Our student support service provides a range of support options in further and higher education for students who are on the autism spectrum.

Higher education

We work with students in higher education to ensure that they reach their full potential during their whole time at university. Students can use our service during the transition from school or college to life at university and then from fresher's week to graduation. Working closely with both academic and non-academic staff, we can help the university meet an individual student's needs.

We offer a range of options, tailored to meet each student's needs:

  • mentoring sessions to help students develop strategies in time management, social behaviour and organisation
  • a key worker or study buddy to underpin the mentor's support across the student's day
  • support out of class, including group assignments
  • note-takers.

Before I received support from the NAS, I was struggling with my course and didn’t think I could manage to complete it. I have learnt a lot with the NAS and successfully completed my degree. I went on to study my postgraduate degree in London, and am now working in the fashion industry.

Graduate from the University of Northampton

How we support you

Currently we work with students at The University of Northampton. The support we offer is flexible and may be increased at times of change or potential stress, such as before exams or on field trips. Each student's requirements are unique and we suggest that the student themselves, or a representative, contact us to discuss what support they require and whether our service is suitable.

Funding

Our student support service can be funded by students' Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), although other funding streams may be available. Support begins once funding is confirmed. Your chosen university can help with applications for funding.

Our team

Our motivated team of staff have the skills and knowledge to best help students realize their potential. They continue their training in autism spectrum disorders throughout their career. All our staff have enhanced CRB checks.

Further education

We support autistic adults who are in full- or part-time education and wish to be supported at college and/or on their days off, in our resource centre and we also work with Northampton College to provide a programme supporting autistic students looking to move onto further education. 

Education centre

The dedicated staff at our education centre work with staff from Northampton College to help students on the autism spectrum to gain skills at their own pace.

Our 'Moving On' course is a collaboration between The National Autistic Society (NAS) and Northampton College. It's for students with autism who have left school and would like to move onto a local further education college, but would find it difficult to access a mainstream college campus. We also support students seeking an eventual work placement, through job coaching.

On the 'Moving On' course, students gain skills which, in time, will help them to attend full- or part-time college courses.

The course usually lasts two years, but if a student has progressed enough to be able to move to a mainstream campus sooner, then this is possible at the end of the first year. Similarly, if a student needs a longer transition period, they can attend the 'Moving On' Course for a third year.

It's different to school in lots of ways because it's smaller and quieter.

Student

Referrals

Students are signed up to the 'Moving On' course by Northampton College. Interviews are conducted by The National Autistic Society and referrals can be made to us directly or via Connexions, social workers or care managers.

Next Steps

After attending the 'Moving On' course, students are able to choose the college and course they wish to attend. This could be a mainstream or additional needs course at Northampton College or Moulton College, which, as a former agricultural college, offers a different range of opportunities. Other students opt for job coaching and a work placement, which we work to provide in collaboration with the Northamptonshire Society for Autism.

How to pay for this support

Our student support service is funded by Disability Student Allowance (DSA). This must be in place before we can offer our service, unless funding is available from other sources. Specialist mentoring costs £49 + £9.80 VAT per hour, specialist study skills tutoring costs £54.17 + £10.83 VAT, and study assistant support £25 + £5 VAT per hour.

As we are funded through DSA, our main aims are to make sure everyone involved with you has an understanding of ASD , and that you're clear about the work you must do in order to complete your course. As all students' needs are different we suggest that you, or a representative, contact us to talk about what support is available and if our service can meet your needs.