Graduate Diploma: Specialist Qualification in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People)

This programme will:

  • enable you to support, plan, carry out, supervise and evaluate the development of children's and young people's (from birth to 19 and where additional needs are present, up to age 25) habilitation skills in home, educational and public settings and during periods of transition
  • encourage you to become a reflective practitioner
  • offer introductory Braille sessions as part of the course, for those not already qualified.


This programme provides the opportunity to:

  • benefit from our links with Mobility and Independent Specialists in Education (MISE UK), the professional body for habilitation workers and holders of the current register of qualified habilitation practitioners as well as a range of key visual impairment–related national and international charities and organisations
  • obtain a qualification that fully matches the initial quality standards-based registration requirements for habilitation practitioners (MISE UK)
  • work with eminent practitioners in the field of visual impairment and habilitation studies
  • gain experience of working in a variety of habilitation settings and environments, with fellow professionals, parents and carers of individual children and with children supported in schools and services
  • exit after one year's part-time study with a graduate certificate (for those wishing to become habilitation assistants).

Who is this programme for?

People who want to become habilitation specialists, directing and implementing mobility and independence work with children and young people from birth to age 25 (see above) who are blind or visually impaired and may have other needs.

Entry requirements

Relevant experience of working with a range of children and young people, a mature and responsible outlook, appropriate post-A level study, and DBS clearance at enhanced level. Teaching qualifications are not required for this course. If you do not meet these requirements, you may be able to qualify through special procedures.

As habilitation training involves periods of substantial, sustained physical activity in a range of weather conditions and settings, you will be asked to evidence your general health, vision and hearing. However, a physical, visual or hearing impairment is not a barrier to undertaking these programmes. All applicants may be interviewed as part of the application process.

How are you assessed?

By written assessments, coursework and practical skill assessments, peer assessments, skill observations, placements, presentations, videoed practice tasks and the creation of a portfolio of work which is matched against the Quality Standards for Habilitation Work with Children and Young People (2011).


Two daytime face-to-face teaching blocks of five days each and additional practical assessment days per module, with tutorial support and personal study linked to the use of an online learning environment (Moodle) and face-to-face practical skill activities.

Where do our students go?

Graduates of this programme are currently working as:

  • Habilitation Specialists and Habilitation Assistants in local authorities
  • Habilitation Specialists and Habilitation Assistants for sensory services consortia or sensory impairment services for national and local impairment-related charities
  • Independent habilitation consultants.

Visa Information

International students can use a Student Visitor Visa to study face-to-face parts of this course if required. This programme is not suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa

For more information about visas please see our guide to visas for study (pdf, 0.32mb). You can also contact (by email) the international support team for advice.