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Masters Degrees (Autism Spectrum)

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The Master of Functional Behaviour Assessment (Autism Spectrum Disorders) professional program is designed to provide graduates with expertise in application of Functional Behaviour Assessment to the challenging behaviour of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Read more

About the program

The Master of Functional Behaviour Assessment (Autism Spectrum Disorders) professional program is designed to provide graduates with expertise in application of Functional Behaviour Assessment to the challenging behaviour of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Functional Behaviour Assessment is a specialisation within the fields of Special Education, Behaviour Management, and Psychology. This sub-discipline has been created to remediate the highly challenging behaviour that often occurs in children, adolescents and adults with developmental disability and in particular individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Those individuals exhibit behaviours which are resistant to generic treatment strategies, thus requiring specialised assessment and intervention. Functional Behaviour Assessment aims to enhance positive social engagement and sound quality of life outcomes in individuals who are not able to be integrated into educational and community contexts due to the severity of their behavioural difficulties.

See the website https://bond.edu.au/program/master-functional-behaviour-assessment-autism-spectrum-disorders

Professional outcomes

The Master of Functional Behaviour Assessment (Autism Spectrum Disorders) is designed for people interested in working with individuals across the age range and functional continuum. Graduates will be prepared, via exposure to professional practicum and applied research experiences, to provide specialised assistance to those individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who also exhibit challenging behaviour within educational and other service provision contexts. The degree has an applied focus to enhance graduates’ capacity to conduct direct, group, and consultative applications of Functional Behaviour Assessment.

Graduates of this program will be practitioners with expertise in applying evidence-based assessment and intervention methods tailored to the particular needs of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Further, graduates will gain skills in conducting action-based behavioural research via applicant of client-focused methodology. This program is tailored to professionals working in the field or new graduates interested in developing specialised training in a new and growing sub-discipline.

English language proficiency requirements

As tuition is delivered in English, all students will be required to provide documented evidence of the required level of proficiency in the English language. Read more detailed information on English Language Proficiency Requirements for university study https://bond.edu.au/future-students/study-bond/how-apply/information-international-students/english-language-requirements .

Find out how to apply here https://bond.edu.au/future-students/study-bond/how-apply

See the website https://bond.edu.au/program/master-functional-behaviour-assessment-autism-spectrum-disorders

For contact information see here https://bond.edu.au/program/master-functional-behaviour-assessment-autism-spectrum-disorders

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The overall aim of this programme is to create academic, professional, and personal development opportunities for those concerned with both the practice and experience of living and/ or working with autistic individuals across all ages and settings. Read more

The overall aim of this programme is to create academic, professional, and personal development opportunities for those concerned with both the practice and experience of living and/ or working with autistic individuals across all ages and settings.

You engage in informed critical reflection and enquiry to develop and influence practice and policy in your current and/or future contexts. You are supported to identify a relevant knowledge base drawing on theoretical and research literatures, policy and policy critiques, practice guidance and practitioner networks. Through the programme, you identify your own and others' values and assumptions in contributing to socially just policy, inclusive and ethical practice for people with autism.

If you are from a professional background the course supports you in developing a range of academic skills, a professional knowledge base and employability skills that link closely to your specialism and career goals. If you are interested in this course from a personal perspective as an autistic individual, a parent or carer, we support your developing understanding of the autism spectrum.

This course is ideal if you are

  • coming to this course from a personal perspective as an autistic individual, a parent, carer, or ally
  • a graduate interested in a career in the field of autism
  • currently working with autistic individuals or communities

The MA Autism Spectrum is designed to provide a supportive, challenging and inclusive learning experience. You experience and engage in a variety of learning activities as they progress through the course. We have designed a balanced range of activities to recognise the diverse range of experience and expertise of our students. Teaching and learning involves tutor-led seminars, workshops, participant-led activities, group and peer discussion, self-directed study, and independent reading. You take part in both face-to-face and online learning throughout your studies.

The structure of the course recognises the developing skills of a postgraduate student becoming an independent, critical learner. As such, the course begins by developing skills of critical reflection and evaluating evidence, progressing towards the knowledge and skills to develop your own ethical and inclusive research enquiry in the final year.

Typically you study

  • how the autism spectrum is conceptualised situated within broader disability debates
  • how autism might affect how people experience the world around them
  • how to critically analyse policy and practice in relation to autism to work towards inclusive, enabling and socially just ends for autistic communities
  • research design, ethics and methods for developing inclusive enquiry in the field of autism

Course structure

Part-time – typically one year to certificate, two years to diploma, three years to masters, maximum six years

Modules are delivered in a variety of ways, including taught sessions and online. Typically, this includes some modules taught in the evenings once a week over eight weeks and others taught in a series of day schools and online. Please note, there are taught sessions in Sheffield throughout the course, though not always on a regular basis.

For groups of 15 students or more, it may be possible to deliver the course at your organisation if it is in the local region.

Modules :

The modules you take depend on whether you are pursuing a PgCert, PgDip or MA. 

  • Critical reflections on the Autism and Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism, policy and practice
  • Autism, challenging behaviour and communication
  • Reflecting on Professional Practice
  • Educational Enquiry

Assessment

Assessment varies between modules but includes a mixture of professional work-based tasks and academic and critical reflection. There are no examinations.

Employability

The course provides a relevant qualification for anyone holding or intending to hold a position related to autism. As this is a part-time course, students are often studying alongside their own career progression. Graduates often go on to progress in their organisation or take on further responsibility as the result of their studies and acquired skills.



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This award provides students with the opportunity to study the autism spectrum in depth. The programme aims to build upon students’ existing knowledge, understanding and experience of working with young people and adults with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Read more
This award provides students with the opportunity to study the autism spectrum in depth. The programme aims to build upon students’ existing knowledge, understanding and experience of working with young people and adults with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). During the course we aim to share and increase understanding of theoretical perspectives on the nature, causation and impact of ASCs, and further develop students’ knowledge and skills with regard to assessment and the range of approaches used to support people within the spectrum. Individual approaches are evaluated and students are invited to reflect upon how to enhance learning opportunities and to consider how to work more effectively with colleagues, other professionals and parents. Particular issues within the field are explored and students are encouraged to reflect upon the implications for their own practice. In particular, we seek to provide insight into different perspectives on autism and to enable students to adopt a critical stance in relation to the research literature and current practice.

The programme has been developed over a number of years and has achieved a positive reputation in the field. It is intended for students from a variety of professional backgrounds, including teachers, therapists, social workers and other staff in health and social care. However, the programme may also be undertaken by parents and others with a personal interest in the subject. At the outset there is the opportunity to claim credit for prior learning relevant to the field of autism.

This award is part of the Manchester Met Faculty of Education postgraduate Professional Development Programme.

About the Course

MA Autism Spectrum Conditions is intended for a range of education professionals, and those in related health and social welfare/care (and in inter and multi-professional settings); it is also open to parents of children/young people with ASC and others with a personal interest in the field. The course encourages and facilitates students to identify, explore and develop thinking salient for their own practice and (academic and) professional development.

Assessment details

Assessment is by coursework for each unit and a full assignment brief is available for each unit. Assessment tasks always allow you to pursue your own thinking and interests within the parameters of the unit and award. Formative feedback is available and built in for every unit.

For taught units (30 credits) the assessment is 5000 words equivalent. The final (60 credit) dissertation is 12-14,000 words.

Waiver of some credits may be possible (under the MMU Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy) if you have a recent and relevant certificated award at Level 7.

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This programme was developed in consultation with the education, health and social care, and voluntary sectors, as well as individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and is designed to facilitate the professional development of teachers and other related professionals who work, or wish to work, in this area. Read more

This programme was developed in consultation with the education, health and social care, and voluntary sectors, as well as individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and is designed to facilitate the professional development of teachers and other related professionals who work, or wish to work, in this area.

Students explore the theories and practice underpinning ASD and can engage in associated experiential work. In line with the needs identified in the Northern Ireland Executive's Autism Strategy (2013-2020) and associated Action Plan, the course has been attuned to raising awareness, addressing issues specifically related to children and adults on the autism spectrum, and increasing knowledge and skills in relation to evidence-based interventions.

The aim is to enable the study of the theory and practice underpinning the specialist area in order to enhance understanding and ability to engage in research- and evidence-based practice. On completion of the degree, students will have:

  • developed a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the special needs of children, young people and adults diagnosed with ASD
  • shown evidence of critical reflection on their professional practice and be able to apply relevant research literature to both personal and professional experience
  • acquired a range of specialised practical skills which will enhance their ability to support pupils and students in a variety of settings
  • developed teamwork skills required to work in partnership, supporting and advising other colleagues.

Programme Structure

In order to be awarded the MSc, students must successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a dissertation (60 CATS points).

Two exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught pathway modules or an Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS pointsfrom taught pathway modules.

Core Modules (all 20 CATS points):

An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education (online)

This module will provide you with an understanding of differing perspectives that underpin quantitative and qualitative methodologies and is required preparation for your research dissertation.

Fundamental Elements of Behaviour Change (online and 1-day workshop)

We will focus on pedagogical methods and practices for inclusion that emanate from the scientific discipline of behaviour analysis. This includes a range of pedagogical methods, including intensive behaviour interventions, incidental teaching, contingency management, precision teaching, dealing with challenging behaviours, and integrating systems support. We will also introduce the practice of measurement of behaviour change and displaying and interpreting behavioural data.

Understanding Adults with ASD (3-day on-campus workshop and online)

You will be assisted to develop and extend your skills in understanding the needs of adults with ASD and their families. We will examine issues of identification, adult diagnosis, mental health, and transitions, as well as challenging behaviours, communication, and sensory issues, relationships, sexuality, self-advocacy, and neuro-diversity. We will consider the implications of an ASD diagnosis for the nuclear and extended family, for schools, homes and employment.

Understanding Children with ASD (3-day on-campus workshop and online)

You will be assisted to develop and extend your skills in understanding the needs of children (aged 0-18) with ASD and their families. We will examine issues of definition, identification, diagnosis and assessment, and early intervention, as well as communication, and sensory issues across childhood and adolescence. We will also consider the implications of an ASD diagnosis for the nuclear and extended family, for teaching and learning in school and home-based programmes as well as transitions between school and home.

Two optional modules may be chosen from the Educational Studies (MEd) programme.

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found their Master’s degree to be beneficial in the workplace when advising colleagues, influencing policy makers and supporting pupils and students. Others progress to Doctoral level studies and research.



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The 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (DfE/DoH) specifies that all teachers must be seen as teachers of pupils with SEN and take responsibility for the progress of all learners in their class. Read more

The 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (DfE/DoH) specifies that all teachers must be seen as teachers of pupils with SEN and take responsibility for the progress of all learners in their class.

With an estimated 1.1 per cent of the population diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and an increased focus on inclusion, this course allows you to develop your knowledge and understanding of pupils with ASC. 

This is a new and innovative postgraduate course that will enable you to study and research current, relevant issues concerning autism spectrum conditions and to develop knowledge of inclusive pedagogy and practice.

It is suitable for teachers and allied professionals working within educational settings who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge of ASC and inclusion.

This course will help you to develop the skills to reflect critically on your own practice and current research. It will enable you to contribute to school development and strategic vision concerning ASC. 



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The MA SEN (ASD) course is unique in Wales, and for professionals working in the field of social care, education, health or the third sector, who have contact with children or adults on the Autism Spectrum. Read more
The MA SEN (ASD) course is unique in Wales, and for professionals working in the field of social care, education, health or the third sector, who have contact with children or adults on the Autism Spectrum. The course is also available to parents or carers who wish to further their knowledge and understanding on Autism at Masters level.

This is the only course that offers study at this level. As such, it attracts a wide range of students from all over south Wales and the west of England. European and international students regularly choose the University of South Wales for their studies, and currently Greece, Malta, the USA, India and Pakistan are all represented.

The MA SEN (ASD) course has a committed team of professionals working in the field of Autism who are happy to share their expertise. In addition, the university also offers individuals who have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition who are happy to share their experiences with the students. This is complemented by workshops, group discussion and student led seminars. The varied teaching approaches encourage students to engage in discussions, exchange views and share expertise.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1159-ma-sen-asd

What you study

In common with all of the MA Education programmes, students must take the Research Methodology module. In addition, you will study the following three specialist modules:

- Supporting children with ASD – This is an introduction to Autism in which you will examine a wide range of strategies that can be used to support children with Autism Spectrum.
- The Autistic Spectrum
- Understanding Learning Difficulties/Disabilities

- Dissertation - To complete the full MA you will present a 17,000 word research dissertation and a 3,000 word research dissemination plan.

Learning and teaching methods

You will learn through a combination of workshops, group discussions and student led seminars.

Assessment methods

Each module is assessed via a written assignment of 5,000 words, which usually takes the form of an essay. Each course member is supported by a tutor who provides individual tutorials and guidance during the assignment writing process.

Employment Prospects

Most of our students who study part-time, work in this specific field of work. Our full-time students quickly find work locally within education or the care sector, which offers them opportunities to apply theory to practice.

A Masters degree in Autism is a major boost to a career. Whatever your profession, experience has shown us that success on the course leads to enhanced employment prospects. Parents of children diagnosed with an ASD feel empowered both from their success and the increased insight gained.

A number of students have gone on to present at national and international conferences on an aspect of the autism spectrum. Other students have secured promotion and or employment in organisations that specifically support or educate individuals on the spectrum.

Teaching

As well as a committed team of professionals working in the field of Autism, we have visiting lecturers from:
- The local NHS Trust specialist AS team
- The National Autism Association (Wales)
- Autism Cymru.

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These programmes are consistent with the philosophy and criteria set out in the Autism Act (2009) and Autism Strategy (2010). The philosophy and outcomes are also consistent with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence 2012 guidelines on autism. Read more

These programmes are consistent with the philosophy and criteria set out in the Autism Act (2009) and Autism Strategy (2010). The philosophy and outcomes are also consistent with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence 2012 guidelines on autism.

Course details

The overall aims of the programmes are to:

  • facilitate your acquisition of substantial knowledge and skills appropriate to postgraduate study and integrates your advanced knowledge and skills related to autism practice
  • develop the skills and attitudes necessary for you to promote evidence-based practice and research in autism practice
  • develop your critical understanding of the necessary research methodologies to locate and critically appraise research to advance practice when working with people with autism spectrum conditions
  • foster your commitment to lifelong learning and encourages an inquisitive approach to practice.

You focus on the person-centred support of service users and apply supportive interventions and strategies in ways that build on your previous study, employment and/or practice experiences. You are prepared to conduct research that is linked to the field of autism practice and to advance your knowledge of the discipline of specialist autism practice. You will apply theories and constructs related to autism in a workplace setting to make sense of complex situations and enhance your skills development through action or problem-based projects and practical experience. These programmes also facilitate the development of leading change and service improvement, developing services to meet diverse needs of people with autism, underpinned by a sound ethical framework.

You focus on the person-centred support of service users and apply supportive interventions and strategies in ways that build upon your previous study and employment/practice experiences. You are prepared to conduct research linked to the field of autism practice to advance your knowledge and understanding of autism spectrum conditions, enabling you to develop your knowledge of specialist autism practice. You ares also enable to apply theories and constructs related to autism in a workplace setting to make sense of complex situations and enhance your skills development through action or problem-based projects and practical experience. 

The programme is underpinned by a sound ethical framework and facilitates the development of leading change and service improvement, developing services to meet diverse needs of people with autism.

What you study

Course structure

Core modules

  • Advancing Practice When Working with People with Autism Spectrum Conditions
  • Designing Research Projects
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Service Improvement for Autism Spectrum Conditions

MSc only

  • Dissertation

Modules offered may vary.

Teaching

How you learn

These programme use e-learning as a key resource to enhance your learning and support. You use our virtual learning environment, [email protected] for all of your modules. we provide links to useful online resources and web-based interactive activities related to autism. 

You also learn through discussion boards remotely from your home or at your practice placement site. In addition you learn through keynote lectures, seminars, case-study and scenario-based discussions and critical incident analyses in the form of group work. This enhances your learning and provides support for your modular assessment. 

We use debate and argument to stimulate you to be an active participant in your reflective learning process. The programme team includes members with research experience and there is an emphasis on research-informed teaching.

How you are assessed

Each module carries an assessed element which is integrated with the learning outcomes of the module and award. It requires a critical appreciation of the subject matter and its implications for practice. 

Your work is assessed through essays, case studies, project work and a final dissertation if you are enrolled on the MSc Autism Practice.

Employability

Work placement

You must work in a practice setting for this programme within your own area of employment.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities include a range of services in health and social care settings where individuals with autism require support.



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In 2005, several faculty members of West Chester University of PA met to discuss the need for and probability of offering a certificate in autism studies. Read more
In 2005, several faculty members of West Chester University of PA met to discuss the need for and probability of offering a certificate in autism studies. Since that first meeting, faculty members from the departments of Early Childhood & Special Education, Communicative Disorders, Psychology, and Kinesiology have collaborated in the development of an interdisciplinary, empirically-based certificate in autism studies. The university is now proud to offer the Certificate of Specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders. This Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program is geared towards community members who currently work with, or will work with, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The 18-credit certificate provides students with the skill sets necessary to build and work within an interdisciplinary approach to effective and empirically-based treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Students learn strategies for implementing the interdisciplinary approach, as well as methods to assess the effectiveness of the approach, i.e. the effect of education/treatment on the person's quality of life. The program is be provided from the view point of several disciplines including psychology, special education, communicative disorders, and kinesiology.

Overview

The mission of this program is to provide professionals, parents, and other members of the community access to empirically validated educational approaches for teaching persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), strategies for implementing these approaches, as well as methods to assess the effectiveness of these approaches, i.e. the effect of education/treatment on the person's quality of life.

The autism certificate program is based on the following assumptions:

-People with ASD and their families have a wide range of disability-specific strengths and needs
-Assessment and intervention must be based on evidence-based practices
-Professionals who specialize in the treatment of individuals with ASD must understand the ASD profile, its history, and the challenges faced by families of individuals with ASD
-Professional who support individuals with ASD must collaborate with each other
-Specialization in autism requires course work, guided observation, and supervised clinical practicum

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Autism and Related Conditions at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Autism and Related Conditions at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

Autism is a spectrum of lifelong neurodevelopmental conditions that presents various challenges for those people living with Autism and the services in place to provide care, education, training and support. There is an emphasis on the need to increase general awareness and specialist training for all professionals involved in the delivery of autism related services. However, it has been recognised that Autism and its related conditions are prevalent globally, and this programme explores the international context to highlight best practice initiatives.

The Master's in Autism and Related Conditions, which is also available at Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate level as well as on a part time basis, is a unique training and development programme leading to a postgraduate qualification for those professionals who are seeking to advance and specialise their knowledge and practice in Autism.

Key Features of the Autism and Related Conditions Programme

In response to the Autism Act (2009), the UK government produced statutory guidance for health, social care and educational organisations, which highlighted the strategic need for staff training at all levels, service planning and the creation of local leadership. Part of this guidance places an emphasis on the need to increase general awareness and specialist training for all professionals involved in the delivery of autism related services.

Key features of the Autism and Related Conditions programme include:

- Innovative and integrated curriculum that reflects the various aspects in the provision of autism services (i.e. clinical, social care and specialist education).

- Flexibility for you to gain specialist knowledge in your respective professions

- People living with Autism are involved in the delivery of the programme

- Teaching is supported by online learning and support

- Strong links with various third sector organisations

- Research informed teaching

- Multiprofessional teaching team with vast experience and expertise in Autism and related conditions

- Choice between a research project or a work based portfolio for the MSc dissertation

- Available as either a full time or part time study

The Autism and Related Conditions programme is modular and structured in three levels, each building on the next. You can elect to take either the full Master's programme or the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma, depending on need and circumstances. The programme is designed to allow you to complete either as full time or part time study. For part-time students, each of the three components are scheduled to take a year each to complete.

Who should take this course?

Any health care professionals (medical, nursing and allied health), educators (primary, secondary, FE and HE), social care professionals and psychologists who wish to develop their understanding, skills and leadership in Autism.

Attendance Pattern

Students are required to attend the University for 1 week (5 consecutive days) for each module in Part One (Taught Element). Attendance during Part Two (Dissertation or Portfolio) is negotiated with the supervisor, with a minimum of 4 supervisory meetings. You are also encourage to attend the Postgraduate Taught Induction Event during the induction week and any programme associated seminars.

Modules

Modules on the Autism and Related Conditions may include:

Diagnosis and Assessment of Autism and Related Conditions

Living with Autism and Related Conditions

Critical Appraisal and Evaluation

Data Analysis for Health and Medical Sciences

Management of Autism and Related Conditions

Foundations of Behaviour

Childhood and Adult Services for Autism and Related Conditions

Rights and Responsibilities for Autism and Related Conditions

Additionally, you will be able to choose to complete a research based dissertation or a work based reflective portfolio.‌

Meet our Alumni

Elizabeth Clatworthy was the first person to graduate from the MSc in Autism and Related Conditions course in 2014. She had both a personal and professional reason to be the first person to gain a Master’s degree in a new course that specialises in the study of autism, as she fosters an eight year old boy who has the condition. Elizabeth said: ‘However a five year old boy came to me to be fostered, which resulted in him being placed with me full time. He was non-verbal and had behavioural issues, but now he talks, has learned to manage his own behaviour and now I feel that there is no limit to what he can achieve. This experience led me to apply for my Master’s degree and I have found that my learning has helped me understand more about my foster child, and equally my foster child has helped me gain greater insight into my studies.”

Rhys Jenkins, now aged 24, was diagnosed with Autism when he was 16 years old. He had successfully completed a Law Degree at Cardiff University prior to coming to Swansea University to complete the MSc in Autism and Related Conditions course.



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This course is suitable if you are an individual with autism or Asperger Syndrome or a parent, teacher, clinician or professional associated with people with autism and Asperger Syndrome. Read more

This course is suitable if you are an individual with autism or Asperger Syndrome or a parent, teacher, clinician or professional associated with people with autism and Asperger Syndrome.

It gives you an in-depth understanding of what autism is and delves into many of the associated issues across the age ranges. It gives you an insight into some of the ways of developing appropriate support for individuals, as described by autistic individuals themselves, as well as investigating how to develop appropriate professional practice across all disciplines.

You explore some of the specific cognitive differences as well as sensory perceptual profiles and experiences in autism and Asperger Syndrome. Forensic issues are examined as well as reasons behind why individuals may be vulnerable in a variety of ways, and how risk of vulnerability might be reduced.

You are provided with an in depth exploration of the main autism theories, with alternative perspectives identified with supporting rationale. The course is deeply embedded in an inclusive model, and embraces the social model of disability; as such, the notions of inclusion, models of disability, and what it means to be autistic in the modern age are all explored within the course. You are given the opportunity to discuss these perspectives in your own writing.

You are given the opportunity to explore and critique current autism practice as related to your circumstances - personal, professional, or both.

The course is designed to be applicable to a wide range of students from all professional and personal backgrounds. 

Course structure

Part-time – typically one year

The course is delivered on rotation at different locations around the UK. Call us to find out the location of the next course.

Your studies are part taught and part online learning with online tutor support.

Two cohorts per year - see National Autistic Society website for details

Modules:

  • Autism and Asperger Syndrome and misconceptions related to the spectrum
  • critical reflection on autism theory • sensory processing
  • ethical considerations
  • social behaviour
  • communication
  • cognitive differences
  • relationships
  • high risk and offending behaviour
  • diagnosis
  • implications of autism policy on current practice.

Included on the course are individuals on the spectrum who present on their lived experiences, and on their academic research in the autism field.

Assessment

Autism and Asperger syndrome module one – 6,000 word assignment

Autism in practice module two – 6,000 word assignment(alternative forms of assessment may be available to suit differing learning needs)

Employability

This course can help you gain a better understanding of autism and Asperger Syndrome within a working context such as teaching or a clinical environment, representing continuing professional development in these specialties.

As an individual with autism or Asperger Syndrome this course can help you better understand yourself, offering you potential opportunities to develop in your career and other areas of your life.

The aim of the course is to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and to critique models of autism and modes of practice that may be deemed as disabling and exclusionary. Many students report that as a result their perspective of autism has changed considerably.



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Autism is a developmental disorder diagnosed on the basis of social-communication impairments, and fixated interests and repetitive behaviours. Read more

Introduction

Autism is a developmental disorder diagnosed on the basis of social-communication impairments, and fixated interests and repetitive behaviours. Recent studies estimate that around 1 in every 100 individuals in the UK have autism. Research in autism spectrum disorders is important, not just to understand the causes and symptoms of autism, but to make sure that individuals with autism receive the best possible support.

This MSc in Autism Research is a unique course designed to provide students with an in depth understanding of the autism spectrum. While studying on the course, students will learn about key areas of theory and research in autism, from classification and diagnosis, to socio-cognitive and developmental theories of autism, and interventions.

The course’s innovative approach combines training and teaching in psychological research methods with hands-on experience during a practical placement in an autism-relevant context, and the opportunity to engage in an autism-based research project.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Catherine Grainger

Bursaries are available: http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

Psychology has powerful methods to help better understand the puzzling condition of autism. The course comprises modules designed to provide training in the fundamentals of research methods and how these apply to the study of autism. Our styles of teaching research skills range from explicit hands-on demonstrations of tools, to discussion of different approaches to research.

The modules include:
- Autism Research
- Psychological Research Methods I and II
- Advanced Statistics
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Key Skills for Psychology Researchers
- Research placement

Alternative modules from the other taught MSc courses can also be taken for credit or audit with the agreement of the Course Coordinator.
Approximately half of your time is devoted to a research project, leading to a substantial dissertation.

Delivery and assessment

Delivery is by seminars, lectures, a research placement in a relevant context, and research supervision. Master's students have their own dedicated suite and are integrated into the thriving research culture of the Division.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Strengths

Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.

Career opportunities

The course is designed for those going on to do further research in autism or as the foundation for a career as an autism professional. The structure of the course includes both a placement and research project, allowing you to develop relevant skills for both research and applied careers.

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The Autism (Adults) programme is a distance learning programme which is studied part-time. It is appropriate for practitioners working with adults across the autism spectrum in a range of services and in both specialist and mainstream environments. Read more
The Autism (Adults) programme is a distance learning programme which is studied part-time. It is appropriate for practitioners working with adults across the autism spectrum in a range of services and in both specialist and mainstream environments. The course draws upon your own experience as a practitioner, and through the set assessments, you will consider how your learning informs your practice.

The University of Birmingham is the leading provider of degree-level education in autistic spectrum disorders in the UK - offering Professional Development courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our courses develop real insight and encourage reflective practice. You will be tutored by senior practitioners and researchers in the field who work within the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER). You will have access to an extensive library, research materials and a large online community of students in the field of autism. Academic credits and qualifications can be used as a springboard to further study and we accept both vocational and academic qualifications as entry criteria.

The Autism (Adults) distance learning programme aims to provide you with knowledge of the autism spectrum, including Asperger syndrome, based on theory, research and practice. You will be taught to consider how autism theory applies to the individuals that you support in their adult lives, and what this should mean for your own practice. Autistic authors and researchers contribute to our study materials, so that you will gain insights into the diversity of the autistic experience, and learn about the range of individual and social barriers that can be experienced. The course will also encourage you think for yourself and use your professional skills to select and research topics of relevance to your own situation.

You will have a personal tutor in a small online or regional tutor group, with study supported through study packs, tutorial groups, telephone, email and the online virtual learning environment network, encouraging you to develop through shared experience (Internet access is required for the programme). There are two compulsory university-based study weekends in the first year - find out more about this in the Learning and Teaching section.

The following awards are offered for this programme.

AdCert (Level H) Three core modules
PGCert (Level M) Three core modules
BPhil (Level H) Three core modules plus one optional module and a 10,000 word dissertation
PGDip (Level M) Three core modules plus three optional modules
MEd (Level M) Three core modules plus two optional modules, PIE and a 15,000 word dissertation

The entry level will depend on your academic qualifications as well as professional experience. Learn more about admission requirements in the School of Education. If you don't already hold a recognised degree, the appropriate level for entry will be the undergraduate level. However, you will have the opportunity to progress through to postgraduate level.

About the School of Education

The School of Education has a long-standing reputation as a centre of excellence for teaching and research in a wide range of areas of educational practice and policy. It is an international leader in education with a history of top rated research. In the 2016 QS World Rankings, it was ranked 28th in the World and joint 7th in Europe/UK.
The School employs over 100 academic staff who teach more than 2,500 students. It is home to a number of departments and research centres with a history of top rated research and is an international leader in education.
School of Education ranking:
- Ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Tables 2017
- Ranked 10th in the 2017 Complete University Guide
- In Top 3 for HEI provision in the Good Teacher Training Guide
- Ranked 28th in the World in the 2016 QS World Rankings
- Ranked 9th overall for Research in the 2014 REF (with more than 82% of research rated as ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) or ‘world leading’ (4*).
- Rated 'outstanding' in latest Ofsted inspection (2013) for its Teacher Training programmes
- Ranked third for Education in The Times Good University Guide 2017

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Behaviour analysis has been recognised as the basis for medically necessary intervention and educational provision for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Read more

Behaviour analysis has been recognised as the basis for medically necessary intervention and educational provision for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. With the growing prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (now estimated to be 1:68) behaviour analysis has experienced a significant rise in popularity.

There are over 13,000 Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs) worldwide and this number is predicted to rise given that professional approval is seen as the key to delivering high quality services to individuals, families, in schools and in related settings. Furthermore, behaviour analysis is increasingly being applied to general education, special education and organisational leadership settings.

This programme is a highly interactive blended learning programme (mostly online with some face to face workshops) providing professionals from a wide range of backgrounds with scientifically validated expertise that is applicable to mainstream and special needs education, inclusion, curriculum, learning, and pedagogy. It should be of interest to professionals wishing to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®), to those in the ‘helping’ professions (e.g. teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists) and students preparing for PhD studies.

Please note that unfortunately this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.

BACB Verification

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. has verified the six core modules of the MScABA toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (Option 1) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

Why ABA at Queen's?

◦As a prestigious Russell Group University, Queen’s is ranked 8th within the UK in relation to research intensity;

◦Education at Queen’s has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87% of the research undertaken within the School assessed as ‘internationally excellent or world leading’ (REF, 2014);

◦The programme offers an economically attractive option as online/blended delivery of the content allows UK/EU/international students to participate without relocating to Belfast;

◦Belfast is easily reached from mainland UK and Europe by a variety of low-cost airlines;

◦The on-campus workshops are timetabled on consecutive days for all the modules in a semester, thus reducing travel requirements;

◦The supervised practice element is not included, but contacts for placements can be provided;

◦An exit award is available. The PGDip (ABA) includes the BACB course sequence without the MSc dissertation

Programme Structure and Modules

Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 or 3 years) basis. Individual modules may be studied as a short course. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS) and a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation (60 CATS) as well as audit 'An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education' online module in Semester 2.

Students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught pathway modules.

Indicative Number of Modules per Semester

Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.

Modules (all 20 CATS points)

  • Assessment in Behaviour Analysis
  • Behaviour Change and Education
  • Concepts and Principles of Behaviour Analysis
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Evaluation in Behaviour Analysis
  • Fundamental Elements of Behaviour Change

Students are expected to audit 'An introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education' online module in Semester 2.

Career Opportunities

The majority of students are already in relevant jobs and the job market is healthy for BCBAs at present. Professionals who are certified BCBAs have the skills and knowledge to develop, implement and evaluate quality interventions that help to produce positive behavioural changes in a range of settings. Typically, behaviour analysts work in the ‘helping’ professions (e.g. teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists). Increasingly, jobs advertised for behaviour managers or specialists require BCBA status.

There is an increasing demand for BCBAs in Europe and worldwide, especially in North America. Teachers as well as allied health professionals should find this degree beneficial in their workplace.



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This award is particularly relevant to practitioners and policy makers who are interested in using their prior experience to build an informed picture about inclusion in educational settings. Read more
This award is particularly relevant to practitioners and policy makers who are interested in using their prior experience to build an informed picture about inclusion in educational settings. It’s useful for colleagues who wish to link their current knowledge to a framework that puts human rights at the heart of the debate.

COURSE STRUCTURE

It will draw on research to develop a critical approach to an understanding of inclusive education. There are legal implications, cultural and social aspects which affect the ways the rights of vulnerable learners are achieved and compromised. This can be linked to ethical practice and social justice. Modules will open complex issues for discussion and debate looking at theories, policies and practices that emphasise the development of understanding the needs and entitlement of individuals.

MODULES

There is a choice of optional modules for this award including:

The National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordination is a mandatory award for all SENCOs new to post.

Including Vulnerable Learners explores how inclusion is exercised in your own educational setting and how you can become an agent of change.

SEN and Inclusion: Autism Spectrum (Children) is designed for teachers, SENCOs and other professionals working with children and young people on the autism spectrum.

Supporting Learners with Special Educational Needs is designed for practitioners in special schools, schools and early years settings with identified issues relating to specified educational needs.

Children's Services: Supporting Vulnerable Learners will look at the history, theory and practice of multi-agency working.

Other modules include: Identifying and Supporting Learners with SPLD/Dyslexia; Assessment Methodology (SPLD/Dyslexia); and Identifying and Addressing Mathematical Difficulties.

For further information on our optional modules please head to our website:https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/ or email

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University of South Wales' MA SEN/ALN (Autism) course is unique in Wales, and is for professionals working in the field of education, health, social care and the third sector who have contact with children or adults on the autism spectrum. Read more

University of South Wales' MA SEN/ALN (Autism) course is unique in Wales, and is for professionals working in the field of education, health, social care and the third sector who have contact with children or adults on the autism spectrum. The course is designed for those who wish to become an advanced practitioner in autism by acquiring a relevant qualification. As the only practice-based study of autism in the region, our course draws a wide range of students from south Wales and the west of England, as well as many international students.

The MA SEN/ALN (Autism) course is also of relevance to newly qualified practitioners who are interested in gaining a specialism in autism, and to those coming from a personal perspective on autism who would like to deepen their knowledge and find out more about current research and relevant theoretical ideas.

What you will study

The autism course explores theory, policy and practice in relation to all aspects of autism as it is currently understood within different contexts. Modular content is designed to provide the opportunity to tailor your postgraduate degree to meet your individual professional or personal needs.

There are two specified modules focused on autism:

Autism: Contexts and Concepts

This module examines the development of current theories of autism and explores the implications of these for autistic individuals, families and practitioners. It is designed to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the sensory perceptual differences of autism and consider the ways in which these may give rise to a different way of being in the world.

Managing and Supporting Autism 

This module critically examines national and international developments in policy and practice in relation to autism education and support within a variety of settings and contexts. It will enable you to evaluate the continuum of provision for people with autism in the light of theories of learning and with reference to important models of disability.

In addition to these two modules, you are able to select two or three additional modules from the Professional Learning Programme, for example:

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

This module focuses on the causation, presentation and implications of mental health difficulties in children and young people.

SEN: Contexts and Concepts 

This module examines practice in SEN/ALN, learning disabilities and inclusive education and critically reflects on the tension between identification of need and the philosophy of inclusion

Leading and Managing SEN/ALN 

This module is designed to provide students with a better understanding of theory and practice in relation to the role of SENCo/ALNCo and so respond to the changing landscape of SEN/ALN.

In common with all of the Professional Learning programmes, you must take the core module Research Methodology if you are studying the full Masters course.

A full range of the modules is available from the course leader, Dr Carmel Conn.

Awards are available at Postgraduate Certificate level (after completion of two taught modules); Postgraduate Diploma level (after completion of four taught modules) and the full MA (on completion of a dissertation).

Teaching

Each module is taught during weekly on campus sessions over 10 week terms. Learning takes place in teacher and student-led seminars, group discussions, individual tutorials and through active learning tasks. Content is delivered in engaging and interactive ways, with clear direction and support provided for critical reading and academic-level writing. Teaching usually takes place in the evenings and sessions are delivered by the course leader together with guest speakers. For the autism modules, guest speakers include people with autism, as well as senior practitioners in health and education.

Assessment

Each module is assessed by an assignment, which may take the form of a 5,000 word written assignment or an alternative practical assessment task. To complete the full Masters award, you will need to complete a 15000 word dissertation which is based on a topic of your choice. You will be supported by a tutor during the assignment writing process via individual tutorials. If you are not in professional practice, but would like to gain experience of working professionally in relation to autism education and support, help with setting up an internship can be provided.

Placements

If you are not in professional practice, but would like to gain experience of working professionally in relation to autism education and support, help with setting up an internship can be provided.

Facilities

We are able to arrange to consult and use some of the resources available at the Dyscovery Centre such as standardised assessment tools.

Careers

Most students who study part-time, work in this specific field of work. Our full-time students quickly find work locally within education or the care sector, which offers them opportunities to apply theory to practice. A Masters degree in Autism is a major boost to a career. Whatever your profession, experience has shown us that success on the course leads to enhanced employment prospects. Parents of children diagnosed with an ASD feel empowered both from their success and the increased insight gained.

A number of students have gone on to present at national and international conferences on an aspect of the autism spectrum. Other students have secured promotion and or employment in organisations that specifically support or educate individuals on the spectrum.



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