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PhD in Critical Disability Studies

The PhD (Critical Disability Studies), which is a pioneer in Canada, offers a comprehensive curriculum covering major scholarly perspectives.

The program structure and environment encourages advanced research, new scholarship and other opportunities to contribute to the field, enabling a multi-disciplinary group of students to explore disability from a critical perspective in relation to social policy, social justice, human rights issues, and social movements in Canada and internationally.

In particular, the program provides graduates with the ability to:


Human Rights & Social Justice

Critical Theory

Social Policy

  • critically understand existing policies and practices relating to disability, as well as Canadian and international laws and instruments governing human rights and protections for people with disabilities;

  • situate key debates in disability studies in both historical and contemporary contexts, including understanding how issues relating to disability are interpreted and advanced in both an academic setting and in public and private policy and programming;

  • recognize the importance of race, poverty, gender, sexuality and class issues as they intersect with disability;

  • influence public policy at federal, provincial and local levels and contribute to movements for social justice and human rights;

  • contribute to an evidence-based body of knowledge on people with disabilities at the international, national and local level in the health, education, social policy and legal sectors;

  • apply qualitative and quantitative research skills to policy research and longitudinal studies.