Tizard Centre

Tizard Centre

The Tizard Centre is a leading UK academic centre working in autism, learning disability and community care.

About us

The Tizard Centre is at the forefront of research into autism, intellectual disability and community care. Celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2019, our work is highly influential and has helped to improve lives across the UK and internationally. 

Our pioneering approach dates back to our first Director, Jim Mansell who in 2012 was awarded a CBE. In 2013, the Centre received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its outstanding work in the field.  

We aim to share our expertise via study programmes and research projects. The Centre has strong links with health and social care organisations and many students come to Tizard thanks to a personal recommendation. We offer a wide range of postgraduate courses, designed to deepen your knowledge and give you the skills and confidence to make take the next step in your career and make a real change in the field. 

The Tizard Centre is about empowering individuals, respecting diversity and working for social justice.

Dr Serena Tomlinson - Senior Lecturer in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Our mission

The Centre has an enduring commitment to social justice and our work is underpinned by values relating to anti-discriminatory practice, social equality and rights. We keep people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families as our main focus, and work enhancing the health, care and education systems surrounding them in proactive ways. This distinctive approach allows us to make a sustained positive difference to people's lives.

We are also pioneering in our focus on people with more complex needs. Our work includes deinstitutionalisation, support for people’s sexuality, supported employment, special education, autism and neurodiversity, and behaviours that challenge.

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The Tizard Centre is the leading UK academic group working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those who support and care for them. It is known worldwide and has an international reputation of excellence. Members of the Centre are selected both for their academic record and for their practical experience in services and in supporting people and their families.


Our consultants are either staff who work within the Tizard Centre or highly-skilled professionals from external organisations who we have experience of working with. These include clinical psychologists, social workers and Tizard graduates (with a Master's or a PhD). All our external consultants are supervised by staff within the Tizard Centre. 

Tizard Learning Disability Review

The Tizard Learning Disability Review (TLDR), is a highly esteemed peer-reviewed journal specifically tailored to professionals working in the field of learning disabilities. Recognised for its readability and thought-provoking content, TLDR brings together the invaluable experiences and insights of managers, practitioners, academics, researchers, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and carers. The journal's primary focus is on applied research that directly benefits practitioners, offering them practical knowledge and innovative approaches to enhance their work. By providing a platform for diverse perspectives, TLDR fosters collaboration and encourages the sharing of best practices in the field of learning disabilities.

Tizard Practitioners’ Network

Join our growing network of practitioners in the field – open to professionals who have been involved with our work as well as to Tizard Centre students, past and present.

As a member of the network, you will receive information about:

  • Job opportunities
  • Consultancy opportunities
  • Requests for peer-to-peer support

Please complete our registration form if you’d like to join. 


I had a fantastic experience studying at the Tizard Centre. Lectures were always interesting and engaging.

Jack Tizard

Jack Tizard (25 February 1919 – 2 August 1979) was a research psychologist, Professor of Child Development, Research Unit Director, an international adviser on learning disability and childcare, and a President of the British Psychological Society. 

He was among the first psychologists to undertake epidemiological research, study the learning potential of adults with learning disabilities experimentally, and promote the de-institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities. 

He was a great pioneer of the scientific approach to social policy, particularly in developing services for adults and children with learning difficulties. The influence of his work is evident to this day. Our research centre has been named after him to honour his contributions to improving the quality of life of people with learning disabilities. 

More information on Jack Tizard’s contributions can be found in Volume 10, Issue 1 of the Tizard Learning Disability Review

Postgraduate Study

Our programmes are designed for practitioners, giving you the confidence to apply an advanced level of knowledge to many real-life situations. See below a break down of qualifications and our course lisitng.

MA/MSc (Master of Arts/Master of Science)

  • Comprehensive postgraduate degree
  • In-depth study, research, and coursework.
  • Requires completion of credit hours, thesis, and exams
  • Often a prerequisite for further research or PhD

PDip (Postgraduate Diploma)

  • Postgraduate qualification
  • Similar academic rigour to MA/MSc
  • Focuses on coursework
  • No research component like a thesis

PCert (Postgraduate Certificate)

  • Shorter postgraduate qualification
  • Completed in a year
  • Fewer credit hours/modules than a master's degree or a PDip
  • Focuses on coursework
  • No research component like a thesis

Applied Behaviour Analysis and Positive Behaviour Support

We also have two routes within our postgraduate courses to meet different professional certification standards:    

ABAI route

  • This route is likely to be most suitable for those who intend to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
  • The Association for Behaviour Analysis International verified course sequence 51462 and course sequence 51044 towards the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional eligibility requirements and demonstrate they reside in an authorized country and province (Canada) before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
  • This is available on a full-time basis only.

UK-SBA route

  • The UK SBA route is likely to be most suitable for those seeking certification as a UKBA(cert)
  • The PDip/MSc is available on a part-time only basis in Sept 2023, but will be available full-time or part-time from Sept 2024. The PCert is offered on a full-time basis only.

Postgraduate courses