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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Clinical Psychology

Postgraduate Course: The assessment and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) (Online) (CLPS11096)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis online postgraduate course will support health care professionals, either qualified or in training, (e.g. paediatricians, psychiatrists, general practitioners, psychologists, social workers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists) to develop their advanced level practice in the diagnosis, assessment, and post-diagnosis support for individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The course will address the needs of individuals across the age spectrum.
Course description The course will focus on the the diagnostic criteria of FASD and the application to practice and will explore the core diagnostic criteria of FASD and how assessments undertaken inform the diagnosis. The course will provide an overview of the main diagnostic approaches used internationally including the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) 156: Children and Young People Exposed Prenatally to Alcohol clinical guidelines, the Canadian guidelines, the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual; 5 (DSM-V) Neurobehavioural Disorder associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and the University of Washington 4-Digit Diagnostic Method.
Online teaching content will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the diagnostic criteria for FASD, the process of assessment across the lifespan and post-diagnosis considerations.
Interest in FASD is rising, prompted by the recent publication of SIGN, and imminent publication of NICE, guidelines on this topic. This course will seek to address the anticipated rise in demand for diagnostic training.
For those students who have elected to not complete the optional foundation course, Introduction to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), pre-course reading materials will provide a recap of key learning points.

* Please note that students will need to apply for entry into this course. Please email the Course Organiser for further information and application form.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should possess, or be in the process of attaining, a professional qualification that qualifies them to participate in the diagnosis of FASD. Relevant qualifications may include Psychology, Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Education, Public Health, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Social Work.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents should possess, or be in the process of attaining, a professional qualification that qualifies them to participate in the diagnosis of FASD. Relevant qualifications may include Psychology, Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Education, Public Health, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Social Work.

If English is not the student's first language, evidence of written and spoken English competency must be provided. Evidence of English language competency can include:

A) A degree from a university in an English-speaking majority country,


B) We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.
PTE Academic: 62 overall with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 2.5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3.5, Online Activities 14, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% short answer questions submitted as coursework
Feedback Weekly multiple-choice questions on the week's content with immediate feedback comprising the correct answer and an explanation provided automatically (2 hours).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe and demonstrate a critical understanding of the FASD diagnostic criteria that is relevant to their jurisdiction, and of the complexities of FASD conceptualisation and diagnosis
  2. Apply their in-depth knowledge of the diagnostic criteria of FASD, congruent with their professional qualifications, to critically evaluate the evidence for and against a diagnosis and, as part of a multi-disciplinary diagnostic team, to formulate a FASD diagnosis
  3. Communicate a diagnosis of FASD sensitively, taking into consideration a person-centred, trauma-informed approach
  4. Develop, through critical analysis of assessment results, recommendations for intervention for individuals with FASD post-diagnosis (using their knowledge of what works for individuals with FASD across the life span)
  5. Describe how colleagues on a multi-disciplinary team undertake diagnostic assessments related to FASD
Reading List
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) (2019) Children and young people exposed prenatally to alcohol. Edinburgh: SIGN.
Cook et al., (2016). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a guideline for diagnosis across the lifespan. CMAJ, 3, 191-197. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.141593
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Through this course, graduates will develop the professional skills required to contribute to elements of the FASD diagnostic process consistent with their professional training and gain an understanding of those aspects completed by multi-disciplinary colleagues. Graduates will understand the important of a non-stigmatising and trauma informed approach to both the assessment and post diagnostic process and develop the knowledge and skills to inform recommendations for post-diagnosis support.
KeywordsFetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder,Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder,FASD,Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Course organiserDr Suzanne O'Rourke
Tel: (0131) 537 4272
Email: Suzanne.O'
Course secretaryMs Katie Killeen
Tel: (01316) 513969
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