PgC National Award for SEN Coordination

Course details

Online Application

January 2017

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NASC is now a requirement for working as a SENCO, so make sure you have the right qualifications for your career. We enable new and experienced SENCOs to enhance provisions and outcomes for all children, focusing on those with special educational needs or disabilities. SENCOs become knowledgeable, confident leaders of change within their settings who have developed and practised skills, challenged their own thinking and practices, formed strong professional networks of support within the course and are able to devise, implement and evaluate provision to enhance the outcomes for the children in their care.

Our courses take into account the Children and Families Act (2014) and SEND Code of Practice. With well over 500 SENCOs successfully completing the course, you can trust that our expert teaching team and innovative online activities are of the highest calibre. Our staff are former SENCOs themselves and are passionate about the value of what they do, bringing a wide range of experience to help enhance your studies further. You'll form strong professional networks of support that will help you forge a successful career as a fully qualified SENCO.

Our programme aims to provide a structured opportunity to widen knowledge and understanding of key issues, to develop and practise skills, and to reflect on the values and attitudes which will support SENCOs in their work. This will be supplemented firstly by the identification of a group of course participants who work collaboratively and supportively, and who facilitate hosting of visits to one another's settings, and beyond, to work together and to access opportunities which complement the previous experience of the participant. Secondly, through support offered by a suitable identified mentor within the school or setting of the course member, we will facilitate opportunities relevant to the academic and professional portfolio of the participant, and support on matters of leadership and strategic development.

Schools and settings supporting their SENCos in the professional development associated with this course will need to be aware that they will need to be released from their setting-based responsibilities in order to attend the induction (half a day), 6 face-to-face days and a number of group meetings/visits, in addition to some individual study time. They will need to support introduction of a SENCo-led change project and subsequent research, and to provide opportunities for leading staff meetings, interacting with the governing body and the senior leadership team.

Year one

Compulsory Modules

  • The SENCo - The Child and the Family
  • The SENCo - Leader of Change
  • The SENCo - Innovating and Evaluating Practice
  • Reflective, Personal and Professional Development Portfolio

Programme Specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

1st or 2nd class honours degree.

Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course via Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) procedures.

Selection criteria

An honours degree or equivalent from a recognised institution if you are a UK resident. EU and overseas applicants appropriate equivalence will apply. Applicants without standard qualifications must demonstrate:

  • the capacity for theoretical debate
  • a high level of motivation
  • the capacity for independent study
  • the ability to achieve the proposed programme of work

Students for whom English is not their first language must have achieved IELTS level 6 English language qualification.

All participants must be holders of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). They must also be holders of the post of SENCO; this can be either as a new SENCO, or as an experienced SENCO. Those preparing for the role, providing that they are able to exercise the role of SENCo, and experience the full range of responsibilities of SENCo may join the course as they are transitioning into the role.

Making your application

Applications should be made online directly to the university - visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential - evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.

Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either - an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or - an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa.

UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

Completing the course will earn you a Postgraduate Certificate, equivalent to a third of a masters. Credits from this award can be put towards an MA in Education Professional Practice, contributing to the named Inclusionary Practice pathway.

Our teaching staff are highly experienced in continuing professional development at masters level and in SEN, including expertise at primary and secondary level in the role of SENCO. They have worked with pupils experiencing barriers to learning in cognition, communication, physical and behavioural difficulties.

The tutor team believes in innovative practice in teaching and learning, the development of the role of teacher as researcher, and the promotion of inclusive education that impacts on outcomes for all learners.

"I have a heartfelt commitment to the programme and its participants. It is a privilege to work so closely with an inspiring group of professionals who focus their energies enabling the circumstances and forging relationships to enable children to thrive and flourish in our schools."
- Alison Feeney, Programme Leader