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Adults with Learning Disabilities who have Significant and Complex Needs – Distance Learning (PGDip/MSc)

    School of Psychology Logo
  • Study Type

    Distance learning & Part time available

  • Subject Areas



  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Minimum one year part time, maximum four years part time (PGDip); minimum two years part time, maximum five years part time (MSc)

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip

  • Course Fees

    PG Diploma: £2,160
    MSc: £2,160 (upon successful completion of PG Dip)

  • Last Updated

    02 October 2018

Course content

The PGDip/MSc in Adults with Learning Disabilities is a part-time distance learning course run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience. The Postgraduate Diploma must be completed within one calendar year from October to September. The focus is on research, and students will learn the skills of a research practitioner.

For those progressing on to the MSc, you will spend an additional year researching and writing a 15,000-word dissertation. Students apply the knowledge and research skills gained in the PG Diploma to carry out research that will benefit the quality of service, care and life of adults with learning disabilities.


  • Students have full electronic access to the University of St Andrews library resources, including full-text journals and other online resources.
  • Materials are written in an interactive style and are designed to encourage you to use your own workplace experiences as a basis for new learning and the development of research skills. 

Teaching format

The course is delivered via online modules through the University of St Andrews Dynamic Learning Environment. Students will have access to research publications, electronic databases and the University's library resources.

Over the course of the year, students will take six compulsory modules. It is not possible to enrol for individual modules at the Postgraduate Diploma level. Typically, each module is completed within two months and requires 100 hours of total study time, including completion of assessments. Module teaching materials are delivered online where students will have access to additional reference materials.

Students complete assessments online. The taught modules are continuously assessed through coursework, which students submit online. Coursework assessment includes multiple choice questions, short answer assignments, reference searches, and analysis of published research as well as developing a full research proposal. There is no final exam for the course.

University tutors are available for support via email and telephone.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


Each module typically comprises:

  • guided online teaching and learning materials
  • 100% coursework assessment.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

Visit the Adults with Learning Disabilities who have Significant and Complex Needs – Distance Learning (PGDip/MSc) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!




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