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Masters in AutismOnlineMaster of EducationValidated by Middlesex University


Our Masters in Autism is your route to gaining specialist knowledge and skills to support autistic students of all ages.

This online programme has both a theoretical and a practical focus which will allow you to make a real impact. You will discover the latest research and models of autistic spectrum disorders as well as how to create best-practice guidance for supporting autistic students in your setting.

Whether you’d like to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), or a Master of Education in SEND and Inclusion: Autism (180 credits), we can help you to achieve a respected qualification through flexible, practice-led learning that works around you. If you opt for the full Masters qualification, under the guidance of our autism experts, you will undertake your own research project, as well as work one-to-one with a chosen autistic student. You will learn how to create a personal learning profile that can help them throughout their school journey.

Our postgraduate programmes are developed, delivered and assessed by Real Training, awarded and quality assured by Middlesex University.

Why choose to study a Masters in Autism?

  • Explore the latest literature, research and knowledge surrounding autism to inform your practice
  • Develop confidence working with autistic students
  • Take the lead on provision for autistic students within your setting
  • Build evidence of designing, implementing and critically evaluating provision for autistic pupils within your setting
  • Use this qualification as evidence to support your application to work in specialist provision

Masters in Autism: Programme overview

The programme will enable you to:

  • develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of the history of autism and the emergence of a spectrum of autism conditions
  • critically examine the research on autism and demonstrate both knowledge and understanding of its applications and limitations
  • develop an enhanced understanding of how the current knowledge of the autism spectrum informs educational policy and practice
  • critically examine the research on interventions in the field of autism spectrum conditions through a comparative study
  • develop different models of partnership within your setting with an understanding of the place of power and ethics in listening to and understanding children, parents and carers
  • undertake a research project which allows you to actively engage with your setting on topic which is relevant to you

How will you benefit?

Add real value to your educational setting

  • Bring expertise in-house and save money.
  • Develop practical skills, tutored by experienced professionals.
  • Access a wealth of practical resources, academic research and interactive materials to support you.
  • Develop your confidence to support the most vulnerable and complex children in your school effectively.
  • Start implementing improvements to provision and practice from the start of the course by following our practice-led learning approach.

Develop real competence

  • Use efficient and effective online learning with embedded activities that relate to actual case studies.
  • Take part in self-paced study time of up to 25 hours based on HCPC proficiency standards.
  • Embrace a supportive online community with tutor-supported learning.

Enhance professional expertise

  • Demonstrate your competence with confidence.
  • Develop a good working knowledge of the law in this area.
  • Work effectively alongside families and professionals to support young adults.
  • Make a firm contribution to developments and initiatives.
  • Build your own knowledge and skills, which you can then share with colleagues and implement across your setting.

Learn on the job

  • Harness your day-to-day professional experience and work with your tutor to develop your skills.
  • Theories, reflection, and activities will help you to explore aspects of your own and others’ practice.

Engage with flexible e-learning

  • Study online and integrate your learning into your working day.
  • Fit your studies around work and life commitments
  • Take part in engaging modules that draw on a broad range of learning tasks and practical experience.
  • Work closely with your peers and dedicated tutors online.
  • Experience mentoring and work placements that really complement your learning.
  • Access Campus Online, our sophisticated online learning platform which offers the latest technologies: video and multimedia content, case studies and problem-based scenarios, directed reading, structured learning logs, online discussion, online questionnaires, peer evaluation and student forum.
  • Attend optional webinars with subject matter experts. These are recorded and uploaded for you to access at a later date if you aren’t able to attend live.

Study modules in your own time and pace

  • Benefit from total flexibility for your studies. There aren’t any live sessions so you won’t need to interrupt your working schedule or arrange cover.
  • Access your course materials anytime, as long as you have a good internet connection.
  • There aren’t any internal assessment deadlines (just a final submission point), so you can organise your workload according to professional and personal commitments.
  • Choose to book for just one module initially, or map out your entire programme, it’s up to you. 

Connect with your peers

  • Interact with your peers using our advanced learning platform and our unique student forum.
  • Share best practice and seek advice from your peers and tutors online.

We will ensure that you never feel lonely or unsupported in your studies.

Liaise with experienced tutors

  • Enjoy dedicated specialist support from a broad range of experienced tutors, many of whom are working in educational settings so are familiar with the challenges you face.
  • Work with a learning coach, professional tutor and received dedicated support from the tutor team — made up of experienced SENCOs, SEN consultants, school leaders and educational psychologists (EPs).

Choose a start date that suits you!

Cohorts begin in January, May, or September.

The next cohort begins on 15 September 2024. Book and enrol before 15 September 2024 to join our next cohort.

Who is the Masters in Autism programme suitable for?

This programme is suitable for a wide range of roles, however we would recommend this option to those working as a SENCO, a Specialist Teacher, a class/subject teacher or a Teaching Assistant with a degree looking to understand more about – and potentially specialise in – Autism.

What qualifications are available?

Choose from our core, recommended and optional modules to achieve the required number of credits for your chosen qualification.

Modules that make up the Masters in Autism

Explore our modules

The Masters in Autism comprises core modules and recommended modules which focus on topics relating to working with students with autism. There is flexibility in the programme for you to choose modules from another area of interest, in place of the recommended modules, if you wish. For all exit awards from the Autism programme, delegates will need to complete the following two core modules:

For the PGDip and MEd, you will need to achieve 120 credits. 60 of these credits will come from the two core modules listed above. For the other 60 credits, we recommend Further Studies in Autism (60 credits). You can however also choose from the optional modules listed below.

To complete the full MEd, the Enquiry-Based Practice (60 credits) needs to be your final module and your chosen research project for this module must have an autism focus.

Real Training's Masters in Autism

Optional modules, which can be chosen instead of one or more recommended modules

How is the Masters in Autism delivered?

Our courses are delivered through Campus Online, our unique provision for online learning.

Campus Online allows you to study at your own pace, without the need to travel, or commit to particular dates or times. Log in to access your study materials, contact your personal tutor for support, connect and network with other delegates and make use of the extensive resource library.

You can easily track your progress throughout the course and submit your work and evidence of assignments for feedback.

How will you be assessed?

You will need to produce:

  • Pre- and post-course self-assessment of skills, knowledge, and confidence.
  • Continuous self-evaluation via questionnaires.
  • Written contributions to collaborative discussion.
  • Activities and submissions which will be evaluated by your tutor.
  • Written case studies, projects, reflections and critiques related to the topic of your chosen module. 

Where indicated by your tutor, you may submit multimedia resources that you have produced within your applied practice as part of your final portfolio of evidence.

Are you eligible?

  • You will need to hold an undergraduate degree to study the Masters in Autism.
  • You will need to be working in an educational setting for this programme. If you aren’t currently working in an educational setting you will need written permission from a senior member of staff to regularly access a setting.

Please note: Some of our modules have specific eligibility requirements. Please check the course pages for more information.

Are you based in an international setting?

This programme is available online and can therefore be completed anywhere in the world. The programme content is designed and written with both UK and international settings in mind.

Please click here for advice on payment options and other information relevant to those studying outside of the UK.

How much does it cost?

We offer a flexible range of fees to suit your finances. Please refer to the module pages to see the cost of each individual module.

The cost of a PGCert with Real Training (made up of 60 credits) varies, typically you could expect it to cost between £2,495 + VAT and £2,990 + VAT.

The cost of a PGDip with Real Training (made up of 120 credits) varies. Typically, two 30 credit modules and one 60 credit module will cost approximately £5,485 + VAT.

The cost of a Master of Education in Autism (MEd SEND and Inclusion: Autism) with Real Training (made up of 180 credits) varies. Typically, two 30 credit modules, and two 60 credit modules – including the obligatory Enquiry-Based Practice module – will cost £7,980 + VAT.

To find out the exact cost, visit the module pages linked above.

Speak to us on +44 (0)1273 358080 or make a booking.

When do the courses start?

Cohorts begin in January, May, or September.

The next cohort begins on 15 September 2024. Book and enrol before 15 September 2024 to join our next cohort.

As it takes time to process your application and payment, we strongly recommend that you register as soon as possible, so that you don’t miss the next intake.

Please note, this programme is currently subject to approval.

How long does it take to achieve the full Masters in Autism?

It depends. Most delegates tend to complete the programme within 3-5 years. It usually takes a year to complete a module, however some delegates will choose to study 2 modules at a time. It also depends if a delegate has existing credits that they can bring into the programme.

Delegates may be able to bring in credits they have achieved with another provider. If you think this could apply to you, find out more about Recognition of Prior Learning.

You are able to take breaks between the modules if need be, however, as long as you return to complete the programme within 5 years, your credits will remain valid.

What other Masters programmes does Real Training offer?

We offer a number of Masters programmes, enabling you to develop specialist skills in SEND, pastoral care or leadership:

Meet the Programme and Subject Leader

Katie Hickin – Programme Leader

Katie has worked within educational settings for a decade as a teacher, a SENCO and a member of the Senior Management Team. Now working for Real Group, Katie is the Academic and Professional Lead for our postgraduate programmes.

She also leads and tutors on several modules on the SEND and Inclusion Programme, including the NASENCO and iSENCO qualifications.






Dr. Sue Sheppard – Subject Leader

Dr Susan SheppardDr Sue Sheppard is a senior educational psychologist with over 30 years’ of experience in autism. She has been a consultant to the Lorna Wing Centre for Autism (part of the National Autistic Society) since 1996 and was a close colleague of the late autism research pioneer, Dr Lorna Wing. She is embedded in the DISCO diagnostic training team which is nationally and internationally recognised. 

Sue has worked as a specialist EP for numerous London boroughs and has been instrumental in setting up provision for children with ASD across early years, primary and secondary. She continues to work in schools and with families and undertakes specialist psychological assessments of autistic children and young people. A key focus of her current work is the well being of autistic girls. 

Sue leads on the Real Training autism modules and has also been a specialist speaker in autism at University College London and her doctoral research primarily focused on autism outreach services.

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