Taught course

Education of Learners with Multisensory Impairment (Deafblindness)

University of Birmingham · School of Education

Entry requirements

Most applicants will have a first degree, but those with relevant experience and learning who are able to complete the programme will be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

This distance learning programme enables qualified teachers and others working in education related fields to work more effectively with learners who are deafblind (multi-sensory impaired). It is the only nationally recruiting programme leading to the GTC recognised Mandatory Qualification in Deafblindness/Multi-sensory Impairment. While many students are practising teachers working with children, others are from further education, social services, paramedical or medical specialisms, or residential work. An alternative non mandatory (Non MQ) programme is also open to teachers (as well as other professionals with appropriate qualifications) working with children and young people who are deafblind who are not seeking the MQ.

The programme aims to provide an understanding of the effects and implications of dual sensory impairment on development, learning, and communication, through theoretical and practical work. It will include skills in assessment, monitoring and recording, a knowledge of teaching approaches and of support systems.

Students will learn at their own pace and in their own homes and workplaces. Study is supported through study packs, web based learning, with online materials, discussions and interaction, and through an allocated tutor in a small tutorial group which allows students contact. There is a University based study-weekend twice a year. Regular and broadband internet access is required for the programme, and students must have regular contact with learners with MSI for practical work throughout the programme.

Compulsory modules

  • Multi-sensory impairment; Causes and Implications
  • Multi-sensory Impairment; Communication
  • Multi-sensory Impairment; Sensory impairment
  • Multi-sensory impairment; Education and provision
  • Special studies

Mandatory Qualification (MQ)

Students on Mandatory Qualification (MQ) programmes, which are specialist qualifications for teachers with UK qualified teacher status, also complete an assessed teaching placement and a teaching placement file. Students progressing to MEd also complete a Practitioner Inquiry in Education (PIE) and a 15,000 word dissertation.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days. Register to attend at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Fees and funding

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Qualification and course duration


distance learning
12 months


distance learning
24-48 months


distance learning
36-72 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005