Master of Disability and Inclusion Studies

The Master of Disability and Inclusion Studies examines the issues which produce various related social norms and sets out to produce practitioners who challenge them. The programme explores contemporary theories, methodologies and practices related to the broad field of disability and inclusion studies.

This programme is known for its grounding in a social justice model of inclusive community and educational practice and is relevant for a variety of professionals working in community organisations and schools, and those concerned with disability advocacy and rights.

Studying the Master of Disability and Inclusion Studies (MDInS) you'll gain a stronger understanding of social life and the differences between us, and challenge current approaches used in the education sector and beyond.

The programmes takes on an interdisciplinary approach which draws from education, psychology and social science.

As a graduate, you'll demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of concepts, issues and debates in the area of disability studies, particularly in your own research. Thinking critically and creatively, you will evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in the field of disability studies and work proactively to develop professional relationships with others in the field.

This has been an active programme at Waikato for the past 20 years (previously known as "Special Education", changed to current name in 2011).

Complete coursework at a pace that suits you – part-time while you work, or full-time over 18 months.

The Faculty of Education offers a postgraduate study award to associate teachers in recognition of their work in supporting the Faculty’s initial teacher education programmes and students. More information on Associate Teacher Postgraduate Study Award

 Career opportunities

  • Community Leader
  • Policy Analyst

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton
Faculty Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
Years 1.5
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $7,044-$7,588 per year
International Fees $27,825 per year
Tuition fees shown above are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Admission normally requires a bachelors degree with at least B average in the third year and a teaching qualification plus experience as a teacher, or a Bachelor of Social Science with a B average in the third year and experience as a practitioner in the disability field.

Please include in your online application a 100-300 word statement describing your professional background and reasons for choosing this qualification.


Transfers from PGDips and Hons programmes in Education on to 180-point masters are possible prior to formal completion of the PGDips and Hons, qualifications subject to meeting eligibility requirements.

120 point Master of Disability and Inclusion Studies available subject to meeting eligibility requirements.

MDInS regulations

Credit for Previous Study Information

Recognition of Prior Learning Information

RPLC500 Paper Outline


Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education

Faculty Administrator - Postgraduate Tracey Rowan
Phone: (+64) 7 838 4466 Ext: 7721
Room: TC.2.46

Programme Advisor
Dr Carol Hamilton
Phone:(+64) 7 838 4466 ext 8578
Room: TT.6.12

Degree Structure

Students are required to complete 180 points and there are three options regarding how study can be planned.

180 Point Masters Study Plan Options


HDCO521 Contemporary Issues in Disability and Inclusion Studies

Research Methods/Research

DSOE557 Research Methods


PCSS502 Kaupapa Maori Research

And at least one from:

TOED590 Directed Study

TOED592 Dissertation

TOED593 Masters Thesis

TOED594 Masters Thesis


HDCO502 Educational Transitions: Changing Roles and Changing Contexts

HDCO504 Difference and Diversity in Human Development

HDCO524 Intelligence, Creativity and the Development of Talent

HDCO540 Working with Groups

HDCO546 Conflict Resolution: Restorative Approaches

HDCO565 Restorative Practices in Education

PROF513 Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs

PROF523 The Development of Kotahitanga.

Other papers can be substituted with approval. These may include 15 and 30 point papers from other discipline areas such as Psychology, Sociology/Social Policy, Cultural Geography and Women's Studies. The MDInS Programme Advisor will assist you in developing your programme of study.

30 points may be taken from outside the field of the degree.

Postgraduate Diploma in Disability and Inclusion Studies HDCO521 and three papers from MDInS optional papers list.

Postgraduate Certificate in Disability and Inclusion Studies two papers from HDCO521 or MDInS optional papers list.