Autism & Learning, PgCert

Autism & Learning, PgCert


This programme is designed for teachers and related professionals involved in supporting individuals on the autism spectrum.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Online Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month

The Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Learning aims to give practitioners an in-depth understanding of the condition and an insight into the workings of the autistic mind. It will equip participants with practical approaches and interventions that will enable children, young people and adults on the autism spectrum to access learning, participate in learning, experience success, gain independence, and fulfil their potential.

The aims of the programme are:

  • To develop knowledge and critical understanding of the concept of inclusion and associated principles of equality, social justice, participation and partnership.
  • To develop a deep understanding of the complex conceptual issues in Autism, and the key theories, principles and issues in the field.
  • To critically evaluate current research in the field.
  • To critically review strategies and approaches and their evidence base.
  • To develop collaborative partnerships with individuals on the spectrum, parents, colleagues and other agencies.
  • To use acquired knowledge and understanding of autism to reflect critically upon practice.
  • To apply acquired knowledge and understanding of autism to formulate effective support for learners on the spectrum.
  • To conduct professional enquiries and use research evidence to generate professional knowledge and enhance understanding and practice
  • To apply acquired knowledge and understanding of autism to contribute to staff development and school/workplace improvement.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Autism, Inclusion and Participation (ED50HP)

30 Credit Points

This course covers a range of conceptual issues fundamental to an understanding of autism in inclusive contexts. Participants will therefore develop a critical knowledge and understanding of policy, literature and research relating to the diagnostic criteria for autism, the key theories of autism, the main strategies used to support learners and the key themes and issues in the field. This will be linked to a critical knowledge and understanding of policy, literature and research on inclusion and issues around its meaning and enactment. The role of interprofessional collaboration and learner participation in facilitating inclusion is emphasised across the course.

Autism, Behaviour and Planning for Change (ED55HQ)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the links between the diagnostic criteria for autism (difficulties with social communication, social interaction, flexibility of thought & sensory integration) and behaviour. We critically explore positive, evidence-based approaches to identifying solutions. We also critically examine the links between the national strategy for autism, theory and practice and the meaning of the notion of the ‘autism friendly workplace’. Students are introduced to strategies for reflecting critically upon workplace provision via structured auditing and action planning for change.

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Amendments to Programmes and Courses document.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
UK £790
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis per 30 credits
EU / International students £2,300
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis per 30 credits

Fee Information


Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including our refund policy, please visit our Tuition Fees page.


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

All participants will be expected to read a range of research papers, theoretical texts and readings from the literature, and deal with these in a reflective and critical manner. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect critically on their own meanings and understandings, their experience of autism, their professional practice and institutional contexts.

Opportunities for active learning, group work, individual and group presentations, peer feedback and discussions are embedded across all courses. Visiting speakers and video presentations will ensure variety and provide additional stimuli.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Peer Learning
  • Research
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Formative and summative assessment is a feature of all courses. All assessments are designed to arise naturally from course content and learning. All summative assessments focus directly on workplace applications.

Why Study Autism & Learning?

  • The PGCert in Autism & Learning is an interprofessional programme that offers tremendous opportunities for professional growth in the company of colleagues who share your interests but who may bring very different experiences and perspectives.
  • The programme attracts students from Education, Social Care, Health and the Voluntary sector, as well as individuals with autism and parents of children on the autism spectrum.
  • This diverse student body ensures rich and lively debate and creates a stimulating environment in which we can learn from each other and provide mutual support.

Entry Requirements

All candidates must have a relevant degree, experience in supporting individuals with autism and access to a workplace context for the purpose of the assignments.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants will be graduates or will be able to provide evidence that they can work at postgraduate level. They must have previous relevant experience and be able to undertake studies and related developments in their workplace setting or other appropriate agency.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals

International Applicants

Should your programme necessitate a visit to the University you may find the following information helpful.

Immigration and Student Visas.

UK Government visa advice pages.


Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Learning can lead to career development in a wide range of employment settings e.g. the charitable sector, social care, social work, health care, education, autism research, and other services requiring an autism specialism.

Professional Links


This programme was developed in collaboration with the National Autistic Society (NAS) (Scotland), the Scottish Centre for Autism (University of Strathclyde), local authorities and services, and local individuals on the autism spectrum and their parents.

Our Experts

Programme Manager

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX