Special Educational Needs of Children with Autism

Campus Codes

Level H: 21421
Level M: 21427 

Distance Education Codes

Levle H: 11475
Level M: 05542 (Level M)

This module aims to increase the understanding of the autism spectrum for practitioners (eg teachers, psychologists, speech and language therapists, social workers, nurses and parents), who are currently working or living with children on the autism spectrum, in whatever setting. Study time will vary from one student to another but it is designed to take 200 hours of student time, including tutorials, reading and work on the assignment.


  • To increase knowledge and understanding of the autism spectrum
  • To consider the relationship between diagnosis and education / treatment and to understand some of the individual special needs of children on the autism spectrum
  • To have knowledge of the range of provision and support needed for the children and their families.
  • To increase understanding of why the behaviour of those on the autism spectrum may challenge others, and to develop strategies for understanding, preventing and managing this

The distance education module consists of 6 Units:

  1. Understanding the autism spectrum
  2. Social and emotional understanding
  3. Communication and language
  4. Flexibility of thinking and behaviour
  5. Sensory perceptual issues
  6. Challenging behaviour

The campus-based version of the module is comprised of 11 sessions that also cover all of these areas.


You will get the opportunity to do a section of an assignment as practice, early on in this first module, which is read for feedback only by your personal or regional tutor and forms the basis of the first assignment. This will enable you to check your grasp of academic writing and the procedures followed by the University of Birmingham, such as referencing.The assignment is 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. Students can negotiate a title at the appropriate level with the University tutors if they do not feel there is a title which is relevant to their situation.

Level H : Essay Length: 3,000 words

Level M : Essay Length: 4,000 words