A Master of Science in Developmental Disabilities is designed to prepare researchers, advocates, administrators and policy makers to be leaders in community-based or governmental agencies that address the confluence of issues associated with developmental disabilities throughout the life span. This degree program's body of knowledge will allow graduates of the M.S. program to pursue doctoral-level training in human services, counseling, and public policy, among others. In addition, this degree will provide professionals from disciplines such as nursing and education with the necessary skills to be effective leaders and advance in the field.
The successful graduate of the M.S. in Developmental Disabilities program is expected to:
This program is designed for individuals seeking a career in or as:
The master's program is offered entirely online. The online format allows for students to participate in courses from anywhere in the world where Internet access is available. In addition, it allows for the flexibility of completing your master's degree without interrupting your career.
Master's students are provided NSU computer accounts including email and Blackboard, but must obtain their own Internet service providers, use their own computer systems and have a usable web camera. Online students use the web to access course materials, announcements, email, distance library services, subscription library databases, and other information, and for interaction with faculty and fellow students. Online, interactive learning methods are based on the use of Blackboard as a course management system. Online activities facilitate frequent student-to-faculty and student-to-student interaction. They are supported by threaded discussion boards, white boards, chat rooms, email, and multimedia presentations. In addition, Blackboard enables students to submit assignments online in multimedia formats and to receive their professors' reviews of assignments online in the same formats.
Students enrolled in the Masters of Science in Developmental Disabilities are required to complete 18 credit hours of foundational coursework, 9 credit hours in one of the Concentrations, and 3 credit hours of a Developmental Disabilities Master's Research Project.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.