Online SI Module 1: Foundations and Neuroscience


This page contains information about the Online SI Module 1 course. See information about the Classroom SI Module 1 course here.


The online SI Module 1 course, accredited by Ulster University, is the first part of the modular pathway which also offers the opportunity to work towards a Postgraduate Diploma or Masters in Sensory Integration. (30 credits)

Ayres Sensory Integration therapy is an evidence-based intervention, which is guided by the understanding that people’s ability to participate, their motor skill development, and their engagement and interaction are predicated on the continuous process of making and refining connections within the brain. Understanding how input from the sensory systems relates to brain growth and brain development is the key to understanding why people with atypical sensory processing respond as they do.

Neuroscience is an evolving discipline, and the tools to enable researchers to study living brains in action are still relatively new. Advances in understanding brain development, connectivity and repair, and the impact of typical and atypical brain function in everyday life, emerge all the time. Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach for children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. For many clinicians, the opportunity to update their understanding in line with newly emerging research gives insight not only into the sensory underpinning of the behaviours they see in their clients which create barriers to participation but also into why some clients respond to different kinds of intervention (not just ASI) and others may not. Developing that higher level of clinical insight – understanding and predicting not just what works or doesn’t work for specific clients, but why – starts the clinician on their journey to working at Specialist level.

The course is divided into sections covering the sensory systems and how they relate to the neuroscience as it is currently understood. The course covers the kinds of behaviours and challenges to participation which one might expect to see in clients with sensory processing and integration difficulties and introduces strategies and approaches which can minimise the impact of sensory challenges. The content is taught using online presentations and lectures, animations, quizzes and practical activities, and some independent study tasks. You will have your own E-Mentor who will support your individual learning needs, plus an online study group offering peer learning support.

The aim of this module is to enable you to understand the current neuroscience, and the relevant and emergent theories, concepts, and practices, related to Ayres’ Sensory Integration. You will be able to relate sensory processing to the underlying neurology and evidence base of sensory integration.

    Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists and Physiotherapists. Professionals from other backgrounds can apply for SI Module 1 only. All applicants must have gained an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University.


    16 weeks, 24 hour access

    Hours: Online Content and contact with Mentors - 55hrs, Independent study (including assessment) 245 hrs, Total effort: 300 hrs

    Fee: Gold or Silver Member Fee: £899 (Instalment plan option)
    Bronze Member Fee: £1,198.67
    Director: Dr Sylvia Taylor-Goh, Director of Postgraduate Education


    The SI Module 1 Online is designed as a series of learning units which address the module learning outcomes. Learning is facilitated via a range of methods including animated presentations, interactive learning scenarios, videos and case study vignettes.

    The learning units include the neuroscience supporting the theory of sensory integration and an overview of all sensory systems. You will enhance your clinical reasoning skills and be able to draw on knowledge of sensory systems and sensory integration theory and research to support your clinical observations and interventions.

    In addition, you will have your own E-Mentor who will support your individual learning needs with online groups offering peer learning support.

    Where does SI Module 1 fit in the pathway?

    SI Modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 are taken directly with Sensory Integration Education and are accredited by Ulster University.  Modules 5, 6 and 7 are taken directly with Ulster University. See more.

    SI Module 1 can be taken as an online course or classroom course. The assessments are taken online and are exactly the same. You can see more information on the two options here.

    Assessment information

    Coursework 1

    40% online, open book, multiple choice questions with a one-hour time limit on the neuroscience of sensory processing from primary receptors to cortical interpretation.

    Assessment period for Coursework 1: This assessment will be made available at the start of week 8 of the course. Once students log  they have an hour to complete it. Students must have completed the assessment by the end of the 16th week from the start of the module.

    Coursework 2

    60% Online clinical scenarios, across a range of client groups across the lifespan, are presented for critical evaluation, application of Ayres' sensory integration and evidence of current neuroscience knowledge and understanding and emerging clinical critical thinking.

    This assessment involves answering a set of short answer questions on two clinical scenarios.

    • Scenario one: Students will select one scenario from four scenarios provided that relate to registration and modulation concepts within sensory integration.

    • Scenario two: Students will select one scenario from four scenarios provided that relate to posture and praxis.

    Students can complete the assessment on scenarios one and two at any time within the given assessment period for coursework 2 (they will not need to complete both together in the same session). Once students log on to do each scenario, they have an hour to complete.

    Assessment period for Coursework 2: This assessment will be made available at the start of week 10 of the course. Once students log on to do a clinical scenario, they have an hour to complete. Students do not need to complete both scenarios in the same session. Students must have completed the assessment (both scenarios) by the end of the 16th week from the start of the module.

    Coursework 3

    Pass / Fail. As part of the assessment strategy in the School of Health Sciences, students will be expected to produce a short piece of work reflecting on the learning achieved and how this has impacted on their patient/client interaction (500 words).

    Technology requirements

    This is an online course. You cannot download this course. You cannot access it without being connected to Wi-Fi/Broadband.

    • Windows: Google Chrome (latest version)
    • Mac: Google Chrome (latest version)
    • Mobile: Apple iOS 7 and later, Google Chrome (latest version) in Android OS 4.1 and later
    • Microsoft Word is required for the online SI Module 2, 3 and 4 courses. If you do not already have Microsoft Word, you will be able to download a free copy from Ulster University.
    • Although the course learning material can be viewed on an iPad or tablet, you will need access to a laptop or PC to complete the assessments.
    • Stable WiFi/Broadband access required to run the online course.
    • We recommend that you use the free Google Chrome browser to access the learning content and the assessments. You will not be able to view the content and assessments properly whilst using other browsers.
    • You will also need access to Microsoft Word to complete the assessments for SI Module 2, SI Module 3 and SI Module 4, but this can be downloaded free of charge from Ulster University.

        Which modules do I need to take to practise sensory integration therapy?

        Sensory Integration Practitioner will have been awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory Integration by completing and passing SI Modules 1, 2 and 3. 

        An Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner must complete and pass SI Modules 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

        Student Learning

        Students will:

        • Learn online through multi-media methods. 
        • Be fully supported throughout SI Module 1 by a team of Advanced Practitioner e-mentors, who will engage with the students online, facilitating their clinical development through a range of methods. 
        • Have access to Ulster University’s library online. 
        • Have an online ‘coffee shop’ forum in order to also meet and chat to other students on this module. 
        • Have access to downloadable transcripts of the course for offline study.

        Who should complete this course?

        Our accredited SI Modular Pathway courses are designed for degree qualified occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech & language therapists to develop the skills required to practice Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy in the context of their particular professional background. 

        See the full Entry Conditions here.

        What will SI Module 1 allow me to do?

        By the end of SI Module 1 course, you will have the necessary foundation knowledge of neuroscience and the theory of Ayres’ Sensory Integration (ASI) to allow you to identify behaviours and challenges that are likely to have a sensory underpinning. Understanding the sensory aspect supports your ability to frame to the client and stakeholders why clients respond to sensory input from the environment as they do. 

        This in turn potentially allows you to prioritise your clinical caseload more efficiently, and to be able to explain and advise settings as to what sensory supports need to be in place for a client to have the best chance of being able to benefit from the therapeutic interventions on offer. More importantly, you will have a toolbox of sensory-based strategies which you can start to put in place for the client straight away to potentially reduce the impact of their environment on their participation, and which you can use in conjunction with your current therapeutic approaches to improve participation.

        Although we will introduce concepts around assessment and the formal diagnostic process, SI Module 1 is not an assessment or therapy course, and therefore you cannot refer to yourself as a Sensory Integration Practitioner until you have completed and passed all three Modules of Practitioner training (SI Module 1, 2, and 3).

        Once you have completed and passed the course, you would be able to recognise sensory system involvement and advise around the impact on the person’s participation in life. However, you would not be able to give a formal diagnosis of sensory processing and integration difficulties, and a fully-qualified Sensory Integration Practitioner’s judgement would be considered essential to confirm or negate your hypotheses and should be sought through mentoring or supervision, in line with best practice.

        Download our leaflet on the SI Modular Pathway


        See here for frequently asked questions.

        How to book

        Click on the link to the right for your preferred date and complete the booking form which will open in a new window. Bookings must be made in the name of the person completing the course including their own email address. On booking, you will receive an invoice within 2 working days. Payment is required within 30 days or prior to the course start date, whichever is soonest. Please see our booking terms and conditions for more information.

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        Click the course link below to check place availability.

        Please note that booking will close 1 month prior to the start date.

        Can I reserve a place?

        We are unable to reserve places. 

        How will we contact you?

        Immediately after booking your course place you will receive a confirmation email from us containing important course information.  If you do not receive this email please check your spam/junk email folder first and then contact us. 

        This page contains information about the Online SI Module 1 course. See information about the Classroom SI Module 1 course here.

        Note: Participants taking our accredited postgraduate SI Modular Pathway courses will be bound by our partner University's Cheating and Plagiarism Policy and other relevant policies upon registering with the University.

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        Sensory Integration Education, Old Breedon School, 8 Reading Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7LY, UK

        We are a not for profit organisation. SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd trading as Sensory Integration Education. Established 1994.

        Company registration no: 05068304  Copyright 2018


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