Special Educational Needs (PG Cert) (Postgraduate Certificate)

This course leads to the National Award for SEN Co-ordination (a statutory requirement for new SENCOs in post since 2009 within 3 years of appointment) for students with QTS/QLS (Qualified Teacher Status who have completed their induction period according to SEND Regs 2014, para:24) or EYTS (for an award applicable to 0-5 only). Students will be supported by highly experienced and research-active teaching staff, who are attuned to the needs of part-time students.

The course content is designed to suit those who are currently working. Students come from a wide range of settings, from early years to higher education, and are encouraged to bring their own professional experiences into the learning environment. Current research underpins the teaching on this dynamic course, which combines theory with practical exercises. Students also benefit from guest speakers, both the university’s own alumni and professionals from different areas of education related to SEN.

There are two outcomes for this course: the Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs; and the National SENCO Award. Those students who are qualified teachers and gain the Postgraduate Certificate can convert their award to a National SENCO Award within five years on completion of their SENCO portfolio.


This programme comprises two 30-credit master’s-level modules. Topics include:

  • The changing contexts for SEN including recent legislative framework and the Code of Practice (2015)
  • SEN policy development and implementation
  • Leadership for SENCOs
  • Coordinating provision: developing and using monitoring systems, mapping provision and analysing data
  • A critical consideration of the causes of underachievement related to SEN/D
  • Communicating and working with parents, LEA and support agencies, colleagues and the pupil voice
  • High-incidence SEN including dyslexia and autism

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Study style

  • The curriculum consists of direct teaching plus guided independent study
  • 100% coursework

Course modules

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

Entry requirements

  • At least a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject
  • Or a relevant postgraduate or professional qualification and/or appropriate work experience


Fees - 2020/21 Academic Year
Home and EU Students
Full-Time Fees
Postgraduate Certificate £2200
International Students
Full-Time Fees
Postgraduate Certificate £4900

The fee displayed is the total course fee for full-time or part-time study; see also the details of potential extra costs. Please refer to the Tuition Fee and Bursary Policy for payment methods and timescales.



Meet the Lecturer

Discover more about your course by visiting the university to speak with one of our lecturers. Learn about the modules, teaching style and the modes of assessment by speaking to our experts, and get a feel for the facilities you'll be using. Visit our Meet the Lecturer page to find out more and book your place.


Develops your critical understanding of theory and practice for special educational needs and the changing role of the SENCo in mainstream educational institutions.


Achieve the essential National Award for SEN-Co-ordindation and equip yourself with the critical thinking skills required to support your students.


Study alongside your current employment and advance your knowledge and experience in the SEN field to enrich your practice.

School of Education and Humanities

Our School of Education and Humanities will help you graduate as a well-rounded, innovative and passionate individual. You will work with experienced practitioners, engage with active researchers and be inspired by published authors.

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National Award for SEN Coordination