Social work and social policy research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for impact and environment.
Following the REF 2021, Social work and social policy at Kent was ranked 3rd for research in the UK in the Times Higher Education.
Current research areas include: social inequalities and community care; intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
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.
Career destinations include working as a consultant behaviour analyst, carer co-ordinator, service care manager, special needs teacher, quality officer, ABA tutor and research assistant in various health care organisations such as Dimensions UK Ltd, Care Management Group, Consensus Support Services, Mencap and Ambitious About Autism.
All teaching takes place at the Tizard Centre. Postgraduate research students have a shared office space with a computer and telephone.
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.
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