Autism Spectrum (Webautism) University Certificate

The Autism Spectrum (Web Autism) distance learning programme is a web-based distance learning programme completed over a year of study, earning 60 credits at Level C. It will be of interest to those working with children and adults on the autism spectrum, including Asperger syndrome. Learning support assistants, support staff and parents will find the programme particularly helpful.

The University of Birmingham is the leading provider of degree-level education in autistic spectrum disorders in the UK. Our courses develop real insight and encourage reflective practice. You will be tutored by recognized experts in the field who work in the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) and will have access to an extensive library and research materials as well as benefiting from other activities such as online seminars. Academic credits and qualifications can be used as a springboard to further study. Our courses contribute towards LDAF and NVQ.

Course fact file

Duration: UCert: 1 year, part-time

Start date: September

Contact

Andrea Macleod
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8442
Email: a.g.macleod@bham.ac.uk

Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8148
Email: k.wittemeyer@bham.ac.uk 

Programme administrator
Louise Jelf
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3681
Email: l.s.jelf@bham.ac.uk

Approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Details

This distance learning Autism Spectrum (Webautism) programme is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the autism spectrum, an introduction to the latest research and an insight into current practice. It will prepare both practitioners and parents to draw upon recognised strategies for meeting the needs of individuals with autism in a variety of settings such as in the home, classroom, college, day service or residential environments.

By studying at a distance, you will be able to tailor your studies to meet your professional and/or personal needs. There are many benefits to using electronic resources for distance learning programmes. It enables you to be in touch with a variety of students in all sorts of places, cheaply and efficiently as well as giving you access to a vast range of resources for learning. 

Each student will have a personal tutor for online tutorial meetings along with others in your tutorial group. Learning is supported through web and paper-based study packs, tutorial groups, telephone, email and online contact through our dedicated virtual learning environment (Canvas) which encourages students to develop through shared experience. More details may be found in the Learning and Teaching Tab.

Other autism programmes which you may wish to consider now or in the future are Autism (Adults) which is a distance learning programme and Autism (Children) which is both a distance learning and campus based programme. 

Download the summary flyer for the Autism Spectrum (Webautism) programme (PDF, 155KB)

Regional tutor David Edwards, talks about the Autism Spectrum course

Modules

Year One (University Certificate: Autism Spectrum)

Module 1: Understanding and responding to the autism spectrum

Code 11 14115

This module explores what it means to be on the autism spectrum. It reflects on how the world may be perceived by the individual with autism. Students are encouraged to examine their own practice and look at ways in which they can meet the specific needs of the person with whom they work. The module identifies and explores specific restrictions in communication, socialisation and rigidity of thought of a person on the spectrum and discusses implications for meeting those needs. It encourages students to reflect on how the person with autism best learns within the framework of using the strengths of the individual to overcome difficulties.

Module 2: Working with individuals with on the autism spectrum

Code: 11 14117

This module introduces students to key approaches in the education of people with autism. It examines the importance of partnership with parents and carers and explores the meaning of multidisciplinary and collaborative practice. Students are encouraged to look at how they can create conditions that enable people with autism to predict their world with a degree of
confidence. This includes ways of approaching challenging behaviour.

Module 3: Models for Practice when working with people on the autism spectrum

Code: 11 14116

Students are encouraged to look at the wider world in which people with autism live. The module covers an overview of the lifelong education of people on the autism spectrum. It examines the background to the development of services and includes understanding the context of an inclusive society. The implications of new legislation and inclusion to the design and organisation of service provision in both children and adult services are covered.

Fees and funding

Fees Home/EU 2014-2015

  • Code 5681 UCert £1,346
  • Code 5053 CertHE £1,346 (you can only apply for this course if you have completed the UCert)

The fees shown above are annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2014. 

Fees Overseas 2014-2015

  • Code 5681 UCert £6,282.50
  • Code 5053 CertHE £6,282.50 (you can only apply for this course if you have completed the UCert)

Please view the Fees for International Students page for more details. 

Funding for part-time students

From September 2012, the UK Government will provide non-means tested loans to cover the full cost of part-time tuition for all eligible English resident or non UK EU undergraduates. Find out more about the funding for part-time students.

Entry requirements

  • We normally expect two years’ current experience of working with or caring for someone on the autism spectrum
  • Access to an online multimedia computer and email is essential 

Please note that you can only apply for the CertHE if you have completed the UCert.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements 

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Applicants for this course will not be required to come to the university for an interview.

Please note that you can only apply for the CertHE if you have completed the UCert.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Contact

Andrea Macleod
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8442
Email: a.g.macleod@bham.ac.uk

Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8148
Email: k.wittemeyer@bham.ac.uk 

Programme administrator
Louise Jelf
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3681
Email: l.s.jelf@bham.ac.uk

Approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Learning and teaching

The Webautism course is unique in that it weaves the interactive power of the Internet with audio and video material. This doesn’t just make learning more engaging, it makes it more accessible too.

The programme has been carefully designed to enable you to learn in a variety of ways. These include viewing video, discussion practice with your fellow students, accessing online course materials, reading printed material to name but a few. This programme offers real flexibility that allows you to study around your work and family.

To help you through the course, you’ll also be allocated a Regional Tutor. If they live relatively close you’ll be able to benefit from face-to-face tutorials. If, on the other hand, you’re not too close, or you’re unable to travel, we can allocate an ‘online only’ tutor.

What course materials will I receive?

Each module includes its own selection of online course materials – including audiovisual clips and essential reading material. The materials combine to form what we call ‘Blended Learning’. You’ll work your way through the online course materials referring at times to essential reading and the audio visual (AV) clips. As well as the online content, you’ll have access to online discussion forums (bulletin boards). Here you can interact with your tutor and the students in your tutor group, with all the other students on the programme, or with us here at the University.

How much studying will I have to do?

We would normally recommend that you spend about nine hours a week. That’s three hours online, and six hours self-study (background reading, note taking, tutorial time, etc). However, because the Webautism course is so flexible, you’re free to work around your other commitments. There are also timetabled elements to the course, where we expect you to participate regularly and meet certain deadlines – but don’t worry, we’ll give you clear instructions.

I know the course is web-based, but how ‘techie’ do I have to be?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a computer whizz to use our web-based content and activities. Everything is written for ordinary people. And where we do have to use the odd techie word, we’ll put a clear explanation of what we mean right next to it. Here are the kinds of things that we’re looking for:

  • You know how to use a computer 
  • You can find information on the web 
  • You can use your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari,etc) 
  • You can send and receive emails 
  • You can download and install software from the web

What technical equipment do I need?

We don’t expect users to have the latest, greatest computers and blistering-fast, high-speed broadband Internet connections. However, once again, there are a few things we’d like you to have:

  • You need to have Administrator access to a computer. Or, in other words, you’re able to download and install software, make changes to your web browser, etc. 
  • A fairly modern computer running Windows 2000 or later (or a comparable Mac or Linux operating system), and with web browsing software. 
  • Broadband Internet connection – if possible. While dial-up connections do work, they take longer to access our systems and may not be as reliable.

How is the programme structured?

The programme runs from September to September.

Module 1: September – January
Module 2: January – April
Module 3: May – September

Each module is divided into three units, with each unit further divided into six sections. Each section usually consists of elements such as an introduction, audio or video clip, a ‘pause for thought’, a presentation and a summary.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll complete a portfolio of work at the end of each module. Each portfolio consists of an assignment with three parts (3 x 1500 words): a short essay based on course material, individual study evidence of caring or work-based practice and summaries of web-based discussions.

Could I take my studies in autism higher?

The University of Birmingham offers a range of programmes in autism and other related fields. Details may be found on our professional development pages.

Related research

Contact

Andrea Macleod
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8442
Email: a.g.macleod@bham.ac.uk

Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8148
Email: k.wittemeyer@bham.ac.uk 

Programme administrator
Louise Jelf
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3681
Email: l.s.jelf@bham.ac.uk

Approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Employability

The programme is primarily developed for practitioners and carers who do not already have qualifications at this level but who are already working in the field or caring for someone on the autism spectrum.

Students have nevertheless taken on a variety of new roles as a result of their study of the programme. These roles have included becoming higher level teaching assistants, taking on autism specific roles in outreach teams, becoming the lead person for autism within their services or provision or taking on wider training roles in the field.

Alumni profiles

Find out what former students from the Autism Spectrum (Webautism) programme are doing now.

Contact

Andrea Macleod
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8442
Email: a.g.macleod@bham.ac.uk

Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8148
Email: k.wittemeyer@bham.ac.uk 

Programme administrator
Louise Jelf
Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3681
Email: l.s.jelf@bham.ac.uk

Approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).