National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination PG Cert

London, Bloomsbury

The programme aims to develop participants' professional knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts and debates addressed in the academic and professional literature, in order to lead and co-ordinate special educational needs and disability (SEN and D) provision across an educational setting. For SENCos new to the role it is mandatory to achieve the award within three years of appointment.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Not applicable
2 calendar years
Programme starts
January 2024
Applications accepted
January 2024 entry: 06 Feb – 01 Dec 2023

Applications closed

For January 2024 entry, please use this link to apply.

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to have QTS (qualified teacher status) or equivalent. A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is also required. Those who hold a degree below the minimum standard have to show an ability to meet the demands of the programme through an extended personal statement.

Applicants need to be a SENCO or aspiring SENCO and have completed a Headteacher approval form (signed by Headteacher or Line manager) indicating support for you to meet all the learning outcomes of the National Award for SENCOs.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is not suitable for international students on a Student visa.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

By the end of the programme students should be able to:

  • contribute to contemporary debate in the fields of special education, inclusion and disability studies
  • produce and communicate reasoned and informed reflective argument, both in writing and orally
  • carry out a focused practitioner inquiry relating to the role of the SENCo, supported by relevant literature sources
  • improve professional practice through greater knowledge, skills, understanding and awareness

Who this course is for

The programme is aimed at those who currently hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in the UK, Qualified Teacher Learning Skills (QTLS), Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) and who are currently working as, or aspiring to be, a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) with Headteacher approval.

The NASENCO qualification will remain the mandatory SENCO qualification until autumn 2024 when it will be replaced by the national professional qualification (NPQ) for SENCOs. SENCOs who enrol on the NASENCO course in the 2023/24 academic year will be recognised as fulfilling the mandatory training requirement as long as this is completed within 3 years of starting a SENCO post. SENCOs who have successfully completed the NASENCO course will not be required to complete the SENCO NPQ.

What this course will give you

This programme is run by the Centre for Inclusive Education in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. It is delivered by specialists who currently practise in the field along with researchers with international profiles in SEN, disabilities and inclusion. IOE has been ranked number one in the world for education for the last ten years (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).

Students will get the opportunity to meet regularly with colleagues working in different local authorities in London and further afield.

The Centre for Inclusive Education offers research-informed and practice-orientated courses and knowledge exchange activities and fosters strong links with local authorities, academy federation trusts and teaching school alliances.

The foundation of your career

This programme will prepare participants for progression to employment as SEN co-ordinators or for senior leadership roles within schools in a variety of settings.


Upon successful completion of this programme, students who apply to the Special and Inclusive Education MA can request to have the 60 SENCo credits as Approved Prior Learning (APL) towards the Master's.


NASENCO students have opportunities to network with other SENCos and Aspiring SENCOs and with other postgraduate students in the department. NASENCO students are invited to attend a range of departmental seminars and events.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of face to face sessions, online activites and tutorials.

Each module is delivered over five days. A Learning Outcomes Log needs to be completed as the practical component. Assessment is through a practitioner enquiry assignment for both modules consisting of 4,500 words per module. The focus is on the practitioner as researcher within the participant's own education institution.

There are of the two taught modules has 10 sessions. Sessions take place over 5 weekdays usually consisting of two sessions each day generally scheduled alternate weeks during the term times. Students will need to make arrangements with their school to allow them the time to participate with online resources, activities, discussion forums and tutorials as well as attend face to face sessions. Overall each module requires approximately 300 hours of study, including attendance.


There are five days engagement per module, with a mixture of face to face and online activities. Each module is taught over one term. The programme is usually completed within one academic year, with the option to complete it within a maximum of two years as the programme is Flexible/Modular.

You will take Developing SEN Co-ordination: Improving Teaching and Learning module (PHDE0042) over one term. This module is focused around learning, teaching and the SENCo role within the classroom context.

You will also take Developing SEN Co-ordination: Leading and Managing Change module (PHDE0040) over a subsequent term. This module will focus on leading and managing change within the field of SEN.

And the Learning Outcomes Log module (PHDE0078).

Upon successful completion of the course students are able to progress to apply to MA Special and Inclusive Education and transfer up to 60 SENCO credits to this programme within the usual timeframe for approved prior learning.

Compulsory modules

Developing SEN Co-ordination: Improving Learning and Teaching

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits. Upon successful completion of 60 credits and the learning outcome log requirements, you will be awarded a PG Cert in National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £3,500
Tuition fees (2024/25) £7,600

Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs because students on this programme complete assignment related activities in their educational setting.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees, return flights and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Special Educational Needs Co-ordination at graduate level
  • why you want to study Special Educational Needs Co-ordination at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Applicants must upload their QTS certificate and Headteacher approval form (download here) (signed by Headteacher or Line Manager) indicating support for you to meet all the learning outcomes of the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.