Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers to enter, and more importantly it is a privilege. Learning Disability Nurses work with children and adults. As a specialist nurse you will be able to assess, plan and develop individual packages of care designed to provide the appropriate levels of physical, emotional and psychological care to meet the needs of children, young people and their families, while meeting the challenges of a changing healthcare environment.
This Masters degree provides the exciting opportunity for graduates to enter the nursing profession. You will gain a comprehensive education in nursing and develop into a confident, autonomous, compassionate and research-aware practitioner, specialising in learning disabilities nursing. The programme includes an innovative exploration of leadership and management in healthcare and will enable you to critically evaluate evidence to inform decision making and apply analytical and creative problem solving approaches to complex situations. You will be fully equipped with the skills, knowledge and practical experience required to deliver excellent care as a modern-day nursing professional.
Year 1 provides the opportunity to achieve national generic and field specific competency outcomes. These include professional values, communication and interpersonal skills, nursing practice, decision making, leadership, management and team working. The programme will immerse you in health promotion, prevention strategies and best practice for service users and their families. A comprehensive introduction will also be provided to the research process.
Year 2 continues the development of field-specific competencies, with a particular focus on person-centred holistic care for individuals with learning disabilities and complex needs. In addition to this, you will develop the leadership and management skills required for the transition to professional practice.
This programme adheres closely to the NHS’ six core values. These values, enshrined within the NHS Constitution, have been developed by patients, the public and staff to inspire passion in the NHS, guide it in the 21st century, and provide common ground for cooperation in achieving shared aspirations. Further information about the core values can be found at http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england.
You will be taught using a combination of seminars, lectures, tutorials, work-based learning and technology enhanced learning. The theory part of the programme is delivered during the normal working week (Monday to Friday).
You will spend 50% of your time in practice which will be undertaken in hospitals and community settings within the NHS, local authority, independent and voluntary organisations. You will be supported by a practice placement mentor/supervisor and a practice education facilitator.
Placements include weekend, early morning, evening and night work to ensure access to a full range of practice experiences across 24 hour care. There may also be the opportunity to undertake a practice learning experience outside the region, either within the United Kingdom or internationally.
Assessment in both theory and practice is continuous, assessed against national outcomes and generic and field competencies, with students required to demonstrate evidence of their achievement. A range of assessment of theory procedures is in place including assignments, seminar presentations, advanced notice examinations, online learning activities, case studies and portfolio work.
All lectures are delivered by professionals within the field of nursing as well as specialists in other areas. The pathway team represent a range of qualified, research-active professionals with extensive experience of working within the health and/or social care sector. Most importantly service users, carers and their families will be involved in facilitating learning so that an understanding is gained about the impact care has on individual groups.
The complex and dynamic landscape of modern nursing requires nurses who can work creatively and innovatively, who can lead and inspire, who can make decisions in challenging situations and who can contribute to the advancement of nursing.
Career opportunities are excellent. NMC registration is recognised the world over and following registration as a Learning Disabilities Nurse, you can pursue a career in a variety of settings including residential homes, supported living and employment and assessment and treatment units, as well as specialist child and adult learning disabilities teams in the community. Increasingly, qualified learning disabilities nurses are acquiring posts within mainstream services, such as acute trusts, prisons and criminal liaison teams as health facilitators and specialist advisors to support people with learning disabilities.
The broad aim of the MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis is to give students the opportunity to develop their theoretical and conceptual knowledge in behaviour analysis, develop skills in behavioural assessment, and acquire the ability to work in partnership with clients where they plan and implement programmes that are aimed at establishing, strengthening and/or weakening targeted behaviours.
The course is designed for professionals who work (or intend to work) in the caring professions, for example with people with autism and other learning disabilities, in the area of general behaviour management, parent training, community development, and adult mental health.
The programme aims to provide a foundation that contributes to the preparation of candidates interested in applying for the internationally recognised examination leading to Board Certification in Behaviour Analysis (BCBA). It will normally be completed over two calendar years to allow time for students to obtain relevant work experience, which is a requirement for certification in Behaviour Analysis.
In Semesters 1 and 2 students will attend the campus on Fridays during the teaching period of 12 weeks. In semester 4 students will attend the campus on Thursdays for the teaching period of 12 weeks. In Semester 1, they will take Module 1 (3 hours class time) and Module 2 (3 hours). In Semester 2 they will take Module 3 (2 hours), Module 4 (3 hours) and Module 5 (3 hours. In Semester 3, they will commence work on the placement, which will continue through Semester 4 (the first semester in their second year of enrolment). In Semester 4, they will also take Module 6 (4 hours). The dissertation based on a research project in ABA will begin in Semester 5 of enrolment (i.e. the second semester of the second academic year) and continue through Semester 6, the summer period.
Students are responsible for sourcing their own suitable placement opportunities which will allow them to complete a minimum 250 hours of work based practice using the principles of behaviour analysis. We anticipate the use of a variety of types of placement. These will include those where the student is an employee of an organisation that regularly employs ABA, or is a full-time employee of an organisation that employs a range of approaches in working with clients (e.g. a learning disability service), or is a part-time employee involved in delivering a behavioural programme at the home of a child. Where none of these conditions are possible we will endeavour to help students identify a community-based activity which could form the basis of a suitable placement. In every case, there will be active negotiation with the agency to ensure that suitable opportunities for the placement student can be made available, that adequate health safety standards will be met, and that adequate supervision arrangements can be established.
Those students interested in carrying out a placement in the New England Center for Children (NECC) should be aware that the Ulster University cannot guarantee any student a placement position or the number of placements available. These decisions are at the discretion of NECC. Please also note that Ulster University cannot guarantee any student a work visa for the US, thus any student applying for a visa should not give up employment or book flights until the visa application has been successful.
Those students who have completed the course have gone on to have successful careers in a number of areas. For example numerous students have gone on to work for local health authorities and charities as behaviour specialists in both Northern Irland and the Republic of Ireland. Numerous students have gone on to work privately by providing home- and school-based behavioural interventions for families. A number of students who completed their placement year with the New England Center for Children (NECC) in Boston went on to work for NECC in London and Abu Dhabi.
As the BCBA qualification is internationally recognised a number of graduates have gone on to work as behaviour analysts in countries such as the US and Canada.
Those students who completed the course whilst in employment have gone on to bring their new skillset to such diverse backgrounds as education (Special Needs and mainstream), social work, and mental health nursing.
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.