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Course content

This is an advanced professional development programme delivered by distance learning for flexibility and convenience. Through the programme you will:

  • gain detailed knowledge of autism and other developmental disabilities
  • experience conducting research and devising intervention strategies in the field of autism
  • learn to appraise and interpret a range of evidence and data
  • practice presenting critical, balanced and persuasive arguments

Course structure

Coursework is taught through a mixture of web-based resources, directed reading, videos, lectures, seminars and practical sessions, supported by a number of workshops, where you work with skilled professionals and have the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with fellow students.

Note: Workshop one and exam attendance is compulsory for all postgraduate distance learning students on this course.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme:

  • Social psychology of autism
  • Behaviour analysis and intervention
  • Service issues in intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Research methods
  • Extended research project

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the characteristics, diagnosis and epidemiology of autism
  • cognitive, communicative and social characteristics of people with intellectual disabilities
  • biological, social and environmental causes of autism
  • behaviour analysis
  • intervention and approaches to supporting people with autism
  • challenging behaviour and other associated complex needs
  • ideology, policy and service development
  • definition and measurement of service quality
  • the relationships between service organisation and quality research methodology.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • communication: the ability to organise information clearly and respond to written sources
  • numeracy: if you are doing the statistical element of the research methods module, you will make sense of statistical materials and integrate quantitative and qualitative information. You will also become familiar with ways of summarising and presenting data
  • information technology: the ability to produce written documents, undertake online research
  • working with others: the ability to work co-operatively on group tasks both within the virtual learning environment and during the residential workshops
  • improve your own learning: the ability to explore your strengths and weaknesses, time management skills and review your working environment
  • problem-solving: the ability to identify and define complex problems, explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.

Dynamic centre of expertise

This programme is taught by the University's renowned Tizard Centre. An annual seminar series runs at which staff or guest lecturers present the results of research or highlight recent developments in the field of social care. The Jim Mansell Memorial Lecture invites public figures or distinguished academics to discuss topics that could interest a wider audience. The Centre also publishes the Tizard Learning Disability Review (in conjunction with Emerald Publishing) to provide a source of up-to-date information for professionals and carers.

The Tizard Centre provides consultancy to organisations in the statutory and independent sectors, both nationally and internationally, in diversified areas such as service assessment, person-centred approaches, active support and adult protection.

Careers

This programme supports continuing professional development and enhances your opportunity for career advancement. Previous successful students have moved on to a range of professional roles in health and social care including working as psychologists in learning disability or behavioural specialists in community learning disability teams; service management of development roles; clinical psychology training or a PhD.

Why study at the University of Kent

We offer inspirational teaching and supervision alongside first-class library and IT facilities. You also benefit from our high-impact research in all subjects. Whatever you are looking to study, Kent provides a dynamic and challenging environment for your postgraduate studies.

  • Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017
  • Kent is ranked 25th in the Complete University Guide 2018
  • Kent is ranked 22nd in the Guardian University Guide 2018
  • 42% of our academics are from overseas and we have students representing 158 nationalities
  • In the most recent research rankings, 97% of research at Kent was found to be of international quality (REF 2014)
  • Kent is ranked 17th in the UK* for research intensity and research output (REF 2014)

Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why-kent/

* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions


Visit the Autism Studies (Distance Learning) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

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