Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit provides detailed coverage of Australian and international best practice approaches to the assessment and diagnosis of autism. Students will develop a detailed understanding of the DSM-5-TR criteria for autism, including the support/severity levels and of the application of these criteria to autism diagnosis across the lifespan. In addition, the unit will give students a thorough grounding in differential diagnosis (i.e., identifying features of autism that overlap with other neurodevelopmental conditions, and distinguishing autism from these conditions). Finally, students will strengthen their knowledge of the referral process, and the importance of a prompt referral, for comprehensive autism assessment, and will learn about the clinical and observational information that should be included in referrals for autism diagnostic assessments.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2OnlineOnline flexible

Students are able to (1) explain key changes in autism diagnostic approaches over time and compare historical and contemporary conceptualisations of autism; (2) outline the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder as described in current diagnostic manuals, identify key behavioural features of autism that are relevant to each of the DSM-5-TR autism domains, and apply knowledge of the diagnostic criteria for autism, including the specifiers, severity ratings and support levels to brief case examples; (3) identify and describe the Guiding Principles that inform the recommendations contained in the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia (the Guideline), and recognise international best-practice principles in autism diagnostic assessment.; (4) identify the key professionals involved in diagnostic assessments for autism, and the aspects of the evaluation that each professional is eligible to conduct; (5) describe and explain the important considerations that should be accounted for during a diagnostic assessment for autism; (6) demonstrate understanding of the importance of the content and style of communication when sharing autism assessment findings, including report writing; (7) demonstrate understanding of the importance of a prompt referral to ensure timely diagnosis and access to relevant supports and services; and (8) identify and select screening tools that can be used at different ages and developmental stages to identify features of autism, and the relevant clinical and observational information to be included in a referral for an autism assessment.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: Students will be granted advanced standing for this unit after completing micro-credentials PSYCM510, PSYCM511, PSYCM515, and PSYCM516. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Iliana Magiati
Unit rules
Enrolment in
70230 Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnosis
or prior approval and satisfy the eligibility criteria
the four microcredentials comprising this unit (PSYCM510, PSYCM511, PSYCM515, and PSYCM516)
Contact hours
approximately 150 hours of personal study of online material (approx./ up to 50 hours x 3 online microcredentials), consisting of written material, guided readings, reflective exercises, videos or pre-recorded material, and interactive activities.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.