Our understanding of autism has developed a great deal over recent years, but there is still much work to be done. Researching and studying autism and related issues is vital, not just to understand the causes and effects of autism, but to make sure that autistic people receive the best possible support.

If you're researching or studying autism, our autism library catalogue is a great resource.


Get involved in our research and fieldwork

If you are looking for a postgraduate research project, we might be able to help. There are opportunities to research best practice within The National Autistic Society and conduct evaluations of our projects. Please contact research@nas.org.uk. We are also looking for volunteer fieldworkers to help us conduct surveys and focus groups and to help with data analysis.

Help us by participating in a major study of autistic adults

Our charity is supporting a study by Newcastle University to learn about the lives of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives. We are recruiting autistic adults of all ages, their relatives and carers. Participation is entirely voluntary. The study will help us better understand the lives of autistic adults, and generate knowledge we can use to provide, and campaign for, better services.

More about the study

Involve us in your research

We have been a co-participant in many projects. Our unique experience, contacts and influence mean that we can help ensure research is high quality, attuned to autism and has a real impact. If you are considering bidding for funding for research and would like to discuss co-participation, please contact research@nas.org.uk.

Research Autism

Research Autism is an independent, non-profit making charitable trust committed to improving the lives of autistic people through research into new and existing health, education, social and other interventions. 

Research Autism has achieved certification to the Information Standard, and its website is an authoritative source of comprehensive, impartial information about autism interventions. They look at what interventions claim to do and whether or not there is any evidence to back up the claims.

Involving autistic people in research

Shaping autism research have developed a starter pack to help you to involve autistic people in your research.

For further advice, take a look at the University of Manchester's Guidelines for conducting research with the autistic community.

Autism: the International Journal of Research and Practice

Read the latest autism research reports in Autism, the International Journal of Research and Practice. Autism is a major international forum for research of direct, practical relevance to improving the quality of life for autistic people.


A number of universities and colleges run taught and research courses (including distance-learning courses) for professionals working with children and adults who are on the autism spectrum. Please note that inclusion on this list should not be taken as a recommendation by the National Autistic Society. Contact the establishments for further details of the courses they offer, or find out about general health, social care and education qualifications.

The National Autistic Society - our accredited university programmes

University of Aberdeen

Bangor University, Wales

Queen’s University Belfast

BILD (British Institute of Learning Disabilities)

University of Birmingham

University of Brighton

University of Bristol

University of East London

Grampian SVQ Accredited Centre - SQA courses in supporting autistic people (level 7 and level 8)

University of Kent

Kingston University London

University College London

Manchester Metropolitan University

New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling

University of Northampton

University of Northumbria

Open University

Sheffield Hallam University  

University of Stirling

University of Strathclyde

University of Ulster  

University of South Wales  


General qualifications

For general information on careers, training and qualifications, visit:


Last reviewed: August 2017