National Award Special Educational Needs Coordination

  • Professional Accreditation


Course Length:1 Year Part-Time
Start Dates:February 2016, September 2016, February 2017
Department:Faculty of Education
Location:Online Study
  • Join one of the leading providers of postgraduate professional development for Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) and reach the highest standard of professional practice and scholarship;
  • Benefit from a flexible delivery of online and face-to-face sessions facilitated nationwide at central locations;
  • Enhance your practice, knowledge and understanding of the range of specific issues related to Special Educational Needs and inclusion, enabling you to better support pupils/learners with SEN(D);
  • Engage with a broad conceptual base of current SENCo practice, consider the use of relevant research and its associated ethical issues and examine the nature and place of experiential learning in the role of the SENCo.

As a serving SENCo, this National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination has been developed to provide you with a rich, critical and broad-based understanding of the theories and concepts surrounding inter-professional working with children and young people experiencing barriers to learning. It will help you further develop your practice as a committed, responsible and creative professional, capable of critical thinking and practical action and support you in enhancing whole-school provision for pupils who have Special Educational Needs or disabilities. Over 2,000 SENCOs nationally have benefited from the expertise of the Edge Hill SEN team.

Faculty of Education

Course in Depth

What will I study?

The taught element of the course will comprise two Level 7 modules, one per semester, which provide elements applicable to Special Educational Needs, inclusion, understanding barriers to learning, leadership, and collaborative working.

How will I study?

You will study online and will be required to attend four face-to-face sessions during the programme.

The face-to-face sessions will be held in central locations such as Edge Hill University, London, Birmingham and Gateshead (subject to numbers).

How will I be assessed?

The programme will be assessed via two reflective portfolios (one in each module). These will include practice-based assessment tasks and a critical reflection of 2,500 words. You will also be required to collate a portfolio of evidence in relation to the 49 SENCo Standards.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by well qualified and experienced tutors with expertise in the field of special needs, together with potential input from the Local Authority.

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PBM4015 Excellent Teaching and Learning in Inclusive Learning Environments (30 credits)

Excellent Teaching and Learning in Inclusive Learning Environments provides knowledge and understanding of the range of specific issues related to Special Educational Needs and Inclusion and will provide a broad conceptual base from which to develop outstanding practice as a SENCo. You will investigate, evaluate and reflect upon current educational attitudes and policies that will support efforts to develop highly effective practice in inclusive education.

PBM4016 Developing Excellent Consultative and Collaborative Working Practices (30 credits)

Developing Excellent Consultative and Collaborative Working Practices emphasises the centrality of human relationships to developing highly effective professional interaction. The module encourages you to take responsibility for your own learning and follow a systematic and supported route of inquiry and further independent study that will help you to develop your own professional practice. The module enables you to analyse collaborative processes and examines how to develop these to foster effective inclusive practices.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

To join this programme, you must have an undergraduate degree or equivalent in any subject, hold Qualified Teacher Status, and be employed in the post of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) within a school or setting. Eligible schools and settings include maintained schools (including special schools), non-maintained special schools, city technology colleges, academies, free schools and pupil referral units.

If you wish to study on modules where distance learning is required, you must have access to a PC with a suitable broadband connection which provides good internet access; you must also have a secure postal address. All participants joining the programme will be required to meet the Disclosure and Barring Service’s (DBS) mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

This award has been described as ‘mandatory’ by the Department for Education for new SENCos working in the mainstream sector. It is also considered as a ‘strongly advised’ qualification by the Department for Education for experienced SENCos in the same sector. The qualification is therefore central to career progression for all serving SEN Coordinators in schools.


Tuition Fees

For information about tuition fees for this programme, please email

Financial Support

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters guide for your intended academic year of entry.


How to Apply

Download the application form (pdf).

If you require any advice or further information about the application process, please contact the SENCo Administrative Office at Edge Hill University on 01695 650997 or email

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact: