I was first attracted to the course at Birmingham because it was the only course of its kind that I knew about. But I also chose to study at Birmingham because I could combine distance learning with occasional seminars.
I enjoyed the flexibility of doing a web-based distance education course. I found using the on-line resources such as WebCT bewildering at first, but then enjoyed it. I was also encouraged to learn in other ways by the many links included in the study material. I would definitely recommend this method of learning, because of the flexibility it offers, whilst offering immediate access (by e-mail) to supportive tutors when necessary.
I would say that the five best things about studying on this course were:
The very well structured course
The message boards, enabling contact with others with similar jobs and interests
The supportive and knowledgeable staff
The excellent feedback on written work
The opportunities to meet other students
My studies also helped me gain in confidence in my job (supporting students with autism in a mainstream setting) and I was able to move on to a better job in a more specialised department (Autism Base in a High School).
To sum up my university experience in one word, I would say it was excellent.