Master of Special Education

The University of Newcastle, GradSchool (Online)

Program Description

Master of Special Education

The University of Newcastle, GradSchool (Online)

The University of Newcastle’s Master of Special Education offers you, as an educator, the opportunity to build your skills and experience in the challenging and rewarding field of special education.

Providing you with the qualifications to teach children with special needs, the Master of Special Education combines current research with practical coursework to ensure you are equipped with the best possible teaching techniques to enter your career as a special needs educator.

You will be able to specialise your studies in one of six key areas including:

  • Education for the blind and vision impaired
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Early childhood
  • Emotional and behavioural problems
  • Sensory disabilities
  • General specialisation - where you can take a broader look at all of these areas.

The framework of this program has been based on the NSW Department of Education and Training’s requirements for special education teachers.

Upon graduation, you will be equipped with a range of skills and knowledge to best support students with a range of additional learning needs.

You are able to study full-time or part-time to suit your needs and our advanced online learning system provides you with the flexibility and support to study anytime, anywhere to balance work, life and study. You can achieve your fully accredited Master of Special Education at a time that suits you.

Is it for you?

Do you believe that education should be accessible to all people regardless of their circumstances? Do you want to specialise your teaching skills to educate the blind or deaf, or perhaps teach those with sensory disabilities or behavioural problems?

Whatever your motivation, the University of Newcastle's online Master of Special Education, will equip you with the appropriate skills and knowledge to become an effective teacher in your chosen area of special education. If you have a minimum of two years relevant teaching experience as well as an undergraduate degree in education you will be eligible for the program. If not, you may be able to use your existing experience in teaching to gain special entry.

To ensure you graduate with the most appropriate skills and knowledge, you will be able to focus your education on selecting one of the following specialisations:

  • blind and vision impairment
  • deaf and hard of hearing
  • early childhood
  • emotional disturbance/behaviour problems
  • general special education
  • sensory disabilities.

Career Pathways

As a graduate of the Master of Special Education, you may be employed as a special education teacher across Australia in the public or private sector. The University of Newcastle will prepare you with the required theory and practical skills to enter the workforce as a well-qualified individual.

As a special education educator, you will play a critical role in the assessment and development of programs for special needs children. You will be able to use your theoretical knowledge of the curriculum approved subjects and vital self-help skills to work effectively in this area of teaching.

Further to teaching, you will be an essential point of contact between parents and children, providing much-needed support in the development of each child’s education to realise individual goals.


The Master of Special Education has been designed to deliver the most appropriate learning opportunities relevant to your chosen area of special education. With the option to select one of six specialisations, you will graduate with only the most suitable knowledge and practical skills.

The specialisations offered are:

  • Blind and vision impairment
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Early childhood
  • Emotional disturbance/behaviour problems
  • General special education
  • Sensory disabilities

The blind and vision impairment specialisation will have you explore orientation and mobility for educators, research the curriculum and pedagogy for students with vision impairments and understand literacy and numeracy development. You will also study the theory and application of assistive technology, learn to work inclusively and collaboratively with individuals with a sensory disability, unveil the stages of child development and the foundations of vision impairment.

The deaf and hard of hearing specialisation will have you studying the foundations of language and literacy in hearing and deaf children, the social and cultural contexts of deaf education, through to the science of speech and its development.

You will also have the opportunity to study more targeted areas including the theoretical perspectives of sign language in education and how to use signed communication with young children and families.

The early childhood specialisation provides an in-depth understanding of the theoretical, social and cultural drivers behind the education of young children with special needs. You will explore the theoretical and practical components of special education, from policy and administration in special education, teaching methods and techniques, through to developing an understanding of the contemporary issues in early childhood intervention and the social-emotional learning of children between 0-5 years of age.

You will have the opportunity to specialise your studies in areas including communication intervention, education of students with learning difficulties and behaviour problems and understanding developmental disabilities.

The emotional disturbance/behaviour problems specialisation will see you explore policy and administration issues, learn how to assess, program and intervene in behaviour problems and the teaching methods and techniques to educate students with behaviour problems.

With only three compulsory courses, the sensory disabilities specialisation will have you explore features of inclusive and collaborative practice in early intervention and school-age programming for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or blind or have low vision. You will also examine the nature of family and community influences on the development of children and those with sensory disability in particular.

Further to this, you will have a long list of courses to choose from to best tailor your qualification to suit your desired career objectives.

Drawing on coursework from all areas in the Master of Special Education, the general special education specialisation touches on most of the speciality areas of special education.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor Degree in education/teaching, psychology, disability studies, health-related field or a related discipline, plus 2 years experience working in a relevant field


Bachelor Honours Degree in education/teaching, psychology, disability studies, health-related field or a related discipline


Graduate Certificate in a relevant field


Diploma in education/teaching with a minimum of 10 years teaching experience

Minimum English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants who do not speak English as a first language must demonstrate that they meet the University's English proficiency requirement. Further information regarding English language proficiency requirements can be found at the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy at

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 18, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
July 2018
Part time
Full time
Australia - Newcastle, New South Wales
Start date: July 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
July 2018
Australia - Newcastle, New South Wales
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info