The Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary/Special Education)/ Bachelor of Disability Studies double degree program is an initial teacher education program that prepares students from diverse backgrounds to combine in-depth study of the general Middle Schooling and secondary curriculum with their studies in Special Education and Disability. The course aims to support students to become effective teachers of students in the middle and secondary years of schooling including those with disabilities, learning or behavioural difficulties. This degree also prepares students for a range of professional roles related to supporting young people with disabilities and their families within the broader community.
The Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary/Special Education)/ Bachelor of Disability Studies may be taken as a double degree program in four years full-time (or the equivalent part-time). Students who study part-time would normally be expected to complete the double degree program within eight years.
The course is offered by the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law.
The double degree program of Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary/Special Education)/Bachelor of Disability Studies requires completion of a total of 144 units.
Students who commence, but subsequently do not wish to complete, either the full double degree program or the professional experience component of the double degree program may be eligible to:
- transfer into the four year Bachelor of Education Studies, Bachelor of Disability Studies double degree after at least 72 units of study have been attempted (excluding topics for which a Withdraw, Not Fail (WN) has been recorded); or
- transfer to the Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education and apply for credit for topics already completed; or
- exit after successful completion of 108 units with the Bachelor of Education Studies provided they have met the course rule requirements for that award.
The minimum requirements for consideration for entry to all undergraduate courses are specified in detail in the University Entry Requirements.
The course aims to produce graduates who:
- can teach within, and across, learning areas at middle and secondary levels of schooling with an emphasis on inclusive practice
- have developed in-depth knowledge of teaching children with disabilities, learning and behavioural difficulties
- are able to apply their knowledge and skills in a range of educational and community-based settings with diverse learners, their families and support persons
- have the capacity to undertake ongoing professional learning through a variety of pathways.
On completion of the program graduates are expected to:
- that the field of Special Education is an evolving discipline based on philosophies, evidence-based principles and theories, relevant laws and policies, diverse and historical points of view, and human issues that influence the education and treatment of individuals with diverse learning needs both in school and society
- that inclusive educational practices promote access to, participation in and achievement in relation to quality curriculum for all students
- that the educational elements of curriculum, instruction, assessment, learning, engagement and behaviour are interdependent
- that the special educator’s selection, adaptation, and creation of materials and instructional variables is guided by an understanding of the implications of an individual’s unique characteristics and of the relationships of Special Education to the organizations and functions of schools, school systems, community and other agencies.
Demonstrate Knowledge of:
- similarities and differences in human development and the characteristics between and among individuals with and without disabilities and diverse learning needs
- processes and contexts of learning
- legal and ethical professional practice standards and relevant policies
- policies and ethical principles of measurement and assessment related to referral, eligibility, program planning, instruction, and placement for individuals with special learning needs, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- a range of effective, evidence-based instructional strategies to enhance the learning of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills of individuals, and to increase self-awareness, self-management, self-control, self-reliance, and self-esteem.
Demonstrate that they are able to:
- actively shape learning environments that foster cultural understanding, safety and emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and active engagement that encourage the independence, self-motivation, self-direction, personal empowerment, and self-advocacy of individuals with diverse learning needs
- develop high quality curriculum within and across disciplines with a focus on the middle and secondary school years
- develop individualized instructional plans anchored in both general and special curricula
- plan and utilise a range of effective instructional strategies to assist children to achieve learning objectives, with an emphasis on generalization of knowledge and skills across environments, settings, and the lifespan
- develop a variety of individualized transition plans, such as transitions from school to adult life
- work collaboratively with young people, families and professionals in planning and decision-making
- develop and implement positive behavioural support plans
- recommend and implement adaptations to classroom, school and community environments that promote inclusive practices
- develop research and evaluation skills relevant to Disability and Special Education.
Exhibit professional attributes including:
- capacity to reflect critically on different theories and practices, on their own practice, and on their lives, in order to strive for excellence, creativity and continuous improvement in their professional roles
- knowledge of their own limits and willingness to practise within those limits
- sensitivity to the many aspects of diversity of individuals with disabilities and their families
- willingness to promote and advocate for the learning and well-being of individuals with diverse learning needs across a wide range of settings
- commitment to the scholarship of teaching and learning through a continuous process of reflective inquiry.
Limited credit may be granted for recognition of prior studies undertaken at the University or other approved tertiary institutions. Further information is available on the credit transfer page.
To qualify for The Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary/Special Education)/Bachelor of Disability Studies a student must complete 144 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study:
- a Bachelor of Education component of 90 units
- a Bachelor of Disability Studies component of 54 units.
The Bachelor of Education component must include:
- 9 units of Education topics at First Year level
- 18 units of Education topics at Second Year level including Professional Experience
- 22.5 units of Education topics at Third Year level including Professional Experience
- 22.5 units of Education topics at Fourth Year level including Professional Experience
- 18 units of one Teaching Minor
The Bachelor of Disability Studies component must include:
- 54 units of prescribed BDisStudies
Except with the permission of the Board:
- no compulsory topic may be taken more than twice
- teaching practicum topics may not be attempted more than once.
Students should note that Professional Experience topics require full-time commitment for their duration.
Year 1 topics
36 units comprising:
DSRS1215 Communication and Language (4.5 units)
EDUC1120 Teaching and Educational Contexts (4.5 units)
DSRS1201 Perspectives of Disability and Rehabilitation (4.5 units)
DSRS1202 Lifespan Development (4.5 units)
DSRS1211 Introduction to Neurological Rehabilitation (4.5 units)
EDUC1224 Foundations of Special Education (4.5 units)
EDUC1227 Professional Experience: Year 1 (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (0 units)
Plus 9 units of Teaching Minor topics
Year 2 topics
36 units comprising:
DSRS2231 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (4.5 units)
EDUC2320 Learners and their Development (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (4.5 units)
EDUC2323 Students with Numeracy Difficulties (4.5 units)
EDUC2326 Professional Experience: Year 2A (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (0 units)
EDUC2426 Professional Experience: Year 2B (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (0 units)
DSRS2234 Direct Instruction (4.5 units)
DSRS2236 Practicum B: Disability and Community Rehabilitation (4.5 units)
EDUC2423 Students with Literacy Difficulties (4.5 units)
EDUC1228 Students with Learning and Behavioural Difficulties (4.5 units)
Plus 4.5 units of Teaching Minor topics
Year 3 topics
36 units comprising:
DSRS2220 Family and Professional Partnerships (4.5 units)
DSRS3221 Positive Behaviour Support (4.5 units)
EDUC3620 Relationships for Learning (4.5 units)
EDUC3626 Contemporary Issues in Middle Schooling (4.5 units)
EDUC3628 Numeracy and ICT across the Middle & Secondary Curriculum (4.5 units)
EDUC3642 Professional Experience: Year 3B (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (4.5 units)
EDUC3530 Professional Experience: Year 3A (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (0 units)
EDUC3531 Curriculum SpecialisationA1: Curriculum Development in the Middle Years 3 (4.5 units)
Plus 4.5 units of Teaching Minor topics
Year 4 topics
36 units comprising:
EDUC4720 Differentiation for Diverse Learners (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (4.5 units)
EDUC4731 Assessment and Programming in Special Education (4.5 units)
EDUC4732 Functional Curriculum Design for Students with Disabilities (4.5 units)
EDUC4742 Professional Experience: Final Assessment for Registration (Middle and Secondary Schooling) (4.5 units)
EDUC4820 The Professional Educator (4.5 units)
DSRS3234 Case Management (4.5 units)
DSRS4110 Transition to Adult Life for Young People with Disabilities (4.5 units)
Plus one of:
- 9 units of Year 1 topics; and
- 9 units of Year 2 or Year 3 topics
from one of the following Teaching Minor areas
- Biological Sciences
- Creative Writing
- Earth Sciences
- Geography (prior to 31 December 2014)
- Geography and Environmental Studies (from 1 January 2015)
- Health Education
- Information Technology
- Modern Greek
- Physical Education
- Visual Arts