Our Autism PGCert is designed to support your career progression, increase your subject knowledge and help you to make a positive difference to the autistic individuals you support and your organisation.
A flexible framework combines academic study with work-based action learning and action research, where your day-to-day professional activity informs your development through reflection and peer discussion.
The course is designed for professionals who work with children and young people who are on the autism spectrum and who wish to deepen their knowledge and develop their career progression. It will suit you whether you work in early years provision, a school, college, residential care, advisory, support or therapeutic services.
The Autism PGCert is a stand-alone qualification and its 60 credits count as one-third of a master’s degree.
Flexible work-based learning enables you to fit studying around your existing work or voluntary commitments. You will spend 10 Saturdays during the year studying at our Brighton, Falmer campus - six half day and four whole day sessions.
Teaching and mentoring is delivered by a successful teaching team with an outstanding national reputation and comprehensive research profile that informs and advances course content.
Find out about postgraduate events
Location Brighton: Falmer
Part-time 1 yearPart-time Flexible and distributed learning
Please review the entry requirements carefully and if you have any questions do get in touch with us.
Apply now for your place
The PGCert is a one-year part-time programme. You will undertake three 20-credit modules combining academic study with work-based action learning and action research. Your day-to-day professional activity will shape your development through reflection and peer discussion.
The course is designed to fit in with your working patterns and runs across 10 Saturday sessions across the year – six half days and four whole days.
All our specialist PGCerts are offered at our Falmer campus subject to meeting the minimum numbers of participants. They can also be offered off site to an organisation, school or a cluster of schools.
Areas of study
You will deepen your understanding beyond a more practical hints and tips approach which will enable you to link study to the priorities of your educational setting.
This programme will focus on the following areas of study:
The programme will enable you as a practitioner to:
Engaging in Professional Discourses This module is designed to facilitate postgraduate study. The emphasis is on developing critical thinking and approaches to learning. You will explore your understanding of autism and consider strategies to address your own professional learning and development needs.
Reflective Practice and Studies in Autism This module looks at the historical perspective and introduces current research on autism providing an insight into the impact it can have on the child. A variety of strategies and interventions will be considered in the light of research into good practice in autism education.
Leading and Developing Professional Practice This module provides you with an opportunity to apply the learning from module 2 in order to facilitate positive change in your professional practice. You will undertake a case study of an individual learner and plan a series of interventions to support the learner’s needs. This will require you to identify, explore and develop theoretical and reflective understanding of the issues presented; consider solutions and implement and evaluate changes made.
Meet the team
Rosie Moore, Course Leader
Rosie began teaching primary school children in London in 1990, developing a particular interest in children who had a different way of learning. In 2000 she completed a PGDip in Literacy and Dyslexia and began working as a SENCo in a school in the centre of Brighton, working with a range of diverse learners including those with autism and training school staff.
In 2002 she began working for the Speech and Language Support Service as a Specialist Teacher/Consultant. Rosie joined the University of Brighton in 2010, working as a senior lecturer with a particular responsibility for inclusion across Initial Teacher Education programmes, and Postgraduate programmes with an SEN focus. She works closely with trainee teachers to support them in knowing how to respond to the needs of all learners, exploring how they and other professionals should respond to notions of difference and identity.
Rosie has an MA in International Education.
Joy Beaney MA
Joy, has many years’ teaching experience in both mainstream and special education. During her career, she has been an Assistant Head at a special school and manager of an Inclusion Support Service that provided training and outreach support for staff in mainstream schools.
Joy has undertaken research scholarships with the Department of Education on Developing the Thinking Skills of Children with Autism and Using Visual Support and completed a piece of research for the College of School Leadership which focused on the key features of a successful Inclusion Support Service. Joy has published books including Autism in the Primary Classroom, Autism in the Secondary Classroom and Creating Autism Champions. Joy has been a member of the Autism Education Trust’s Expert Reference Group and quality assured their training programmes.
Joy set up Autism Train, which provides consultancy and training to support individuals and organisations to make the world a more autism-friendly place.
Khadijah (Kay) I. Al-Ghani
Kay is a Specialist Advisory Teacher, Autism Trainer and Inclusion Consultant with over 40 years’ experience in education.
Kay started life as a secondary school teacher, but she re-trained on discovering her son had autism. She is experienced in the assessment, diagnosis and remediation of children with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia and Dyscalculia) and in the teaching of children with, Autism Spectrum Conditions, ADHD, PDA and Down’s Syndrome.
In her role as a specialist advisory tutor, she has designed and presented a wide range of training packages to professionals, parents and students on: Challenging Behaviour and Autism, Working with Autistic Children in Mainstream Schools, Development of Literacy Skills, Teaching of Thinking Skills, Development of Social Skills, Theory of Mind, ADHD and PDA.
Kay is an international author of many autism-related books and therapeutic children’s storybooks. She works with her son, Haitham, who is an accomplished book illustrator. Their latest book is a children’s story about Interoception, a lesser-known sense that is now being researched and which may offer exciting developments in our understanding of ASD, especially the link to theories on embodied cognition.
Kay has been researching the enigma that is autism for over 30 years and brings a wealth of experience and passion for her subject to her role as course tutor for the Autism PGCert.
How we teach
Sessions are a mix of discussion, delivery of specialist knowledge, hands-on activities, structured conversations, blogging, videos, tutorials with specialist tutors, peer feedback and exploration of resources. We value highly reflective and creative approaches to learning and are constantly developing our own pedagogy in line with our values and beliefs concerning all of our learners. We aim to challenge students’ thinking, leading them to new knowledge and understanding which they can implement in their own work with learners.
Students bring their own new ideas to the sessions and a real strength of the programme has been the diverse professional contexts that our students come from, bringing a real breadth of experience to explore in the group.
In designing the programme, the team have explored and articulated their core values and the programme is very much embedded in these. Becoming a specialist practitioner who is able to share good practice for autistic learners with colleagues is highly valued and will enable you to support individuals and organisations to make the world a more autism-friendly place.
Importantly, this specialism is set within the framework of inclusive practice, a framework which acknowledges that the needs of all pupils are important in creating a classroom community and that good practice for learners with autism is good practice for all. We view autism not as a deficit but rather as a difference and aim to develop learners who have voice and agency in their own learning.
Throughout the programme we give a positive message about autism describing an individual’s strengths but also explaining the differences and possible challenges the individual with autism might face. We offer a wealth of expertise that will help to increase awareness and understanding of autism from both a professional and personal perspective.
Our Autism PGCert is suitable whether you are at the start of your career in education or you are looking to developin a new direction within the sector.
The course is designed to support your career progression, increase your subject knowledge and help you to make a positive difference to your organisation and autistic individuals.
Graduates of the course are well placed to take on subject development and leadership positions. Many of our graduates have taken on new roles as a result of successfully completing the course.
Degree and experienceYou will need a good honours degree, and experience in an education setting. All applicants are interviewed in person or by telephone.
UK (part-time)2,622 GBP
We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students. Bursaries and loans may also be available to you.
Find out more about postgraduate fees and funding.
You may have to pay additional costs during your studies. The cost of optional activities is not included in your tuition fee and you will need to meet this cost in addition to your fees. A summary of the costs that you may be expected to pay, and what is included in your fees, while studying a course in the School of Education are listed here.
You can chat with our enquiries team through the Stay in touch panel at the end of this page if you require further information. Or check our finance pages for advice about funding and scholarships as well as more information about fees and advice on international and island fee-paying status.
The fees listed here are for courses beginning in the academic year 2022–23. Further tuition fees are payable for each subsequent year of study and may be subject to small increases, in line with inflation.
Where UK students are subject to regulated fees, the annual fee increase cannot exceed the UK government’s maximum regulated tuition fee limit set for the relevant year. For all other students, ie those not subject to regulated fees, tuition fees are subject to a maximum annual increase of the higher of 5% or RPI.
Visit our advice for part-time students page. If you have specific queries about the course fee, our fees team will be happy to help. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out more about our fees in the university's student contract and tuition fee policy (pdf).
Campus where this course is taught
Set in the South Downs, our Falmer campus is around four miles from Brighton city centre. 7,000 students are based here taking subjects including criminology, English, education, nursing and medicine, paramedic science, psychology and sociology. Brighton and Hove Albion's Amex stadium and beautiful Stanmer Park are right next door.
Specialist learning facilities at Falmer include the curriculum centre used by teaching and education students, which houses over 30,000 teaching resources and clinical skills and simulation suites used by health students. Psychology students learn in our applied cognition and flexible creative method labs.
Falmer campus has two halls of residence on site, as well as a library, restaurant, cafes, and a students' union shop and bar.
The campus sports centre has a fitness suite, activity studios and a sports hall. There is also a floodlit astroturf football pitch, netball and tennis courts.
Cycle lanes link Falmer with our other campuses and the city centre and there is a BTN BikeShare hub on site. There are regular bus services to the city centre and other campuses. Falmer train station is right next to campus and a nine minute journey to central Brighton.
We guarantee an offer of a place in halls of residence to all eligible students.
Halls of residenceWe have halls of residence across Brighton in the city centre, Moulsecoomb, Varley Park and Falmer.
Private rentingThere's plenty of support if you opt for private renting. This is an option which offers choice and flexibility – enabling you to choose where you live and who with. Every summer we provide online events and resources, as well as other advice services, for students looking for a place to live and people to share with.
Outside views at Falmer accommodation
Extensive facilities at Falmer sports centre
Students dining at Westlain
The University of Brighton is at the heart of our city's reputation as a welcoming, forward-thinking place which leads the way when it comes to the arts, music, sustainability and creative technology. Brighton is home to a thriving creative community and a digital sector worth £1bn a year to the local economy, as much as tourism.
Many of the work-based learning opportunities offered on our courses such as placements and guest lectures are provided by businesses and organisations based in the city.
You can also get involved with city festivals and events such as the Brighton Festival, the Fringe, Brighton Digital Festival, Brighton Science Festival, the London to Brighton bike ride, and the Great Escape festival of new music to name but a few. Other annual highlights include Pride, the Brighton Marathon, and Burning the Clocks which marks the winter solstice.
You'll find living in Brighton enriches your learning experience and by the end of your course you will still be finding new things to explore and inspire you.
It's only 50 minutes by train from Brighton to central London and less than 40 minutes to Eastbourne. There are also daily direct trains to Bristol, Bedford, Cambridge, Gatwick Airport, Portsmouth and Southampton.
Support and wellbeing
Your personal academic tutor, course leader and other tutors are all there to help you with your personal and academic progress. You'll also have a student support and guidance tutor (SSGT) who can help with everything from homesickness, managing stress or accommodation issues.
Our Brighton Student Skills Hub gives you extra support and resources to develop the skills you'll need for university study, whatever your level of experience so far.
As well as being supported to succeed, we want you to feel good too. You'll be part of a community that builds you up, with lots of ways to connect with one another, as well having access to dedicated experts if you need them. Find out more.
Sport at Brighton
Sport Brighton brings together our sport and recreation services. As a Brighton student you'll have use of sport and fitness facilities across all our campuses and there are opportunities to play for fun, fitness or take part in serious competition.
Find out more about Sport Brighton.
Our sports scholarship scheme is designed to help students develop their full sporting potential to train and compete at the highest level. We offer scholarships for elite athletes, elite disabled athletes and talented sports performers.
Find out more about sport scholarships.
“It was whilst working as a teaching assistant that I discovered how fascinating, enjoyable and incredibly rewarding it is to work with students with autism.
"After completing my teacher training I knew I wanted to learn more about autism, to continue to be an evidence based practitioner, and to try my best to support my ASC students’ learning and well-being.
"After researching multiple courses it was an easy decision to choose Brighton. It was at a well respected university, in a lovely location, at masters level, with incredibly knowledgeable published authors as lecturers. Hard to beat that!
"The Saturday course days with the lecturers and my cohort were absolutely brilliant. The wealth of knowledge that is brought to this course is phenomenal. Not only this but Rosie, Kay and Joy are also all such lovely and approachable people.
"The workload is very manageable, with deadlines helpfully structured around school holidays. I completed the course during my NQT year and I am ecstatic to be coming away with a distinction award, as well as a confidence boost in my own pedagogy.
"Since completing the course I have become the maths subject lead in a wonderful special school, and have been accepted to study a Masters degree in Education.”
I work with autistic students and was looking for a course to underpin my professional practice. I also wanted to learn more about the theories behind autism and the history, specifically within an educational context.
I looked at a lot of courses at different institutions and settled on Brighton as it sits within the School of Education and I wanted that particular slant on my studies. Also as a Brighton graduate already I was confident in the standard of teaching and the facilities on offer.
The facilities at Falmer are fantastic. We had a class dedicated to orientating us to the library and the computing facilities, including how to search for journal articles. This was invaluable.
The teaching staff on the course were highly knowledge about the subject and published authors on autism. The tutors employed various different teaching methods and kept the course engaging. I enjoyed meeting my course cohort and learning from my peers from other settings.
The course has helped to give me extra confidence in my role as an Autism Advisor, working 1-1 with autistic people. Since graduating from the course I have also started to teach on the Understanding Autism course at the university where I work.
Contact the course leader with any questions you have about the course; Rosie is very friendly and happy to answer any questions - there is no such thing as a silly one!
Ask a question about this course
To discuss your suitability or the nature of the content involved contact the course team.
If you have a question about this course, our enquiries team will be happy to help.