A distinctive feature of the MA (Autism) Education is the focus on learning from the authentic voices of people with personal experience of autism and the expectation that students will engage critically with received wisdom about autism.
The MA engages with education across the age range from early years to adulthood, and is relevant to a wide diversity of settings. Students on the programme include experienced professionals, people who identify with autism and parents /allies of people on the spectrum.
The close association between the Centre for Educational Research and the MA provides opportunities to work with like-minded research-active peers within a lively and supportive learning community. LSBU is currently partnering with Research Autism and the University of Cambridge on a study which explores the value of mentoring from the perspective of young adults on the autism spectrum.
Opportunities for accreditation of prior learning are available to students with an appropriate background and this should be discussed with the course director who will also explain the CPD processes on request. Individual MA modules and sessions can be taken as Continued Professional Development (CPD).
National Award for SEN Co-ordinator
You can choose to take the recognised 'National Award for SEN Co-ordination' or options that will further deepen your understanding of autism.
All modules are assessed by a mix of assignments, presentations, research projects and portfolio development.
Two optional modules (list below)
• Teaching and learning: The needs of learners with special needs, autism and disability • Special educational needs and disability • Understanding autism and learning • Autism individuality and identity
• Research methods (compulsory) In addition to one of the optional modules listed above
• Part 1 SENCO National Award • Part 2 SENCO National Award
In year one you'll typically study two modules of 36 hours contact time each plus self-managed study hours.
Teaching and learning
You'll be taught by Dr Nicola Martin who has substantial experience in the field of autism including working with Professor Baron-Cohen on the Cambridge University Autism Project. She was also formerly director of the Autism Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. Dr Martin is currently a lecturer at LSBU and is a Principal Investigator for Research Autism.
You'll benefit from an up to date Virtual Learning Environment via Moodle and be actively encouraged to make use of the extensive range of support services across the university. You'll have access to a supervisor during the dissertation phase.
Access to the workplace (including voluntary work) is essential for most of the modules within the MA. Prospective students who are not currently in (paid or unpaid) employment should talk to the course director.
The department has wide professional links within and beyond the university and the UK. Examples include:
• The Equality Challenge Unit • The Alliance for Inclusive Education • Equality and Diversity Forum Research Network • The Leadership Foundation • Research Autism • Theorising Autism Project • Teacher Education for Equality and Sustainability Network (TEESNet) • National Association of Disability Practitioners • Commonworks (for a just and sustainable world)
Recent guest lectures have been given by researchers from Research Autism and The Theorising Autism Project.
This programme will contribute to your employability and the National SENco award may be a requirement of your workplace.
The Autism Act 2009 and The Adult Autism Strategy 2009 require professionals from a wide variety of disciplines to understand autism. The MA could open up opportunities in areas within and beyond educational settings. Professionals with an MA providing an in-depth and critical understanding of autism may achieve promotion or develop a career in education. Universities are beginning to advertise for autism specific posts within disability services.
Students wishing to achieve promotion or develop a career in education benefit from having a higher degree. Progression from the MA to the Doctorate in Education. further enhances employability and promotion prospects, particularly in academia and research. CVs are improved by having publications in referred journals and this is encouraged and supported on the MA as well as the Doctorate in Education.
The MA in Education - Autism is designed to deepen your understanding of working with pupils /students in any educational setting, across the age range into adult education. It is therefore relevant to employment in school, college, alternative education settings and to work with disabled students at university. Content is applicable to teachers and staff in non- teaching roles, such as mentor, disability officer or learning support assistant. The content is also relevant to staff in strategic and operational leadership roles.
LSBU Employability Services
LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:
• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students • Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search • Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.