Meghan from Trinidad and Tobago talks about her time on the campus based programme
Campus based Programme
This is part-time programme. By studying part-time, you remain in your work setting and can therefore tailor the programme to meet your professional needs. All activities and assignments in the programme have a practical as well as a theoretical perspective.
Learning and teaching take place through:
Teaching sessions: There are weekly teaching sessions every Tuesday evening at the University
Tutorials: with the programme of study tutors, either as a group or individually.
Reading books, journals and using electronic resources.
Reflecting on and critically evaluating your everyday practice within your schools and services
Distance Learning Programme
By studying at a distance, you remain in your work setting and can therefore tailor the programme to meet your professional needs or your particular interests and experiences. All activities and assignments in the programme have a practical as well as a theoretical perspective. We hope you will find that your own experiences with children and young people on the autism spectrum will link with the ideas and activities in the programme. However, as well as being a practitioner, you are also very much a student and will have the resources of a large university to help you on and off campus. Learning and teaching take place through:
Self-study materials are in the form of booklets, and resources on a memory stick and on-line on WebCT. The programme materials are written as Units which make up a Module. Each Module has overall aims and outcomes and there are activities (which are not assessed) which you can do to relate the text to your own situation. In addition to the Units, students are expected to read a range of other books and journal articles.
The tutorials with a tutor and other students are to support students in their learning. At the tutorials students discuss course materials, plan assignments and share their experiences of practice in the field. Attendance at tutorials is essential so that you learn from each other by listening and contributing. For international students, and in some exceptional cases in the UK, it may not be possible to find a local tutor group, and students will then be supported by a tutor using email.
Residential Study Weekends
These weekends, in September and April at the University of Birmingham, are essential in the first year of study. The first residential weekend acts as an introduction to the course in a series of lectures. It introduces many of the ideas in the course and prepares students for the particular approaches to study. The second weekend is a mixture of lectures and workshops. In both weekends, it is a chance to visit the University, buy relevant books, mix with students and tutors and meet people on the autism spectrum who are able to articulate what autism means to them. Study weekends operate from Friday lunchtime to Sunday lunchtime.
The first residential weekend will be on 19-21st September 2014
Learning is assessed through a written assignment at the end of each module. The assignments for the first two modules on the programme are essays, addressing an issue that is of practical and intellectual significance to the student. Students are expected to draw on the literature and their own experience to support their arguments. The third assignment in the first year is a project module where the student undertakes and writes up a piece of reflective practice. These first three modules form the ‘core’ and are compulsory for an award to be made in Autism (Children). The three modules are sequential; information in Modules 2 and 3 building on the earlier units and the modules must be taken in sequence.
In the second year, students may stay within the autism field by taking a double project (which is all that is needed at Level H for a BPhil, followed by the dissertation of 10,000 words). Masters students may also do a double project module, but in addition they need to do one or two other subject modules, which may be the second module from the Autism (Adults) programme, or a module on Challenging Behaviour and Autism, or a module on Inclusive practice. Masters students then take the research module (PIE) and write a 15,000 word dissertation.
Students who successfully complete three modules at Level H are awarded the Advanced Certificate in Autism (children) at the end of the first year or they can proceed into a second year to complete the BPhil degree. Students who successfully complete three modules at Level M are awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Autism (children) at the end of the first year or can continue to study for the Postgraduate Diploma (one more year) or a Masters degree (two more years minimum).