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University of Portsmouth: Psychology and Learning Disability (Distance Learning)

Institution University of Portsmouth View institution profile
Department Faculty of Science and Health
Telephone 023 9284 5566
Study type Taught


Overview This Master’s course looks in detail at learning disability, neurodiversity and autism from a psychological perspective. Studying contemporary practices, critical theories and case studies, you’ll investigate how neurodivergent and learning disabled people can be best supported in healthcare, education and workplace settings.

Whether you're currently working with people with learning disabilities or you've recently graduated and you're looking to get started in this field, this MSc Psychology and Learning Disability degree is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge to develop your career and become a specialist.

It’s a part-time, distance learning course, which allows you the flexibility to fit your studies around work commitments. In Year 1, you’ll study modules that cover the core issues, and in Year 2 you’ll focus on your own research project with support from our expert tutors.

Psychology at the University of Portsmouth is ranked 5th of all post-1992 universities for research quality as prt of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Eligibility This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights - Join one of the few Master’s programmes to study learning disability, neurodiversity and autism from a psychological perspective, as opposed to a nursing perspective

  • Learn about the role that psychological methodologies and analytical techniques can have in the planning and delivery of learning support at an individual and organisational level

  • Increase awareness and understanding in the sector and beyond, about the positive role of psychology and psychotherapy in the study of learning disability

  • Complete an individual research project on a topic of your choice. Each year we present the Sue Buckley Award – named after our esteemed Emeritus Professor of Development Disability – for best project

Careers and opportunities If you’re working in education or learning support, or if you’re already specialising in learning disability or developmental needs, this course will help you develop personally and professionally, introducing new ways to design and deliver services to individuals with developmental disability.

If you have a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited BSc in Psychology, you could apply to do a taught doctorate in areas such as Educational Psychology (EdPsychD) or in Clinical Psychology (ClinPsychD) once you've successfully completed your Master’s.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as: - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) co-ordinator

  • SEND teacher

  • Student services officer

  • Enablement Leader

  • Support worker

  • Community care worker

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for: - Schools

  • Academy trusts

  • Local education authorities

  • Healthcare

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and our Careers and Employability Centre – which you can access for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Course structure One of the big benefits of being a part-time student and a distance learner, is that you can be flexible with your studies. You'll get the most from the course by attending as many live, online sessions as you can, but all the sessions are captured and uploaded to your virtual learning environment for you to view in your own time.

You can expect: - up to 10 hours per week engaging with the core course materials and attending online sessions (roughly, one lecture, seminar, workshop or tutorial every two weeks).

  • up to 10 hours of independent study each week.

  • all core course materials available online at all times so you can create your own study schedule around work or other commitments.

  • timetabling advice to manage your time.


University of Portsmouth


‘I already feel so much more confident applying for jobs.’

Anna, Master’s student at the University of Portsmouth

 Why Portsmouth?
A stronger sense of direction. Opportunities to specialise and further your prospects. A big step towards achieving your ambitions. Portsmouth is a university where you can connect with great people and businesses, and unlock career possibilities.

Taught qualification or independent research? On-campus teaching or online part-time study? At Portsmouth, you can choose from a wide range of subjects and modes of study.

  •    5***** rated for excellence in the QS World University rankings 2022
  • 86% satisfaction with course …
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Scholarship Opportunity with

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