This Distance Learning course is aimed at students who come into contact with individuals with severe or profound learning disabilities or other complex needs, and those who have a desire to gain specialized knowledge in this area. A theoretical framework is reinforced through consideration of practice related issues.
The course aims to promote strategies that enable individuals with learning disabilities to share the same rights, opportunities and choices as other people. This is achieved by studying a range of subjects including:
-Methods of communication (including alternative and augmentative systems);
-Effects of sensory loss and dysfunction;
-Management of challenging behaviour;
-Values and attitudes towards disability;
-Issues in education from infancy through to adulthood, including Lifetime -Learning;
-Effective advocacy and
Participants on this course come from a range of professional backgrounds and include Care Workers and Managers, Social Workers, Teachers, Nurses, Foster Carers, Speech and Language Therapists and Psychologists.
There is an opportunity to meet other students at a yearly 4 day study school.
The course is distance learning. Students are allocated a personal tutor to guide them through their period of study and are supported through a telephone/email tutorial system and via a dedicated internet site. There are no formal examinations.
Yearly October Study Schools form an integral part of the course and students attend a four day study school in Manchester each academic year. International students may opt to attend both Study Schools in their first year.
The Certificate of Higher Education is equivalent to 120 credits at Level 1 (first year degree). The 120 credits may be used as accreditation of prior learning (APL) for entry into the second year of an honours degree course at a UK/EU University, subject to approval by Admissions offices of the university concerned. For example, there is a BA (Hons) Learning Disability Studies at the University of Manchester.
Course unit materials are studied at a distance. Study on inclusion issues and methods of communication are compulsory. However, students may opt to study a range of additional subjects.
Students study 60 credits each year.
Towards Inclusion (Year One) - 20 credits EDUC11170
Communication (Year One) - 20 credits EDUC11150
Sensory Impairment - 20 credits EDUC11160
Understanding & Responding to Behavioural Challenges - 20 credits EDUC20360
Education - Infant, Child & Adult issues - 20 credits EDUC20350
Families - 20 credits EDUC20410
Leisure & Relationships Involving People with Complex Learning Disabilities - Part One and Two - 20 credits EDUC20390
Epilepsy and People with PCLD - 20 credits EDUC20380
Supporting Choice 1 - The mechanisms of empowerment & choice -20 credits EDUC19970
Supporting Choice 2 - Promoting & defending choice - 20 credits EDUC19980
Working Together 1: Exploring Partnerships - 20 credits EDUC10710
Working Together 2: Partnerships Through Life - 20 credits EDUC10360
Course content for year 1
Students study two compulsory core units and one optional unit (see above list of units). Details of the compulsory units are as follows:
The Towards Inclusion course unit traces the development of 20 th Century theories, policies and approaches to learning disability and critically evaluates their impact upon the lives of people with profound and complex learning difficulties. Students then consider contemporary approaches such as person centred planning, supported employment and inclusive education and examine the role of such approaches in fostering and promoting inclusion.
Communication is the fundamental skill of human interaction. The course looks at the development of the cognitive processes that underpin this ability, and the manner in which that development changes- from pre-intentional communication to intentional and symbolic interaction. The course units also examine the physical equipment involved in transmitting verbal and non-verbal communicative information. Use of equipment that has been recently developed to assist and augment the range of communicative behaviours is also considered.
Course content for year 2
In year two students study three optional units (see above list of units).
Scholarships and bursaries
A limited number of bursaries are available for home/EU students. A bursary can cover a proportion of the yearly Under-graduate fee. Preference is given to students who are not sponsered by their employer and where completion of the course would enhance continuing professional and personal development. Individuals wishing to apply for a bursary are advised to provide a supporting letter, taking the above into account, when they make their application.
Please write to: The Programme Secretary (PCLD), School of Education - ESI, The University of Manchester, Ellen Wilkinson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL.
Applications for a bursary are considered on a yearly basis.
Career opportunities are many and varied. At undergraduate level, the Certificate in Higher Education will enable you to make the first step towards a degree or entry into a vocational course in a related area. It can also exempt you from the first year of study in similar HE courses at college or university. Students achieving this qualification frequently go on to study degrees in psychology, education and social care with the Open University.