City scape

Autism Studies

Programme Overview
The one-year Level 9 Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies is accredited by the University of Limerick and is delivered as a partnership between Mary Immaculate College and Middletown Centre for Autism. Taught in five modules, the programme uses combination of face-to-face and online teaching methods. The modules are taught by experienced professionals from both MIC and Middletown Centre for Autism and will explore overlapping areas from experiential, educational, supportive and behavioural perspectives.

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 Patricia Daly, who is a co-organiser of this course on autism.

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 in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Both agencies recognise the need for high quality graduate autism professional development in Ireland and Northern Ireland and the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies will meet this need.

The face-to-face component of the Graduate Certificate will be will be delivered on a maximum of two Saturdays* per module in both 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.

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. Successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies (GCAS) provides candidates with 30 ECTS/60 CAT points.

*Approximately 10 Saturdays across the academic year.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's Degree, a level 8 qualification or equivalent in any discipline is required for or equivalent in any discipline 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.

Further enquiries

Mary Immaculate College
Dr Fionnuala Tynan
T: +353 61 204557

Middletown Centre for Autism (NI)
Majella Nugent
T: +44 28 3751 5750

Dr Patricia Daly
T: +353 61 204309

Subjects taught

Semester One Topics:
•Autism: Will provide the foundations for understanding autism and its impact. It details and describes the core characteristics of autism, how they impact on the individual and how individuals with autism experience the physical and interpersonal world.

•Visual Learning Styles: Will build skills in the understanding of the visual learning styles of individuals with autism as well as developing a set of core competencies in integrating visual supports and strategies across all environments.

Semester Two Topics:
•Behaviour: Will introduce the functions of behaviour for the individual with autism through contextual analysis.

•Sensory: Will introduce theory and practice related to understanding and managing sensory differences.

•Anxiety Management: Will develop participants' understanding of the presentation and experience of anxiety in autism and on supportive strategies to reduce the individual's experience of anxiety across environments.

•Promotion of an Autism-Competent Environment: Will provide a framework for the implementation and assessment of the provision of autism-competent environments. This requires the assessment, integration and ongoing appraisal of a range of behavioural, sensory, anxiety and visual supports.

Application date

Deadline for Applications: 7 June 2019.

Enrolment and start dates

How To Apply
Download and complete the application form from "Application Weblink" below.

•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.

Pay the application fee* and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

*Pay your application fee (EU: €33; non-EU: €55) using Realex system. Please note down the payment reference number, make a screenshot or print a copy for your own records.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!