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UK’s University of Dundee launches the MSc in Educational Assistive Technology course to tackle barriers faced by disabled learners

Scotland-based University of Dundee has launched a new course with the aim of enhancing the learning experience of students facing barriers to their education due to disability. The MSc in Educational Assistive Technology within the University’s School of Science and Engineering will train individuals how to implement and support the use of technology within education to enable students with a broad range of learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities access curriculum.

Assistive Technology (AT) is designed to ensure that students are able to access and participate fully in education, employment, entertainment and the wider environment as independently as possible. Different tools can be used to support students with high incidence, lower impact disabilities (for example dyslexia, dyspraxia) through to low incidence, higher impact disabilities (for example cerebral palsy, autism).

The new course, which will commence in January 2021, aims to enhance the support to students who require AT by establishing the role of an Educational Assistive Technologist to ensure that technologies are deployed and supported across the service provision for learners. The course is available in a blended model wherein full-time students will have to be at the University of Dundee campus in Scotland for a year and part-time students will spend a total of two weeks in Dundee-once in the spring and once in summer/autumn. The duration of the course for full-time students is 12 months and for part-time students it is 24 months.

“This Masters degree has been developed to address a global need for the professionalisation of the ‘Assistive Technologist’ role within all levels of education provision”, said Programme Director Professor Annalu Waller.

“Despite the potential of AT to enable children and young people with complex physical, learning and communication impairments to access education, this technology is seldom adopted and often abandoned.

“This programme will ensure that skills, knowledge and working methodology are gained by Educational Assistive Technologists that are not typically taught in other programmes. Currently, these skills are developed through many years of practice in AT-mature organisations. Educational Assistive Technologists will have the skills needed to harness and adapt AT to enable learners to access the curriculum in ways that suit them.”

The programme is primarily aimed toward teachers, therapists and technologists who are seeking to develop and enhance their ability to support learners who require AT. Course participants already working in an AT environment will compliment theoretical learning with projects within their workplace.

Students will also interact with expert users of AT within the University’s unique User Centre and placements. Once qualified, they will undertake the assessment, provisioning and ongoing support of AT systems within specialist and mainstream education or social care organisations.

Admission to the course requires a Bachelor’s degree in computing, education or a therapeutic subject OR equivalent qualification/experience in assistive technology with 55% or above from University of Delhi, University of Mumbai, University of Calcutta, IITs and IIMs (considered equivalent to a UK 2.1 degree). Bachelor’s degree with 60% or above is required from other institutions (considered equivalent to a UK 2.1 degree). The participant will need to have Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) member status or equivalent.

The programme builds on the expertise in Accessibility and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Technology within Computing and the ongoing collaboration across other Schools.

International students can apply for both full time as well as the part time course. The fees for international students for full-time study is £ 21,950 per year of study and part-time is £ 10,975 per year of study.

The applicants to this programme may be eligible for the University’s Global Excellence Scholarships of £5,000, which is awarded to those who have demonstrated excellence through academic, extra- curricular, or voluntary activities.

For more information about how to apply, please visit the University website.

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