Postgraduate Certificate Special Educational Needs Coordination

2020-21 (also available for 2021-22)

Start date

28 September 2020


1 year part-time

About the course

This course develops your knowledge and expertise in the area of special educational needs and disability (SEND), while fulfilling the Department for Education requirements for the role of special educational needs co-ordination (SENCo).

The 2015 Special Educational Needs Code of Practice stipulates that schools must provide a qualified SENCo, and for SENCos new to the role, it is mandatory to gain this award within three years of taking up the role. This course will support SENCos and aspiring SENCos to develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of special educational needs and disabilities. It also covers key concepts in leadership, supporting students to fulfil the strategic role required of SENCos in schools.

Course detail

Inclusion and SEND:Policy and Practice

In this module, you will explore and analyse inclusion, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the role of the special educational needs coordinator (SENCo). You will critically evaluate appropriate policy and legislation and how this has influenced the development of provision and practice. You will develop an in-depth understanding of definitions and theories of inclusion, and analyse how these align with disability rights, human rights and equality legislation. You will investigate how the needs arising from specific SEND conditions are culturally, socially and historically defined, and what this means for educational practice. You will reflect on how best to enable student progress and achievement, as well as examining and developing school approaches.

Strategic Leadership for SEND

In this module, you will develop a critical understanding of the strategic role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). This will involve an exploration of current education policy and the processes of leadership within educational settings. Your studies will enable you to develop a critical awareness of the issues of developing and strategically leading whole school Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision. You will evaluate the key role played by the SENCo in multi-agency working, and consider how the SEND Code of Practice supports effective working with parents, senior leaders, governors and other professionals.

You will learn through a combination of weekdays workshops conducted on the University campus and directed work activities (such as learning walks) in the work environment and directed by the course mentor.

Alongside the 60-credit qualification, you will complete a work-based practice portfolio in order to gain accreditation for the professional PgCert SENCo award. This provides a focus for reflecting on your professional practice and personal and professional development across the course. Once you have been awarded your postgraduate certificate, you will then have one year to complete your work-based practice portfolio.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An honours degree in a relevant subject at 2:2 or above, or a professional equivalent
  • All entrants must also meet the entry requirements for the SENCo award as defined by National Association for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASEN) This is available at (and for September 2019 is: All entrants must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and be working as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or assistant SENCO or able to closely shadow a SENCO)
  • All entrants must have written commitment from their Head Teacher to release the applicant for the appropriate time to fulfil course study requirements

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Why Choose Huddersfield?

Watch this clip to find out five great reasons to choose the University of Huddersfield for postgraduate study.

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is joint first in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HESA 2020).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.