Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf Qualification) MA

Year of entry

Masters Study and Funding online event

Join us online on Wednesday 17 April to receive expert advice on how to make your Masters a reality with funding. Book your place

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
Blended learning
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£10,750 (total)
International fees
£10,750 (total)

Course overview

Recent graduates speaking in sign language

Please note the information on this page relates to the academic year 2023/24. Course information for the academic year 2024/25 will be published in due course.

The MA Deaf Education Qualified Teacher of the Deaf (QToD) is a two-year programme leading to the Mandatory Qualification for Teacher of the Deaf for England and Wales, which is accredited by the Department for Education (DfE). This course is taught using blended learning, providing the opportunity to study both online and face to face. This provides the flexibility for you to balance your studies alongside your existing work and other commitments.

The dissertation, which is not required for qualified teachers of the deaf, may be undertaken in the second or third year and provides an to explore in depth an aspect of deaf education which you are particularly interested in. You will apply the knowledge and skills you will have developed during the programme to address an issue or question you have about your own practice or experience.

We also offer a Postgraduate Diploma in this subject. See PGDip Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf) for more information.


The School of Education has a national reputation both in teaching and research in the field of deaf education and draws students from all over the UK with a variety of experiences and knowledge, which you can also benefit from as part of our community. The programme is led by national and international leaders as well as senior practitioners in the field.

You will work closely with peers and build a strong network of colleagues from across the UK, across a wide range of settings.

Approved by the Department for Education (DfE) to offer the Mandatory Qualification for Teachers of the Deaf, the programme integrates cutting-edge research knowledge with practitioner expertise to develop skilled, knowledgeable, and critical practitioners. Dissertations will be supervised by experts in the field.

Our assessments are varied and designed to develop the skills you need in the field and updated in response to student feedback. From September 2023 assessed presentations may be delivered in British Sign Language (BSL). 

All University based sessions are supported by BSL interpreters and notetakers.

We welcome suitably qualified deaf and hearing applicants and provide appropriate access and support arrangements for all students.

Bursaries are offered to UK Deaf Education schools or services funding more than one student per school or service in a single year. Find out more on our scholarships page..

Approved by the Department for Education (DfE) to offer the Mandatory Qualification for Teachers of the Deaf, the programme integrates cutting-edge research knowledge with practitioner expertise to develop skilled, knowledgeable, and critical practitioners. 

Course details

MA Deaf Education comprises six core modules delivered across two years, and a dissertation which may be completed in the second year or third year. All the modules are developed in conjunction with the new Mandatory Qualification (MQ) and you will build a portfolio of professional skills across the two years to demonstrate your proficiency against the required MQ competencies.

Central to the programme is an understanding of the establishment of language fluency and effective communication as a basis for cognitive, social and emotional development. It recognises the plural and diverse linguistic contexts of deaf children’s lives and that maximising engagement with curriculum must be the educational priority for all deaf learners whilst support their development as an individual who is deaf.

Through consideration of the roles of spoken and signed languages and increasingly sophisticated hearing technologies, you will develop a broad knowledge base and the skills to respond flexibly to deaf children’s dynamic and changing communication academic, social, and emotional needs. You will become a reflective and critical thinker equipped with the competencies to work with deaf children, their parents/carers and other professionals to prepare deaf learners for life as a deaf adult.

The dissertation will provide you with an opportunity to explore in depth an aspect of deaf education in which you are particularly interested. You will apply the knowledge and skills you will have developed during the course to address an issue or question you have about your own practice or experience.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Deafness and Development 30
Communication in Deaf Education 15
Deaf Education in Context 15

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Educational Audiology 30
Facilitating Learning in Deaf Education 15
Professional Placement 15
Dissertation in Deaf Education 60

Learning and teaching

Each semester comprises a study day or a short residential in Leeds, followed by online sessions, two live online tutorials and a live regional tutorial. Bespoke online meetings, phone, email and Teams support is also available from tutors.

We expect you to commit to the equivalent of one study day per week as a minimum for this programme – to be negotiated with your employer at the application stage. Some practical requirements of the programme are difficult to fulfil without this allocated time. We also ask you to identify someone in your school or service who will act as a mentor for you throughout the training.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment is through a combination of presentations, essays, critical reports, case studies and a practical skills portfolio that includes a minimum of 20 days assessed placement. Assessed presentations may be delivered in BSL.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent.

You will also need:

  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Qualified Teacher Learning and Sskills (QTLS) (required for Teacher of the Deaf award)

  • two years of teaching experience or experience of working with deaf children in educational settings

  • access to a school or service's audiological resources and support

  • British (or local) Sign Language CACDP/ Signature/ iBSL Level 1 (required for Teacher of the Deaf award) or equivalent

  • access to local sign language tuition

  • access to internet facilities for e-learning.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read  Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Thursday 29 June 2023

UK – Friday 18 August 2023

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts

  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate

  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language).

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Education

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £10,750 (total)

International: £10,750 (total)

Because you study this programme part-time, you’ll pay on a pro rata basis, splitting the cost equally across both years.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

This fee includes the cost of the two programme residentials. It does not include the cover and travel costs associated with programme attendance and teaching placements.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Partial fee scholarships are available to UK schools or services funding two or more students in a single year to the MA or PGDip Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf) in the School of Education. Find out more about the scholarship for schools

Career opportunities

MA Deaf Education provides Teachers of the Deaf with the specialist knowledge and skills they need to work across a range of settings in deaf education, and provides the mandatory qualification for Teachers of the Deaf in England and Wales.

Graduates from the course have taken up a range of positions in specialist support services and schools. Many have subsequently progressed to management and leadership roles.

The programme also provides a route to further research and study at postgraduate level via an EdD or PhD route.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

For the Teacher of the Deaf award, a minimum 20-day assessed teaching placement is required. Additional days may be required depending on experience.

Professional Skills Portfolio

The Professional Skills: Learning, Teaching and Audiology module is compulsory if you are working towards the ToD qualification. The module allows you to acquire and demonstrate the range of practical and practice based skills that you need as a Teacher of the Deaf. It comprises three components:

  • Audiology
    This strand provides guidance for developing practical skills with audiological technology and its management within different educational settings.
  • Placement
    This strand entails either one or two four-week teaching placements, depending on current and previous professional experience. At least one placement will be undertaken in an unfamiliar setting and be supported by a regional tutor.
  • Professional Competencies
    This portfolio contains details of the ToD competencies against which you will track your progress throughout the two-year course. It will also provide the means through which to identify objectives for continued professional development.