Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) (Online Learning) PgCert (ICL)
The University of Edinburgh
1 - 2 year
GBP 5,070 / per year *
31 Jul 2024
Earliest start date
09 Sep 2024
* estimated tution fee for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (ICI)
FASD refers to the physical, emotional and developmental effects of alcohol exposure during pregnancy. Neurodevelopmental disorders are known to be caused by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). Health services worldwide are struggling to measure and address the issue. In March 2022 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published UK-wide guidance for assessing and diagnosing FASD, building on guidance published in 2019 by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidance Network (SIGN 156).
FASD is a public health issue, affecting roughly 3.25-5% of the general population FASD is also thought to be over-represented in justice and corrections, out-of-home care, and homelessness, mental health, and addictions services (Popova et al., 2019).
Few health professionals are familiar with the disorder and even fewer are confident in providing an assessment. In many countries, FASD remains underdiagnosed therefore, a greater diagnostic capacity is needed to meet demand (Clarren et al., 2011).
This programme will provide you with the skills and understanding to:
- recognise potential cases of FASD
- conduct a diagnostic assessment with a wider multi-disciplinary team
- develop clinical formulations of presenting difficulties
- provide care and treatment recommendations
You will be guided in this practice by an understanding of the context in which prenatal alcohol exposure occurs so that you can conduct your work in a trauma-informed, non-judgemental manner, and work sensitively with families.
The programme addresses recent calls for training in FASD for Health, Education and Social Care professionals. As the first FASD-focused university course in the UK, and one of few worldwide, this programme is designed to meet the needs of practising health and social care professionals by being accessible online and part-time.
The programme is delivered in an online environment that provides a dynamic and collaborative learning experience.
Our flexible online learning environment allows you to access materials and learn when and where is most convenient for you. This allows you to work around your professional commitments while developing your expertise in FASD.
FASD experts from the Fetal Alcohol Advisory Support, and Training (FAAST) Team at the University of Edinburgh, NHS Scotland, and clinical academics from universities in the UK and abroad, help deliver our programme. This programme also includes opportunities to learn from individuals with lived experience of FASD.
The programme uses different methods to create a dynamic and collaborative learning environment, including:
- pre-recorded and live lectures
- live small-group seminars
- asynchronous group discussions
The content will mostly be accessed flexibly; however, some interactive live content will require engagement at specific times.
Assessment is through:
- An exam made up of multiple choice and short answer questions (Course 1)
- Coursework on example clinical cases (Courses 2 & 3)
You can also assess your progress with weekly multiple-choice questions that do not contribute to your final grade.
The University of Edinburgh is currently ranked 15th in the World in the QS World University Rankings 2023.
This programme will offer you a flexible postgraduate degree designed for professionals. It consists of three, twenty-credit courses offered part-time with the option of intermittent study. This means that you have up to three years to take the required courses, with a requirement for at least 20 credits of courses to be taken each year. Your teachers will be experts in FASD with experience in the diagnosis, assessment and support of individuals with the condition.
There is a strong emphasis on including individuals with lived experience and in each course, you will hear directly from families raising children with FASD and individuals with FASD themselves.
To achieve the aims of the programme, you will complete three courses as follows:
- CLPS11094 SCQF 11 –– Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Context, Contributors & Clinical Presentation
This course focuses on providing the ability to describe, explain, and evaluate the condition. This includes its epidemiology, causes and presentation in children and adults, demonstrating an understanding of the complexities of FASD.
- CLPS11096 SCQF 11 - The assessment and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
The learning aims of this course include the achievement of in-depth knowledge and skills emphasising the evaluation of assessment results to inform intervention recommendations. Further learning outcomes cover the need to communicate sensitively on this topic taking a person-centred, trauma-informed approach.
- Proposed Course SCQF 11- Advanced Case Formulation in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
In this course, you will expand your knowledge of assessment and diagnosis through consideration of complex cases. These will address issues such as difficulties in determining prenatal alcohol exposure, borderline cases, differential diagnosis and how best to work with families. This course will also enhance your skills in making intervention recommendations.
On completion of the programme, you will have:
- Comprehensive understanding of the presentation, causes, epidemiology, and diagnosis of FASD.
- An understanding of the importance of trauma-informed, person-centred language when communicating with families, clients, and colleagues on FASD-related topics.
- The ability to coordinate and conduct assessments relevant to your professional background.
After finishing this programme, you will be able to:
- apply your skills in assessment and diagnosis to FASD.
- diagnose FASD and write case descriptions following local guidelines.
- if applicable to your role, measuring the key facial features related to FASD using physical measurements, or digital photograph analysis software.
- sensitively investigate a developmental history, including asking questions about alcohol use during pregnancy.
- understand the assessments made by all members of a multi-disciplinary team.;
- develop your practice in communicating an FASD diagnosis to stakeholders (e.g., individuals with FASD, families, and professionals).
Program Tuition Fee
Graduates of the programme will be able to take important roles, in both child and adult services, leading the co-ordination and interpretation of multi-disciplinary assessments of FASD.