Special Education (ger.)

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The aim of the 4-year doctoral study programme in Special Education is to prepare highly qualified experts knowledgeable in research, teaching and professional activities in the field of special education focused on speech therapy, education of individuals with hearing impairments, education of individuals with mental, physical or visual impairment, severe and combined disabilities, specific learning disabilities, education of individuals with behaviour disorders, addictology or special andragogy. It is also to allow excellent students to continue their studies in their elected specialization in the framework of the doctoral study programme and to enable them to undertake research projects which many have been engaged in since their Master’s degrees. The four-year doctoral study programme in Special Education is managed in cooperation with other departments, such as the department of pedagogy, the department of psychology and philosophy at the Faculty of Education and other faculties of Masaryk Universities and other domestic (Prague, Ostrava, Olomouc) and foreign universities (Bratislava, etc.). The doctoral study programme in Special Education is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary.

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After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:

  • know deeply and systematically the subject and scope of their teaching and pedagogy in general, in the historical and contemporary context, at the level of the contemporary stage of knowledge
  • know deeply and systematically important theories, concepts and methods which are at the forefront of the field in domestic and international context
  • recognize the system of science and its development and research issues on the border between pedagogy and other fields
  • independently and in cooperation with others to choose, plan, manage and evaluate creative research approach in their field and education itself. Through these procedures to recognize educational processes and phenomena of educational reality
  • know the organization of the scientific community's life in domestic and international perspective
  • know how to fully participate in the life of the domestic and international scientific community including publishing activities, planning research projects and obtaining funds for their implementation
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Employability of graduates – research workers prepared for research, expert and teaching activities in the field of special education focused on speech therapy, the education of individuals with hearing, mental, or visual impairment, the education of individuals with behavioural disorders, specific learning disabilities, addictology, or special andragogy.

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Study courses: Foreign language examination in which students have to prove their ability in verbal and written communication (level C1), Philosophy of nurturing and education (exam), Inclusive special education (exam), Methodology I (exam), Pathopsychology I (exam).

Specialization – Wider scientific foundation I (speech therapy, education of individuals with hearing impairment/ mental impairment/ visual impairment, education of individuals with behavioural disorders, specific learning disabilities, severe and multiple disability, addictology and special andragogy – exam in one selected course), Wider scientific foundation II. (speech therapy and hearing impairment, education of individuals with mental impairment/ physical impairment/ visual impairment/behaviour disorders/ specific learning disabilities, severe and multiple disability, addictology/ special andragogy – exam in another selected course), Pathopsychology II (exam), Methodology II (exam).

Elective courses – Sociology of disability, Social pathology, Neuropsychology – which deepen elected specialization (termination = colloquium).

Optional option of second foreign language (level B1 – exam). Optional option of foreign stay (credit). Professional knowledge in the field (supervisor evaluates the student's research work each semester – colloquium). Preparation of dissertation thesis (supervisor evaluates planned phases of dissertation thesis – colloquium).

During the programme the PhD student is required to publish as an author or co-author four articles in peer-reviewed journals registered in the list of reviewed non-impact periodicals published in the Czech Republic or periodicals in the databases ERIH, Scopus, Web of Science or publish chapters in scholarly books. Students should also actively attend three domestic or international seminars or conferences and publish in conference proceedings. PhD students should participate in teaching an Inclusive special education course and selected specialization (2 semesters).

Dissertation theses deal with the following topics: Analysis of training of children with autistic spectra disorder to transition between kindergarten and primary school with a focus on structured education method; Education of a foreign language to pupils with speech disorders; Approach to the education of individuals with specific learning disabilities compared to international approaches; Values in individuals with behavioural disorders; Analysis of supportive measures in pupils with speech disorders; Manual components of sign language in the inter-cultural communication of individuals with hearing impairment.

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Teaching practice is not a compulsory part of the doctoral studies. PhD students perform practice in their field with regard to processing the dissertation thesis and the research project. Teaching practice is also implemented through internships, especially foreign internships. About 15 – 25 students go abroad every semester including PhD students for internships of several months in the framework of ERASMUS (German, Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Poland, France). In 2014 an International doctoral colloquium was held in Leipzig (Germany) which was attended by graduate students and their supervisors from faculties of German universities focused on the education of individuals with physical disabilities. The event was also attended by six Czech PhD students with their supervisors. Students presented their research projects on posters in German and English. A similar presentation was made at an International doctoral conference in Bratislava in 2015. In 2016 the participation of selected students at an International doctoral conference in Dortmund is planned.

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Student take the final state doctoral exam in the areas of wider scientific foundation and selected specialization on a date set by the individual study plan – usually planned at the end of the third year of the 4-year doctoral study programme. The final state doctoral examination also includes main theses of the dissertation which have to be defended. During the final state doctoral examination the student is examined on whether they are able to synthetize knowledge from related scientific areas and their practical application and whether they have a knowledge of an elementary methodological approach used in the relevant field of doctoral studies. The content of the final state examination is proposed by the Departmental board and approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Education. The state doctoral exam is held before a specialist board approved by the Departmental board consisting of associated professors and professors of the relevant or related field. The chairman of the board is appointed by the rector. The board consists of seven members (at least), from which at least two are not employed by Masaryk University. One of the members is a supervisor of the student. The state doctoral exam is an oral and public exam.

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After completion of the required conditions it is possible to launch the habilitation procedure in the field of Special education.

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Field of study specifications

Field of Study: Special Education (ger.)
Abbreviation: SPZPN
Code: 7506V002
Type: doctoral degree programme
Degree: Ph.D.
Accreditation: to 1/11/2023
Programme: P7540 D-SPD4 Special Education (4-years)
Faculty of Education
Field of study guaranteed by:
Faculty of Education
Field guarantor:
prof. PhDr. Marie Vítková, CSc.