Professional Certificate in Education (Autism Spectrum Conditions)

Course PR-EDASC (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 25 credit points taken over 12 months part time.


Dr Lisa McKay-Brown



Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Currently enrolled students:

Future students:

Course Overview:

This course meets the professional learning needs of participants working with students with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs). The course provides participants with the skills and knowledge to understand the needs of students with an ASC; assess and enhance social and communicative skills; tailor research-validated educational interventions that enhance student learning; define and reframe ‘challenging behaviour’; and promote positive behaviour in students with ASCs.

Learning Outcomes:

The course would provide participants with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Review, contrast and unify perspectives on learning and curriculum approaches for students with ASCs;
  • Critically analyse the concept of ‘challenging behaviour’ in relation to ASCs;
  • Review and contrast major theoretical perspectives on behaviour;
  • Critically analyse intervention practices in relation to trans-disciplinary evidence; and
  • Consider communicative functions of behaviour in relation to ASC.

The course may provide participants with practical opportunities to:

  • Investigate functional relationships between environment, learning and behaviour;
  • Develop a repertoire of instructional strategies that cater for the range of learning needs within ASCs;
  • Examine approaches and techniques for promoting positive behaviour; and
  • Reflect critically on classroom implications for implementing intervention strategies and promoting positive behaviour in professional practice.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students complete two 12.5 pt subjects for award of this Professional Certificate. The subjects may be taken in either order.

Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:


  • an appropriate undergraduate degree and an appropriate fourth-year level education qualification, or equivalent, with at least one year of documented relevant professional experience in a content area;


  • an appropriate four-year education degree, or equivalent, with at least one year of documented relevant professional experience in a content area.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and
  • professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university's English language requirements for graduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of teh standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 7 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Professional Certificate in Education (Autism Spectrum Conditions) welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and degree policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the degree.

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit: .

Further Study:

This program of study is suitable as a 25 credit point Professional Certificate, allowing graduates progression to Masters level study within the field of Learning Interventions.

Graduate Attributes:

The Professional Certificate in Education (Autism Spectrum Conditions) should enable graduates to:

  • have an in-depth knowledge of the latest research and understandings about students with ASCs;
  • initiate and implement constructive change in their school environment regarding knowledge and skills required to work effectively with students with ASCs;
  • have excellent interpersonal skills, ensuring their capacity to develop an awareness of the strength and limitations of students;
  • have ability to develop pedagogical strategies appropriate to their teaching situation; and
  • reflect critically on their teaching, program planning and/or the management of relevant educational programs.
Generic Skills:

Students should be able to demonstrate:

  • commitment to professional and academic ethics and excellence
  • ability to set personal targets and plan to acheive them
  • highly developed independent learning
  • ability to read critically and present material concisely and coherently in written and oral presentations
  • skills in observation, evaluation and applying their findings to their own personal situations

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