Programmes and Courses

Our autism teaching courses support education practitioners to develop excellent practice grounded in theory and research, informed by experiential knowledge, and motivated by personal values, commitment to improving the lives of autistic people and ethical conduct.

All of our courses are part-time and delivered online, so that you can study from home alongside your other commitments. We have a proud history of using technology to deliver interactive learning in the most accessible ways to our students, across the UK and worldwide.

Taught courses

ACER has two specific taught courses associated with it, taught by experts in the field of autism.

There is also a 4 week MOOC associated with ACER, Attention and Autism, which helps you understand how attention works in autistic people.

The School of Education also offer a number of other courses  across a range of SEN and Inclusion that may be relevant to your needs.

At our recent ACER study event, we were very excited to host a panel, in which Pamela Hirsch, Sara King, Gill Loomes, Lauren Rochelle Fernandez and Barbara Sandland discussed their experiences of autism. Their discussion on 'masking' and the impact it had on them - exhaustion, feeling smaller, losing self-determination and even 'counter-masking' to justify their diagnosis due to imposter syndrome - these accounts were powerful, enlightening and sometimes shocking. We are grateful that they have given their permission for us to share this important discussion more widely as it affects so many autistic people, and many non-autistic people are unaware.

Three of our alumni discuss aspects of the Autism Spectrum and MA Autism (Adults) course

Research degrees

As well as our taught courses, you may study for a PhD focusses on autism. 

ACER has a vibrant body of doctoral students. Many of our students engage in research and teaching in ACER. In the last three years, 14 students have completed their doctoral studies with staff in ACER. Past and current PhD students associated with ACER have gone on to work full-time in Higher Education after completing their PhDs.

Recent topics have included:

  • Exploring the issues in developing awareness training about autism for paediatricians, mainstream secondary school teachers and police officers in Malta 
  • What are the views of able young people with autism, their parents and professionals on what needs to be taught in life skills curriculum, and what are the promoters and barriers to achieving such skills?
  • How can iPad applications be effectively used to support the social communication and emotional regulation of primary school-age children with autism?
  • Facilitating inclusion in secondary schools for nonbinary autistic young people: Stakeholder views and the role of autistic masking
  • Evaluating impact of Autism education standards and competencies
  • What do family narratives reveal about how families sustain caring for children with autism at home?
  • Similarities in Stereotyped Behaviour in Autism Spectrum and Blindness: Perceptions of parents, professionals, children on the autism spectrum and individuals with visual impairment.

Please view the Postgraduate Research pages for more information on applying for a PhD.

Doctoral Researcher Alexia Achtypi at the University of Birmingham talks about her research and the 'Transform Autism Education' Project.