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Disability Studies

Postgraduate Admission Requirements and Applications

Postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies 

MPhil in Disability Studies (by full dissertation) 

PhD in Disability Studies (by research)

Postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies

Programme Convenor: Dr Judith McKenzie 

Online support: Mr Ikechukwu Nwanze

Lecturers: Prof Theresa Lorenzo

Dr Brian Watermeyer

Ms Nafisa Mayat

Ms. Reinette Popplestone

Dr Busayo Ige

Ms Kharnita Mohammed

 

About the Programme

The PG Diploma in Disability Studies programme aims to increase awareness and informed participation in disability issues at a teaching, research and community-based programme level.

Students will be able to:

  • Understand disability as diversity
  • Appreciate the shift in perspective from seeing disability as a welfare and charity issue to a human rights and development issue.
  • Develop the capacity to interrogate the emotional responses related to disability issues.
  • Apply new knowledge and skills in community-based development and research.

The programme will be of benefit to both disabled and non-disabled managers in national, provincial and local governance structures; disability activists; service providers in NGO, civil society, public and private sectors including health professionals, social workers, teachers, human resource managers, policymakers; staff of higher education institutions across different faculties.

 

Target group

The programme will be of benefit to both disabled and non-disabled managers in national, provincial and local governance structures; disability activists; service providers in NGO, civil society, public and private sectors including health professionals, social workers, teachers, human resource managers, policymakers; staff of higher education institutions across different faculties.

 

Programme outcome

  • Understand disability as an issue of diversity with deep psychological roots  that results in social injustice because of power and privilege  that favours the non-disabled norm
  • Be able to critically engage with research in the light of the transformative aims of the disability practitioner
  • Be familiar with the discourse of the discipline of Disability Studies with conceptual understanding and the ability to communicate understanding, thinking and reasoning in academically rigorous ways
  • Be able to monitor the capacity of government and development agencies to implement strategies  that lead to the equalisation of opportunity and social justice for disabled people
  • Be able  to understand theories of development and how disability can be mainstreamed within these processes

Admission requirements

1. An undergraduate degree or equivalent in any discipline. As this course is interdisciplinary we accept students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds

2. Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree may apply for admission on the basis of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). In this case, applicants  will be required to submit a personal portfolio through which their competencies will be assessed in order to qualify for admission on the basis of relevant work experience and academic potential. This will include:

(a) Experience in the field of disability and development;

(b) Relevant course attendance in fields related to course content (certificates or diplomas);

(c) Critical thinking skills in writing and reading;

To be considered for recognition of prior learning please contact Judith Roberts

As the postgraduate diploma is offered in face-to-face and online sessions, computer literacy is highly recommended. It is further recommended that applicants negotiate with their employer for  study leave for the block weeks and support in applying assigned tasks to work context as well as time for assignments.

Acceptance is by selection on the recommendation of the Programme Selection Committee.

 

Application process

The UCT application form is available online at http://www.uct.ac.za/apply/applications/postgraduates/.

This needs to be completed by 30 September 2016. The codes needed for completing Section B of the application form are: Academic Programme: MG016, Academic plan: MG016AHS06. In addition applicants are required to submit an internal application form to the Disability Studies Programme. This can be obtained from Judith Roberts.

It is recommended that an applicant also submit a letter of support from his/her employer, granting the applicant study leave for the weeks requiring block attendance, and undertaking to provide support to enable the applicant to complete assigned tasks and assignments within the work context. 

Acceptance is by selection on the recommendation of the Programme Convenor and Head of Department.

Students will be expected to participate in online learning and support activities and must therefore have access to the Internet and exhibit a minimum level of computer literacy.

Structure and duration of programme:

The programme comprises four taught courses over a period of one year. There are two teaching blocks per year of up to three weeks each.  Full-time attendance in all teaching blocks is required and participation in online activities in between blocks is compulsory and will be monitored. The Programme Convenor will set dates each year for teaching weeks in February, and  July/Aug Examinations are in July and November.

Programme Outline

The prescribed courses are:

AHS 4089F Introduction to Disability as Diversity

AHS 4091W Developing Critical Research Literacy

AHS 4117S Critical Priorities in Disability and Development

AHS 4118S Monitor Disability in Society

AHS 4163S Disability Studies in Education

Assessment

Students need to have completed all required assignments within the prescribed time period, unless otherwise negotiated with the course convenor or relevant person. Each course will have specified assessment activities that will form 50% year mark. An integrated summative assessment consisting of a written paper and an oral presentation or a group presentation will be done at the end of each semester and will constitute 50% exam mark. An external examiner will moderate the assessment process. Students may be permitted to repeat a course at the convenor’s discretion. 
Students need to pass each course with a minimum of 50% or above in order to graduate with a postgraduate diploma in Disability Studies. Students will need to obtain 60% for all courses and 60% overall to proceed to the MPhil, or at the discretion of programme convenor.

Distinction

To be awarded the degree with distinction an overall average of 75% must be obtained with not less than 70% for each component.

Please follow the link below to the Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Handbook 2016 for further information on the courses offered.

FHS Postgraduate Handbook 2016

Courses

INTRODUCTION TO DISABILITY AS DIVERSITY (AHS 4089F)

NQF credits: 30 at HEQS-F level 8

Conveners:  Reinette Popplestone and Ikechukwu Nwanze

Course entry requirement: None.

Course outline:
The course will present an overview of the contested models and definitions of disability.  The students will be introduced to issues of power and privilege, as well as theories on identities, oppression and agency.  Othering, marginalization and exclusion related to class; gender; race; sexualities, religion etc. and their intersections with disability will be analyzed. Students should distinguish between everyday reality of disability, the discourses that explain that reality and the values that underpin that reality. Students should also be able to develop a reflexivity which allows students to examine their own responses to social situations, especially those involving disability.

Course outcomes:

  • At the end of this course the student will be able to:
  • To develop critical analysis of disability from micro to macro contexts.
  • To explore disability as an issue of justice, diversity and belonging
  • Analyze emotional responses to disability and how unconscious processes mediate disability related decision making
  • Analyze intersections of disability with other positionalities: Identify issues of power, privilege and oppression, and agency ; Explain processes of  Othering, eg marginalization and exclusion

DP requirements: Attendance of at least 90% of block sessions and completion of all required assignments within the prescribed time period, unless otherwise approved by the Diploma convener.  Participation in seminars and group projects is compulsory and will be monitored. Students are required to participate in at least 80% of online teaching and learning support activities as monitored via Vula site statistics.  A year mark of at least 45% is required for examination entrance, unless approved otherwise by the programme convener.

Assessment:
Peer presentations (10%), written assignments (15% and 25%), and an integrated oral examination presentation (50%).

 

DEVELOPING CRITICAL RESEARCH LITERACY (AHS 4091W)

NQF credits: 45  30 at HEQS-F level 8

Conveners: Dr J McKenzie and Sumaya Gabriels

Course entry requirement: None

Course outline:
In this course students are introduced to research paradigms and the principles of Emancipatory Disability Research within a critical perspective. Students will build on undergraduate research knowledge and/or draw on prior learning to develop a critical understanding of approaches, methods and procedures involved in generating rigorous research.  They will conceptualise tools for problem definition and research design, and identify frameworks for implementation include information management; development of research tools; analytical skills development; research project management and writing skills.

Learning outcomes:

  • analyze and synthesis information from various sources
  • understand some basic concepts of research and its methodologies
  • demonstrate understanding of the ethical dimension of conducting applied research
  • identify appropriate research topics
  • apply existing skills and knowledge to identify and formulate new problems
  • organize and conduct basic quantitative and qualitative research
  • write research report

DP requirements: Attendance of at least 90% of block sessions and completion of all required assignments within the prescribed time period, unless otherwise approved by the Diploma convener. Participation in seminars and group projects is compulsory and will be monitored.  Students are required to participate in at least 80% of online teaching and learning support activities as monitored via Vula site statistics. A year mark of at least 45% is required for examination entrance, unless approved otherwise by the programme convener.

Assessment:
Specific research tasks (50% of year mark) culminating in a research report for the final assessment (50%).

 

CRITICAL PRIORITIES IN DISABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT (AHS 4117S)

NQF credits: 30 at HEQS-F level 8

Convener:  Dr J McKenzie

Course entry requirement: None

Course outline:
The course provides space for the critical interrogation of vulnerability and agency related to disability, focusing on transformation and social justice. We first address relevant ethical frameworks for disability inclusion, viz. human rights, ubuntu and an ethics of care. Next, students engage with approaches to development, e.g. sustainable livelihoods and mainstreaming in the context of global efforts to address poverty, while focusing on disability inclusive development.

  • At the end of the course the student will demonstrate:
  • An understanding of how theoretical models can inform transformative practices;
  • A critical stance toward these theories informed by their own world view, experience and practice;
  • An awareness of the global context of neoliberalism and development as it impacts on social transformation;
  • An understanding of disability as a critical  issue within global development initiatives;
  • Knowledge of national and international development strategies and how disability issues can be integrated within these in a mainstreaming and twin track approach;
  • An understanding of collaboration and strategic partnerships to ensure disability inclusive development

DP requirements: Attendance of least 90% of block sessions and completion of all required assignments within the prescribed time period, unless otherwise approved by the Diploma convener.   Participation in seminars and group projects is compulsory and will be monitored. Students are required to participate in at least 80% of online teaching and learning support activities as monitored via Vula site statistics. A year mark of at least 45% is required for examination entrance, unless approved otherwise by the programme convener.  If a student has been granted credit for / exemption from completing AHS4019W, the student will be required to attend AHS4091W in audit mode and participate in related online teaching and learning activities before he / she may be permitted to undergo the final assessment for AHS4117S.

Assessment:
Peer presentations (10%), written assignments (15% and 25%), and an integrated oral and written examination presentation (50%).

 

MONITORING DISABILITY IN SOCIETY (AHS 4118S)

NQF credits: 30 at HEQS-F level 8

Convener: Prof T Lorenzo

Course entry requirement: None

Course outline:
The focus of this course is on action learning to understand organisational capacity and approaches to develop indicators to monitor service delivery at the relevant government level. Students are introduced to international policies such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, and community-based rehabilitation (CBR ). Monitoring skills are fostered through opportunities for students to practise participatory approaches for community and resource mobilization to monitor outcomes. Students explore theories of social mobilisation and principles of collaboration to build partnerships across sectors that will contribute to social, economic and political development. Students gain skills in advocacy and communication strategies.

  • At the end of the course the student will be able to:
  • Understand the UNCRPD  and CBR Guidelines as framework for monitoring disability inclusion in development
  • Identify elements of organisational capacity for disability inclusion
  • Develop indicators to monitor participation in development and service delivery
  • Demonstrate skills in monitoring  participation of people with disabilities
  • Critique monitoring matrices; processes and tools
  • Demonstrate skills in advocacy and community mobilization and communication

If a student has been granted credit for exemption from completing AHS4019W, the student will be required to attend AHS4091W in audit mode and participate in related online teaching and learning activities before he/she may be permitted to undergo the final assessment for AHS4117S.

DP requirements: Attendance of at least 90% of block sessions and completion of all required assignments within the prescribed time period, unless otherwise approved by the Diploma convener. Participation in seminars and group projects is compulsory and will be monitored. Students are required to participate in at least 80% of online teaching and learning support activities as monitored via Vula site statistics. A year mark of at least 45% is required for examination entrance, unless approved otherwise by the programme convener.

Assessment:
Action learning activities (50%) and a final assessment comprising a written report and oral examination (50%).

AHS4163S DISABILITY STUDIES IN EDUCATION

NQF credits: 30 at HEQS-F level 8

Convener: Dr J McKenzie

Course entry requirement: None

Course Outline:

The aim of this course is to examine educational theory and practice through the lens of critical disability studies. The course critiques an underlying deficit model of disability with regard to special education and promotes an understanding of the social context of disability that can enable or disable, educational access and achievement. The course adopts an approach of lifelong learning and is not confined to a particular phase or stage of education.

DP requirements: Attendance of at least 90% of face-to-face sessions and completion of all required assignments within the prescribed time period, unless otherwise approved by the Diploma convener. Participation in seminars and group projects is compulsory and will be monitored. Students are required to participate in at least 80% of online teaching and learning support activities as monitored via Vula site statistics. A year mark of at least 45% is required for examination entrance, unless approved otherwise by the Diploma convener.

Assessment:

Peer presentations (10%), written assignments (15% and 25%), and an integrated oral examination presentation (50%).

 

Contact details

Dr Judith McKenzie

Tel: +27 21 406 6318

Judith Roberts

Tel: +27 21 650 5350

 

MPhil in Disability Studies (by full dissertation)

Programme convener: Dr Brian Watermeyer

Students conduct their own research within a structured programme that includes course work and training in research methods. A timeline for proposal and thesis development is set out enabling students to complete within the two year period.

Entry Requirements

An approved four-year tertiary qualification or equivalent in postgraduate study from any discipline recognised by Senate.

Duration of the Programme

A candidate shall be registered for at least one year of full time or three years of part-time study.

Assessment

The candidate will submit a research thesis consisting of between 40000 and 50000 words, and will obtain a minimum of 50% to graduate.

Please follow the link below to the Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Handbook 2016 for further information on the courses offered.

FHS Postgraduate Handbook 2016

PhD in Disability Studies (by full dissertation)

Programme convener: Prof Theresa Lorenzo

  • An approved Masters qualification or equivalent in postgraduate study related to Disability Studies and Development as recognised by Senate.
  • Students need to obtain 60% at a Masters level to be able to register for the PhD programme.
  • Students require 60% in research methods course.
  • Students may be advised to complete some of the courses of the MPhil if deemed necessary as a pre-requisite for the PhD.

Duration of programme

A candidate shall be registered for at least two years of full time or five years of part-time study.

The student is required to attend contact sessions and spend equivalent of at least once a month per year in Cape Town.

The student is required to present their progress to DQAC at least twice during the course of their studies -- once at the ethics approval stage and once after data collection.

Assessment

Doctoral students will only be taken on in the research focus areas of the DSP Staff. Students on the Doctoral Programme will be required to complete their proposal in the first year of registration, unless an alternative agreement is made with the Programme Convenor.

The candidate will submit a research thesis consisting of 80 000 words, and will obtain a minimum of 50% to graduate. The thesis is examined by three external examiners

Please follow the link below to the Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Handbook 2016 for further information on the courses offered.

FHS Postgraduate Handbook 2016