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The Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Malta is offering a new course which will open its doors to students next month.

The Master of Arts in Disability Studies is a taught and research MA Course which aims to induct students in the current issues pertaining to disability, examine the barriers faced by disabled people and consider alternative solutions in their work and life. The course is divided into four main areas that examine the concept of disability from different standpoints – namely, the theoretical, policy and legislative, personal, and socio-political perspectives. In addition, it offers students the opportunity to choose an area that interests them, and develop it independently with support and guidance. By means of this course, students will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct emancipatory disability research and to help them write their dissertation.

The programme of studies extends over a period of three years of part-time studies. The first two years will be dedicated to the taught component of the course and the third year to the writing of a dissertation. Research carried out will be set within the emancipatory research paradigm. Lectures are normally held twice a week in the evening and are of three hours duration. These will normally be supplemented with one or two week-end seminars per year.     

The course is intended for any graduate who wishes to gain specialised knowledge and skills on disability and is relevant for a variety of professionals with the necessary qualifications, aptitude and disposition. Among those for whom the course is beneficial, one finds educators, doctors, lawyers, social workers, psychology graduates, psychologists, speech and language pathologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, carers and other persons working in the disability sector. It is of particular relevance for disabled students, who will be provided with support.

This course will offer enhanced opportunities for employment as a social and/or community operator in voluntary, non-governmental and governmental settings engaged in the social and/or welfare field. The ability to understand disability as a social phenomenon and explain it to others is a useful skill in the job market, especially in the context of increased numbers of disabled people and their increased participation in mainstream society. The course will also provide a gateway to doctoral studies in the area.

Students who successfully complete the Master of Arts in Disability Studies will be conversant with contemporary debates and issues in the field of disability, including the appraisal of the development of disability as a socio-political issue in relation to the struggle of other social groups. They will also be able to examine critically the underlying principles of definitions and theories of disability and assess the impact of public and social policy and law on disabled people’s quality of life and the choices and opportunities open to them. Furthermore, the course will give them the skills and knowledge needed to be able to explain and examine the barriers faced by disabled people and consider alternative solutions in their work and life, and to examine the complex factors involved in the relations between impairment and disability and the individual and society. Finally, students will be able to appreciate the importance of taking a holistic perspective when interacting with disabled people.

For Tuition Fees click here.

To apply click here. Applications will be received by not later than Monday, 23 January 2012.

Further information may be obtained online and from Mr Karl Debattista at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Malta on Tel. +356 2340 2976.

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