MA Education (Autism)

Southwark Campus

Mode: Part-time

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Nothing about us without us

Our course centres heavily on the lived experience of autistic people. Based on the principle 'nothing about us without us', we believe that genuine insider perspectives should inform anyone wishing to know more about autism. You'll apply theory to practice – and in so doing you'll have the opportunity to reflect on inclusive practices and their efficacy in assisting diverse learners with autism.

This course is ideal for practitioners in education, health, social care, or the voluntary sector who are interested in working with autistic learners of any age and across the spectrum (in keeping with the 0-25 framework in the Children and Families Act 2014). Autistic people are encouraged to apply and should feel confident that staff are committed to offering appropriate support as required.

Why Education (Autism) at LSBU?

Our expert staff are committed to a practice-based approach, and we collaborate with psychologists to create exciting course modules.
Ranked joint 1st for Overall Satisfaction amongst London competitors in Education (National Student Survey 2020)

2nd for graduate prospects in Education in London (Sunday Times League Table 2020) and top 3 for career prospects amongst London universities (Guardian University League Tables 2020).

The Centre for Education and School Partnerships, which delivers this degree, has extensive links with schools, alternative educational settings and the creative industries.
Individual modules and sessions can be taken as Continued Professional Development (CPD).
The Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) started at LSBU.
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus


All modules are assessed by a mix of assignments, presentations, research projects and portfolio development.

Year 1

  • Understanding autism and learning Participants will gain an evidence-based understanding of ways in which people on the autism spectrum learn at all ages with a view to developing effective interventions. Insights directly from people with lived experience of autism will facilitate appreciation of individuality and strengths as well as challenges associated with autism. Critical disability studies theory will underpin the module and this will involve gaining understanding of societal barriers to social inclusion of people with autism. Participants will combine understanding of characteristics associated.
  • Special educational needs and disability This module will not simply provide you with a toolkit for educational interventions. The notion of inclusive practice is relevant to all learners in all settings, across the age range into adulthood. While the focus of this module is on disability the content has broader application in relation to positively engaging with diversity. It is necessary to understand before attempting to intervene therefore you will be expected to think deeply (at M level) and engage with theory and policy which underpins practice to enable disabled and disadvantaged pupils /students to achieve in their learning.

Year 2

One of these modules will run in an academic year (not both):

  • Autism individuality and identity Participants will develop an evidence based understanding of autism at all ages (into adulthood) via insights from individuals on the spectrum. Transitions are notoriously problematic for people with autism, therefore, the focus will be on developing effective mentoring skills (informed by an understanding of individuality and identity) in order to empathically mentor through transitions within/beyond education.  Participants will: appreciate the wide diversity of autism and potential impact of labelling, reflect on barriers to participation including restrictions arising from stereotyping and environmental /societal factors, focus on gender and life span , consider conditions conducive to success in education, relationships and work reflect on mentoring for effective transition.
  • Teaching and learning: The needs of learners with special needs, autism and disability  This module will focus on the implications of developments in teaching and learning and changing beliefs about curriculum and assessment – within the school and its local and national context – which have accompanies them. A central aim is that discussion, planning and development, both within the school and across related common modules, will be both encouraged and informed by a shared critical understanding of such changes in practice. Furthermore, this activity will take place within an agreed framework.

Compulsory modules:

  • Research methods (compulsory)Teaching is an evidenced-based profession and the Researching Education Module concentrates on the research practices and data collection methods that are commonly used in educational research. Most of the teaching on the MA is research-based, so students will have been introduced to reading research within the other modules. In this module we further develop skills in reading research and go beyond that, to start designing and carrying out small scale educational research projects, building on the skills developed through coursework for the MA programme.
  • Dissertation The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to probe deeply into educational issues that are of concern or interest to you. The dissertation will require you to make use of methods of research and collection of evidence that apply to education; methods to which, for the most part, you will have been introduced within the contexts provided by earlier modules.


    This course is carefully designed to ensure a synthesis of practical understanding and critical analysis of theory and policy in this subject area. Most participants will already be employed in contexts providing education and other opportunities for children and adults identified with SEND. However, it is not necessary to be employed in an education setting to derive benefit from this course. The Autism Act 2009 and the Adult Autism Strategy 2009 require public bodies to understand autism, so if you are, for example, a social worker, a youth worker or a police officer, this course can be of great benefit.

    You'll become better equipped to work with children, young people and their families, underpinned by your theoretical understanding of concepts and principles associated with SEND and autism spectrum conditions (ASC). This will open-up the possibility for career development in the field.

    Progression from the MA to the Doctorate in Education can further enhance your prospects, particularly in academia and research, giving you the opportunity to become published in referred journals.

    Employability Service

    At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

    • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
    • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

    Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

    The department has wide professional links within and beyond the University. Examples include:

    You'll be taught by Dr Nicola Martin who has substantial experience in the field of autism, including working with Professor Baron-Cohen on the Cambridge University Autism Project.

    Recent guest lectures have been given by researchers from Research Autism and the Theorising Autism Project. The Critical Autism / Disability Studies Research Group operates out of the same division as the MA and provides a wide range of opportunities to engage with conferences, seminars and more.

    Teaching and learning

    Typically we learn in face-to-face seminars with small groups (approx. 20 students). 1:1 tutorials are also provided to support you when planning your assignment.

    You'll benefit from an up to date Virtual Learning Environment via Moodle and be actively encouraged to make use of the extensive range of support services across the university. You'll have access to a supervisor during the dissertation phase.


    A variety of assessment methods are employed across the course, including essays, research proposals, projects and presentations.

    We know that learners' have different styles of learning – having a range of assessment methods ensures each student has the opportunity to demonstrate their learning.


    Entry requirements

    An honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent. Please discuss your qualifications with the admissions tutor if you are unsure.

    If you do not have a degree but have relevant life / professional experience, please enquire.

    Autistic people are encouraged to apply and will receive appropriate support.

    How to apply

    Home/EU applicants

    Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
    3 years
    Start date
    Application code
    Application method

    Postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

    See our admissions policy (PDF File 1,043 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 127 KB).


    Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


    It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as a postgraduate student.

    Postgraduate Application Service

    Book a session with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience.

    Prepare to start

    We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.


    Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

    Suggested reading

    • Baggs, A. (2007) In My Language.  Accessed from:
    • Beardon, L., Martin, N., and Woolsey, I. (2009). 'What do students with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism want at college and university? (In their own words).' Good Autism Practice. 10 (2), 35 - 43
    • Baron-Cohen S. Hastwell, J. Harding, J. Martin,N. Asperger Syndrome Student Project, 2009-12:Final Project Report, June 2013.
    • Lawson, W. (2010) The Passionate Mind: how people with autism learn. London: Jessica Kingsley
    • Runswick-Cole, K. and Hodge, N. (2010) Educational Rights: challenging the discourse of special education. British Journal of Special Education, 36 (4) 198–203.

    Fees and funding

    Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.


    MA Education (Autism) - Year 1 PT Southwark SEPT

    The fee shown is for entry 2021/22
    UK fee: £2840International fee: £4966.67
    AOS/LSBU code: 4425Session code: 1PS00
    Total course fee:
    UK £8520
    International £14900

    For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

    See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 201 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 102 KB).

    Possible fee changes

    The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

    The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

    Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study

    If you are starting a Masters course, studying either full- or part-time, you may be entitled to apply for a postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.


    We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on funding your studies on the scholarships and fee discounts page.

    Fee status

    Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

    Contact information

    Course Enquiries - UK

    Tel: 020 7815 7815

    Order a prospectus Get in touch

    Live Chat

    Due to COVID-19, call waiting times may be longer than usual. Any questions? Use the green bubble on the bottom right hand corner to start a live chat with us

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