Teachers of Children with Hearing Impairment MEd/BPhil/Postgraduate Diploma

This programme approved by the Teaching Agency (TA) for training teachers of deaf children seeking the Mandatory (MQ) qualification is offered as a distance learning course. Successful completion of this programme leads to General Teaching Council recognition as a qualified teacher of the deaf. An alternative programme is also open to teachers (as well as other professionals with appropriate qualifications) working with children and young people with hearing impairment who are not seeking the MQ. 

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This programme is now closed for 2014-15 entry. However you may apply for 2015-16

Course fact file

Type of Course: Distance learning

Study Options: Distance learning

Duration: MEd: 3 years; PGDip: 2 years; BPhil; 2 years

Start date: September

Details

This distance learning programme approved by the Teaching Agency (TA) has been offered at the University of Birmingham since 1989. It is open to teachers who are qualified to teach school-aged pupils who wish to gain the mandatory qualification of teacher of the deaf. The programme aims to equip teachers who are already qualified to teach school-aged children in England to meet the relevant TA standards to achieve qualified teacher of the deaf status.

It is also open to other professionals who do not wish, or are not eligible, to obtain qualified teacher of the deaf status – for example lecturers of deaf students, communication support workers and educational psychologists. Applicants who are not qualified teachers of school-aged pupils may take the University (non mandatory) Award but will not be eligible to obtain qualified teacher of the deaf status from the TA.

Study is supported through study packs, tutorial groups, telephone, email, web based learning and online materials, and through an allocated tutor in a small tutorial group which allows students to learn with each other. Internet access is required for the programme. There is a University based study week in January each year, at which attendance is compulsory. 

Modules

Programme Structure

Under the University modular system, the BPhil/Postgraduate Diploma Programme of Study comprises five modules; four 20 credit taught modules and one 40 credit practical module:

  • Educational Audiology (20 Credits)
  • Language and Communication in Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Pupils (20 Credits)
  • The Development of Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Children (20 Credits)
  • The Educational Management of Deaf and Hearing Impaired Pupils (20 Credits)
  • Teaching and Learning in Deaf Education (40 Credits)
  • Those teachers who wish to obtain the mandatory qualification of teacher of the deaf need to undertake a further module:
    Assessed Teaching Placement (20 Credits)

Students who complete all parts of the programme including the optional module will gain a total of 140 credits rather than the 120 credits required for a BPhil or PG Diploma.

Fees and funding

Fees Home/EU 2014-2015 

Mandatory qualification

  • Code 2801 BPhil £3,252 each year 
  • Code 2863 PGDip £3,215 each year 
  • Code 5323 MEd £3,215 first year; £3,215 second year; £1,980 third year 

Non Mandatory qualification

  • Code 7105 BPhil £2,693 each year 
  • Code 7094 PGDip £2,655 each year 
  • Code 7044 MEd £2,655 first year; £2,655 second year; £1,980 third year 

Fees for distance learning programmes are based on students studying 60 credits per year.

The fees shown above are annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2014. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Fees Overseas 2014-2015

International students may only apply for the non Mandatory qualification.

Non Mandatory qualification

  • Code 7105 BPhil £6,282.50 each year 
  • Code 7094 PGDip £4,555 first year; £4,400 second year
  • Code 7044 MEd £4,555 first year; £4,400 second year; £4,250 third year 

Fees for distance learning programmes are based on students studying 60 credits per year.

The fees shown above are annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2014. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the international scholarships page

For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries

Entry requirements

This programme is now closed for 2014-15 entry. However you may apply for 2015-16

Please refer to the School of Education entry requirements web page. Additionally, candidates wishing to gain recognition from the Teaching Agency as a qualified teacher of the deaf must already be qualified to teach school-aged children in England and are expected to have a minimum of two years teaching or other appropriate professional experience prior to commencing the programme, but, in exceptional circumstances, applications will be considered from those who do not meet this criterion.

The course is designed for practising teachers, and some of the course materials are written in a way that assumes regular contact with deaf pupils. Applicants who do not have regular contact with deaf pupils will need to establish links with a local school for the deaf, resource base or service for deaf pupils during the programme to enable them to carry out some of the required activities.

Students wishing to gain the mandatory qualification who do not have regular contact with deaf pupils will normally be required to complete a period of ten days observation in an educational setting for deaf pupils in addition to the normal periods of assessed teaching. Each case will be considered on an individual basis

 

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

Regional Tutor Catherine Healey talks about the Teachers of Children with Hearing Impairment course

Nature of the Programme

Candidates can follow the Programme of Study at one of two levels: BPhil or Postgraduate Diploma. Both levels lead to the award of the mandatory qualification for those students who are eligible. Those candidates who successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma may use this as credits towards the degree of MEd. The course content is identical for both levels of study, but students studying for the higher Postgraduate Diploma level will be expected to submit assignments which are both longer and display a greater degree of reflection and insight.

This is a distance education programme and regular attendance at the University is not required. Course content is embodied in a series of written and online course Units with accompanying recommended reading and resource materials. Attendance is compulsory at two annual Residential Schools at the University of Birmingham, and students are expected to attend seminars/workshops held in the students’ region. The most common pattern is six seminars lasting three hours each academic year, held on Saturdays, but there may be some regional groups may negotiate a different pattern. Regional tutors are appointed by the University to organise regional seminars and help in course assessment.

The Residential Schools provide opportunities for demonstrations and practice in the use of materials and equipment, lectures, discussions and tutorials.

Support for Deaf Students

Support is provided for students who are deaf or who have a hearing impairment. Once a student has been accepted onto the programme, a Learning Support Agreement is drawn up with the student and identified support needs are met. This could be the provision of BSL/ISL interpreters and/or note takers.

Support for all Students

The University appoints Honorary Tutors who are responsible for organising and providing regional seminars for small groups of students. The University team works closely with these tutors to ensure an effective system of academic, practical and pastoral support. These seminars are essential components of the Programme of Study. Candidates must be prepared to undertake some travelling, within a region, in order to meet with their group.

Also, each student is expected to obtain the services of a local qualified teacher of the deaf who will act as a ‘mentor’ and assist them throughout the course. Mentors are asked to support the student in a number of ways, for example, setting ideas presented in the course materials within a local context, helping with the arrangements for visits, and facilitating access to equipment.

A further level of student support is offered via the programme’s elearning web pages, and students need to have access to the internet. Students must also have regular access to e-mail throughout the course.

The Role of the Education Authority/School

The employing authority/school in which the student is located needs to:

  • Identify for the University a qualified experienced teacher of deaf children who will act as mentor for the student (see above). On average approximately one hour a week of local support is needed. In some small schools and authorities it might be necessary to buy in this support. 
  • Release the candidate from teaching duties for at least half a day per week for work related to the Programme of Study and for the seventeen days practical placement during year 1.
  • Release the candidate for the two annual Residential Schools.
  • Note that as the regional seminars, the visits programme and teaching placements may involve considerable travelling for the student, and authorities might wish to cost such travelling into their estimates for the total cost of the course.

Assessment methods

Assessment is organised on a modular basis. Each of the four taught modules has an assessed written assignment. The teaching and learning module is examined by an assignment, plus a portfolio comprising an activities file, a log of observations and visits, and evidence of successful completion of a practical test of audiology skills.

The assessed teaching module requires pass grades on the practical teaching and the teaching files, as well as a pass grade on a 2000 word assignment, evidence of INSET work, and evidence of signing competence equivalent to CACDP/Signature Stage 1 (or SLA 1 for students from Ireland).

Practical Work

An integral part of the programme is the school-based work. All students are required to complete in their own time a programme of visits to educational establishments for deaf pupils, and clinics concerned with diagnosis of hearing impairment and prescription of hearing aids. The log of these visits and observations is assessed as part of the Teaching and Learning in Deaf Education module.

Students taking the Assessed Teaching Placement module are required to complete two periods of assessed teaching totalling approximately 40 days of teaching over the two years of the course. For those working as teachers of the deaf the second of these placements will normally be in their own place of work. Students must be prepared to undertake some travelling in order to fulfil the requirements of this element of the programme.

Release for Observations/Visits/Private Study

Course members are expected to be released from their normal duties for the equivalent of least half a day per week. Some of this time will be taken up with visits and observations, and the rest will be used for private study.

Employability

The MEd, PGDip, BPhil for Teachers of Children with Hearing Impairment is ideal for teachers who are already qualified to teach school-aged children in England but require the mandatory qualification to achieve qualified teacher of the deaf status from the General Teaching Council for England. The non mandatory qualification is suitable for professionals who do not wish, or are not eligible, to obtain qualified teacher of the deaf status – for example lecturers of deaf students, communication support workers and educational psychologists.

There is the opportunity to work towards a further professional qualification in the field of Education both within schools and in other settings, including progression to a PhD or EdD. The excellent careers advice provided by personal tutors has encouraged many of our graduates to successfully apply for leadership roles working with hearing impaired children and young people. These include: specialist teachers, educational audiologists, teaching assistants, speech and language therapists, youth workers, social workers, counsellors and BSL interpreters.