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 Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies

The deadline for applying is Friday 7th June 2019. Programme will commence with an orientation day in Mary Immaculate College. Attendance at the orientation day is compulsory.

This Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies is accredited by the University of Limerick and is delivered as a partnership between Middletown Centre for Autism and Mary Immaculate College.

Middletown Centre for Autism (MCA) is funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Education in Northern Ireland to promote excellence in the education of people with autism. As such, the Centre works on a referral basis with students who have complex needs in school and the Centre is one of the main providers of training for parents and educational professionals in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is a College of Education and the Liberal Arts and has been providing teacher education since 1898. It has considerable experience and expertise in the provision of teacher education in the area of Special and Inclusive Education, including autism. The College’s Department of Educational Psychology, Inclusive and Special Education is led by Dr Patricia Daly, who is a co-organiser of this course on autism.

Both agencies recognise the need for high quality graduate autism professional development in Ireland and Northern Ireland and the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies will meet this need.

To view the course brochure click here.

The certificate course is provided over one academic year and is taught in distinct modules, which are delivered using a combination of face-to-face and online teaching methods. The modules are taught by experienced professionals from both Mary Immaculate College and Middletown Centre for Autism. The course explores the following overlapping areas from experiential, educational, supportive and behavioural perspectives.

Topics include:

Autism: This provides the foundations for understanding autism and its impact. It details and describes the core characteristics of autism, how they impact on the individual and their experience of the physical and interpersonal world.

Visual Learning Styles: This builds skills in the understanding of the visual learning styles of individuals with autism as well as developing a set of core competencies in integrating visual supports and strategies across all environments.

Behaviour: This introduces the functions of behaviour for the individual with autism through contextual analysis.

Sensory: This introduces theory and practice related to understanding and managing sensory differences.

Anxiety Management: This develops participants’ understanding of the presentation and experience of anxiety in autism; and presents a range of supportive strategies to reduce the individual’s experience of anxiety across environments.

Promotion of an Autism Competent Environment: This provides a framework for the implementation and assessment of the provision of autism competent environments. It requires the assessment, integration and ongoing appraisal of a range of behavioural, sensory, anxiety and visual supports.


The face-to-face component of the certificate will typically be delivered on ten Saturdays over the course of the year, in Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Limerick and in the Middletown Centre for Autism (MCA). Some face-to-face sessions may place in Dublin, where guest speakers are involved. Prospective students will indicate on their application form their preferred location at which to study: MIC or MCA. All students will be required to attend an induction day in Mary Immaculate College for registration and orientation purposes. Students will be required to engage weekly with a range of research papers, podcasts, videos and/or reflective exercises. The online content is delivered through and supported by Mary Immaculate College’s Moodle platform. All students will be enrolled as students of Mary Immaculate College and will be required to complete formal assessment prior to the award of the Certificate. Successful completion of the Certificate provides a successful candidate with 30 ECTS / 60 CAT point

A Bachelor's Degree or a Level 8 qualification or equivalent in any discipline is required for entry to this programme. Evidence of this in the form of transcripts is required at application stage.

Fees (EU and non-EU)

For more information about fees for this programme, please go to the postgraduate fees 2018-19 page – click here

How to Apply

  • 1. Download and complete the application form - click here
    • o The application form must include your university transcript(s).
  • 2. Return the application form with your PayPal receipt number of your application fee to:
  • Admissions Office,
    Mary Immaculate College,
    South Circular Road,
    V94 VN26 Or electronically to admissions@mic.ul.ie

*Application Fee (non-refundable) for EU Students is €33.00

Click here to pay by PayPal (EU)

Please print off the PayPal confirmation receipt or number, and attach it to your application, as failure to do so will render your application invalid.

For further information about the course, please contact:
Mary Immaculate College: * Dr Fionnuala Tynan - 353-61-204557 fionnuala.tynan@mic.ul.ie
Middletown Centre for Autism (NI): * Majella Nugent - 0044(0) 28 3751 5750 GCAS@middletownautism.com

Fees for Graduate Certificate Programme

The fee for Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies is €2,500 exclusive of a non-refundable Application Fee of €33.00.

Places will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis, with a maximum of 40 places available in both sites.

The deadline for applying is Friday 7th June 2019.


Application procedures for the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies (GCAS) are detailed on the website (www.mic.ul.ie) at the following locations under Taught Postgraduate Programmes. http://www.mic.ul.ie/postgradstudies/prospectivestudents/Pages/EducationTaughtProgrammes.aspx http://www.mic.ul.ie/education/sen/Pages/default.aspx

Course Participants

The Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies will benefit those working in, or in partnership with, education, health, leisure and community settings. Participants may include:

  • * Parents or family members of individuals with autism
  • * Educators in early-years settings, primary schools, post-primary schools and third level institutions
  • * Teacher Educators
  • * Special Needs Assistants
  • * Administrative staff
  • * Principal teachers and members of Boards of Management/Governance;
  • * CEOs of ETBs;
  • * Members of Diocesan Bodies with links to Education/Educational institutions;
  • * DES personnel;
  • * NEWB staff;
  • * Health-care professionals: nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists
  • * Health-care managers and administrative staff
  • * Support workers in special needs foundations, organisations or community groups
  • * Managers and workers in community services such as libraries, county councils, sport and leisure facilities.

Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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