Education of Pupils on the Autism Spectrum

This programme is for Primary, Post-Primary and Special School teachers who currently hold a post funded by the Department of Education and who will be working with autistic students for the duration of the Programme in recognised Primary, Post-Primary and Special Schools. The programme is designed specifically to assist teachers in meeting the learning and teaching needs of autistic students. Potential applicants must therefore have a teaching role in relation to autistic students.

Funding is provided by the DE and no fee or registration charges will apply for successful applicants. Teachers will continue to receive their salary in the usual way and substitution will be covered. Graduates of this Certificate may be eligible to progress onto the self-funded MEd in Autism.

The aim of this programme is to develop the knowledge skills and expertise of teachers, thus enhancing the provision of appropriate education for autistic children and young people.

Understanding Autism: aims to provide a foundation in the history, concept and diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder, causes and prevalence will also be considered. Students will explore the diversity across the spectrum and reflect in an informed manner on the implications of autism in an educational context.

Autism: Assessment, Profiling and Planning: addresses the principles underpinning inclusive assessment and focusses on the development of a holistic profile of the student’s strengths, interests and needs, leading to the development of learning programmes and individualised planning.

Autism: Planning,Teaching and Learning 1 & 2: focuses on the application of skills and knowledge presented across the programme to teaching and learning contexts.

Wellbeing Across the Continuum: Addresses current and evolving issues in relation to the education of autistic students including life span perspective, wellbeing of such students and proactive strategies to support them.

Provisional Calendar

The programme will include three weeks block release from your school/centre during the year. Below are the indicative times of year when these weeks occur. Dates will be communicated upon offer of a place on the course.

Week 1: 9-13th September
Week 2: 11-15th November
Week 3: 10-14th February

Lectures take place Monday to Friday during these weeks from 9am - 4pm.

In addition there are seven evening online sessions which occur on Tuesday evenings throughout the year ( 6-7.15). Further details will be made available upon starting the course.

Entry requirements

Please review the Department of Education Circular for 2024 at in English and at in Irish.

This programme is for registered teachers who currently:

Hold a post funded by the Department of Education.
Work in recognised primary, post-primary, or special school settings.
Work with autistic students or will be working with autistic students for the duration of the programme.
The programme is designed to assist teachers to effectively support the holistic educational development of their autistic students. Therefore, applicants must hold a teaching role, supporting autistic students.

Application dates

Applications will open on Thursday, 14th March 2023

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Applicants must submit:

Additional Questions Form - submitted within the Application Portal
An up-to-date Teaching Council Registration Certificate - upload to portal
A Principal Declaration Form - completed by the Principal. This form must be signed by the Principal (not the Deputy Principal or any other school representative) - submitted within the Application Portal
Application Queries

Closing date: 22nd April 2024

For EU applicant queries, please visit or email Please include the programme code (DC879) in the subject line of your email.

For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email

More details
  • Qualifications

    Graduate Certificate

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider