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 Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies

The deadline for applying is 31st May 2018. 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 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 children 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 is a College of Education and the Liberal Arts and has been providing teacher education since 1898. Mary Immaculate 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.

Certificate Content

The certificate is provided over one academic year and will be taught in five modules, which will be 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 Certificate will explore the following overlapping areas from experiential, educational, supportive and behavioural perspectives.

Semester One Topics:

Autism: Will provide 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: Will build 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.

Semester Two Topics:

Behaviour: Will introduce the functions of behaviour for the individual with autism through contextual analysis.

Sensory: Will introduce theory and practice related to understanding and managing sensory differences.

Anxiety Management: Will develop participants’ understanding of the presentation and experience of anxiety in autism; and on supportive strategies to reduce the individual’s experience of anxiety across environments.

Promotion of an Autism Competent Environment: Will provide a framework for the implementation and assessment of the provision of autism competent environments. This 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 be delivered on a maximum of two Saturdays per module*, in Mary Immaculate College Limerick and in an agreed location convenient to students in the north/east of the country. Students also be required to engage with a range of research papers, podcasts, videos and 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.

*Approximately ten Saturdays across the Academic year.

A Bachelor’s Degree, 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.

The deadline for applications is 31st May 2018.

Fees (EU and non-EU)

For more information about fees for this programme, please go to the postgraduate fees 2017-18 page – click here

How to Apply

  1. Download and complete the application form - click here
    • The application form must also include your university transcript(s).
  2. Return the application form plus PayPal receipt number to:
    • Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland
    • Ireland V94 VN26
    • Telephone: +353 61 204348 / 204929
    • admissions@mic.ul.ie
  • *Application Fee (non-refundable):

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 Wednesday, 31st May 2017. Programme will commence on Saturday 2nd September 2017. The programme will commence for all participants on Saturday 2nd September 2016 at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, for the purposes of registration and orientation. Attendance on this day is compulsory.


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

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