Funding Available for Open University Course ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum’

The Scottish Government is working in partnership with the Open University on a new training initiative, providing free places to selected individuals on an OU autism course.


The Scottish Strategy for Autism was launched in November 2011 to ensure people with autism and their families are supported by the widest possible range of social care, education, housing, employment and other community based services.


Almost 3 years into our 10 year strategy we are making good progress towards delivering the goals of the strategy. There is still much to do but we are beginning to make a difference to the lives of people with autism by improving support services available to people who need them.


The Scottish Government Autism Reference Group, tasked with implementing the Scottish Strategy for Autism, sees education for those who work with and care for people on the autism spectrum as a vital part of their initiative to improve the lives of people with autism and their families.


That is why, for the third year running, we are providing funding for up to 170professionals, carers and other individuals with a special interest in autism to study the Open University Course ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum’. Funding will be offered FREE to students in Scotland as part of the £13.4m autism fund to implement the strategy.


This initiative will make a real impact in delivering the strategy. Through this training we will increase the understanding of autism, and help to ensure that people on the spectrum have access to professionals within autism services which understand and are able to meet the needs of people with autism.


The course starts at the beginning of November 2014 and lasts for 20 weeks. Study materials include a textbook authored by the course team and a DVD. All other elements of the course, including assessments are delivered online. For further information see: 


To apply for a place on ‘SK124 Understanding the Autism Spectrum’ within the Scottish Government funded scheme, please follow this link and complete the form: 


The deadline to be considered for a funded place is 30 June 2014 and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis to those in the target groups. Please do not use the standard Open University registration system provided via the course website if you are seeking to register within this funded scheme.