Autism and ADHD in Higher Education: Recognising and addressing the barriers through Non-Medical Helper (NMH) Mentoring and Study Skills Strategies

Gain a comprehensive understanding of how to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for autistic and ADHD students in higher education. Come away with a broad knowledge-base and evidence-based practical toolkit to work confidently with autistic and ADHD learners in all areas of higher education.

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event Start date On demand - you can start and progress through this course at any point of the year
currency_pound Cost £300 + vat
hourglass_top Guided learning hours 40 hours
hourglass_bottom Directed study hours (reading, research, and assignment writing) 15 hours
checklist Overall grading type Pass/Fail
school Minimum required entry qualification Degree level
verified Qualification type Professional/Vocational qualification, mandatory qualification for DSA NMH roles
language Delivery Online/On demand/live workshop
schedule Total qualification time This course is based on a total qualification time of 55 hours. It can be completed at the participant’s own speed due to the on demand nature of the materials. However, a suggested timeframe for completing the course, alongside work, is 3 months.


There is limited current best practice guidance for providing holistic support to autistic and ADHD learners in higher education. Yet, autistic and ADHD learners are amongst the most vulnerable in terms of mental wellbeing concerns. Whilst studies suggest that autistic students can be high achievers in terms of educational outcomes and academic confidence, a myriad of factors including social anxiety, sociocommunication difficulties, self-care and selfadvocacy challenges, and sensory differences can make the university environment hard to access and succeed within.

Programme content

This course consists of five units:  

  • An introduction to autism and ADHD
  • Addressing the barriers through NMH Support
  • Mental health and wellbeing in autistic and ADHD students in higher education
  • Autism and ADHD and social aspects of higher education
  • Autism and ADHD and academic aspects of higher education 


Each unit utilises a range of engaging materials such as videos, short lectures, articles, interactive scenario-based learning, and assessment. Because of the on-demand nature, you can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace.  

In addition, there is a 1.5 hour live workshop where learning is reinforced and applied to a range of interactive scenarios. 

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Learning objectives

  • To evidence comprehensive understanding of autism and ADHD, current diagnostic criteria, and the key strengths and challenges of both in the higher education context 
  • To demonstrate awareness of the social and biopsychosocial models of disability and the neurodiversity paradigm 
  • To gain in-depth understanding of the various factors that impact on autistic and ADHD students in terms of mental health and wellbeing, social aspects, and academic aspects in the higher education context  
  • To develop a range of strategies to support autistic and ADHD learners in higher education in relation to mental health and wellbeing, social aspects, and academic aspects 
  • To understand the requirements and boundaries of ASC Mentoring and Study Skills and Strategy Support roles  

Academic advisors

The course is written by Dr Nick Chown and Dr Elsa Suckle but has benefitted from a range of diverse and expert voices both from autism and ADHD research experts in the UK and internationally. In addition, interview, and video content from current UG and PG autistic and ADHD students in education helps provide insight into the barriers that students find in higher education, strategies used to ameliorate these, and crucially, how mentors and tutors can work alongside students to identify difficulties and best facilitate support.

Dr Nicholas Chown Dr Nicholas Chown
Dr Elsa Suckle Dr Elsa Suckle
Dr Luke Beardon Dr Luke Beardon
Carly Jones Carly Jones
Sanja Quayle Sanja Quayle
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