Autism Studies

Autism Studies - Cert

UCAS code C890

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only


This programme offers a qualification that delivers the knowledge and skills required to support people with autism in a range of different situations. It is designed specifically for students who provide home, community and school-based services, and is therefore flexible, combining intensive workshop teaching, web-based study and work-based learning.


The Certificate in Autism Studies is completed by blended learning, usually over one year.  It combines web-based guided study and discussions with work-based learning, allowing flexibility and a very practical approach.  

You take five modules: one, Academic Development, is taught at our Canterbury campus. The other four modules are completed by blended learning and include introductions to the autism spectrum and supporting people on the autism spectrum, a case study assessment and a module focusing on intervention.

Not sure which programme to choose?

You can study the same modules during Stage 1 of the FdSc in Autism Studies and Stage 1 of the BSc (Hons) in Autism Studies.

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 and in 2013 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.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

What is an autism spectrum disorder? What subtypes are there and how is it diagnosed?

How many people have autism?

What does the condition mean for people with ASD and their families – how does it affect their lives?

Causes of autism – an introduction to the theories

Models of disability applied to the autism spectrum, person-centred approaches.

Issues for services (co-morbidity, structure, sensory and environmental issues, empowerment and advocacy).

Read more

The module will cover the following core content.

Policy, funding, service models (residential and educational), statementing.

Approaches/interventions to working with people – Applied Behaviour Analysis, Positive Behaviour Support, SPELL, PECS, TEACCH, PCAS, Communication. This module would focus on introducing these approaches.

Supporting families

Capacity and empowerment – a brief introduction

Advocacy and child/adult protection

Supporting individuals with ASD in mainstream education.

Read more

A synopsis of the curriculum

This module will cover both the evidence base and practical implications and applications of the following approaches:



Person-centred approaches (active support, PCP etc) and supporting relationships


Positive Behaviour Support and autism.

Read more

This is an assessment module that requires students to integrate knowledge and understanding from a variety of sources.

Read more

This module has been developed to facilitate learning of key skills in students with a range of abilities and needs. They will develop competence in: learning subject specific material and preparing assessed written and verbal assignments.These intended learning outcomes are consistent with the broader programme outcomes in terms of development of intellectual, analytical and communication skills.

Read more

Teaching and assessment

These programmes are taught through a mixture of campus-based sessions, web-based materials, guided reading and web-based discussions.

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

To see assessment details for individual modules, click 'read more' within each module in the course structure.

Programme aims

Our aims are to:

  • develop awareness and understanding of the needs and characteristics of individuals with autism spectrum disorders
  • increase students' knowledge about the approaches to supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorders in different settings.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the definition and epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • the causes of autism – evidence and theory
  • the issues for supporting people with ASD in services and schools
  • the policy, funding and service models relating to people with ASD
  • the approaches and interventions in people with ASD
  • how to support families of children with ASD
  • capacity, empowerment, advocacy and protection.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities to:

  • cross-reference information from various sources to draw conclusions on how best to support individuals with autism spectrum disorder
  • interpret data and make arguments, recognising alternative interpretations and limitations in the data or its method of collection.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to communicate ideas and arguments to others, mainly in written form, prepare written assignments and reference the materials referred to in accordance with accepted conventions
  • to be reflective, adaptive and independent in your learning, and explore your personal strengths and weaknesses; time management and the ability to deliver academic work on time and to the required standard
  • IT – to produce written documents, undertake online research and to study and learn independently using library and internet sources
  • to use basic methods of presenting and interpreting data and information from different sources.


Our programmes provide you with knowledge and skills that will appeal to employers such as the NHS, education, 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.

This programme provides you with both academic and practical knowledge to help you provide better support to children and adults on the autism spectrum and to create autism friendly environments.

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 £6000 £13810

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.