This practice-based programme gives you the knowledge and skills that appeal to employers such as the NHS, local authority adults' and children's services, schools and the voluntary and private social and healthcare sector. It focuses on sound assessment and understanding of the reasons for challenging behaviour, teaching constructive ways to support the individual and people around the individual.
Our Graduate Diploma in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) comprises four modules, some unique to PBS students and some shared with Tizard students on our Autism Studies programmes. You attend campus for one workshop at the start of each academic year and an additional exam workshop toward the end of the year.
Our programme produces graduates competent in the assessment of challenging behaviour and the co-production of strategies likely to result in better support. It provides you with the knowledge of clinical and person-centred best practice, preparing you for a career in education and adult services in highly specialist and leadership roles.
The programme will attract parents, teachers and health professionals, social care specialists, support workers, team leaders and service managers, as well as those eager to further both their knowledge and practice, and career opportunities.
About the Tizard Centre
The Tizard Centre is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and has excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments.
The 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.
The Centre has strong links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments. Our primary aims, through research, teaching and consultancy, are:
- to find out more about how to effectively support and work with people with learning disabilities
- to help carers, managers and professionals develop the values, knowledge and skills that enable better services
- to aid policymakers, planners, managers and practitioners to organise and provide enhanced services.
The Tizard Centre is recognised as leading the field in deinstitutionalisation and community living, challenging behaviour, quality of staff support, sexuality and autism, and has had a significant impact on national policies in these areas. We are committed to addressing issues arising from social inequality.
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. There are no optional modules on this pogramme.
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
TZ601 - Current Research, Practice and Policy Developments
This module provides an opportunity for final stage students to study emergent research, policy and practice topics. It is likely to include areas in which teaching staff are active and to offer the students the opportunity to develop their understanding of research, policy and practice in key areas. Students will have the opportunity to attend our existing short courses where relevant (e.g. Talking Mats, Person-centred active support, The SPELL Framework). Topics are likely to include:
• Skilled support
• People with autism or IDD and the criminal justice system
• Autism & Women
• Mental Health & Autism or IDD
• Hate crime and victimisation
• Staff cultureView full module details
TZ602 - Research Methods in Autism/Positive Behaviour Support
The module will ensure students are 'research aware' by teaching them about quantitative and qualitative research. It explores the purposes of research and methods, as well as the ethical, political and pragmatic issues research focused on autism & intellectual and developmental disabilities has experienced and continues to seek to address. It will teach students how to effectively carry out literature reviews, observations and participant research. The importance of critical analysis, reliability and validity is explored in depth. The module emphasises the knowledge needed to access and interpret research literature and data in the field.View full module details
TZ603 - Functional Analysis
The occurrence of challenging behaviours amongst children and adults with a diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disabilities has produced a large body of research literature, policy and professional advice. Challenging behaviour has profound impacts upon people affected by it physically, psychologically, socially and economically. This module, as part of the Positive Behaviour Support programmes, provides information on the causes and characteristics of challenging behaviour, and outlines assessment and intervention methodologies. The module explores some legal and ethical issues arising from assessment of challenging behaviour, in particular the use of experimental conditions (analogues) during brief functional analysis. Observational methods will be taught, reliability methods considered, and the collection and presentation of data explored.View full module details
TZ604 - Student Research Project in Autism/Positive Behaviour Support
The module will offer students teaching on:
• Developing a research question
• Design of research projects
• Ethics and social validity
• Research methodologies, including
o Library-based research
• Data analysis and presentationView full module details
Teaching and assessment
It requires around 1,200 hours of study. Students cannot undertake this programme full time whilst working full time, unless seconded by their employer to do so. This course is a level 6, stage 3 programme of study.
The Graduate Diploma in Positive Behaviour Support is taught by blended learning, a combination of exciting workshops and interactive web-delivered materials, case studies and real-world assignments. Expert practitioners on best practice and the latest research teach and lead the programme. You will work individually and collaboratively with other students, be supported by Tizard Centre tutors, and participate in group activities, discussions, as well as sharing your experience with others. An inherent part of this programme is the development of research skills.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
This programme aims to:
- Deliver content reflecting best clinical practice and national standards to support effective work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities whose behaviour others find challenging.
- Offer flexible methods of learning that will appeal to students from diverse backgrounds.
- Produce graduates with the knowledge and skills to take up employment in education or adult human services, undertake further studies, and display the transferable skills necessary to demonstrate personal responsibility and decision-making in local and national leadership roles.
- Prepare students to support children or adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their support networks using Positive Behaviour Support i.e. a behavioural approach integrated with an "ordinary life" philosophy.
- Enable students to work in constructive, inclusive, and ethical ways with people who are often marginalised and vulnerable as well as with staff or families often lacking support.
- Provide students with a sound knowledge base and opportunities to develop analytical skills that can be applied in human service provision for children, young people and adults.
- Encourage participation in Higher Education of people from diverse backgrounds some of whom may not have 'traditionally' recognised qualifications.
- Support the development of high-quality and appropriate services for children or adults with intellectual and developmental disability and challenging behaviour by preparing students to fulfil the need for specialist workers locally, nationally and internationally in a key sector of the economy.
- Promote good practice in those supporting individuals whose behaviour challenges those around them through the systematic application of knowledge derived from theory and research.
- To develop a critical understanding of research methodologies
- To conceptualise, design and carry out research investigations
- To develop an understanding of the ethical application of functional analysis
Knowledge and understanding
You gain a knowledge and understanding of:
- The policy and legal contexts of education and human service provision for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities whose behaviour is described as challenging.
- Evidenced-based intervention options in designing support systems for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities whose behaviour is described as challenging (with particular reference to positive behaviour support).
- The collection, analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data relating to quality of life of individuals whose behaviour is described as challenging.
- Ethical approaches to research.
- Recent developments in positive behaviour support research, practice and policy
- How functional analysis can be used ethically to understand the development and maintenance of challenging behaviour.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- The ability to review and critically comment upon academic literature.
- The ability to critically analyse data in relation to method, reliability and validity.
- The ability to use assessment information to develop strategies for problem solving and improving people's quality of life.
- The ability to synthesise information from various sources to draw conclusions on how best to support individuals.
You gain the following subject-specific skills
- The use of recognised strategies and techniques to support the provision of high quality support within services, educational or family settings.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- Working with others: Develop interpersonal and team work skills including the abilities to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and implement change.
- Improving own learning: Be reflective, adaptive and collaborative in their learning; explore personal strengths and weaknesses; review working environment; develop skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard.
- 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; represent data visually.
You must have either completed the Diploma in Higher Education of Positive Behaviour Support or else have a recent, relevant degree.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. 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.
A typical offer would be to achieve Distinction, Distinction, Merit.
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.
However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
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 advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
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 through Kent International Pathways.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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.*
Your fee status
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
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
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.