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Postgraduate course

National Award for SEN Coordination: Leading Effective, Inclusive Practice in SEN PG Cert

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.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year part-time
  • Start date – October 2022
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £2,167 full time

    International 2020-21 £4,250 full time

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. The role of SENCO requires you to complete this award within 3 years of your appointment. 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. 


This course 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.

Our National Award for SEN Coordination has achieved the NASENCo Quality Standard. York St John University are recognised as a part of the Provider Partnership and are on the approved LLSENDCiC Register of Quality Providers.

Course structure

Level 1


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of SEN/D as a theoretical concept and locate it within the wider statutory and regulatory frameworks. It will provide opportunities to critically appraise SEN/D policies at local and national levels and reflect on the complexity and range of debates. 

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module aims to enhance your understanding of the pedagogical principles and practices of teaching inclusively in educational settings, with particular reference to teaching children and young people with SEN/D. It will encourage critical reflection around how provision is led, supported and coordinated and, by emphasising critical participatory principles of shared knowledge, decision making and educational collaboration, will develop confidence around effective partnerships with external agencies, families, and young people.

Credits: 0

Compulsory module

The aim of the portfolio is to enable you to provide evidence of the range of essential knowledge, skills and experience gained prior to and during the SENCO course. The portfolio will be organised in line with the SENCO Learning Outcomes; Professional knowledge and understanding, Leading and coordinating provision, Personal and professional qualities.

Teaching and assessment

The learning and teaching strategies include:

  • lectures
  • masterclasses given by visiting professors and speakers
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • learning activities via our virtual learning environment (VLE).

There will be an emphasis on engagement in individual and group enquiry to develop skills in critical questioning, creative thinking and problem-solving.

Delivery of taught material is structured to include two weekends each semester and some evening teaching. Outside of taught sessions, you are encouraged to undertake further study. This may include reading journal articles, engaging in online discussions, and preparing for assessments.

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


Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Education or another related subject.

You must have either:

  • QTS or QTLS, be a qualified teacher (i.e. successfully completed your NQT induction period, SEND Regs 2014, paragraph 49)
  • OR Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS - appropriate for ages 0-5 only).

You should also preferably be a SENCO. 



In order to engage fully with this programme you must be able to demonstrate that: 

  • You have access to children/young people with SEN/D
  • Are able to lead some aspects of SEN/D in a school, college or other educational setting.
  • Have the support of the Headteacher, principal or Chair of Governors.

We will also ask that your Headteacher / line manager completes and returns the School Memorandum of School Memorandum of Support SENCO Award 2021-22 (38.6KB), which indicates the school or setting's support.

International students

If you're an international student, you'll need to demonstrate experience, or qualifications equivalent to those above.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent (with no skill below 5.5).

Fees and Funding

UK and EU fees for 2022 - 2023

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £2,167 per year.

You are not eligible for a postgraduate loan through Student Finance for this course. Please find out more about alternative ways to fund postgraduate studying here.

International (non-EU) fees for 2022 - 2023

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £4,250 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £2,167 full time

    International 2020-21 £4,250 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are an alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

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: Part Time


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

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