Advanced Practice in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) (Online)

Advanced Practice in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) (Online)

Course dates                                                  Semester 1                                                                    
Course credits                                               20                                                                     
Course delivery                                            Online  
Academic co-ordinator                             Dr Suzanne O'Rourke                                

Course description

This course will support professionally registered health, education and social 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 service provision including assessment, diagnosis and post-diagnosis support for individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The course will address the needs of individuals across the age spectrum and encompass clinical complexity in the context of evolving neurodevelopmental services which require training, consultation and support to enable trauma informed practice within the field of FASD.  

This entirely online course is intended to extend learning from The Assessment and Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder course, or the experience of those who have evidence of other training and experience in FASD assessment and diagnosis which is deemed a suitable foundation on which to build learning about complexities in FASD practice. The course will offer teaching on the culture and context of neurodevelopmental practice within which cases of FASD may arise, in addition to high level content on areas of complexity within FASD neurodevelopmental assessment.  This will also include aspects of multidisciplinary team assessment and the analysis and formulation of a range of case examples requiring skills in complex differential diagnosis.

Participants will be able to:

  • Use diagnostic guidelines to assess whether complex, hypothetical, cases examples would warrant a diagnosis of FASD
  • Explain and apply knowledge to assess appropriate diagnoses in complex case examples that require differential diagnosis
  • Formulate hypothetical cases where there is additional complexity including; a history of additional pre- and post-natal exposures and trauma, involvement in criminal justice, co-existing conditions and/or trauma, risk, poly substance exposure and genetic contributions
  • Describe and evaluate the current diagnostic classification systems and potential service structures
  • Develop, and effectively communicate, a formulation and post-diagnostic recommendations
  • Develop their confidence in undertaking assessments for individuals who may have FASD with reference to several aspects of case complexity including co-existing conditions, complexity, criminal justice involvement, trauma, genetic contributors and polysubstance use
  • Post-diagnostic recommendations and formulation

Intended learning outcomes

On completing the course, students will have been provided with training to help them:

  • Evaluate the suitability of current service structures in enabling access to assessment, formulations and diagnoses of FASD in conjunction with other members of a multi-disciplinary team
  • To describe the role that additional pre- and post -natal exposures (e.g., other substances and trauma) have on the conceptualisation of a diagnosis of FASD and how teratogenic effects from these might also influence the formulation
  • To have experience of the intricacies of the multi-disciplinary team assessment process in providing post-diagnosis support and recommendations for individuals with FASD across the lifespan, incorporating the findings of the diagnostic assessment across neurocognitive areas
  • Undertake a process of complex assessment and differential diagnosis and to communicate a diagnosis of FASD in a sensitive manner with consideration of the multiple factors within the formulation e.g. trauma, adverse childhood experiences and the intergenerational impacts of these
  • To support professionals with supervision, training and support to enable those both within the diagnostic team and outside who are working with individuals to understand and communicate the brain-based needs of individuals with FASD

Course delivery and assessment

This course will run in Semester 1 (September to December)

It is delivered entirely online over 10 sessions.

Students will be asked to work on hypothetical case studies and to discuss their conclusions during seminars. Assessment will be 100% course work in the form of two essays of c. 2000 words submitted during the course.

Course Fees 

Students who take this course as CPD 'for credit' will incur a fee of £1690.

Students who take this course as CPD 'not for credit' will incur a fee of £895.

Entry Requirements

Students must have successfully completed The Assessment & Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) or have evidence of other training and experience in FASD assessment and diagnosis which is deemed a suitable foundation on which to build learning about complexities in FASD practice.

Full entry requirements and how to apply can be found via the following link:

Entry Requirements


Also available: Europe's first Postgraduate Certificate in FASD

'Advanced Practice in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder' is the third module in this PgCert; the other two modules being ‘Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Context, Contributors & Clinical Presentation’ and ‘Assessment and Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) (Online). Together, the three courses are designed to meet the training needs of health and social care professionals working with individuals who have experience of FASD, those required to diagnose FASD or those providing post-diagnostic care or recommendations. All the courses are designed to work around busy professionals, being part time and online; the PgCert can be spread over 36 months. The PgCert programme is now open - click here to apply

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