Special Educational Needs (PG Cert)

This course leads to the National Award for SEN Co-ordination (a statutory requirement for new SENCOs in post since 2009) for students with QTS/QLS (Qualified Teacher Status). 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

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


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.



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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.

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National Award for SEN Coordination