The Autism (Adults) programme is a distance learning programme which is studied part-time. It is appropriate for practitioners working with adults across the autism spectrum in a range of services and in both specialist and mainstream environments. The course draws upon your own experience as a practitioner, and through the set assessments, you will consider how your learning informs your practice.
The University of Birmingham is the leading provider of degree-level education in autistic spectrum disorders in the UK - offering Professional Development courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our courses develop real insight and encourage reflective practice. You will be tutored by senior practitioners and researchers in the field who work within the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER). You will have access to an extensive library, research materials and a large online community of students in the field of autism. Academic credits and qualifications can be used as a springboard to further study and we accept both vocational and academic qualifications as entry criteria.
We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language support
Birmingham Foundation Academy (BIA) provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham. Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials.
The Autism (Adults) distance learning programme aims to provide you with knowledge of the autism spectrum, including Asperger syndrome, based on theory, research and practice. You will be taught to consider how autism theory applies to the individuals that you support in their adult lives, and what this should mean for your own practice. Autistic authors and researchers contribute to our study materials, so that you will gain insights into the diversity of the autistic experience, and learn about the range of individual and social barriers that can be experienced. The course will also encourage you think for yourself and use your professional skills to select and research topics of relevance to your own situation.
You will have a personal tutor in a small online or regional tutor group, with study supported through study packs, tutorial groups, telephone, email and the online virtual learning environment network, encouraging you to develop through shared experience. Internet access is required for the programme.There are two University-based study weekends in the first year. (Find out more in the Learning and Teaching section).
The following awards are offered for this programme.
AdCert (Level H) Three core modules
PGCert (Level M) Three core modules
BPhil (Level H) Three core modules plus one optional module and a 10,000 word dissertation
PGDip (Level M) Three core modules plus three optional modules
MEd (Level M) Three core modules plus two optional modules, PIE and a 15,000 word dissertation
View the structure of our Progression Routes.
The entry level will depend on your academic qualifications as well as professional experience. Learn more about admission requirements in the School of Education. If you don´t already hold a recognised degree, the appropriate level for entry will be the undergraduate level. However, you will have the opportunity to progress through to postgraduate level.
We also run two more autism programmes which may interest you:
Autism (Children) which offers the option of studying by distance learning or on campus full-time or part-time
Autism Spectrum (Web autism) which is Distance Learning only.
Autism Adults: Understanding and Working with the Continuum of Need (Core module)
Autism Adults: Intervention, Support and Education (Core module)
A Special Studies (project) Module (Core module)
All of our Autism (Adults) courses fall under the umbrella of Continuing Professional Development. They are regarded as evidence of professional specialism for practitioners working in the field, in whatever sector. Anecdotally we know from feedback that many of our students gain promoted posts or other means of formal recognition as a direct result of their Autism (Adults) qualification.
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