Master of Inclusive Education Program

Master's places are available for teachers to complete postgraduate study in inclusive education to continue supporting students of all abilities.

Applications for Round 9 will open in early 2023 for the Master of Inclusive Education Program (the program). Teachers in Victorian mainstream and specialist schools wishing to enhance their knowledge in inclusive education and continue supporting students of all abilities are eligible to apply for this postgraduate opportunity.

Application Round 9 will open on Monday, 30 January from 9 am and will close on Tuesday 28 March 2023. More updates and how to apply will be available later this year. 

Program objective

Through additional postgraduate study, teachers can make a significant contribution to how their schools plan and support students with disabilities and additional learning needs, using contemporary evidence-based, best practice approaches.

The long-term vision of the program is that every Victorian government school will have a masters-qualified inclusive education teacher on staff, creating and leading a more inclusive school environment for all students across the state, regardless of their abilities and backgrounds.

Undertaking a postgraduate study in inclusive education will help teachers assist their schools to:

  • plan for and support students with a disability and diverse educational needs
  • use evidence-based, contemporary approaches to planning.

Support available

The support given to recipients includes:

  • full tuition fees
  • a contribution towards teacher replacement for practicum
  • four years to complete the course.

Participating universities

The program has 75 available places across the following universities/courses. Please check each course structure below to determine which course best aligns with your school's goals. 

Australian Catholic University
Deakin University
La Trobe University
NextSense Institute, through Macquarie University
Monash University
University of Melbourne
University of Newcastle

Note: For more information related to the number of places available per university, please contact the Inclusive Education Scholarships Unit (contact details below).

Before applying

Recipient obligations

  • If the recipient chooses to withdraw from a unit of study, or the course entirely, they will be liable for the reimbursement of costs associated with units already engaged (passed or failed).
  • If the recipient voluntarily ceases to be employed by the department during the three years after the course's completion date then the Recipient must pay the department the course fees.
  • The cost of re-enrolment for failed units is to be paid by the recipient.
  • Recipients have four years to complete their course – this is based on the part-time study.
  • If you change roles, schools, or choose to change your enrolment status (defer, intermission, withdraw, etc.), you must contact the Inclusive Education Scholarships Unit for approval.
  • During your study, if you change roles that do not support students with a disability or additional learning needs, or work with schools to strengthen inclusive practices, you will be deemed ineligible.
  • Recipients are not able to defer Semester/Trimester 2, 2022 of study. Otherwise, the recipient will be deemed ineligible.

Round 9 application guidelines

Round 9 opens at 9 am on Monday 30 January. The application guidelines will be available from Friday 2 September 2022. 

Eligibility and how to apply

For the program to have the broadest impact, schools that have not previously been awarded a scholarship from previous rounds will be prioritised at each intake.

For prospective applicants from schools with multiple campuses or with student enrolments greater than 1000, we encourage you to contact the Inclusive Education Scholarships Unit as the program may expend further placements depending on availability.

The program will also provide additional scholarships for teachers and visiting teachers interested in specialising in deaf and hard of hearing or vision impairment. The following courses are on offer: 

For visiting teachers interested in specialising in deaf and hard of hearing or vision impairment, please discuss with your manager to facilitate your nomination through inclusion access participation managers.

Prospective applicants will be able to apply in Round 9, 2023 via SmartyGrants. If you're a teacher, please discuss your interest with your principal before applying.

Successful applicants

We will offer a provisional place to successful applicants. Each applicant must also meet the admission requirements of their chosen course. To finalise your placement, you will need to provide us with a copy of your letter of offer from your chosen university.

Testimonials

Master of Disability Studies (Deaf and hard of hearing) Macquarie University

Nathan De Goldi – Eastwood Primary School (NEVR)

Nathan De Goldi was already fluent in AUSLAN and working provisionally as a Teacher of the Deaf when he secured a place in the Inclusive Education program and enrolled in the Master of Disability Studies at Macquarie University.

But he strongly encourages others with less experience to apply for the program and consider the Macquarie University’s deaf and hard of hearing specialisation, which includes an AUSLAN component.

“I have a deaf parent, so I’ve always had that soft side for working with deaf children,” says Nathan. “But the course is great for people without my background too. You’ll understand a broader range of students and their goals and challenges. You’ll also learn about the anatomy of the ear, and the different ways students pick up speech and become literate.”

Nathan teaches at Eastwood Primary School and Deaf Facility, where children who are deaf or hard of hearing are taught alongside their peers, with the opportunity for separate specialist sessions at the deaf facility as needed.

“At our school, AUSLAN is the LOTE. All students come in to prep learning AUSLAN, and interpreters are present at assemblies and whole-school events … Our school is very inclusive, to the point where the other students don’t see the deaf students as different. They just see another little friend for them to play with.”

In Victoria, Teachers of the Deaf (TODs) are qualified teachers who have undertaken further training to teach children with hearing loss. Nathan explains that strong demand for TODs meant he was taken on with the understanding he would work towards a formal qualification.

Nathan not only gained his qualification, but a firm theoretical grounding and confidence to help upskill classroom teachers. “Professional development is implemented across the school covering various aspects to having a deaf or hard-of-hearing student in your class … They’re not just the ‘cute signing kid’. There’s a lot of diversity too in terms of their level of hearing loss, how oral they are and their family’s approach.

“We look at things such as how to modify work to assist with literacy, especially when phonics is not an option. And other aspects of learning too, like mental health and wellbeing … It’s a beautiful school to work at and a great job to have.”

Master of Special and Inclusive Education (University of Newcastle)

James Ginnivan – Weeroona College Bendigo (NWVR)

James Ginnivan's Master's has helped him unite two passions – inclusive education and IT. This has not only enhanced his teaching practice but has allowed him to lead and implement significant school-wide reforms at Weeroona College Bendigo, where he is coordinator of the Program for Students with Disabilities.

"The course highlighted for me not only the evidence and research about the best ways to support different students, but also how we don't really make the most of the technology that's out there to achieve this," James says.

Since completing his course, funded by the Inclusive Education scholarship program, James has trained other teachers to use collaborative platforms, so they can confidently create and work together on shared documents for students. This includes secure and up-to-date communications with external agencies.

"It means everyone's on the same page, and there's buy-in by all about the thinking and the planning we do for students," James says.

Having cemented these skills, James is now helping teachers and students to access the wealth of assistive technology built into platforms such as Office 365, with great success. He's also been a champion of critical analysis in student assessment.

"Such steps have allowed for improved whole-of-school practice for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to Individual Education Plans," says Principal Jason Bysouth. "As a direct result of James's role and expertise in this area, there has been a significant change to school practice and attitude towards inclusive practice – the most significant being the way planning and tracking students occurs along with raising the profile of these students."

James says he has also adapted his teaching practice, as information technology and physical education teacher, as a result of his studies. "It's sharpened my own practice too, in terms of breaking down and scaffolding lessons, and I'm also more focused on making sure all students show evidence of their understanding, whatever level they're at."

He says while balancing study, work and family was challenging, his school and the University of Newcastle were flexible and supportive. He undertook the more general course, rather than a specialist stream, and particularly liked the technology and augmented communications discussions.

"I feel really on top of the components of inclusive education, and I'd like to keep pushing myself. Seeing the self-worth and the self-esteem (of students) start to build up through supportive intervention strategies, it's great. I'd expect to continue to put into practice all aspects of the course – including in any further leadership opportunities that come up."

Additional post-graduate study opportunities

The Graduate Certificate in Education (Learning Difficulties) (GCE) is a new online postgraduate course developed by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at the University of Melbourne.

The four subjects in the GCE will develop teachers' understanding of learning difficulties and interactions between different types of learning difficulties, including dyslexia and dyscalculia.

Read more on Graduate Certificate in Education (Learning Difficulties).

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