National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination PgCert

Why choose this course?

Are you an existing or aspiring SENCO?

This course is for you if you are looking to complete the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCO). All SENCOs appointed since 2009 must achieve the NASENCO within 3 years of appointment.

The course offers an overview of special educational needs and/or disabilities in the context of policy, practice and professionalism.

You will study the range of perspectives which impact on the work of SEN coordinators. Central to the course is the study of strategies to enhance learning. You will explore research-based interventions in SEN provision for effective working with staff, pupils, governors, parents and other stakeholders.

You will be able to share your ideas for professional practice, confidently engage in academic and professional discourse, and develop advocacy skills.

Mode Duration Start date
Part time 1 year September 2020
Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course incorporates the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCO). It is designed for existing or aspiring special educational needs (SEN) coordinators who already hold QTS, QTLS or EYTS (0-5 years only).
  • The course will enable you to support the learning and development of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
  • You will be included in a community of practitioners and researchers working together on inclusion and social justice to improve the lives of people with special educational needs.

What you will study

This course will enable SEN coordinators to better meet the needs of learners who have special educational needs and disabilities.

You will gain an overview of Special Educational Needs and disabilities in the context of policy, practice and professionalism. You will critically evaluate specialist sources to understand the range of perspectives which impact on the work of SEN coordinators.

You will develop your reflective practice through evaluation of practice-based scenarios and self-reflective work. The leadership of change in professional settings will draw on appropriate theories and resource management will be examined with reference to both professional and inter-professional working.

Core modules

Core modules

Critical Reflections on the role of the SEN coordinator

30 credits

This module is designed to help you gain an overview of Special Educational Needs. Databases and other specialist sources are examined to develop evidence-based approaches to learning, teaching and assessment. A critical understanding of the statutory and regulatory context for SEN and disability is developed. Critical reflections and ethical practice are important focal points for exploring how learning outcomes for learners with SEND can be improved, including the use of reflective journal writing. A consolidating theme for the module is an exploration of the personal and professional qualities that SEN coordinators use to enhance pupil attainment.

Leading change and the role of the SEN coordinator

30 credits

This module is designed to enable you to develop the process of enacting change both professionally and interprofessionally. The exploration of the principles and practice of leadership will involve organizational theory relevant to the leadership of SEN provision, including self reflection and ways of promoting professional learning within and across settings. The use of external sources of support and expertise will involve consideration of the sustainability of provision.Constructs of interprofessional working will be encountered, including multiagency teams which focus on SEN and disabilities.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

You will need to be currently employed as a teacher / practitioner in an education-related setting, in full-time or part-time employment with QTS, QTLS or EYTS* (*suitable for ages 0–5 only).

Candidates are normally required to have an honours degree and/or further qualifications relating to working in Special Educational Needs in an education-related environment.


If your first language is not English, you need to demonstrate a good standard of written and spoken English and have an Academic IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with no element below 6.0. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

If you require a Tier 1-5 visa to reside in the UK (this includes a Tier 4 student visa), you will not be able to enrol on a part-time programme at the University.

Teaching and assessment

You will learn about leading on special educational needs through interactive lectures, seminars and online work in our in our Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas).

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

10% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 60 hours
  • Guided independent study: 540 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

How you will be assessed

Summative assignments will include a critical commentary on the implications of legislative interventions for the role of the SENCO and the critical evaluation of sources to develop strategies for the leadership of SEN provision in situated practice.

Formative assessments will include tutor-facilitated online discussions, creating and maintaining a reflective journal, the collaborative exploration of specialist sources in workshop sessions and work in progress papers arising from assignment preparation involving tutor and peer feedback.

  • 100% coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Each module has six full day study events throughout the year, enabling to fit your learning experience around your work commitments.

Who teaches this course?

The tutors for your course are experienced practitioners in the field of SEN/D and inclusive education. They continue to be actively involved in a range of education related activities, such as further study, research and direct work with schools, community stakeholders and other educational settings.

Course fees and funding

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • PgCert part time £2,500

Please note that fees relate to the academic year in question and will increase in future years.

If you require a Tier 1-5 visa to reside in the UK (this includes a Tier 4 student visa), you will not be able to enrol on a part-time programme at the University.

For courses that can be studied part time, the part-time fees are for students entering Year 1. The fees for students entering Year 2 in the following year will remain the same. Fees may increase for students entering Years 1 and 2 in future years.


Visit our Fees and funding page to find out about the student funding options available to help you fund your postgraduate studies.

Discounts for Kingston University alumni

Kingston University is pleased to offer a 10 per cent discount on full-time and part-time postgraduate degree course tuition fees (including PGCE courses) to our alumni. Visit our Alumni discount page to find out more.


The Kingston Hill campus features an outdoor learning environment where trainee teachers lead curriculum-linked natural sciences activities with children. It includes a specially built 'cubby house', outdoor pond, beehive and nature trail. It offers early years students the opportunity to simulate teaching and learning with natural materials.

There are a number of teaching rooms set up to replicate actual classrooms. Each classroom is subject based - such as an art room, science lab, and each is equipped with all the relevant facilities you will need to practise your lessons before taking them into school.

Our library (the Nightingale Centre) has an excellent range of teaching resources to help you plan and teach your lessons, such as a range of children's topic books, music and nursery rhymes on CD, as well as artefacts and kits that can be used to illustrate historical periods, different religions, science, maths and music.


After you graduate

The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCO) PgCert will enable you to fulfil the role of a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in an interprofessional community, and may lead to promotion opportunities in your organisation. 

The award is mandatory for all SEN coordinators in schools within three years of appointment and is intended to enable students to fulfil the leadership roles set out in the SEND Code of Practice: 0 - 25 years (2014).

The course is a distinctive and tailored provision for Education professionals and is intended to broaden its reach to other cohorts in the region and nation.

After completing the PG Cert in NASENCO, you could further your research studies by using the credits gained to progress onto the Master of Research (Education), which in turn provide a foundation for doctoral study.


The course incorporates the SENCO learning outcomes expected of The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.

What our students say

The interactive mode of learning is very positive, it allows for an exchange of ideas, knowledge and skills. The programme brings together a rich diversity of experiences and skills, which improves and enhances the learning process. It provides an excellent opportunity to network with other people from different local authorities and I have enjoyed feeling part of a postgraduate community.

Student, National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination PgCert

Research areas

Research undertaken by groups in the School of Education, in different age phases, will be relevant to this course as will research on professional and interprofessionally practice in the HSCE faculty.