M.A. Autism Spectrum

  • On Campus
  • Not specified
  • GBP11500 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English (IELTS accepted)
Sheffield Hallam University
This course provides the opportunity for graduates working or living with people with autism to develop an understanding of the autism spectrum. You are taught to consider how to improve your practice through the study of issues relating to current theory and practice.

Description of Autism Spectrum


Study autism in all aspects of theory, research and practice on this specialist postgraduate course. You reflect on how autism affects the way in which people experience the world and analyse these experiences in the context of wider disability debates. The course helps you to identify and consider the barriers in society that hinder individuals with autism in terms of learning and achieving their goals.

If you are from a professional background the course supports you in developing a range of academic skills, a professional knowledge base and employability skills that link closely to your specialism and career goals.

If you are interested in this course from a personal perspective as an individual with autism, a parent or carer, we support your developing understanding of the autism spectrum.

This course is ideal if you are

  • a graduate interested in a career in education or a related field with an autism specialism
  • currently involved in working with people who are on the autism spectrum
  • if you are coming to this course from a personal perspective as an individual with autism, a parent or carer

The course focuses on the UK education and education-related systems, but also places these in an international context.

You study

  • how the autism spectrum is conceptualised
  • the way that autism impacts on the individual's thinking and learning
  • how autism might affect how people experience the world around them

Assessments can be linked to your own work so you can specialise in a particular age bracket or education or support role. For example, you can choose to focus your study and placement experience on the early years primary education secondary education further education higher education sectors. Or you can focus on professions linked to education such as learning mentor education welfare officer arts education officer education-related health roles.

The course provides a relevant qualification for anyone holding or intending to hold a management position in the field of autism. You reflect on current theory relating to the autism spectrum and evaluate how you might use new learning to develop your own practice.


Assessment varies between modules but includes a mixture of professional work-based tasks and academic and critical reflection. There are no examinations.


Part-time typically one year to certificate, two years to diploma, three years to masters, maximum six years

Each module is taught 57.30pm once a week typically over eight to ten weeks. For groups of 15 students or more, it may be possible to deliver the course at your organisation if it is in the local region.

Starts September

Detailed Course Facts

Tuition fee
  • GBP 11500 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 6200 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 36 months

Course Content


The modules you take depend on whether you are pursuing a PgCert, PgDip or MA.

Critical reflections on the Autism and Asperger Syndrome

This module helps you to reflect on theoretical and practical notions of autism and Asperger Syndrome (AS) and to analyse the impact autism/AS might have on those diagnosed and their families within a professional and/or personal context.

Autism, policy and practice

The aim of this module is to enable reflection on autism/AS in relation to strategy, policy, and/or legislation locally, nationally and, where relevant, internationally. This helps you to contextualise and critique personal and professional practice.

Autism, challenging behaviour and communication

This module interrogates and evaluates different conceptualisations of challenging behaviour and reflects on how these impact upon the life experiences of people on the autism spectrum and their families. Through a critique of theory, research, practice and their own behaviours and communication styles, the module explores the relationship between challenging behaviour and communication, evaluating to what extent these might be interdependent. This module also considers current policy and other 'drivers' to analyse how these might create the cultures and environments in which behaviours and communications are created and played out.

Reflecting on Professional Practice

The nature of this module is to provide the opportunity for students to pursue an individual negotiated study of professional significance. Students are required to make a formal proposal for the study which will be agreed with the tutor. The focus of the study can be on a professional activity that has already been undertaken or is currently being undertaken. Alternatively it may involve the design of a small-scale project or investigation as a specific vehicle both for professional learning and to contribute to developments in the workplace/setting. The choice of focus must be relevant to the specific award for which the participant is registered.

Teaching approaches reflect a process rather than a content orientation supporting the students to design, implement and evaluate the significance of the study that they intend to undertake. Students are expected to demonstrate a high degree of professional independence and autonomy in carrying out the study and in identifying and accessing a suitable knowledge base.

Educational Enquiry

The module is designed to be used in a range of professional or personal contexts, where students have different interests and motivations for undertaking educational enquiry. The content is tailored according to the group. All students undertake an educational enquiry.

English Language Requirements

Requirements for Autism Spectrum

Typically a degree or equivalent and an interest in the autism spectrum.

If English is not your first language, you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in reading and 6.5 in writing. We may invite you to take part in a face to face or telephone interview to ensure your spoken language skills meet the requirements for working with learners in an educational setting or context.

Work Experience for Autism Spectrum

No work experience is required.

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