Over 2,000 accredited courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges

Bachelor of Special Education (Primary)/Bachelor of Disability Studies

  • Qualification:

    Bachelor's Degree

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    HECS-HELP may be available
    Upfront payment

  • Duration:

    4 years full-time; up to 10 years part-time

  • Start date:

    Enquire now for upcoming start dates!

  • Awarded by:

    University of New England

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What you'll learn

Rebecca talks about studying the Bachelor of Education with UNE.

About this course

If you're an independent thinker who loves working with people, a career in early childhood education might be just what you're looking for. With the Bachelor of Special Education (Primary)/Bachelor of Disability Studies from the University of New England (UNE), you'll develop the skills and attitude necessary to work in the rewarding field of special needs education.

With a strong focus on inclusivity, constructive classroom management and creative thinking, this course will prepare you to manage a wide range of students, and to tailor work and class environments to individuals' needs. It'll also equip you with the practical skills and background knowledge required to teach. You'll study units on English, maths and physical education, with a focus on the particular challenges faced by students with disabilities; you'll also gain a strong philosophical and cultural understanding of living and working with disability.

This course will enable you to think and behave in an empathetic, creative, inclusive way, ensuring your own personal development in addition to your professional growth.

Practical industry experience

This course includes a mandatory work placement component to ensure that you graduate with a strong mix of practical industry experience that complements your learning. You will be required to complete eight professional experience placements (120 days total), in consultation with the School.

Flexible exit options

If plans change, and you can no longer commit to the full Bachelor of Special Education (Primary)/Bachelor of Disability Studies, you could still be eligible to receive a qualification. Depending on the credit points you've completed, you could exit with the non-accredited, non-teaching Bachelor of Educational Studies.


To be eligible for entry into this course, applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Have completed Australian senior secondary studies with an ATAR equal to or above this year's admission cut-off; OR
  • Have completed an overseas secondary or tertiary qualification/s deemed equivalent; OR
  • Have completed, or part-completed, an approved Australian post-secondary or tertiary qualification; OR
  • Have completed an approved admission scheme or pathway; OR
  • Satisfied the requirements of an approved inter-institution agreement; OR
  • Obtained other equivalent qualifications and/or vocational experience; OR
  • Satisfied the requirements for non-standard admission; AND
  • Have a minimum of three Band 5 and/or E3 HSC results, including English; OR
  • Have completed at least one year (48 credit points) of discipline studies (non-Education units) in a higher education qualification; OR
  • Have completed a BOSTES-approved alternative entry pathway.

Students must also satisfy the following English language proficiency requirements:

  • English is the applicant's first language; OR
  • If the applicant is applying for an undergraduate course, satisfactory completion, no more than five years prior to the date of applying for admission to UNE, of at least four years of full-time or equivalent full-time study at senior secondary, post-secondary or tertiary level in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada or the Republic of Ireland, in which English was the sole medium of instruction and assessment for the period of study claimed, resulting in an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) award or an award recognised by the Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR); OR
  • If the applicant is applying for a graduate entry course, satisfactory completion, no more than five years prior to the date of applying for admission to UNE, of at least three years of full-time or equivalent full-time study at tertiary level in English in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada or the Republic of Ireland, in which English was the sole medium of instruction and assessment for the particular period of study claimed, resulting in an AQF award or an award recognised by NOOSR; OR
  • Have an IELTS (Academic) overall score of at least 7.5, including a minimum result of 8.0 in both the speaking and listening modules and 7.0 in reading and writing; OR
  • Have an International Second Language Proficiency Rating (ISLPR) score of at least 4+ in each of the four areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You may be eligible for advanced standing if your previous education and experience meet certain criteria.

Areas of study

In this education course, the subjects you may study include:


Core units:

  • Critical thinking and decision-making
  • Creative arts curriculum studies 1 and 2
  • Aboriginal education: PrEx 20 days
  • English pedagogy in the primary curriculum
  • English teaching: focus on reading and viewing
  • ICT across the curriculum: PrEx 20 days
  • Planning for effective learning: PrEx 20 days
  • Primary mathematics 2A: space, measurement and number
  • Mathematics for the inclusive classroom
  • Primary mathematics 2B: statistics, algebra and number
  • Teaching physical education in primary PDHPE
  • Teaching health education in primary PDHPE
  • Primary science and technology curriculum studies
  • Primary environmental science for sustainability
  • Educating students in inclusive environments
  • Positive behavioural support (special education)
  • Applied language and literacy development for students with special needs
  • Autism: psychological theories and educational approaches
  • Transition: school to the community
  • Functional behavioural assessments
  • Humanities and social sciences in the primary school 1 and 2
  • Foundations of professional classroom practice
  • Professional communication practice
  • Counselling in the health professions
  • Assessment and management of challenging behaviours
  • Chronic health issues
  • Law, ethics, advocacy and health care
  • Living with disability in contemporary society
  • Introductory psychology I and II
  • Professional experience placement
Established in 1938, the University of New England (UNE) is Australia’s longest standing provider of distance education and continues to be at the forefront of innovations in online learning. The university offers over 200 courses at the undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree research levels. UNE is committed to offering a variety of flexible study options so that students are able to manage their personal commitments while undertaking a university education.
The University of New England (UNE) prides itself on providing the highest quality student support to ensure that students have the necessary tools to pursue their goals. Students can easily access a plethora of dedicated services including counselling, disability needs, academic and study skills, Aboriginal affairs and career development.

With over 60 years of distance education experience, UNE has devised flexible online study options over 3 study periods a year so that students are able to utilise their time more effectively or even accelerate their degree. For courses that require hands-on experience, UNE offers Intensive School programs where students are exposed to vital practical components of their course.

To support ongoing learning, students can get the help they need via email, phone or online chat. You can expect a well-rounded and supported experience throughout your UNE study journey.

Career outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a nationally recognised Bachelor of Special Education (Primary)/Bachelor of Disability Studies from the University of New England.

This qualification equips graduates with the attitude and abilities to work sensitively and independently with a wide range of people and to develop attractive employable skills.

Employment pathways include working in special needs or primary school teaching, pursuing employment in other related educational areas or undertaking a variety of roles in non-school agencies for individuals with disabilities.

UNE is committed to a holistic approach to education, ensuring that all graduates also possess the following transferable attributes:

  • Communication skills
  • Capacity for problem solving
  • Information literacy
  • Awareness of ethical conduct and social responsibility
  • Independence and collaboration
  • A thirst for lifelong learning

Curious about where a career in education could take you? Potential job outcomes may include:

  • Primary Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Special Education Tutor

Payment options & support

Finance options

Eligible students can apply for HECS-HELP to cover the upfront costs of all or part of your fees. Alternatively, you can pay annually for the units you select to study in that year.

The University of New England also offers a number of scholarships to successful applicants.

You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP government loan scheme. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.

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