National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (SENCO) PGCert

Entry Requirements


The course is delivered by the University of Chester’s Faculty of Education and Children’s Services, who are a nationally recognised provider and a member of the National Award for SEN Coordination provider group.

This course fulfills the training requirements of The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2015) which envisages that a SENCO will provide leadership and professional guidance to colleagues and will work closely with staff, parents and carers, etc. It challenges SENCOs to promote person-centred, inclusive, practice in which the interests and needs of pupils with SEN and/or disabilities are at the heart of everything that they do. 

It takes as its ideology the notion that person-centred, inclusive thinking that foregrounds individual interests and needs of children, young people and adults with SEN and/or disabilities is at the heart of all practice. It is based on the premise that parents and carers are equal partners in securing achievement, progress and well-being, and that value-free understanding of social and familial contexts is crucial in responding to a child, young person or vulnerable adult with SEN.



Programme Structure:

The modules given below are the latest example of the curriculum available on this degree programme. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to change from time to time for reasons which include curriculum enhancement, staff changes, student numbers, improvements in technology, changes to placements or regulatory or external body requirements.

Learning alongside experts from the field, you will enjoy lively debate and discussions around policy and practice.

The modules of this course cover the impact of statutory regulatory contexts for SEND in relation to the candidates work setting; leadership and management and personal and professional qualities, learner voice and statutory arrangements including advocacy/dispute resolution.  These are then evidenced in a portfolio.

Within NASENCO you will complete three modules, one per term:

  • Professional Knowledge and Understanding
  • Leading and Managing Provision
  • Developing a Positive Ethos and Culture

Teaching approaches are designed to engage you as a self-directed learner, and include lectures, group work, discussion, independent research, personal contextualised reflection, tutorials, and use of the University’s Moodle virtual learning environment.

Contact hours are 5-7pm on Fridays and 9.30am-4.30pm on Saturdays, two weekends per module. You will also be expected to undertake 184 hours’ non-contact-guided study per module.

For more information on course start date/s, please contact Jo Cowan:


Assessment tasks include essays, small-scale practitioner enquiry, analytical case study and a professional portfolio with a critical commentary.


The National Award Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCO) is a statutory requirement for all SENCOs appointed from 2008, however it is also excellent professional development for in role SENCOs appointed prior to that date.

It will equip SENCOs with the knowledge and tools needed to enhance achievement and maximise impact upon learners with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

Entry Requirements

Extra Information

Applicants will be qualified teachers and will normally be working in the area of SEN, or aspiring to acquire specialist SEN knowledge and skills and/or the National SENCO Award.

As a requirement for the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination all participants must be qualified teachers and will need to show evidence of QTS at application stage.

Course content enquiries

Jo Cowan


  • Email:
  • Telephone: 01244 511579