Master of Disability and Inclusion

Postgraduate coursework

Be a driving force behind a more inclusive society and follow your passion for human rights into research and leadership roles within a growing industry.

Domestic International

International student information

Key facts


Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Be a part of social change that facilitates inclusion with a Master of Disability and Inclusion. Study a course that’s informed by national and international research, legislation, policy and practice. Follow your passion for human rights and equality into research and leadership roles within a growing industry.

Want to be the driving force behind a more inclusive society?

The Master of Disability and Inclusion is deeply connected to people with disability, the disability industry, the organisations that work within it and the communities they serve. Many of our students have lived experience with disability – either their own or that of someone close to them. Our academics are embedded within the field and contribute to research of global significance. Our curriculum is highly responsive to contemporary international and nationa developments in disability legislation, policy, research and practice. The values and policies of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Australia's national and international approaches including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are firmly embedded within the curriculum.

Demonstrating our course’s international standing it has been named by Human Rights Careers Magazine in the top Masters courses in disability and law globally.

The topics you will cover are informed by leading disability theory and practice. In fact, the curriculum has been carefully designed to focus on core concepts in disability and inclusion through contemporary theory, government policy and practice; and to critically engage with theory, policy and practice in the context of the lived experiences of people with disabilities. You will have the opportunity to learn about and apply your knowledge in areas including planning, community capacity building, human rights, responses to disability within a global context, inclusive technology, social determinants of health and research design.

Assessment projects are anchored to developments and policies within the sector. You might be challenged to critically analyse recent updates to legislation, government disability planning where you live and work, and international projects that are working to progressively realise the rights embedded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. If you are currently working in disability or community inclusion, you also have the option of basing your assessment tasks on the work you are doing with people with disabilities, families and communities. This will enable you to apply your skills to your current practice and have an instant impact on the communities in which you are working.

The course is also a pathway to further research studies including a PhD. It introduces you to important academic skills to enable you to develop and conduct research through a major research project. Undertaking the major project, you will use critical research skills that will set you up for further research studies, research roles and other roles working in decision-making, project planning, development and evaluation. The major project will link you to researchers in the disability field, including senior researchers at Deakin and our research partners in industry and the community, ensuring your research experience contributes to contemporary national and international research of significance.

A highlight of the course is building relationships with your fellow students and the academic team. Students in the Masters of Disability and Inclusion come from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, ensuring your learning experience is vibrant and engaging. Our academic staff are nationally and internationally recognised researchers, making them great mentors, as well as teachers. In addition, our partnerships with peak national and international government and non-government organisations engaged in policy development, legislative reform, advocacy and service provision, means the door will be open to professional networks and exciting employment opportunities. A constant connection to people with lived experience of disability makes your study experience richer and highly relevant. It also allows you to see the world through the eyes of a person with a disability, giving you a real and valuable perspective on inclusion.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Disability and Inclusion

2024 course information

Deakin code
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9

Course structure

To complete the Master of Disability and Inclusion students must attain 12 credit points comprising 6 core units (1 credit point each), and either:

  • 6 course electives (1 credit point each), or

  • 4 credit point Major Project (comprising Major Project A and Major Project B – 2 credit points each) and 2 course electives (1 credit point each), or

  • 2 credit point Minor Project (comprising Minor Project A and Minor Project B - 1 credit point each) and 4 course electives (1 credit point each)

Students who enter via the Graduate Certificate of Disability and Inclusion (or equivalent) will only need to complete the remaining 8 credit points.

Students must undertake HSH733 (Major Project A) and HSH734 (Major Project B) if they wish to undertake PhD studies in the future.

The course electives have been carefully chosen to complement your studies in Disability and Inclusion. You will be able to select units within the School of Health and Social Development and the Faculty of Arts and Education. These units are focused on a range of topics including human rights, social justice, public health, health promotion, design and humanitarian leadership.

All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit) in their first trimester of study.

Core units

All students must complete the following 6 core units and 1 zero credit point unit:
  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Disability and Inclusion: Contemporary Theory and Lived Experience
  • Planning for Inclusion Across the Life Course
  • Determinants of Health and Wellbeing in the Lives of People with Disability
  • Community Capacity Building - Theory and Practice for Inclusion
  • Inclusive Design and Technology
  • Research Literacy
  • Elective units

    Students must also select 6 electives. These may be chosen from the course elective list below.

    Students interested in pursuing a research focus can undertake a Minor or Major Project in place of some of these course electives.

    Major Project Option (students must have completed the 6 core units and have a minimum WAM equal to or greater than 70.)

  • Major Project A
  • AND
  • Major Project B
  • Plus 2 of the course electives below


    Minor Project Option (students must have completed the 6 core units)

  • Minor Project A
  • AND
  • Minor Project B
  • Plus 4 of the course electives below


    Students must select 6 course elective units from the following list

  • Design Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Introduction to International and Community Development
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Cross Cultural Communication and Practice
  • The Humanitarian World
  • Humanitarian Knowledge and Principles
  • The Humanitarian World
  • Making Policy
  • The United Nations and International Organisation
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Social Media Collaboration
  • Social Media Content Creation
  • Teaching and Learning in the Inclusive Classroom
  • Social Justice and Difference
  • Auslan and the Deaf Community: Health and Wellbeing
  • Principles and Practice of Public Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Qualitative Health Research
  • Health Equity and Human Rights
  • Community Consultation and Participation
  • Postgraduate Health Practicum
  • International Perspectives in Health and Social Development
  • Health Law and Ethics
  • Social Psychology
  • Australian Aboriginal Holistic Health and Healing
  • Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:

    All places offered to International students in this course are offered as off campus students.

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    There are no mandatory student checks required for this course.


    As a student in an online course in the Faculty of Health you will be expected to spend 150 hours of learning and assessment activities for each credit point, interacting online and completing assessment tasks for each unit in your course.

    Participation requirements

    Not applicable

    Work experience

    Not applicable

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline and at least two years' of relevant work experience

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the handbook.

    Learn more about tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    The Major project units offered as course electives are research projects, selecting these units as part of the 12-credit point Masters may allow you to apply to undertake further study such as a PhD in Disability and Inclusion.

    Students who have completed the 4 units of the Graduate Certificate of Disability and Inclusion (H508) will be given credit for these units when they enrol in the Master of Disability and Inclusion.

    Alternative exits


    Career outcomes

    The disability sector in Australia is rapidly expanding and evolving. Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme is now fully rolled out across the nation. This has resulted in an unprecedented demand on Australia’s disability sector. According to National Disability Services’ Australian Disability Workforce report (2018), the disability support workforce growth rate was 11.1% per year (between 2015-2017). This compares with growth of 1.6% for the entire Australian workforce at the time* This means that there are employment opportunities in a range of positions.

    According to the most recent National Disability Services (NDS) report**, the NDIS will soon have 500,000 participants and, according to some estimates, the disability workforce will need to double in size in the next three years just to keep pace with increasing demand. According to this same report the disability industry is feeling pressure to secure quality staff. In addition, with more and more countries signing and ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, opportunities for our students to gain employment within global contexts, within their countries of origin or global institutions such as the United Nations, are rapidly increasing.

    As a graduate of the Master of Disability and Inclusion, you will be perfectly suited for positions including leadership roles in policy, practice and research in Australia and internationally.

    In particular, the course was designed to align with areas of knowledge and skills identified in current disability position descriptions. These include:

    • knowledge of disability systems including disability research, legislation and policy
    • high-level communication skills for working with people with disability and their families
    • self-directed approaches to service planning
    • community capacity-building knowledge and skills.

    In addition to these roles, there are a huge range of areas within the sector you can explore once you graduate, such as:

    • policy and legislation
    • education
    • health and human services
    • community development
    • roles within state and federal government, government agencies, community organisations and disability service providers.

    You will also be well-equipped for research opportunities once you graduate, including employment in the higher education sector in research and teaching. Or, you may be eligible to continue your studies in a PhD program within Disability and Inclusion.

    * ADWR_Third_Edition_July_2018.pdf


    Professional recognition

    Not applicable

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Apply expert knowledge and research skills in the area of Disability and Inclusion that includes application of theory and evidence-based approaches to policy, participation and social inclusion of people with Disabilities.


    Communicate using a range of modes, theoretical positions, methodologies and professional decisions on Disability and Inclusion in an effective manner, being mindful of the target audience.

    Digital literacy

    Use digital technologies to source, use and disseminate ideas, information and research findings relevant to Disability and Inclusion to a range of audiences including people with disability.

    Critical thinking

    Use specialised knowledge to critically analyse and synthesise complex information related to policy, theory and research in the area of Disability and Inclusion.

    Problem solving

    Apply specialised research and cognitive skills to find evidence-based solutions to complex policy related problems in the area of Disability and Inclusion.


    Plan and execute a substantial research based project in the area of Disability and Inclusion and demonstrate expert judgement and responsibility as a practitioner or learner.


    Contribute to the productive functioning of a multi-skilled team working in the area of policy, research and advocacy for people with disability.

    Global citizenship

    Demonstrate a high level of awareness and respect for diversity in line with contemporary human rights obligations and apply ethical and inclusive approaches to disability research and practice.