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Autism Studies

This Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies is accredited by the University of Limerick and is delivered as a partnership between Middletown Centre for Autism and Mary Immaculate College.

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.

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.

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.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's Degree, a level 8 qualification or equivalent in any discipline, is required for entry to this programme. Evidence of this in the form of transcripts is required at application stage.



The face-to-face component of the certificate will be delivered on a maximum of two Saturdays per module*, in Mary Immaculate College Limerick and in an agreed location convenient to students in the north/east of the country. Students also be required to engage with a range of research papers, podcasts, videos and reflective exercises. 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 Certificate. Successful completion of the Certificate provides a successful candidate with 30 ECTS / 60 CAT point.

*Approximately ten Saturdays across the Academic year.

Further enquiries

For further information about the course, please contact:
Mary Immaculate College:

Dr Fionnuala Tynan - 353-61-204557
Dr Patricia Daly - 353-61-204309

Middletown Centre for Autism (NI):
Majella Nugent - 0044(0) 28 3751 5750

Subjects taught

Certificate Content

The certificate is provided over one academic year and will be taught in five modules, which will be delivered using a combination of face-to-face and online teaching methods. The modules are taught by experienced professionals from both Mary Immaculate College and Middletown Centre for Autism. The Certificate will explore the following overlapping areas from experiential, educational, supportive and behavioural perspectives.

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 their experience of 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

Please note in cases where the quota of places is not filled by the application deadline, the College reserves the right to extend the deadline for the acceptance of applications. Please contact the Admissions Office for further information.

The deadline for applications is 31st May 2018.

How to Apply

1.Download and complete the application form - click here The application form must also include your university transcript(s).

2.Return the application form plus PayPal receipt number to: Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland
Ireland V94 VN26
Telephone: +353 61 204348 / 204929

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