Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Applied Behaviour Analysis - GCert

UCAS code C890

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only


This programme enables professionals, carers and families to enhance their knowledge and practice within the fields of autism, intellectual disability and community care.



You study modules on concepts of applied behaviour analysis, developing and implementing interventions, observing and analysing behaviour and looking at values and ethics in professional practice.

Designed with the needs of care providers and professionals in mind, the programme combines intensive workshop teaching and work-based learning.

Not sure which programme to choose?

You can study the same modules (with an additional module in work-based learning) within:

  • GDip in Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • Stage 3 of the BSc (Hons) in Autism Studies
  • Stage 3 of the BSc (Hons) in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

We also offer a postgraduate PCert, PDip and MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis for graduates and experienced practitioners.

The Tizard Centre: UK centre of excellence

The Tizard Centre is at the forefront of learning and research in autism, intellectual disability and community care. In 2013 it received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its outstanding work in these areas.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Teaching and assessment

This programme is taught by campus-based workshops (three days a month), but you also have access to web-based materials and guided reading, practical exercises and work-based assignments. 

Some of the modules are assessed by a one-hour exam and a short assignment; the remaining modules are assessed by written assignments only. You draw on material from different modules to complete the case study assignments.

For details click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to provide students with:

  • a values-based, ethically stringent, practice of applied behaviour analysis and a critical understanding of concepts of applied behaviour analysis
  • the skills to use applied behaviour analysis to conduct individually based assessments and develop and implement interventions
  • the knowledge to support the development of professional practice in applied behaviour analysis by encouraging certification
  • the skills to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities using a behavioural approach integrated with an 'ordinary life' philosophy
  • the ability to be able to work in constructive, non-aversive and ethically sound ways with people who are often marginalised and vulnerable
  • a critical understanding of the key theories applicable to applied behaviour analysis and ordinary living and a sound knowledge base to develop analytical skills that can be applied to the provision of evidence-based practice
  • opportunities to develop personal, communication and problem-solving skills appropriate to fulfilling specialist roles within the care sector, which are transferable to other areas of employment
  • an understanding of the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across statutory, private and voluntary agencies in the care sector.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • social role valorisation, 'ordinary living' and person-centred approaches as a value base for the provision of services
  • behavioural learning theory, its use in skills teaching and service organisation
  • scientific method and its application to evidence-based practice
  • the collection, analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data relating to quality of life and challenging behaviour
  • needs assessment within a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency framework
  • active support and the development of social networks and the development of effective communication strategies with individuals
  • applied behaviour analysis as a way of understanding the development and maintenance of challenging behaviour in the context in which it occurs
  • the development of multi-element intervention plans
  • organisational psychology related to theories of change, motivation and successful intervention with the individual, carers and organisations.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities to:

  • review and critically comment upon literature at the forefront of the discipline
  • critically analyse available data in relation to issues of method, reliability and validity
  • cross-reference data from various sources to draw conclusions on people's needs and factors influencing their behaviour
  • interpret available data and make arguments, recognising alternative interpretations and limitations in the data or its method of collection
  • use assessment information to develop strategies for problem solving and improving people's quality of life.

Subject-specific skills

You gain skills in the following:

  • the selection and use of a range of recognised assessment tools relating to needs assessment, communication, participation, skills development and the functional analysis of behaviour
  • the development and application of intervention plans relating to the development of communication, participation and skills for people with learning disabilities
  • the development and application of intervention plans for the management and replacement of challenging behaviour
  • the use of recognised strategies and techniques to support the provision of high-quality care within services, including active support and periodic service review.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • communication – the ability to communicate ideas and arguments to others in written and oral form; make short presentations and prepare written assignments and reference the materials referred to in accordance with accepted conventions
  • working with others – interpersonal and teamwork skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results
  • improve your own learning – to be reflective, adaptive and collaborative and explore personal strengths and weaknesses; manage time and deliver academic work on time and to the required standard; and the ability to review the working environment
  • problem solving – identify and define problems, explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them
  • information technology – produce written documents, undertake online research, study and learn independently using library and internet sources
  • numeracy – use descriptive statistics in the analysis of quantitative data and represent data visually.


Our programmes provide you with knowledge and skills that will appeal to employers such as the NHS, local authority adults’ and children’s services, and the voluntary and private social and healthcare sector. You also develop transferable skills such as planning and organisation, teamwork, leadership.

These programmes provide you with both academic and practical knowledge to help you provide better support to children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events. 

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £3080 £6900

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.