Course Overview

Disability studies allow us to understand disability in a different way; as a positive social and political identity, rather than a health issue or something to be 'fixed' or arouse sympathy. The study of 'disability' is inextricably linked to the concept of equality. This programme may be of interest to disabled people in Ireland, or people currently working in the disability, community, health and social care sectors. People working for, or living with, disabled people may also be interested in the programme.

Exit routes available at

  • Postgraduate Diploma (two years)
  • Certificate (one year)


Applications and Selections

Please complete and retrun the ‌MSc-PgDip-PgCert Disability Studies - Application Form

Late applicants may be considered.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Admission Criteria for entry to Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Disability Studies.

Applicants will normally have gained:

  • A primary degree (level 8) or evidence of equivalent academic credits. Students who do not have the aforementioned will be required to provide evidence of their ability to study at post-graduate level.
  • International students will require a degree of fluency in the English language. An overall score of 6.5 in the IELTS Academic Test is required

Criteria for progression onto Master of Science (Disability Studies).

Applicants will normally have gained:

  • A Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9) or evidence of equivalent academic credits 
  • Have successfully completed a postgraduate level 9 research module (or equivalent learning)
  • International students will require a degree of fluency in the English language. A score of 6.5 in the IELTS Academic TestThis equates to a score of 570 in TOEFL.

Additional Requirements


Three years, part-time

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

28th May 2021 (Late applicants may be considered)

NFQ level


Mode of study

ECTS weighting

PCert: 30; PDip: 60; MSc: 90


Master of Science (Disability Studies)
(exit routes also available)


Course code

Course Outline

The Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma / Master of Science in Disability Studies programme is modular in design and runs in three stages. Students undertake 3 modules in stage one (Year 1) worth 30 ECTS at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) (National framework of Qualifications (QQI 2014)) and 3 modules in stage two (Year 2) worth 30 ECTS at level 9 on the NFQ framework.

Students can choose to exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate in Disability Studies on successful completion of year 1, or a Postgraduate Diploma award on successful completion of year 2, or they can bypass this award, and subject to entry criteria, elect to continue for one academic year, to achieve the award of Master of Health Sciences at level 9 award on the NFQ for 30 ECTs.

Year 1 (Postgraduate Certificate in Disability Studies)

  • Historical Perspectives in Disability Studies
  • The Lived Experience of Disability
  • Personal and Social Perspectives in Disability Studies

Year 2 (Postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies)

  • Disability and the Media
  • Advanced Research Skills
  • Applied Social Policy and Disability Equality

Year 3 - Master of Science (Disability Studies)

  • Research Dissertation Practicum

Further Education

Upon full completion of the programme, it provides a pathway to PhD level education. 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme will offer a wide range of career opportunities. Graduates will have the requisite knowledge and transferable skills to work in the areas of or disability at the individual, group or community level. They may pursue a career in the public service, voluntary or statutory agencies or in the private sector.

  • Service delivery: actually providing the service that the community/ disability/ health organisation is focused upon.
  • Policy research or strategy: keeping abreast of political developments, identifying key stakeholders in the decision-making process at European, national, regional and local government level, researching international trends etc.
  • Administration: issues such as managing staff and budgets, and volunteer co-ordination (recruitment, training and co-ordination).
Graduates will be prepared to play leadership roles in such settings as:
  • Community Service Agencies
  • State and Local Government Agencies
  • International Human Rights and Non-governmental Organisations
  • National Policy or Advocacy Organisations
  • Disability and Community Care Services

The programme is also relevant to the needs of people already employed in these areas who wish to gain a relevant qualification.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,500 - Total Cost for MSc (2022) - see breakdown below

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€6,300 (Years 1 and 2); €9,000 (Year 3)


Fees can be paid securely through our Online Payment Facility

Exit Routes Include:

  • Year 1: Postgraduate Certificate:  €2,100
  • Year 2: Postgraduate Diploma:  €2,100
  • Year 3: Master of Science:  €3,300

Fee for current Postgraduate Diploma tudents progressing  to MHSc (30 ECTS) stage in September 2022: €3,000

Find out More

Dawn McGuinn
School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies
T: +353(0)71 913 5675

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   What Our Students Say


Melanie Hibbert |   Disability Studies (Pg Cert/Dip)

As a mature Black disabled student, I have developed a vast amount of knowledge on the course. It is one of the only courses in Ireland which understands the difference between impairment and disability; it also includes intersectionality; this is important in dismantling barriers which disabled people with many characteristics face in society. The course is very inclusive and lecturers are very experienced and supportive. I feel ready to apply the skills and tools that I have learnt to make inclusive changes in society actively

Clive Lowry |   Disability Studies (MSC)

Disability Studies at St. Angela's College is a provocative, enthralling and most importantly, a hugely educational experience for students hoping to learn about disability equality. Students are guaranteed to question their previously formed beliefs around the subject of disability. This part-time online course is a real eye-opener for disabled and non-disabled activists, who hope to learn about how Irish society is structured, how society creates disabling barriers to inclusiveness, and how we as prospective policy-makers will have the opportunity to make a difference for future generations. The course is taught by disabled activists with lived experience and non-disabled activists. Assignments are well structured to give students every opportunity to juggle their work life, family life and college work-load. The College have excellent supports for disabled students and mature students who may be apprehensive about challenging themselves to return to college. I highly recommend this course.