MSc in Educational Assistive Technology (part time)

Overview

The MSc in Educational Assistive Technology (part time) has been developed in response to a global need for the professionalisation of the ‘Assistive Technologist’ role within all levels of education provision. (Also available full time.)

2 people working together
Working closely with people with disabilities

What is an Educational Assistive Technologist?

The Educational Assistive Technologist (EduAT) is a professional who works with others to ensure that Assistive Technology (AT) is deployed and supported across the service provision for an individual learner. The EduAT works as the ‘chief integrator’ of the Assistive Technology system.

Read more about this exciting course in our Story: “New course to tackle barriers faced by disabled learners

Who employs an Educational Assistive Technologist?

An Educational Assistive Technologist (EduAT) is employed within specialist and mainstream education or social care organisations to undertake the assessment, provisioning and ongoing support of Assistive Technology systems. The EduAT role is intended to support students with a broad range of learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities, ranging from high incidence, lower impact disabilities (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia) through to low incidence, higher impact disabilities (e.g. cerebral palsy, autism).

What is Assistive Technology?

The purpose of Assistive Technology is to ensure that individuals are able to access and participate fully in education, employment, entertainment and the wider environment as independently as possible. For some individuals the provision of assistive technology is crucial to enable access to the curriculum (e.g. non-speaking learners who use communication aids) and for others it will allow them to access the curriculum at a higher level, for example users of literacy support tools.

At whom is the MSc aimed?

Teachers … therapists … technologists. Students will have prior experience and/or be working in an AT environment.

A student working with a Straight Talking Group member.
Our User Centre’s Straight Talking Group members support teaching and research.

What will you learn?

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.

How is the programme structured?

The two-year part-time programme will be delivered by a blend of distance and on-campus learning as many of the target students will already be employed in education and social care organisations that provide services to disabled people. The philosophy throughout the programme is that teaching will be highly interactive and students will be encouraged to bring their knowledge to bear on the learning community.

Intensive on-campus teaching will provide the theoretical underpinning to compliment the practical elements of the programme which will be undertaken within the students’ work setting. (Placements will be identified for students who are not currently employed.) Each year cohort will attend one intensive week per academic year, completing two weeks over two academic years. Full-time students will be accommodated by taking the two weeks within the one academic year. Intensive weeks (“Campus Weeks”) will normally take place on campus in Dundee. The “Campus Weeks” will be supplemented with additional synchronous sessions throughout the year via video conferencing.

Lectures and practical classes during teaching weeks will provide a structure within which students will be given regular practical tasks to discuss and complete. These tasks will typically result in formative feedback that can be acted upon in summative coursework assessments which will be completed at a distance. Assessments will normally relate to individual work/placement settings. Online support and a virtual student community will encourage engagement when students are not on campus.

Who will teach the programme?

The programme is delivered by the Discipline of Computing with the addition of optional modules in the Schools of Education and Social Work, Health Sciences and Social Sciences.  The programme builds on the expertise in Accessibility and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Technology within Computing and the ongoing collaboration across other Schools. The programme director is Professor Annalu Waller OBE, who has over 30 years’ experience in user-centred design of AAC Technology.

Prof Waller and her team on BBC CLick Live at the V&A Dundee.

Programme Director and Lecturers

Prof Annalu Waller, Director: “Having worked in the field for 30 years I am absolutely excited to be the director of the programme!”

Rohan Slaughter, Senior Lecturer: “I am interested in how technology can be applied innovatively to solve problems in ways that make things easier for people. I like to shape technology in order to achieve organisational and individual goals.”

Dipl.-Ing. Rolf Black, Lecturer: “It’s working with people of all abilities and supporting them to reach their full potential that got me into this field, from teaching to engageing to collaborating.”

FAQ

Question: How do I apply for the course?

Answer: Visit our course pages for further information on the course including on how to apply.

Question: I there a full time version of the course?

Answer: Yes there, is. Find out more on the MSc EduAT full time course page.

Question: I’m a teacher, can I apply for the course?

Answer: Yes, as long as you have experience in special education. Please get in touch with us so we can advise you: MScEduAT@dundee.ac.uk

Question: Is the course accredited?

Answer: The role of an Assistive Technology is not yet accredited. Part of the focus of this programme is to establish the role and gain accreditation from education, therapy and social care professional bodies.

Question: Can I get in touch with the programme leads directly?

Answer: Yes, either send us an email to MScEduAT@dundee.ac.uk (goes to all the programme lead and lecturers) or visit the Discovery portal of staff (links further up in the Programme Director and Lecturers section) for their individual email addresses.

Question: Is there flexibility over the time in which the part-time course can be completed e.g. 2, 3 or 4 years?

Answer: The indicative length of the course is two years. However, students can ask for an extension due to mitigating circumstances.

Question: On the website indicates the course is delivered online with 2 weeks of attendance needed. Are these weeks spread across 2 years for the part-time students and if, are they delivered in blocks?

Answer: For part-time students, there will be two blocks of one week, one week per year in the spring – two in total over two years – the “Campus Weeks”. These will be on campus, but may be online if Covid-19 intervenes.

In 2021 the inital “Campus Week” in spring will be held in May. Due to COVID-19 the week will be fully online, with synchronous sessions through video conferencing.

Question: Is there accomodation on campus available for the weeks when attendance is required?

Answer: We are planning to have our “Campus Weeks” during break time so there might be an opportunity to stay on campus. However, we are planning to organise “Campus Weeks” to be held online for the foreseeable future.

Question: To what extent is prior knowledge of assistive technology a requirement to commence this course?

Answer: We anticipate that students will have a range of prior experience / knowledge, from none to expert. Your learning will be designed around this.

Question: Does the course focus on particular technologies or a wide range?

Answer: The course will focus on the needs of learners with complex disabilities but will encompass mainstream AT as well. We will be addressing issues such as switch access, Eye-gaze as well as software packages with input from AT companies.

Question: Is it possible to have access to a description of the course modules content?

Answer: The module guides can be found under the Teaching and Assessment tab on our course website.

Question: What Funding opportunities are there?

Answer: Please take a look on the course pages for fudning options. additionally there is information online on postgraduate funding available, e.g. on the University of Dundee site, The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), PostGrad.com.

Question: Can I get funding through the Apprenticeship Levy programme?

Answer: Unfortunately the UK government scheme does not apply in Scotland.