MSc Disability Studies: Inclusive Theory and Research

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Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available MSc , PG Certificate (Postgraduate Certificate), PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma)
Course length One year full-time;
two to five years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places 20
Start date September 2016

Programme overview

This MSc research programme will equip you with the skills, knowledge and ability to plan and carry out academic research relevant to Disability Studies, with a particular emphasis on people with learning (intellectual) disabilities. You will gain a particular awareness and skill set associated with emancipatory and participatory models of research, where disabled people themselves take active roles in the research process. Parts of the programme are delivered by, or co-taught with, disabled people.

You will take core units about research design, quantitative methods and qualitative methods along with students on the MSc in Policy Research and the MSc in Social Work Research, plus an additional core unit about inclusive research with disabled people. The core units are part of the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre at Bristol, and as such are a good grounding for those who wish to carry on to a PhD or take up research posts. The optional units will give you a chance to consider research about inclusion for people with learning disabilities and other disabled people in health, in social care and policy, and in education.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

For those interested in further postgraduate research, there will be a chance to apply for ESRC scholarships offered to students across the faculty. This '1 + 3' scheme involves completing the MSc in Disability Studies followed by three years of doctoral research.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Core units

  • Philosophy and Research Design in the Social Sciences
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Inclusive Research with Disabled People

Optional units

Options will be available from the following list:

  • Personalisation in Practice
  • Citizenship and Participation
  • Social Inclusion
  • Including Students' Voices


In order to gain an MSc, you will undertake a research dissertation, which is the equivalent of a further three units. Part-time students will normally take two core units and one optional unit in Year One, and two core units and one optional unit in Year Two.

Entry requirements

A relevant upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent qualification demonstrated through experience in the field), and a demonstrated ability to study at postgraduate level.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Selection process Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
How to apply
Application deadline:

1 August 2016


This Masters programme is primarily about research, and so successful graduates may move on into PhD research. Other graduates from our MSc in Disability Studies are often already in employment in the disability sector, and use their qualification to gain advancement or change in their own organisation or position. For instance, social care managers or self-advocacy group coordinators have become active in carrying out research with the disabled people for whom they work.

 Graduates gain employment in the following sectors: 

  • Social and health care
  • Self-advocacy and user-led organisations
  • Education
  • Universities and academic research

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 38% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 42% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 18% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 2% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 0117 954 6785 Email:

School for Policy Studies
8 Priory Road


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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