PgCert National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination

Improve the lives of SEND Learners. Become a leader for SEND in your school.

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The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination is a mandatory qualification for all newly appointed Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCo) in mainstream schools. 

We aim to help SENCos across the region gain the confidence to successfully lead and strengthen SEND provision in their school. To this day, we’ve successfully engaged over one thousand students with our training on this important course.

On our course, you’ll critically evaluate evidence on learning, teaching and assessing pupils with SEND. You’ll develop the skills to work strategically with senior colleagues and governors, to increase participation and improve the lives and outcomes for pupils experiencing barriers to their learning.

We offer a choice of study options, including an on campus route, where you’ll attend a University based group,
or local area route, where you’ll attend groups within your local authority/ teaching school alliance/academy trust
(subject to group viability and partnership provision arrangement being in place).

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

When you graduate, you could apply for new opportunities within special educational needs, as well as promotions to senior leadership roles in schools.

You’ll gain 60 credits when you complete the PgCert NASENCo and you can put these towards a postgraduate diploma (120 credits) or masters degree (180 credits), for example, going on to study Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia), Autism, or Inclusive Education.  

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

Experienced or newly appointed SENCos: 

Aspirant SENCos:

Course details

Our PgCert NASENCo course is designed to develop your professional SEN skills and knowledge as a leader for SEND in your school. Our course content is guided by NASENCo learning outcomes published by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. 

On our part-time masters level course, you’ll have one year to complete two core units plus a Practice Credit Portfolio. 

This involves 10 attendance days, including, a one-day Conference with international speakers at the University at the end of your programme, plus independent and practice-based study.

You'll be assessed through written assignments. For each unit you will submit a 5,000 word essay. In addition, you'll complete the Practice Credit Portfolio, providing evidence from your practice that you are meeting the Learning Outcomes. You can focus each assignment on your school or place of work. This helps you to apply the theory you learn to your practice.

Our academic team at Manchester Met includes specialist tutors with experience in teaching children with SEND. In addition, you’ll be taught by some of our collaborative partners, including local authority advisory tutors and educational psychologists.

Over your one year course, you'll cover the following core units:

  • Professional Knowledge and Understanding
  • Leading and Coordinating Provision
  • Practice Credit Units

For the full unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Professional Knowledge and Understanding

Through this unit, you'll gain an understanding of:

  • the statutory and regulatory context for SEND equality and the implications for practice in the school or work setting
  • how SEND affects the participation and learning of children and young people
  • strategies for improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND
  • the principles and practice of leadership in different contexts
Leading and Coordinating Provision

Through this unit, you'll gain an understanding of:

  • working strategically with senior colleagues and governors
  • leading, developing and, where necessary, challenging senior leaders, colleagues and governors
  • critically evaluating evidence about learning, teaching and assessment in relation to children and young people with SEND to inform policy and practice
  • developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating systems for identification, progress and assessment of children and young people with SEND
  • effective practice relating to external sources of support and expertise
Practice Credit Units

The Practice Credit Portfolio will be a compilation of evidence for the course Learning Outcomes for Unit 1 and 2.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Placement options

Although there are no formal placements, our programme evaluation identifies the benefit of the networking opportunities provided by our method of delivery.

School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies

Our School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies specialises in teaching and research around education disciplines focused on children, young people, families and communities.

The department works collaboratively with communities, partners, local authorities and arts organisations on social enterprise projects, and has been at the forefront of developments in its field for over 20 years.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1084 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

Download our Postgraduate Application Form and SENCo supplementary application form.

Completed application forms must be sent to Direct Admissions.

Please note: We can only progress your application if we are in receipt of the following: Postgraduate application, the Supplementary application (including any sponsorship letters if applicable). 


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.