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Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Autism Studies

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
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  • Programme Overview

    Both the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies and the Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies are accredited by the University of Limerick and are delivered as a partnership between Mary Immaculate College and Middletown Centre for Autism. They are taught by experienced professionals from both MIC and Middletown Centre for Autism using both online and face-to-face teaching methods. Both agencies recognise the need for high quality graduate professional development in autism in Ireland/Northern Ireland and both the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies and Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies will meet this need.

    Key Features

    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 Johanna Fitzgerald.

    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 on the island of Ireland.

    Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies

    The one-year Level 9 Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of autism and explores overlapping areas from experiential, educational, supportive and behavioural perspectives.

    Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies

    The one year level 9 Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of research methods and current topics in autism research. This unique course combines training and teaching in practical research methods, the impact of research on current practices, and the opportunity to complete a systematic review focused on the priorities of the autistic community.

     

    The face-to-face component of both the Graduate Certificate and the Graduate Diploma will be delivered on a maximum of nine Saturdays throughout the year, both in Mary Immaculate College and in Middletown Centre for Autism (or another agreed location). Students will choose their preferred site in which to complete their studies in the application form. It should be noted that the first on-site day takes place in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick for all students for the purposes of enrolment and orientation. Attendance on this day is compulsory. Students will also be required to engage weekly with a range of research papers, podcasts, videos and reflective exercises as part of the programme. The online content is delivered through, and supported by, Mary Immaculate College’s Moodle platform.

    What does the GCAS qualify me to do?

    The GCAS programme is designed to provide a graduate certificate award to all people interested in studying autism. It is not geared to any particular profession or job. The award acknowledges an in-depth exploration of autism and the characteristics, theories and interventions that support working well with people who have autism.

    For particular jobs or promotion opportunities you may apply for, the GCAS award allows you to make a case or argument that you have evidence (in the form of an academic qualification) of being more knowledgeable about autism than competitors may be.

    What does GDAS qualify me to do?

    Similarly to the GCAS, the GDAS programme is not geared towards a particular profession or job. Rather, it is designed to support students whom wish to further their expertise within the area of autism research. The GDAS will enable students, independently and with others, to critically evaluate autism research and develop methods of integrating research into daily practice. It will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the key milestones in autism research and how these have impacted on practice. Students will develop an understanding of the critical nature of research and how it is used to inform both practice and policy. Critically, students on the GDAS will be empowered to foster an inclusive and equitable approach to research which promotes the voice of the autistic person, reflecting a ‘nothing about us without us’ philosophy.

    Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Autism Studies
    Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Autism Studies
    Further your expertise in the area of autism research with the GCAS or GDAS

    Career Opportunities

    Both the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies are intended for all graduates planning to work with autistic people e.g. teachers, health practitioners and those already working in this area who wish to further develop their professional practice.

     

    COVID-19 Update

    We are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact. Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to government recommendations in response to COVID-19.

    Both the GCAS and GDAS are taught across face to face and online sessions. In the event of restricted social contact, the course can be provided via online teaching platforms, with extra technical supports offered.

    FAQs: Click here for Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies (GCAS) programme frequently asked questions.

    Contacts

    Mary Immaculate College

    Co-Ordinator: Dr Laura Ambrose

    T: +353 61 204745

    E: Laura.Ambrose@mic.ul.ie

    Administration: Ms. Jennifer Ryan

    E: Jennifer.Ryan@mic.ul.ie

     

    Middletown Centre for Autism (NI)

    Majella Nugent

    T: +44 28 3751 5750

    E: GCAS@middletownautism.com

    Programme Content

    Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies
    Understanding Autism (AUT500): The aim of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive overview of autism. This will include how autism presents and is diagnosed, both in adults and children; the core challenges associated with autism and how these impact on the child and the adult; additional difficulties that people with autism can experience; how autism interfaces with other difficulties.  Students will explore the importance of understanding these differences when supporting an autistic individual.
    Visual Learning and Environmental Support for Individuals with Autism (AUT505)The aim of this module is to provide students with the theory and practical application of the use of structure and visual teaching strategies for children and young people with autism across learning environments. Participants will gain practical knowledge and an understanding of the theory and research that supports this practice. This will result in a set of core competencies, as well as practical experience in the development of resources that support the thinking and learning style of individuals with autism.
    Managing Anxiety for Individuals with Autism (AUT506): The aim of this module is to provide participants with an overview of the relationship between autism and anxiety. This will involve a review of how the core features of autism can trigger an anxiety response; an examination of a model of the anxiety process and a comprehensive appraisal of current anxiety management strategies. This is all delivered within the context of current research and best practice in the area of autism and anxiety management.
    Positive Behaviour Support for Individuals with Autism (AUT507): This module will view behaviour management in a positive, proactive manner taking into account the particular sensory processing difficulties, that can present in individuals with autism. This will include an overview of the neural mechanisms that modulate sensory input, the presentation of sensory processing difficulties and strategies that can be used to support individuals who experience sensory processing difficulties.  Participants will learn how to analyse the environment and manage it to prevent behaviour difficulties and support appropriate behaviours in individuals with autism. Functional approaches for solving challenging behaviour will be presented.

     

    Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies
    Autism Research and Practice: Autism Research and Practice: The aim of this module is to provide students with an overview of the key research-based milestones in autism and how research has and continues to change practice and develop our understanding of Autism. Students will explore current research trends and will develop critical evaluation skills to distil key implications for practice from research publications and research- based policy documents. This module will encourage students to create a culture of research into practice.
    Systematic research review methods: This module will teach students the process of conducting a desk-based research using a systematic review of relevant literature. This process is an essential pre-requisite to conducting their own focussed systematic literature review in the second semester of the programme.
    Research in Autism: Systematic Literature Review: This module will enable students to complete a systematic review of relevant literature on a topic of interest to them in autism. This process is intended to prepare students to pursue further study and research within the field of autism studies.

    Assessment Modes

    Students will be required to engage weekly with a range of content (e.g. lectures, readings, videos, etc.). The online content is delivered through and supported by MIC’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 Graduate

    Certificate and Graduate Diploma. Successful completion of each programme provides candidates with 30 ECTS.

    Entry Requirements

    Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies

    FAQs: Click here for Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies (GCAS) programme frequently asked questions.

    A level 8 qualification or equivalent in any discipline or a Bachelor’s degree at Level 7 or 8 is required for entry to this programme.

    English Language Requirements

    Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

    Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies

    This module is designed to build on the existing Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies programme.

    A Bachelor’s Degree at Level 7 or 8 in any discipline AND a post-graduate qualification in Autism Studies with a minimum of 30 ECTS.

    English Language Requirements

    Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

    How to Apply

    Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies

    Applications are now closed.

    Fees: Click here.

    See the 2021-2022 application form here

    • The application form must also include your university transcripts.
    • In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

    Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex hereand return the completed application by email to TaughtProgrammes@mic.ul.ie

    Graduate Diploma in Autism Studies

    Applications are now closed.

    Fees: Click here.

    See the 2021-2022 application form here.

    In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

    Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex here, and return the completed application by email to TaughtProgrammes@mic.ul.ie

    Contact
    Mary Immaculate College
    Dr Laura Ambrose
    T: +353 61 204745
    Contact
    Middletown Centre for Autism (NI)
    Majella Nugent
    +44 28 3751 5750

    Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question