The MA SEN/ALN (Autism) course at University of South Wales is unique in Wales. It is the only practice-based study of autism in the region and draws a wide range of students from south Wales and the west of England, as well as international students.
The course will be of interest to professionals working in the field of education, health, social care and the third sector who have contact with children or adults on the autism spectrum.
The MA SEN/ALN (Autism) is designed for those who wish to become an advanced practitioner in autism by acquiring a relevant qualification.
It is also of relevance to newly qualified practitioners who are interested in gaining a specialism in autism, and to those coming from a personal perspective on autism who would like to deepen their knowledge and find out more about current research and relevant theoretical ideas.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
The autism course explores theory, policy and practice in relation to all aspects of autism as it is currently understood within different contexts. Modular content is designed to provide the opportunity to tailor your postgraduate degree to meet your individual professional or personal needs.
There are two specified modules focused on autism:
In addition to these two modules, you are able to select two or three additional modules from the Professional Learning Programme, for example:
In common with all of the Professional Learning programmes, you must take the core module Research Methodology if you are studying the full Masters course.
A full range of the modules is available from the course leader, Dr Carmel Conn.
Awards are available at Postgraduate Certificate level (after completion of two taught modules); Postgraduate Diploma level (after completion of four taught modules) and the full MA (on completion of a dissertation).
This Autism course runs on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings, 5-8pm at Newport City campus.
For part-time students, attendance is one evening a week, 5-8pm for two terms (autumn term and spring term).
Most students following the part-time programme spend 2 years on the taught modules (typically one evening per week) and undertake their dissertation in their third year.
Full-time students are able to complete the whole programme within 12 months. For most of the time full-time students study alongside part-time students in the evenings.
However, there are some classes for full time students that take place during the day, including Research Methodology, Critical Thinking and English for Academic Purposes. Full time students can ask to be given an internship during the final semester so that they can learn from observing good practice in a relevant education setting.
Each module is taught during weekly on campus sessions over 10 week terms. Learning takes place in teacher and student-led seminars, group discussions, individual tutorials and through active learning tasks.
Content is delivered in engaging and interactive ways, with clear direction and support provided for critical reading and academic-level writing.
Teaching is delivered by the course leader together with guest speakers.
Find out more about our current research into learning disabilities and developmental disorders.
Each module is assessed by an assignment, which may take the form of a 5,000 word written assignment or an alternative practical assessment task.
To complete the full Masters award, you will need to complete a 15,000 word dissertation based on a topic of your choice, though there is the option of completing a shorter dissertation (7,500 words) and studying one more module.
You will be supported by a tutor during the assignment writing process via individual tutorials.
If you are not in professional practice, but would like to gain experience of working professionally in relation to autism education and support, help with setting up an internship can be provided.
We are able to arrange to consult and use some of the resources available at the Dyscovery Centre such as standardised assessment tools.
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
First degree and/or sufficient relevant experience of autism and evidence of recent study. Full-time students wishing to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the Internship Scheme will also need to provide evidence of a current enhanced DBS check (or its equivalent if an EU or international student).
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.
There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.
Most students who study the part-time autism course already work in this specific field. Our full-time students quickly find work locally within education or the care sector, which offers them opportunities to apply theory to practice.
A Masters degree in Autism is a major boost to a career. Whatever your profession, experience has shown us that success on the course leads to enhanced employment prospects. Parents of children diagnosed with an ASD feel empowered both from their success and the increased insight gained.
A number of students have gone on to present at national and international conferences on an aspect of the autism spectrum. Other students have secured promotion and or employment in organisations that specifically support or educate individuals on the spectrum.