MA Inclusion (Autism Adults)

MA/Postgraduate Certificate

Start date
MA 36 months; PGCert 12 months
Course Type
Continuing professional development, Distance learning, Taught

2024 - 2025
£3,780 (UK)
£7,770 (International)
More Fees and funding details.

Dr Andrea MacLeod introduces the MA Inclusion (Autism Adults) pathway

The MA Inclusion (Autism Adults) distance learning course has been designed for those who want to make a difference to the lives of adults and young people with diverse needs.

This specialist pathway in Autism (Adults) is specific to those working with adults and young people. It will provide you with knowledge of the autism spectrum, based on theory, research and practice. You will be taught to consider how autism theory applies to the individuals that you support in their adult lives, and what this should mean for your own practice. Through this course, you will be able to develop knowledge, understanding and critiques of research, educational policy and practice and have the opportunity to investigate historical and cultural aspects of disability.  

Autistic authors and researchers contribute to our study materials, so that you will gain insights into the diversity of the autistic experience, and learn about the range of individual and social barriers that can be experienced. The course will also encourage you think for yourself and you will use your professional skills to select and research topics of relevance to your own situation. 

The coursework is designed to enable you to apply learning to your own setting as well as undertake original research relevant to your area of work. As it is part-time and distance learning, you can study flexibly around work and personal commitments - most of our students are working alongside their studies.

MA Inclusion

The MA Inclusion is a flexible, part-time course for those who want to make a difference to the lives of young people, adults and children with diverse needs. It has been designed for teachers and other educational and care professionals working in a range of national and international settings.

Our approach will enable you to investigate inclusive practice through multiple lenses and to embrace cultural, linguistic and developmental diversity. You will be able to choose module options from across an unrivalled range of provision in Inclusive Education within the School of Education at the University of Birmingham.

The MA Inclusion is made up of 180 credits which consists of 3 compulsory taught modules (60 credits) in the named pathway, a number of optional modules (60 credits) and a 60 credit dissertation. Successful completion of the 180 credits leads to the award of MA Inclusion.

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert)

We also offer a one year, part-time Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits in total). This option gives you the opportunity to gain a specialist qualification at Masters level after just one year of study , or (on successful completion of the modules) to transfer to the MA Programme. For the PGCert, you choose from one of the first year pathway options and for those who transfer to the MA, this would constitute your first year of the three-year course. The MA Inclusion entry criteria, teaching and assessment all apply to the PGCert option.

MA Inclusion pathways

You may also be interested in our other specialist pathways on the MA Inclusion.

Why study this course?


Those taking a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) will need to complete the three compulsory modules listed below (60 credits in total). Those progressing onto the MA in the second year will need to choose a further 60 credits from the optional modules (which include core modules from the other pathways on the MA Inclusion) and complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.

Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024.

Compulsory modules

Optional Modules 

View the list of optional modules

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees 2024 - 2025


  • Code  584G PGCert £3,780
  • Code  585G MA £3,780


  • Code 584G PGCert £7,770
  • Code  585G MA £7,770

Fees for distance learning programmes are based on students studying 60 credits per year. The fees shown above are the first year fees for students starting their courses September in 2024. The fees are fixed at this price for each year of study for the duration of the programme.

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and Loans

You may be eligible for a postgraduate loan which provides up to £12,167 (for 2023/2024 entry) for taught and research Masters courses in most subject areas. This includes Distance Learning. 

Other scholarships may be available, please view the Scholarships webpage in the School of Education. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the  international scholarships page.

For further information contact the School directly or visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via  online enquiries. 

How To Apply

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Normally a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant area of practice or discipline. Vocational qualifications are accepted as criteria for entry to this course.

Most students will have some relevant professional experience and all applicants are encouraged to gain relevant experience in educational, care or other professional settings before, and during, embarking on a programme of study.

Speakers of English as a second language will be required to hold an IELTs 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each band or equivalent qualification.

English language support

The Birmingham International Academy (BIA) provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham. Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials. 

International Requirements

Our MA Inclusion is delivered and assessed online. Some activities are scheduled – like meetings with your tutor – but otherwise you can work through the online learning materials at times to suit you. Each module is broken down into weekly study units and each week you'll have a mixture of reading, videos/recordings and interactive activities to work through at your own convenience. All you need is some time, and an internet connection. 

We also know how important it is to provide you with opportunities to meet, collaborate and network with like-minded students. We do this in two ways. 

Firstly, we provide a live induction event where you will get the opportunity to meet the teaching team and fellow students. We will also provide a step-by-step guide to working through materials on your first module of study. 

Secondly, in every module of study there are live (real time) opportunities to engage in module group work and seminars. This gives you the chance to discuss key topics, share your learning and to reflect on workplace experiences. 

You will learn through:

  • Interactive teaching materials and study skills resources available via our online learning platform             
  • Three live online tutorials per module within your own tutor group, hosted by a tutor experienced in your field of study       
  • Two live lectures hosted by your Module Lead             
  • Access to our extensive online library, research materials and a vibrant community of students with shared interests          
  • Access to a range of other study and research activities hosted by the department and the School of Education.

The MA Inclusion: Autism (Adults) course is evidence of professional specialism for practitioners working in the field.

There is the opportunity to work towards a further professional qualification in the field of Education, including progression to a PhD. The excellent careers advice provided by personal tutors has encouraged many of our graduates to successfully apply for leadership roles working with Adults with Autism.

Dr Andy McDonnell, Director of Studio III on why he recommends the autism programme.