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Education - National Award for SEN Coordination


Key facts

Start dates

September 2021 / September 2022


Harcourt Hill

Course length

Part time: 12-18 months


School of Education

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

  • National Award for SEN Coordination


The PGCert Education: National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Co-ordination is a mandatory qualification for all newly appointed SENCos. It must be completed within three years of your SENCo appointment.

The government is committed to improving outcomes for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEN/D).

SENCos play a central role in schools to ensure that:

  • effective provision is made for children with special educational needs and disability (SEN/D)
  • and that the needs of individual learners are met.

Our course is delivered jointly with the Oxfordshire Inclusion Support Team (OXIST) and the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust (BLT). They provide in-school support and Portfolio guidance.

Our course tutors have professional experience in a range of SEN/D settings, including:

  • leading Pupil Referral Units
  • managing specialist SEN/D facilities
  • working as school based SENCOs.

We also work in close partnership with hundreds of schools and colleges and other organisations.

Male and female student in a seminar

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

All applicants must have one of the following:

  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Qualified Teacher Learning Status (QTLS)
  • Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

Please note that Students with (EYTS) will gain NASENCO applicable only to Early Years settings.

The National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordination is a mandatory course for new SENCOs and the award must be achieved within 3 years of being appointed. All school staff in the role of SENCo will have completed the NQT induction period in full before applying (SEND Regs 2014).

An additional entry requirement is that the support of the Head Teacher (or equivalent) is required in order to support the school-based studies associated with this qualification

Please contact the Programme Administrator at to make an enquiry about the course.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

Pathways courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) part time

Home (UK) part time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) part time

2022 / 23
Home (UK) part time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

This is a three module course (60 credits) leading to the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs.

Group of students talking after a lecture

Study modules

The schedule for each module is:

  • one whole day and five evenings (approximately 21 hours of contact time)
  • one online discussion (approximately three hours of contact time)


Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Professional Knowledge and Understanding for SEND (20 credits)

Module 1 gives you an in-depth analysis of the professional knowledge and understanding that you need to be an effective Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo). You’ll have an overview of the statutory and regulatory context for SEN/Disability and the implications for practice in schools and other settings. 

You’ll also consider how the SENCo can help to develop a positive ethos, and promote a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils.



Improving Outcomes for Learners with SEND (20 credits)

Module 2 focuses on ways to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND. You’ll explore a range of high incidence areas of SEND, with an emphasis on quality-first teaching, the whole school ethos, and class teachers taking responsibility for children with SEND. You’ll also look at the importance of the SENCo working with senior colleagues and governors to promote a whole-school culture of high expectations and best practice.


Leading and Coordinating Provision for SEND (20 credits)

Module 3 focuses on the professional qualities needed for effective SENCo leadership. You’ll investigate staff deployment along with OFSTED frameworks, the mediation process and embedding SEND policy across the school. You’ll also undertake a small-scale project, with a focus on planning for and leading change effectively in your own setting.


Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Teaching and learning activities include:

  • online learning
  • lectures
  • online discussions
  • presentations
  • practitioner enquiry.


Assessment methods used on this course

Module assessments will include online summaries of discussions, essays, presentations and a small-scale practitioner enquiry.

In addition to module assessments you must present a portfolio of evidence for assessment. In your portfolio you need to demonstrate that you have met all the 49 learning outcomes specified by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.


The School of Education is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

We hold two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. All students are invited to attend our annual Research

Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers). We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

The School’s six research groups exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View all staff profiles for School of Education

After you graduate

Career prospects

Many of our SENCOs who complete the course go on to further career progression, for example as:

  • director of inclusion across a federation of schools
  • inclusion consultant with OXIST
  • deputy and assistant head roles with responsibility for inclusion.

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.