Short course

Autism Spectrum: Directions for Educational Professionals

Online course details


£175 (includes VAT)

Next course date

Open now


5 units, 3 hours of study per unit

CPD hours

15 CPD hours


Self-guided online learning



Online course description

There is a great need for further understanding of autism. A recent study by the National Autistic Society (NAS) showed that while the vast majority of people have heard of autism, very few show a detailed understanding of it. One of the reasons that autism is sometimes misunderstood is that the overall expression of the symptoms of autism, in all its forms, can differ considerably. Children diagnosed with autism, even if they are the same age, may look very different from each other in the manifestation of symptoms.

This short course, aimed at professionals, who encounter different manifestations of autism, is a practical guide to recognising, identifying and responding to this spectrum of behaviours.

Real life case studies, filmed and written, allow course participants to observe and learn to interpret behaviour as well as formulate suggestions for interventions with the ultimate goal of reducing challenges for families through lessening disruptive behaviour and nurturing a degree of independence.

Who is the Autism Spectrum: Directions for Education Professionals course for?

Though open to anyone, this short course is ideally suited to SEN professionals and those who work with families that include members on the autism spectrum who would like to improve their ability to recognise, identify and respond to Autistic behaviour. It will be of particular interest to people in roles such as:

This professional development course will provide you with:

Dr Simon Bignell introduces the Autism Spectrum: Directions for Educational Professionals online short course

View Autism Spectrum: Directions for Educational Professionals video transcript

"I found the ease of access through the website great. I liked the fact that I could complete the course in my own time."

Autism Spectrum: Directions for Education Professionals feedback from the Short Course Experience Survey 2021

Structure, certificates and assessment

You will study this course 100% online. It comprises a range of activities including:

There is no obligation for you to undertake every activity, but being involved in all aspects of the course will help you to achieve the learning objectives that have been outlined in the course.

There is no graded assessment. Instead, you will receive a badge for each completed Unit, and then upon completion of the whole course, you will be awarded with an e-certificate.

An accredited provider of the CPD Standards Office

We are proud to be an accredited provider of the CPD Standards Office for our online short courses and free courses, demonstrating that they conform to CPD best practice and are appropriate for inclusion in a formal CPD record.

Accredited CPD Centre Logo - The CPD Standards Office, CPD Provider 60069, 2024-2025

Course units

The course is made up of 5 units, each will require approximately 3 hours of study.

Unit content is guided by professionally recognised theory and evidence:

The first unit will give an overview of what autism is and provide activities that are aimed at examining the wide array of behaviours in which autism expresses itself. Activity 1 will allow you to explore views on cause, diagnosis and treatment of autism, whilst Activity 2 will use case studies to explore the spectrum and its severity.

In Unit 2 you will use the knowledge built in the first unit to look at autism in combination with other diagnoses: comorbidity. Different conditions that can coexist with autism will be considered, and you will explore the 5 behavioural themes of autism in more detail.

Unit 3 focuses on the individual with autism and their specific context. Context can be internal (differences between age groups and gender), or external (e.g. socio-economic factors). The impact of these factors will be discussed with relation to possible intervention strategies.

This unit focuses on specific intervention strategies that can be used and highlights their strengths and weaknesses. At this point in the course you will be able to link behaviours that you have observed to possible intervention strategies.

The last unit focuses on the help and support that is available to you. You will be able to participate in two end of unit activities including a case study and a development plan for future learning. The final unit will also continue to build your learning journal by collecting your thoughts in your ePortfolio.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:


A flexible course that fits in with working and family life

This learner led course is open for continuous enrolment, which means it can be studied at any time and delivered 100% online, allowing you to manage your studies around work and family commitments. This is a self-guided course which involves reflective activities to assess subject understanding. Our online short courses are designed to be intellectually stimulating, thought provoking and rewarding.

Fees and funding

Fee: £175 (includes VAT)

Course requirements

The course is widely available for anyone to take part in regardless of age, location or education status.

However, there are some basic requirements. You will need access to the internet whether it is on your PC, tablet, mobile or other electronic devices, as well as a valid email address to register with our online learning environment in order to take part in the course.

You will need to agree to the terms and conditions before you start the course which will be available when you enrol.

Learners should have an understanding of the English Language and the ability to study in English.

How to enrol

All of our short courses are delivered through an easy-to-use online learning platform, which you can enrol from directly.

Dr Simon Bignell
Course author

Simon is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby; a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society; and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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