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).

Programme highlights

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

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 and enrolment

Entry Criteria

A first degree or equivalent in a cognate subject, with at least a B average in 300 level papers.

To Apply

Complete the online enrolment process.


Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education

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

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

Degree Structure

The MDInS comprises 180 points (500 level) including required and optional papers and a research project, or a 120-point thesis. The MDInS consists of two compulsory options and papers from a number of optional areas of study.


HDCO521 Contemporary Issues in Disability and Inclusion Studies

Research/research methods

Choose one from DSOE557 Research Methods OR PCSS502 Kaupapa Maori Research

And at least one from:

DSOE590 Directed Study

DSOE592 Dissertation

DSOE593 Education Thesis

DSOE594 Education Thesis


Choose remaining from:

HDCO502 Educational Transitions: Changing Roles and Changing Contexts HDCO504 Difference and Diversity in Human Development HDCO522 Project in Disability and Inclusion Studies 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.

Students may choose up to two papers (60 credits) from another Faculty.