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This course will help you to develop your knowledge and skills in the field of Special Educational Needs and Inclusion, specialising in the autism spectrum, including Asperger syndrome. This specialist pathway is ideal for professionals working in early years, primary or secondary schools, further and higher education, voluntary sector, advisory roles, and residential settings. You can also study this course if you have a personal interest, subject to entry requirements.
Waterside is our purpose-built campus, designed to provide you with the learning experience and opportunities you expect from a modern university.
We know our staff and students want the very best, and that’s what Waterside will provide. It is the embodiment of our mission to transform lives and inspire change.
We’ve designed Waterside to put you first – it is flexible to the changing needs of our students but also makes the most of our fantastic staff. A University that teaches in a way that mirrors the skills you will need when you graduate, a place that provides everything you will need to live and learn, and that will provide a home-from-home as you enjoy one of the best and most fulfilling experiences of your life.
Our new campus opens its doors in September 2018 and while Waterside will be home to most of our teaching, we’ll also be making use of the excellent facilities around the town. We’ll also be retaining some facilities at our current campuses (Park and Avenue) on a temporary basis for the initial period. These will mostly be used to offer off-campus accommodation options to make sure we have a great range of rooms to suit everyone.More about our campuses »
This course will give you in-depth knowledge and understanding of various aspects related to autism. Our modules will help you to understand autism from the perspective of the individual and the family, focusing on theories that explore the strengths and needs of individuals. In order to help you evaluate best practice, including your own, we will take you through a thorough analysis of evidence-based approaches. Overall, we aim to help you to reduce the barriers that individuals with autism face in education and wider society.
The modules undertaken will vary depending upon the selected exit award (PG certificate, diploma, MA). Each module is equivalent to 30 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points at level 7, except the dissertation which is 60 CATS points. If you want to complete the full MA, you will complete three compulsory modules, an optional module and a research thesis.
Course modules (17/18)
Understanding Autistic Spectrum Disorders (30 credits)
- Module code: SENM026
- Core module N
This module develops in-depth knowledge and understanding of the autism spectrum through critical analysis of current perspectives, theory and research. Perceptions of individual needs are explored from the perspective of individuals on the spectrum, families, teachers and professionals from other agencies. Understanding autism is a crucial factor in developing effective interventions.
Understanding Challenging Behaviour in People with Autism and/or Learning Disabilities (30 credits)
- Module code: SENM024
- Core module Y
This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the reasons why individuals with autism and/or learning disabilities exhibit behaviours which can be considered as challenging. It aims to provide an insightful and reflective approach to supporting these individuals by engaging in critical analysis of current perspectives, theory and research as well as considering the views of the individual and their family.
Evaluating Approaches for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum (30 credits)
- Module code: SENM027
- Core module Y
This module builds on ‘Understanding the autism spectrum’ or ‘Autism in the Early Years’ and provides opportunities for students to apply knowledge and understanding of autism to developing autism friendly practice. The module examines the range of influences which impact upon the nature of support provided; time will be given to an examination of specific interventions as part of an eclectic approach to individual learning. Key features of autism friendly provision will be critically evaluated.
Speech, Language and Communication Needs (30 credits)
- Module code: SENM01
- Core module N
The module will focus on an exploration of speech and language difficulties and their effect on the child's educational potential. Potential approaches to support will also be explored.
Key Concepts in Inclusion and Diversity (30 credits)
- Module code: SENM019
- Core module N
The module provides students with an opportunity to gain a systematic and comprehensive understanding of those influences which impact upon the learning, development and management of pupils with a wide range of diverse needs. This will be set within a wider perspective of Inclusion and Diversity including historical and legislative dimensions.
Understanding Dyslexia: Identification, Curriculum and Teaching (30 credits)
- Module code: SENM028
- Core module N
The context for this module is the agenda for inclusion of students with specific learning difficulties (Dyslexia) in educational settings schools, and the provision of suitably designed learning experiences and specialist support to give them 'a level playing field' for academic success, with other learners.
If you are studying for the MA, you will have to complete an independent research project, either the Dissertation and Research methods modules together or the Research Thesis module on its own.
Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
Methods of Learning
We take an active blended learning approach to this course, providing you with the opportunity to learn in face-to-face and online settings. Your modules will be taught through lectures, seminars, group work, case studies, tutorials and independent study, over three terms.
For this course, taught study is usually three hours per week, per module. We also recommend that you spend 10 hours per week, per module in self-directed study time.
This course is available to study full-time and part-time with a September start.
The PG Certificate includes two 30 credit modules and takes one year full-time or between one and two years part-time.
The PG Diploma includes four 30 credit modules and takes one year full-time or between two and three years part-time.
The MA will involve completing four 30 credits modules and a dissertation and takes one year full-time or between two and four years part-time.
Our assessment procedures are flexible and work around your personal interests and professional workloads. Assessment is usually in the form of essays, case studies, portfolios, reports and research projects.
Facilities and Special Features
Our integrated learning environment provides access to course materials and to a well-resourced library enabling you to access e-books and electronic journals from home.
If you are already working in the field of autism then the in-depth knowledge you will gain from this programme can help you to improve your practice or apply for management positions. A range of other career options in education, social care and voluntary sectors will be possible, such as being an advocate, learning mentor, or family adviser. For those who want to pursue further post-graduate research there is also a possibility of studying for a PhD.
If you do not have any practical experience in the field, optional opportunities to visit settings can be arranged.
How to apply
- An honours degree from a UK institution or equivalent
- A personal statement (which explains your reasons for applying to this course)
- Two references which will support your ability to study at postgraduate level
- Students who have gained credits at M Level 7 from the University of Northampton or from other universities can apply to use these towards the MA SEN and Inclusion (Autism) if they can demonstrate that their studies have been in the field of autism.
- International students should be able to show that they have the required English proficiency (minimum 6.5 IELTS score)
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 18/19 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
If you are starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 2018/19 either full-time or part-time* you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,609 through Student Finance England.
*Please note that the maximum period of study allowed for part-time courses is two years.
Please note to be eligible for a postgraduate loan you must be studying the full 180 credits.
If you have previously studied a PGCE and have APL modules you will not qualify for a loan from Student Finance England.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
Please note that tuition fees for EU students will remain the same as UK fees for 2018/19. For more information, please visit the Gov UK website.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.