UCL Graduate degrees


Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People) Grad Dip

The Graduate Diploma in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People) trains students to become Qualified Habilitation Specialists. They will learn how to support, plan, carry out, supervise and evaluate the habilitation skills of children and young people (aged 0-25 years) with vision impairment(s) in home, public and educational settings.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Part time: 2 years

Students attend face to face sessions over four 5-day blocked weeks (per year) that run in September, November, January and March. Students also need to be present for their Practical Skills Assessments. Students are expected to maintain their practice and observations in their setting(s) for the full duration of the course.

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£7,200 (PT)
£12,300 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.


The Graduate Diploma in Habilitation has been accredited by HABVIUK as meeting the professional competencies required for Qualified Habilitation Assistants (for exit after year 1) and Qualified Habilitation Specialists (for full course completion). Registration for HABVIUK is subject to a 1 year probationary period after completing the Graduate Diploma. 

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

First degree or a minimum qualification equivalent to QCF Level 4 plus extensive relevant work experience.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

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

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

The programme provides students with the opportunity to benefit from our links with Habilitation VI UK (formerly MISE UK), obtaining a qualification that matches the quality standards-based registration requirements for habilitation practitioners in the UK. Students work with eminent practitioners in the field of visual impairment, gaining experience of working in a variety of habilitation settings and environments.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (45 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a Grad Dip in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People).

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Passes in all four core modules, taken in order, and successful completion of all the various assessment elements of the programme are required for an overall pass for the programme.

  • Policy and Practice in Habilitation Studies
  • Habilitation in Educational Contexts and the Extended Curriculum
  • Habilitation at Home, In Public Contexts and During Transitions
  • Habilitation, Professional Practices and the Service Setting: The Extended Assessed Placement

Optional modules

No optional modules are available.

Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.


Not applicable.


Modules three and four involve an extended training/teaching placement. This is usually in a setting different to a student's typical working context. 

Teaching and learning

Both face-to-face and virtual learning environment elements will inform the pattern of teaching on the programme. It is assessed by written assessments, coursework assignments, practical skill assessments, skill observations, self-videoed practical assessment activities, presentations, placements, and a portfolio which is matched against the Quality Standards for Habilitation Work with Children and Young People (2011).

For teaching and learning, face-to-face teaching blocks equate to 160 hours per year; split between lectures, practical skills and independent study time. Four 20 minute compulsory tutorials are offered over the year (more if required). A minimum of half a day (4 hours) per week, outside of university contact time, is recommended for personal study. This is to be negotiated between the student and their employer. Please note that these hours do not include practical skills assessments or assignment write-up.

Additional costs

Students will likely incur additional costs for transport to and from some training areas in their second year of study. Students will be notifed of this ahead of time. The estimated cost is that of an off-peak travel card/daily Oyster card fare according to Transport for London (TFL). 

This programme requires a completed DBS check for some compulsory modules. You will receive more information from UCL on how to complete the check once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer for the programme. The DBS application cost will be covered by UCL, but offer holders will also need to have their ID checked and verified at a Post Office, for which they will incur a charge of £12.75. The offer holder is also required to arrange and pay for any overseas police check that may be necessary; costs vary by country. For more information about the DBS application process, please contact the Admissions team.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE Centenary Masters Scholarships

Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE Windle Trust Scholarship

Deadline: 31 December 2020
Full tuition fees and some allowances (Up to 3yrs)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates of this programme are currently working as Habilitation Specialists and Habilitation Assistants in local authorities for sensory services, consortia or sensory impairment services for national and local visual and sensory impairment-related charities.


Graduates of this programme work across agencies such as local authorities, schools, and charities to support and develop the habilitation (mobility, orientation and independence) of children and young people who are blind or partially sighted.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme has been matched against the National Occupational Standards for Sensory Services of the CWDC (2009) and has been developed with the support of the DfE, RNIB and Habilitation VI UK. It takes trainees from the basics of habilitation up to the standard needed for registration as an Habilitation Specialist with Habilitation VI UK.

Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma, followed by a probationary year, is a registration requirement of the UK Habilitation Professional Body, https://habilitationviuk.org.uk/


The Graduate Diploma in Habilitation has been accredited by HABVIUK as meeting the professional competencies required for Qualified Habilitation Assistants (for exit after year 1) and Qualified Habilitation Specialists (for full course completion). Registration for HABVIUK is subject to a 1 year probationary period after completing the Graduate Diploma. 

Department: Psychology & Human Development

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This programme is suited to people who want to become habilitation specialists, directing and implementing mobility and independence work with children and young people from birth to 25 years who are blind or visually impaired and may have other needs.

Application deadlines

Visa nationals
31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
30 July 2021

In some exceptional cases, students may not have Level 4 qualifications or a first degree (note: not the classification 'first' but an initial degree). If the applicant has extensive work experience (over 5 years) in the field of vision impairment, habilitation, working in settings with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities, we would consider these applications. It is essential that the personal statement reflects these extensive skills and experiences and referees are chosen to support this. These applications will be considered toward the end of the application window, where a statement in support of the application will be made by the Programme Leader, and will be sent to the Dean of Students for consideration. Please note, these places are limited.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People) at graduate level
  • why you want to study Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People) at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021