This masters-level programme (60 credits) enables new and experienced SENCOs to enhance provision and outcomes for all children, especially those with special educational needs and/or disability, and develop themselves as a leader of change within their setting. Since 2009, all newly appointed SENCOs must attain this qualification within three years of appointment.
SENCOs become increasingly knowledgeable, confident leaders of change, make strong contributions to the leadership within their settings and are able to lead, devise, implement and evaluate provision to enhance the outcomes for the children in their care.
Assessment and teaching are highly relevant, innovative and combine face-to-face and online activity. The knowledgeable tutors leading and managing the programme bring experience as former SENCOs themselves, and we have been teaching and supporting participants since the inception of the National Award in 2009.
Course participants comment upon the extremely supportive nature of the teaching staff and the great value of working collaboratively with colleagues on the course.
Completing the course will qualify you as a SENCo, conferring the National Award for SEN Co-ordination and is a requirement for the role of SENCo. It is a Postgraduate Certificate course, equivalent to a third of a masters degree. Credits from this award can be put towards an MA in Education Professional Practice, contributing to the named Inclusionary Practice pathway.
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.
Our course is informed by the requirements of the Children and Families Act (2014) and SEND Code of Practice (2015) and meets the requirements of the SENCo Regulations (2009) and SEND Regulations (2014)(Part 3, paragraph 49 - 4)
- The SENCo - The Child and the Family
- The SENCo - Leader of Change
- The SENCo - Innovating and Evaluating Practice
- Reflective, Personal and Professional Development Portfolio
For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.
Assessment, Feedback, and Teaching and Learning methods
Full details are available in the programme specification.
The teaching timetable should be available from the end of August. Access to the timetable is through the Student Hub – you will be able to access the Student Hub after you have completed online registration. The teaching day is 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday; please keep your other commitments open until confirmation of your teaching timetable, and bear in mind that many courses will offer placements or fieldwork which sometimes extends into the evenings and weekends.
Have a question about our entry requirements?
1st or 2nd class honours degree.
Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course. Please contact the Enquiry Centre for further details.
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), QTLS or EYTS (only for children 0-5). 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 as part of their setting's succession planning.
Since this postgraduate course must be at Level 7, and constitutes 60 Masters level credits (equivalent to a third of a Masters degree), applicants must be able to complete study at a high level, work collaboratively with other SENCos and independently on the course to complete assessments, bring about real change in their settings and benefit from the support of their school/setting leadership team and governors as appropriate to facilitate this. Support is given in developing the skills to complete practitioner research, also a vital element of the course assessment.
Making your application
Applications should be made online directly to the university - visit our website or contact email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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:
We have a wide range of scholarships, bursaries, grants and funds available to support you throughout your studies with us. This includes the Cumbria Bursary - a non-repayable bursary designed to support first year students with a household income of less than £25,000.Student Finance
All students will need to purchase stationery, course books and personal equipment. Extra costs may also be applicable to cover field trips, membership fees etc.
Resources and facilities
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.
Awards and recognition
"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