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MA Social Sciences (Critical Autism Studies)

MA Social Sciences (Critical Autism Studies)

Different course options

Full time | Edge Hill University | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Literacy / Special Needs Teaching Science Social Sciences

Course type


Course Summary

How do modern attitudes and interventions in autism affect autistic people? And what do autistic people and the autistic community think of these?

Studying with us, you’ll develop a grounding in autism and be encouraged to view autism as a form of cognitive diversity that occurs naturally. From early approaches to contemporary models of best practice, we’ll encourage you to explore current discussions and controversies.

Not only will you benefit from specialist training, you’ll also learn from autistic people who work alongside our interdisciplinary department. Hear about their experiences and learn to appreciate autism as a unique way of being.

Want to take your learning to the next level? You’ll have the chance to go on a field trip to explore international perspectives of autism. And there is an opportunity to apply your knowledge in a work setting.

We’ve designed this degree for anyone who works or communicates regularly with autistic people. The course offers an opportunity to take on continuing professional development (CPD) and boost your career prospects. We particularly welcome applications from autistic people, their families and carers.


Introduction to Critical Autism Studies adopts a critical approach to understanding autism. Although autistic spectrum conditions are estimated to affect approximately one in 100 people in the UK, autism continues to be understood largely within a medical framework, underpinned by a deficit model which assumes that all autistic people are impaired in relation to social and emotional interaction, social communication and language, as well as flexibility of thought and imagination. The module challenges the dominant medical model of neurological deficit. Rather than viewing autism as a cognitive development disability, this module will encourage you to consider it as a naturally occurring form of cognitive diversity. You will examine the argument that autism has been constructed as a neurobiological deficit in a context of neurotypicality and cognitive normality. You will also investigate whether understanding autism as neurodiversity allows for more positive interpretations of autistic peoples experiences, skills and identities.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject such as social sciences or other human sciences. It may be possible to join the programme without a degree if you are in full-time employment, have a minimum of five years’ work experience, and can demonstrate evidence of continuing professional development through a portfolio and written statement. Applications are particularly welcomed from ‘experts by experience’, including autistic people and the family or carers of those with autism.

University information

Edge Hill University has been established since 1885 and continues to live up to its ethos of ‘creating opportunity from knowledge’. Students who opt to attend Edge Hill will benefit from an exceptional education thanks to its cutting-edge research, scholarship opportunities, contemporary facilities and most importantly its passionate, dedicated teaching staff. Students are empowered to craft their own future, learning in ways that work for...more