Mapping the Territory: critical concepts and issues
This unit invites students to reflect upon the nature of ASC and practice that has been developed to support young people within the spectrum. It starts with a discussion of the complex nature of the autism spectrum before differences in the development of a young person with ASC are considered, with particular reference to cognitive models. The impact of ASC on the individual, the family and society is then considered before a focus is brought to bear on different approaches and their evidence-base. Throughout the unit, students are encouraged to reflect upon their personal experience and practice and there is an emphasis on analysing and reflecting on theoretical, conceptual and contextual issues within the field.
Specialist Supported Project
This unit enables students to undertake a project that has particular relevance to their own professional practice. Students identify and explore significant themes, issues or challenges, select a relevant focus for their project, and appropriate approach/tools/methods. Projects might be library, practice, or enquiry-based, but in all cases students are encouraged to develop and demonstrate specialist knowledge through the use of evidence, analysis, reflection and evaluation, as appropriate to their project. The unit provides an introduction to the nature of knowledge, knowledge generation for practice and enquiry/investigation approaches and underpinning inter/disciplinary footprint.
Shaping the Future
This unit asks students to address critical challenges, tensions or contradictions, and professional dilemmas within their own practice and in the field of autism more generally. The aim is to enable students to broaden and deepen their understanding of autism spectrum conditions and to engage with current debates, to explore different perspectives on the subject, and to consider in more detail the different forms of provision that are made.
Research and Practice
The unit aims to develop a greater understanding of the relevance of research to professional practice. Students examine different approaches to conducting research, and their limitations and possibilities for generating knowledge in their own practice area. The unit also explores the ethical tensions and dilemma inherent in the research process, especially those particular to practitioner research. As part of the assessment of the unit, students produce a research proposal (that can be taken forward to final dissertation) to demonstrate understanding and capacity to carry out a coherent and credible small research project.
This unit is designed to support and facilitate students in planning, conducting and evaluating a significant, practical and coherent (practitioner) research project. Participants finalise a research proposal for approval and for ethical clearance, and will then undertake the research project. Whilst undertaking the project students are offered tutorial support, this constitutes a blend of group tutorials as well as individual supervision. The entire process is supported by a suite of online resources as well as on-site activities that are aimed at enriching the students experience and improving the quality of the final dissertation.