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Autism

The Master of Education in Autism (MEdA) is a blended two year programme open to qualified teachers working with pupils on the autism spectrum in primary and post-primary schools, in special schools or classes or in other recognised educational centres.

What does the course entail?
The focus of this programme is on developing graduates who are teacher researchers with a deep understanding of the educational needs of pupils with autism. The role of evidence-informed practice in the classroom, innovative approaches to collaboration, and whole school approaches to supporting inclusion will be emphasised.

Learners will also master a range of relevant research methods and complete a level 9 dissertation.

Graduates of two DCU accredited postgraduate qualifications may be considered to enter the 2nd year of the MEdA. These are the Graduate Certificate in the Education of Pupils on the Autism Spectrum (GCEAS) and the Graduate Diploma in Inclusive Education, Learning Support and Special Education (GDILS). Selection criteria may apply to all candidates.

A qualification of Masters of Education in Autism will be awarded to successful course participants by Dublin City University.

Programme

Year One Entry
Successful applicants entering the MEdA in year one will complete 90 credits over two academic years, 30 credits in Year One and 60 credits in Year Two.
In order to be eligible to enrol participants must hold a minimum Level 8 qualification in education, at minimum H2.2. Applicants must be registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland or its equivalent in other jurisdictions. Additionally, participants must also be working with pupils on the autism spectrum for the duration of their enrolment on the MEdA. As a considerable part of the programme is delivered online, students will also need to have access to a computer and have high quality broadband access.

In year one, they will complete five modules delivered in a blended and online format.

•SI601A: Understanding Autism (5 credits) provides a foundation in the history, concept and diagnosis of autism. The theoretical perspectives on autism and how these impacts on the student will be explored and critiqued.

•SI602A: Assessment, Profiling & Planning (10 credits) addresses the principles underpinning appropriate and individualised assessment for pupils on the autism spectrum. Students learn about the development of holistic profiles and individualised planning.

•SI6010A & SI611A: Planning, Teaching & Learning 1&2 (10 Credits) both focus on the application of the skills and knowledge presented across the programme modules to teaching and learning contexts.

•SI602A: Wellbeing across the continuum (5 credits) will focus on evolving issues in relation to the education of pupils on the Autism Spectrum, including life span perspectives (early intervention, primary and post primary life), the well-being of students on the spectrum, including; mental health, sexuality, and self-esteem.

Online lectures will normally take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between September and March.

Applicants should note that they will need to be available to attend a week-long block of lectures at DCU St Patrick's Campus in late August 2019. There will be an additional four weekend face to face lecture sessions on a Friday evening and Saturday across the first year.

Candidates who have successfully completed the requirements of Year 1 will then progress to Year Two which is likely to begin with a Summer School in the first week of July 2020.

Year two
Year two comprises 60 credits which entails completing two 15 credit modules and a 30 credit thesis. The year usually comprises a week's summer course, online lectures, and a small number of face-to-face lectures on campus.

•Module SI801 focuses on research methodologies (15 credits) – Will cover a range of relevant research methodologies and forms of educational enquiry.

•Module SI521 Evidence informed whole school inclusion focuses on whole school approaches to inclusion for students on the autism spectrum.

•Students will also complete a 30 credit thesis on an approved topic relating to inclusive education for students on the autism spectrum.

Applicants should note that they will be required to submit two formative assessment requirements at the end of August and so will need to be in a position to factor in some time during the Summer vacation for the completion of these requirements.

Why DCU

Dublin City University is widely recognised as a dynamic and innovative institution that is distinguished both by the quality and impact of its graduates and by its focus on the translation of knowledge into societal and economic benefit. Excellence in education and research activities has led to DCU's ranking in the top 1.5% of universities globally. In a foreword to the Strategic Plan, 2017-2022 Talent, Discovery and Transformation, Chancellor Dr. Martin McAleese notes that DCU's "responsibility to the coming generations is realised in the massive investment we have made in creating Ireland's first Faculty of Education. Our graduate teachers will be world-class and their pupils will receive the gift of a wonderful life-enhancing education, the single most important basic investment any society can make"

The DCU Institute of Education is the newest faculty of Dublin City University. Established through the incorporation of St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute of Education, Church of Ireland College of Education and the DCU School of Education Studies, it has a staff of more than 125 full-time academics and a student body in excess of 4,000. It is and is a recognised centre of excellence in teacher education nationally and internationally, and has a distinguished record in providing continuing professional development offering a range of taught and research programmes to masters and doctoral level.

DCU facilities at St Patrick's Campus are first class. Online learning facilities draw from the most up-to-date technologies whilst employing innovative teaching and learning methods. Students have access to two extensive libraries that include a vast array of educational resources and diverse study spaces for both collaborative and independent work. Remote access to journals and Ebooks enable and enhance study at a distance.

Entry requirements

Requirements

General Entry Requirements

This proposed Master of Education in Autism (MEdA) programme is being offered as a stand-alone two-year level 9 blended Master level programme open to qualified experienced teachers working in primary and post-primary schools, or in special schools or classes. Participants will be eligible to apply who hold a minimum Level 8 qualification in education, at minimum H2.2. Applicants must be registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland or its equivalent in other jurisdictions. Additionally, participants must also be working with pupils on the AS for the duration of their enrolment on the MEdA. Standard entry procedures for international applicants and for applicants with disabilities apply.

Applicants should meet the minimum entry criteria outlined above and will be interviewed to assess their application. Each interview will be scored according to a predetermined criterion, with places being offered to those with the highest scores.

Direct Entry into Year 2
Graduates of two DCU accredited postgraduate qualifications may be considered to enter the 2nd year of the MEdA. These are;

- The Graduate Certificate in the Education of Pupils on the Autism Spectrum (GCEAS), and

- The Graduate Diploma in Inclusive Education, Learning Support and Special Education (GDILS). Selection criteria may apply to all candidates.

Duration

Part-time

Careers or further progression

Careers

The Masters of Education in Autism is designed to meet the professional and personal needs of teachers seeking to acquire deep expertise in the area of evidence informed education for pupils on the autism spectrum. The programme offers participants the opportunity to develop as research informed and expert educators in appropriate education for pupils on the autism spectrum. There is a particular focus on the translation of research evidence and theory into best practices in schools. Graduates will develop the skills and knowledge to effectively collaborate with others and lead the development of a culture of inclusion for students on the autism spectrum in schools.

The programme will be of particular interest to:

•Teachers with a post-of-responsibility for special educational needs provision in schools at primary level, post primary level and in adult education settings.

•Teachers working in special class settings for pupils on the autism spectrum in mainstream schools

•Teachers working in special schools who work with pupils on the autism spectrum.

•Teachers who wish to further develop their expertise in the education of pupils on the autism spectrum in relation to content knowledge and research-informed approaches to evidence informed teaching

Further enquiries

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