Autism Adults: Understanding and Working with the Continuum of Need (Core module)

This is the first module for the Autism (Adults) programme of studies. Study time will vary from one student to another but it is designed to take 200 hours of student time, including tutorials and work on the assignments.


  • To give knowledge of the diverse and common needs of individuals on the autism spectrum, based on current research and theoretical understandings and to enable you to understand the implications of this for the support and further education of adults on the autism spectrum throughout the ability range and in a range of different settings.
  • To develop observational, assessment and recording techniques and effective strategies for developing communication, social interaction and flexibility in thinking and behaviour
  • To understand the causes of so-called 'challenging' behaviour in adults on the autism spectrum and the ways in which difficult behaviour can be minimised through effective support and adaptations.

The seven units in this Module are:

  • Unit 1: Diversity within the autism spectrum
  • Unit 2: Understanding communication & language barriers
  • Unit 3: Social, emotional & cognitive style differences
  • Unit 4: Sensory perception & autism
  • Unit 5: Considering autism within black & minority ethnic groups
  • Unit 6: Behaviours of concern in autistic adults
  • Unit 7: Collaborative working and the participation of autistic adults


You will get the opportunity to do a short (around 400 words) practice assignment early on in the module, which is marked for feedback only and forms the basis of your first assignment. This enables you to check your grasp of academic writing and procedures, such as referencing. The assignments are chosen from a list of titles, which change from year to year, to enable you to choose a topic of relevance to your own situation. In addition, you may negotiate a title at the appropriate level with the University tutors.

Level H: Essay Length: 3,000 words

Level M: Essay Length: 4,000 words

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