Supporting Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder PDA

Course code 9L54

What is special about this course?

This course offers an opportunity to gain a relevant qualification while working with individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Special features

  • You will develop your skills in identifying the nature and the spectrum of autism
  • The course will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the triad of impairments and implications for the provision of care
  • You will have the opportunity to investigate issues surrounding consistency in work practice and develop an awareness of intervention strategies


Entry requirements

For those already in relevant employment:

  • Relevant SVQ level 3, the PDA can be studied alongside the SVQ level 3 for those who have not yet completed the VQ.


  • HNC Social Care
  • Professionals working in the health or social care sectors including psychologists, health visitors, general practitioners, nurses (including particularly community nurses), audiologists, paediatricians, dieticians, primary care team support, workers involved in health promotion and social workers with an interest in working with individuals with ASD will be considered on an individual basis.

Year 1 - PDA

You will complete 2 modules at SCQF level 7 and 2 units at SVQ 3 level. Including:

  • Working with Autism
  • Supporting Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Supporting people with Specific Communication needs
  • Plus an SVQ 3 unit from a limited range dependent on whether you are working with children or adults

How will I study my course?

  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  •  Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through online study, plus practice in a workplace setting. You will build a portfolio of evidence as well as undertaking an activity in the workplace to meet specified outcomes.
  • When applying you will select the college where you will enrol and receive support from your personal academic tutor face-to-face and/or via email, telephone or online.

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time (structured): normally one year

Where can I study my course?

  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland UHI

Start date

  • September


For information on costs of this course please contact the campus where you wish to study.


External scholarships and financial support, such as an Individual Training Account, may be available. Please contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

You will already be working with people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  This course will enhance your understanding about ASD and will ensure that people with ASD are properly supported by trained staff.  

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion there are progression routes available depending on your existing qualifications and career goals, for example: HNC Social Services or HNC Childhood Practice.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Supporting Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder PDA

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.