MDInS Master of Disability and Inclusion Studies

University of Waikato

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Program Overview

Disability and Inclusion Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study. In the Master of Disability and Inclusion Studies at Waikato, disability and inclusion is studied through research and practice in education, human rights law and the social sciences. It takes an intersectional perspective firmly informed by the lived experiences of disabled people and critical disability studies approaches.

Interested in shaping social change in disability and inclusion through inclusive research and innovative co-developed policy and practice? You will gain comprehensive disability and inclusion skills and knowledge with access to leading national and international thinkers and practitioners. Pathways into further research, academic careers in teaching and research, policy leadership and advocacy are created through this programme.

As a graduate, you will 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.


Hamilton NZNew Zealand

  Course Duration

18 Months

  Tuition Fee

NZ$ 49,795


IELTS: 6.5 TOEFL: 90

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In the Master of Disability and Inclusion Studies, you will complete core Disability and Inclusion Studies papers, option papers and research in the form of a Directed Study, Dissertation or Thesis. You can complete the programme at a level and pace that suits you and your study goals.

Depending on the papers selected, it may be possible to study fully online. It is recommended that you contact the programme leader to plan your programme of study and research for both face-to-face and online study.

The requirements are 180 points including:

  • DINST521 and DINST522

  • one of the research methods papers listed below; and

  • one of the research paper options listed below with a focus on disability and inclusion.

In order to be eligible for consideration for the award of honours, the requirements of the degree must be completed in two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study from the date of first enrolment in the degree - please see the MDInS regulations.

Required papers

  • DINST521 Contemporary Issues in Disability and Inclusion Studies

  • DINST522 Inclusion Policy and Practice: A Disability Rights Approach

Option papers

  • DINST513 Early Childhood: A Social Approach to Inclusion

  • HMDEV503 Educational and Life Transitions: Changing Roles and Changing Contexts

  • HMDEV524 Intelligence, Creativity and the Development of Talent not offered in 2022

  • COUNS546 Conflict Resolution: Restorative Approaches

  • MAOED523 Māori Education Policies: Their Development and Some Strategic Responses

Research Methods and Research papers

Choose one from:

  • EDUCA557 Becoming a researcher: theory, ethics and methods

  • EDUCA500 Culturally Responsive Methodologies  incorporating kaupapa Māori and critical theories

  • MAOED500 Rangahau Kaupapa Māori  - Kaupapa Māori Research


This degree consists of either:

  • a dissertation and coursework

  • coursework only

This degree can be either in the same area as your undergraduate study or in a new area of study.

Depending on your previous study and chosen subject, a masters may take one, one and a half, or two years to complete.

A recognised bachelors degree with a B/B+ average, and a B/B+ average in a relevant subject if required.

Some Faculties/Schools require an honours degree (to demonstrate research capacity). Where the above requirements are not met, further study in a lower level programme may be required first.

To provide flexibility to students during COVID-19 who are affected by the closure of testing centres, the University of Waikato will accept the following alternative tests for all 2021 and 2022 intakes. Please note this policy is subject to review.

  • IELTS Indicator (this is an online version of the regular IELTS test)

  • TOEFL iBT Home (Plus) (this is an online version of the regular TOEFL test)

  • Duolingo English Test (DET) with the following scores:

    • DET score of 90 for pre-degree programmes (IELTS 5.5 equivalent)

    • DET score of 100 for undergraduate programmes (excluding those listed below)

    • DET score of 110 for postgraduate programmes (excluding doctoral programmes)

The University of Waikato will accept Duolingo (DET) as an alternative means of meeting the English language entry requirements for the majority of its programmes (excluding all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes, BSW and LLB) while test centres remain closed and until further notice.

Students who are accepted into their programme using any of the three language tests named above will be issued an unconditional offer, but will be required to undertake a supplementary online language assessment. For doctoral students using DET to gain admission, you will be required to undertake a supplementary assessment prior to an offer being issued.

If you are an international student, you will also need to meet an English language entry requirement. If you do not meet the requirement for your chosen postgraduate qualification, we have Academic English Language programmes available that you can enrol in to help you meet these entry requirements.

English language test

Graduate / Postgraduate (all courses except those listed below)


6.5 overall (no band less than 6.0)

iBT (internet-based) TOEFL

90 with a score of 21 in writing

iBT (home-based) TOEFL

90 with a score of 21 in writing

C1 Advanced (formally known as Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE))

176 and no bands below 169

C2 Proficiency (formally known as Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE))

176 and no bands below 169

Language Cert International ESOL (LRWS)

C1 Expert with an overall high pass and no less than a pass in each skill

Language Cert International ESOL (LRWS)

C2 Mastery with an overall pass and no less than a pass in each skill

New Zealand Certificate in English Language (NZCEL)

Level 5 (Academic)

Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

Minimum score of 85

Pearson PTE Academic

58 and no PTE communicative skills below 50

Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE)

III with a pass in all four components

University of Waikato College

Successful completion of Level 8 with a B grade average in the Certificate of Attainment in Academic (CAAE) programme


For admission to the Master of Teaching and Learning (MTchgLn) an academic IELTS overall score of 7.0 (with no less than 7.0 in any band) is required.

Admission normally requires a Bachelor of Teaching or a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in a subject related to disability and inclusion studies with at least a B grade average across 300 level papers.

Equivalent qualifications

If you have successfully completed study in the English medium, you may not have to take a language test. This document also includes all approved alternatives to our IELTS requirements.

Estimated Fees* (International):    $33,195 (120 pts) or $49,795 (180 pts)

  • Researcher

  • Academic

  • Senior Practitioner in disability services support and management

  • Policy and Project Worker/Analyst

  • Disability Advocate

  • Inclusion Practitioner

  • Inclusive Educator

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