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Learning Disability and/or Autism PGCert

Join an online programme for multi-disciplinary and professionally qualified practitioners who are seeking to deliver person-centred care and improve service delivery for children, young people and adults with a learning disability and/or autism.


Course length: 1 year part-time
Start dates: September 2024
September 2025
Location: Online study
Subject(s): Health and Social Care
Faculty: Health, Social Care and Medicine
Department: Allied Health, Social Work and Wellbeing

Designed for individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds, this programme will immerse you in leading advanced practice, person-centred care, and enhanced service delivery for people with a learning disability and/or autism. By enabling high quality credentialing in learning disability and/or autism practice supporting children, young people and adults, the course will be particularly attractive to any registered professional in the learning disability and/or autism workforce across health, social care and the independent sector. This includes, for example, nurses, allied health professionals, psychologists and social workers. Online distance learning will help you to balance work commitments and study remotely to meet your individual needs.

This innovative Postgraduate Certificate aligns to the Multi-Professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England (Health Education England, 2017) and Advanced Clinical Practice: Capabilities Framework When Working with People who have a Learning Disability and/or Autism (Health Education England, 2020).

What you'll study

You will study two modules concurrently which will overlap to integrate knowledge and learning.

You will consider advancing practice in the context of leading advanced person centre care, enhancing your understanding of the complex support needs of those with a learning disability and/or autism who access a diverse range of health, social care, educational and multi-agency services.

There is also a focus on improving service delivery for people with a learning disability and/or autism, enabling you to explore national and international drivers for change and examine contemporary leadership approaches. Alongside your tutors, you will work with employers, service users, families and carers to identify a potential area of service improvement before designing, implementing and evaluating change and providing recommendations for enhanced practice.

Compulsory modules:

Expand all
Improving Service Delivery within Learning Disability and/or Autism
Leading Advanced Person-Centred Care within Learning Disability and/or Autism

How you'll study

The programme will be delivered nationally via distance learning using a combination of online lectures, seminars, masterclasses and tutorials. Sessions will typically take place on one day per week for the duration of the programme.

You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed in practice as well as through the production of an e-portfolio, critical reflection on your personal development, and a service improvement project or audit.

Who will be teaching you

The programme will be delivered by a range of academic specialists and expert practitioners in learning disabilities and autism. The programme team reflects the multi-professional nature of both the workforce and practice environments in learning disabilities and/or autism.

You will receive tailored support in your workplace from an identified clinical supervisor. A community of practice will also be established to provide additional support to your learning via peer networks and access to multi-professional student colleagues.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

The normal minimum requirement is a degree equivalent to UK lower second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a health or social care related subject. You must also be an experienced practitioner within the field of learning disabilities and/or autism and be registered with a relevant UK professional body. You should typically have experience of two years in practice or the equivalent.

You must have access to appropriate practice in a suitable clinical area. This will be demonstrated on completion of the application form and at interview, requiring approval from your line manager and/or training and development lead. A clinical supervisor must be identified in your workplace and a suitable reference obtained to confirm your suitability to enter and complete the programme.

An interview forms part of the selection process.

How to apply

There is an online application process for this course.

Apply for September 2024 Part-Time


Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

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Tuition fees

UK Part-Time

£50 per credit

for 60 credits

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see our EU student finance page for further details.

Your future career

The programme provides you with an outstanding opportunity to develop your competencies and knowledge as a practitioner working with those with a learning disability and/or autism across the lifespan.

It is designed to bring those practicing in the fields of learning disabilities and/or autism together, from a variety of professional backgrounds, and enable you to work at an advanced level in supporting children, young people and/or adults.

The programme directly relates to a key strategic priority of the NHS for developing and retaining an advanced practice workforce, supporting the delivery of new roles and models for advancing practice, and facilitating workplace transformation underpinned by enhanced opportunities for career progression and the continuing professional development of highly valued and skilled staff.

On completion of the Postgraduate Certificate, you may wish to continue your studies and apply to join a taught Masters degree, for example our MSc Advanced Clinical Practice, or an associated programme.

Download our course leaflet