Postgraduate course

SEN Coordination: Leading Effective, Inclusive Practice in SEN PGCE (National Award)

Gain greater Special Educational Needs insight while critiquing and improving your specialist skill set.

Student writing on a whiteboard in SENI classroom

This course aligns with the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) learning outcomes as stipulated by the Department for Education. The focus is on promoting person-centred, inclusive practice. Also included in the course are opportunities to reflect critically on your practice, appraise and improve your skill set.

  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 1 year part-time
  • Start date – September 2019, September 2020
  • School – Education

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £2,167

    International 2019-20 £4,250

Course overview

The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination Certificate (NASENCO) will enhance your theoretical understanding of SEN/D and its educational coordination. You will also study relevant policies, practices and resources.

The course has been designed to meet the SENCO learning outcomes required by the Department for Education for SENCOs as well as the needs of schools and colleges in the local area and further afield. By focusing on work-based tasks you will develop the skills in independent and self-critical learning which will enable you to deliver positive outcomes for children with SEN/D.

You will explore assumptions underlying SEN/D policy and practice while studying alongside professionals from a range of backgrounds. Through collaborative learning you'll gain confidence in synergising, applying and evaluating theory and practice. 

Our PGCE enables you to apply your experience and learning by selecting areas of focus that support your professional practice and academic interests.

The course can only be studied part-time (typically three terms over one year). There are two compulsory modules and a portfolio. You will study one module per term and the portfolio will be completed throughout the year.

Course structure

Modules include:

  • Leading and Evaluating Change in the SEN Context (30 credits)
  • Innovating Practice for Young People with Special Educational Needs (30 credits)
  • National SENCo Award Outcomes Portfolio (external portfolio)

Teaching and assessment

The learning and teaching strategies include lectures, masterclasses given by visiting professors and speakers, tutorials, seminars, workshops and e-learning activities via our virtual learning environment (VLE). There will be particular emphasis on engagement in individual and group enquiry to develop skills in critical questioning, creative thinking and problem-solving.

Delivery is structured to include two weekends each semester and some evening teaching for full-time students.

Self-study time
Outside of taught sessions, you are encouraged to undertake further study which may include reading journal articles, engaging in online discussions, and preparing for assessments.

Assessment methods
Our assessments have been externally commended for being innovative yet rigorous, and we’ve received very positive feedback from our students.

On some modules you will be able to negotiate the assessment type so that it aligns to your interests and needs. For example, you could choose to write a funding bid, a proposal for a small-scale investigation, a report or another agreed assessment type.

Your final study is your dissertation or major project. This offers you the chance to further study a topic of particular interest and importance to you.

Entry requirements


You may apply if you have an honours degree in an appropriate discipline. You will be accepted onto the programme following a satisfactory interview, references and evidence of qualifications.

If you don’t have these academic qualifications you may qualify for entry based on other equivalent relevant qualifications or experience. International applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate that they possess sufficient competence in written and spoken English to succeed in the programme of study. This will normally be demonstrated by an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with not less than 5.5 in each section.

If you have a PGCE which you gained within the last five years then we can recognise up to 60 relevant M level credits for this to provide exemption from two of the modules normally studied in the second year of part-time study. This means that you would complete and pass the first year modules and then proceed straight to your dissertation study.

Applicants must have QTS/QTLS and ideally be in a SENCO role or be an aspiring SENCO who is able to evidence engagement with role through the learning outcomes portfolio. You will need to have access to children/young people with SEN/D and be able to lead at least some aspects of SEN/D in a school, college or other educational setting. You also must have the support of the Principal.

We will also ask that your Headteacher / line manager completes and returns the School Memorandum of Support SENCO Award 2019-20, which indicates the school or setting's support.

Fees and funding

To study for a Postgraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this Postgraduate course is £2,167 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to this Postgraduate course is £4,250 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now

Applications for our September start must be submitted and completed by 5 October.


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