Plymouth Institute of Education

PgCert The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination

This successful one year training programme is designed to support the professional development of special educational needs coordinators (SENCOS). Gain 60 credits at masters level and join the hundreds of SENCOs in the South West Consortium who have already gained the award.

SENCOs play a very important role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in schools. In September 2009 it became law for every new SENCO in a mainstream school to gain the Master’s level National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator within 3 years of taking up the post. This National Award meets that requirement.

Key features

  • Take the opportunity to undertake this Department for Education (DfE) approved post-graduate qualification which must be achieved by teachers new to the role of SENCO. If you are an experienced SENCO or working in a related professional role you can also apply. To achieve the National Award you must have QTS/QTLS/EYTS, and if you do not hold a qualified teacher status it may be possible for you to achieve the PgCert Inclusive Education (60 masters level credits).
  • Benefit from an award offered through the South West Consortium consisting of the University of Plymouth and the University of Exeter, working in partnership with the local authorities of Bournemouth, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Plymouth, Poole and Somerset. 
  • Take part in a programme which runs in Bodmin, Plymouth, Tiverton, Ilminster, and Dorchester. The local tutors are mainly Special Educational Needs (SEN) advisory teachers and experienced SENCOs, working in conjunction with university tutors.
  • Gain experience working with a tutor allocated to you, offering extensive expertise, knowledge and experience and high quality local personal tuition.
  • Draw on support from a professional learning community through face-to-face and virtual learning support and resources.  Access valuable university facilities and online resources. 
  • Gain 60 masters level credits which can be used towards a masters degree (e.g. MA Education Special Educational Needs).

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • You'll complete two modules (each worth 30 masters level credits) which include a total of six days attendance at sessions in your local authority location. As well as four school focused/research days. Each module consists of three full days taught sessions and two recommended study days (four total) which you will individually agree with your own organisation. The modules are designed to explicitly relate to the DfE SENCO Learning Outcomes.
    Optional modules
    • PGSEN703CW National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes

      This is a non-credit bearing module and forms part of the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module directly connects to the nationally mandated SENCO Learning Outcomes. Over the course of the programme, you build up knowledge and skills and reflect on these and your own experience to support the meeting of each SENCO Learning Outcome. Modules PGSEN704 Organisational Contexts and PGSEN705 Leading on Teaching and Learning are co-requisites. Successful completion of all three modules leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module forms the underpinning, or overarching framework for the National Award. If it is not completed/passed the award cannot be achieved

    • PGSEN703DV National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes

      This is a non-credit bearing module and forms part of the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module directly connects to the nationally mandated SENCO Learning Outcomes. Over the course of the programme, you build up knowledge and skills and reflect on these and your own experience to support the meeting of each SENCO Learning Outcome. Modules PGSEN704 Organisational Contexts and PGSEN705 Leading on Teaching and Learning are co-requisites. Successful completion of all three modules leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module forms the underpinning, or overarching framework for the National Award. If it is not completed/passed the award cannot be achieved

    • PGSEN703PL National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes

      This is a non-credit bearing module and forms part of the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module directly connects to the nationally mandated SENCO Learning Outcomes. Over the course of the programme, you build up knowledge and skills and reflect on these and your own experience to support the meeting of each SENCO Learning Outcome. Modules PGSEN704 Organisational Contexts and PGSEN705 Leading on Teaching and Learning are co-requisites. Successful completion of all three modules leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module forms the underpinning, or overarching framework for the National Award. If it is not completed/passed the award cannot be achieved

    • PGSEN703SS National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes

      This is a non-credit bearing module and forms part of the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module directly connects to the nationally mandated SENCO Learning Outcomes. Over the course of the programme, you build up knowledge and skills and reflect on these and your own experience to support the meeting of each SENCO Learning Outcome. Modules PGSEN704 Organisational Contexts and PGSEN705 Leading on Teaching and Learning are co-requisites. Successful completion of all three modules leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. This module forms the underpinning, or overarching framework for the National Award. If it is not completed/passed the award cannot be achieved

    • PGSEN704CW SEN: Organisational Contexts

      This is the first of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the second module PGSEN705: leading on Teaching and Learning is to equip SEN co-ordinators to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of both module PGSEN704 and PGSEN705 alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes leads to the National Award for SEN Coordinators. This module focuses on the organisational context for SEN in schools and other educational organisations ( FE, special schools, PRUs) for example, legislation, funding systems, national, local and institutional level policy. Module PGSEN702: Leading on Teaching and Learning is a co-requisite.

    • PGSEN704DV SEN: Organisational Contexts

      This is the first of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the second module PGSEN705: leading on Teaching and Learning is to equip SEN co-ordinators to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of both module PGSEN704 and PGSEN705 alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes leads to the National Award for SEN Coordinators. This module focuses on the organisational context for SEN in schools and other educational organisations ( FE, special schools, PRUs) for example, legislation, funding systems, national, local and institutional level policy. Module PGSEN702: Leading on Teaching and Learning is a co-requisite.

    • PGSEN704PL SEN: Organisational Contexts

      This is the first of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the second module PGSEN705: leading on Teaching and Learning is to equip SEN co-ordinators to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of both module PGSEN704 and PGSEN705 alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes leads to the National Award for SEN Coordinators. This module focuses on the organisational context for SEN in schools and other educational organisations ( FE, special schools, PRUs) for example, legislation, funding systems, national, local and institutional level policy. Module PGSEN702: Leading on Teaching and Learning is a co-requisite.

    • PGSEN704SS SEN: Organisational Contexts

      This is the first of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the second module PGSEN705: leading on Teaching and Learning is to equip SEN co-ordinators to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of both module PGSEN704 and PGSEN705 alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes leads to the National Award for SEN Coordinators. This module focuses on the organisational context for SEN in schools and other educational organisations ( FE, special schools, PRUs) for example, legislation, funding systems, national, local and institutional level policy. Module PGSEN702: Leading on Teaching and Learning is a co-requisite.

    • PGSEN705CW SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning

      This is the second of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the first module PGSEN704 SEN: Organisational Contexts - is equip the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of PGSEN704 and PGSEN705, alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes through PGSEN700, leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. Module PGSEN703 Organisational contexts is a co-requisite.

    • PGSEN705DV SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning

      This is the second of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the first module PGSEN704 SEN: Organisational Contexts - is equip the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of PGSEN704 and PGSEN705, alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes through PGSEN700, leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. Module PGSEN703 Organisational contexts is a co-requisite.

    • PGSEN705PL SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning

      This is the second of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the first module PGSEN704 SEN: Organisational Contexts - is equip the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of PGSEN704 and PGSEN705, alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes through PGSEN700, leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. Module PGSEN703 Organisational contexts is a co-requisite.te.

    • PGSEN705SS SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning

      This is the second of two linked modules concerned with special educational needs co-ordination in schools. The general aim of this module and the first module PGSEN704 SEN: Organisational Contexts - is equip the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out this role effectively. Successful completion of PGSEN704 and PGSEN705, alongside meeting the SENCO National Learning Outcomes through PGSEN700, leads to the National Award for SEN Coordination. Module PGSEN703 Organisational contexts is a co-requisite.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

National Award for SEN Coordination Programme Specification 2017 18 4162

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

To achieve the National Award you must have QTS/QTLS/EYTS, and be working as a SENCO. If you do not meet these conditions it may be possible for you to achieve the PgCert Inclusive Education instead (60 masters level credits). For SENCOs new to the role it is mandatory to achieve the award within three years of appointment.

For further information please contact the Programme Lead – Mandy Andrews.

If you are applying with overseas qualifications please can you check their compatibility with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

English language requirements

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.  

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU N/A To be confirmed
International N/A To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £2,400 To be confirmed
Full and part time fees shown are per annum. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

To apply for the programme please download a Local Authority Approval form/Application (word) or Local Authority approval form/Application (PDF), complete and send, together with the completed Memorandum of Agreement between you and your school/setting to mandy.andrews@plymouth.ac.uk together with a copy of the certificate for your highest level qualification and QTS/QTLS/EYTS certificate as available.

People