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.
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.