MSc Autism

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Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Application deadline: August
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time

Study with us

  • understand complex cognitive and affective theories essential to supporting the autism profile
  • translate theory into practice with a work placement
  • receive input from internationally-respected autism experts
  • suitable for anyone looking to pursue full-time study in this area
  • open to international students
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Why this course?

The MSc Autism provides a critical understanding of the conceptual frameworks relevant to understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This Masters-level course enables you to understand complex cognitive and affective theories essential to supporting the autism profile.

This knowledge will enable you to translate theory into practice and to critically evaluate evidence-based approaches to intervention. Our philosophy that autistic people require a holistic approach throughout their life journey means you can draw upon experiences of our multi-professional student cohort. Our students include leading professionals, autistic students and those with dual professional-parental experiences. Your learning will be inspired from input provided by internationally respected autism experts.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

Interested in postgraduate study?

At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, our friendly and knowledgeable team will be available to provide you with all the information you need to kick-start your postgraduate journey at the University of Strathclyde. Register for upcoming events below:

What you’ll study

You'll take five compulsory classes and one optional classes and then complete dissertation. You'll be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will support your studies.

You can complete your final dissertation by distance learning. This allows international students to complete their studies in their home country, potentially reducing the financial cost and time away from your family.

Research project

You’ll carry out a research dissertation in a subject area of your choice. We'll allocate a supervisor for one-to-one support whilst you carry out and report your dissertation. We endeavour to match you with the best fit for your area of specialism.


Our students benefit from a supportive educational practice placement based within our partner schools across North Lanarkshire. Those potential students wishing to apply who don't possess the required autism practice experience can do so but must attend a compulsory placement and complete an additional reflective practice journal.

Please read our important information about the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This is for all applicants applying for courses which involve placement opportunities (working with children or vulnerable adults).

Programme leader

Gillian McConnell has over 25 years’ experience working with Autistic people in a variety of settings, such as social care, criminal justice and education.

Gillian McConnell

Find out more about programme leader, Gillian McConnell

Learning & teaching

The course is taught through a range of student and staff-led research seminars that you’ll participate in.


The course is assessed through written coursework that draws on academic study and reflection on practical experiences in education.

Guest lecturers

We work with leading autism professionals to provide expert input throughout the classes.

Visiting lecturers include Dr Tommy MacKay who is a practising Educational Psychologist. 

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Course content

Please note that the below is an indicative list of classes. These are subject to change.

Conceptual Frameworks in Autism

This class will introduce key conceptual frameworks in relation to understanding the impact of the spectrum of autism. Focus will be given to the uniquely differing social, emotional, sensory and cognitive profiles for autistic people. Understanding these conceptual frameworks will enable participants to reflect on how and why these influence and inform practice.

The Spectrum of Autism

You'll consider the issues that impact on practice when supporting autistic individuals with and without an additional intellectual or learning disability.  

Responding to the Impact of Autism: Approaches and Interventions

You'll consider the broad range of approaches to intervention, their application and theoretical basis and practical stance. A range of approaches will be systematically reviewed in relation to key features of their application, functional focus of the approach, the personal or interpersonal focus of the approach and the social context of the approach.

Experiential Placement

All full time MSc students will attend one of the placements available within the Course.

Research Methods & Reasoning

This class provides support in developing a critical and informed understanding of research methods in relation to your own planned dissertation project. It also provides support in understanding research ethics and how they relate to your own research. It provides support in meeting the requirements of the ethical approval process.


This class represents the application of the skills and knowledge you've gained throughout your study. You'll carry out and report on a research project in an area relevant to your MSc study up to this point. This class will provide support for the planning, implementation and writing up of a research project in a professionally and academically relevant area.

One of the following to be chosen.

Independent Study Module

You'll have the opportunity to investigate a topic of your own choosing in any area related to autism and assocated conditions.
Jerusha Massey MSc Autism student
The best part is that we get to learn about the emotional wellbeing of the autistic individuals, and how we as a society can lessen the mental health challenges they face primarily by accepting them and making sure they feel belonged.
Jerusha Massey
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Entry requirements

Academic requirements / experience

Undergraduate Honours degree in a related discipline, or equivalent qualification. Direct experience of living or working with autistic people is advantageous. Any experience should be detailed on the personal statement section of the application form.

Applicants with other forms of experience who would like to discuss their eligibility should contact us via the enquiry form below.

English language requirements

Please check the University's English requirements before making your application.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat to a student ambassador
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Additional costs

PVG scheme (Protection of Vulnerable Groups)

£59 membership fee.

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Available scholarships

Tuition fee reduction of 25% for NHS employees

The Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences is offering a fee reduction of up to 25% to employees of NHS partner agencies. Find out more about the 25% tuition fee reduction for NHS employees.

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships

  • EU Engagement Scholarships are available to EU applicants who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.
  • EU and International 50% Merit Scholarships available to self-funded, international fee-paying offer-holders (includes those classed as EU fee group). The scholarship entitles the recipient to a discount of 50% on tuition fees.
View all our scholarships

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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We have graduates working across the third sector for organisations such as the National Autistic Society, Scottish Autism and other organisations within the care sector.
Former students have gone on to work in a variety of roles within neurodevelopmental or autism-specific teams. Examples of job roles are:
  • Specialist speech and language therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Family support workers
  • Teachers in additional support for learning schools

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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Start date: Sep 2024


Start date: Sep 2024

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Contact us

Prospective student enquiries

Contact a member of our team on LiveChat between 10am and 4pm (GMT)

Telephone: +44 (0) 141 444 8600

Looking to study part-time?

Our MEd Autism is suitable for those looking to pursue part-time study in this area. It's ideal if you're seeking a qualification while working that will enhance your professional practice.