How do you want to study?


1 year


TEF Silver



If you are interested in applying for this course, please contact

If you hold qualified teacher status and wish to, or have been appointed SEN co-ordinator, we can help you fulfil the requirement to gain the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

Canterbury Christ Church University is one of the country's largest and most experienced provider of courses such as this, and is a fully approved NASEN training provider. Our team has worked with well over 1,100 SENCOs, so you can be sure of the best teaching – helping you further your career.

The National Award for SEN Co-ordination is a one year, part time postgraduate certificate course, which, on successful completion of the assessed work will give SENCOs 60 Masters level credits (the equivalent to a third of a full Masters).

Entry requirements

This course is for qualified teachers holding Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) who have recently been appointed to the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), or who are aspiring SENCOs.

Please note: Entry requirements for QTS: School staff in the role of SENCo will have completed an induction period (SEND Regs 2014, paragraph 49)

If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 for most standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are some exceptions and if the IELTS requirement differs it will be specified on the course page.

All about the course

The course is built around the 49 professional learning outcomes that have been developed by the NCTL (National College for Teaching and Leadership), and covers the following key areas:

  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the SENCO
  • Understanding SEN, disability and underachievement
  • Introducing evidence based practice and Action Research to inform and improve practice within the school
  • Whole school systems: co­ordinating provision effectively
  • Understanding funding systems and implications for strategic resource planning
  • Working collaboratively and strategically with others: introducing the key skills of leadership, enabling and delegation
  • Working in partnership – with other professionals, agencies and services
  • Working in partnership – with pupils, parents and carers.

Canterbury Christ Church University meets quality standards as set out by the National Award for SEN Provider Partnership which means this course is registration approved.

How you’ll learn

The National Award for SEN Co­ordination comprises nine full days taught input and two half day sessions.

You will be fully supported through expert teaching, practical discussions with other participants and direct email tutorial support.

All course tutors are passionate about supporting professional development of the SENCO role, some have publications and maintain close contact with schools to ensure you access to the most current and relevant information. Students find the face to face contact and networking with other SENCOs invaluable, this support often extends beyond the course to provide lasting professional relationships.

Programme Director

How you’ll be assessed

You will complete three written Masters level assignments, each of 4,000 words each. These assignments are spread across the course and you will be provided with full guidance and high levels of support in your sessions to understand how to complete the assignments. Successful completion of these three 20 credit Masters level assignments will enable you to be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in SEN Co-ordination.

In addition to the Masters level assignments, if you are in post as SENCO, you will need to complete a professional portfolio of practice demonstrating how you are leading the development of SEN practices in relation to each of the 49 required learning outcomes in your school setting. You will be provided with full guidance and support during sessions to help you to successfully complete your portfolio of practice.

Your future career

On successful completion of the whole of this course (i.e. the Postgraduate Certificate in SEN Coordination and the National Award for SEN Coordination), you will be able to hold the post of SENCO.

Some of our students have chosen to continue their studies on one of our Master's programmes. 

Sessions were always taught in a clear and understandable way by staff with a great amount of expertise. Tutor support throughout the course was fantastic and was a key factor in my success. I feel I learnt so much from this excellent programme and am now far more confident in meeting the needs of both staff and pupils in my school.

Course Alumni


2021/22 tuition fees for this course 

  UK Overseas
Full-time N/A N/A
Part-time Before September 2021 the fees are £2,600 per year after this date they are £2,660 per year N/A

Important Information on Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated. The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2021/22 only. Please read the 2021/22 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding year on year fee increases. Students studying FULL PGCE courses may be eligible to apply to Student Finance for a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan. You can find out more on our fees and funding web pages.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Information for Croydon cohort only

Students studying in this are also required to pay an independent service charge to the Octavo Partnership who manage education services in the Croydon area. This charge is directly invoiced by the Octavo Partnership and is separate to the Canterbury Christ Church University fee. 

Alumni discount

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Please note

If you are not the named SENCO at the school and do not hold QTS or QTLS, then we are unable to award you the full National Award for SEN Co-ordination.  You will, however, still be able to attend all sessions and on successful completion of the 3 x 20 credit modules, will be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs.

If you later become the SENCO (within three years of enrolment) it is possible to submit a Portfolio of Learning Outcomes specific to the SENCO role. When this portfolio is combined with the 3 x 20 credit modules, you will then be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs and the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

Viable cohort size

Please note that cohorts will run subject to viable numbers of applicants. Every effort is made to communicate with you at the earliest opportunity should this arise and you may be offered a later start date or an alternative location.

Apply now


1 year