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The National Award SENCo (NASENCO) is a statutory award for newly appointed SENCOs (since 2008) in maintained schools. It is fully validated as a University of Worcester award, the Postgraduate Certificate Education (Special Educational Needs Coordination) (60 credits at Masters level). NASC is also available to experienced SENCOs.

In November 2015, NASENCO provision at the University of Worcester was recognised as attaining the peer generated Quality Standards Framework and is therefore registered as provider on the NASEN portal.

The University of Worcester continues to be an approved training provider for the NASENCO
Please contact to express your interest.

NASENCO at the University of Worcester has an exceptionally high attendance and retention rate. The external examiner has commended on aspects of “exemplary practice” in course provision. Former students describe course lecturers as “superb - engaging and approachable with a positive, enthusiastic attitude; always willing to help”. Participants particularly value opportunities to discuss and share good practice. They have also commented on the attraction of learning to critically evaluate their own practice, and having constructive conversations with experienced specialists in the field.

Participants also report significant impact of the course on their learners, their schools and on their own practice.



The course offered at the University is distinctive because:

  • Better inclusive practices are ensured for learners with special educational needs
  • Opportunities are provided to work with other SENCos in a diversity of settings
  • Clear links are established between theory and practice
  • A sound blend of face to face and virtual modes of learning is offered
  • Former participants and their schools rate this course very highly
  • The TDA mid-term course evaluation recognised its very high quality.

Anna's story

Anna Allsup is Deputy Head Teacher at The Forge alternative provision in Redditch. In these clips Anna shares her experiences of completing the National Award SENCO at the University of Worcester. Anna identifies how the course has transformed her practice and enabled her to lead SEN provision effectively within her setting.


National Award SENCO -an Introduction to the course.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry Requirements

The PG Cert SENCO forms a core component of the National Award SENCO (NASENCO). Applicants for the PG Cert SENCO should be in-post in an educational setting. As stipulated by the Department for Education, all applicants wishing to complete the NASENCO must have one of the following qualifications;

• Qualified teacher status (QTS)

• Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)

• Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

In order to graduate with the National Award SENCO (NASENCO), applicants must be practising SENCOs in a position to evidence full engagement with the DfE Learning Outcomes.

Other information

In the event that applicants are not practising SENCOs and aspire to assume the role, in order to join this PG Cert SENCO they must be able to evidence significant opportunities to impact on inclusive practice within their settings. Aspirant SENCOs will also require a letter of support from their head teacher indicating a capacity to meet the PG Cert SENCO Learning Objectives. Upon completion of the PG Cert SENCO, and once in post as a SENCO or Inclusion Manager, these graduates will be requested to evidence full engagement with the DfE NASENCO Learning Outcomes. Upon satisfactory completion of a framework of evidence, within three years of completing the PG Cert SENCO, they will also be awarded the National Award SENCO.

Course content

What will you study?


  • The SENDCO role: Meeting statutory and policy requirements and working collaboratively for learners with SEND
  • Leading and Managing Inclusive Change Through Research Informed Approaches
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?


The assessment process prepares participants to meet the TA (Teaching Agency) Learning Outcomes. The assessment items promote critical discussions of your current professional practice. Assessments are supported with reference to a portfolio of evidence which illustrates how your practice is informed by reflection and the application of research pertaining to special educational needs. Assessment for each module consists of a 3,000 word essay, or its equivalent.

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has at least one formal or ‘summative’ assessment, which is graded and counts towards the overall module grade.  

Over the duration of the course, assessment methods include; formative and summative completion of the NASENCO Learning Outcomes Framework. This work will be complemented by submission of a diversity of assessments that may include, for example, written assignments, presentations and responses to professional problem based learning scenarios.

Course delivery

The PG Cert. consists of three 20 credit modules, spread across seven contact and three study days throughout the academic year. The course also facilitates a network of support through a virtual learning platform and through peer engagement. Academic and professional mentoring and support is also a feature of the course.

Teaching and Learning

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for further study and for the application of knowledge, skills and values that will enable you to become a leader of inclusive practice within your setting. To attain this end, a mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and to build a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish within, and beyond, the professional role of SENCO.

All modules emphasise self-directed autonomous learning where you will have opportunities to applying the learning outcomes to inform change processes within your professional setting.

Tutors and speakers employ a variety of teaching strategies including for example; lead lectures and seminars, group worked responses to key learning outcomes, engagement with online and blended learning activities all of which are supported by the University’s interactive e-learning platform, Blackboard.

The commencement of the course provides a full day’s induction session. As you progress through the course, additional formative support is provided through face-to-face, telephone or other electronic forms of one-to one tutorials with course tutors. Additionally, formative aspects of teaching and learning include the use of peer support discussion boards and on-line supports.

Contact time

Typically the 20 credit postgraduate modules on the course will consist of:

  • Taught sessions (3 study days) e.g.3 x 7 hours
  • Structured e-learning tasks and activities e.g. 6 x 5 hours
  • Guided independent study (including group work and tutor support mentoring) Formative tasks and Independent study approx. 140 hours

Independent self-study

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment (VLE, Blackboard), and extensive on-line learning resources, for example an extensive reading list that provides links to the latest pertinent research in the field. 

As the PG Cert SENCO is premised upon research-informed, autonomous professional enhancement, much of the independent self-study component of the course entails the professional consideration and implementation of actions associated with the Department for Education’s NASENCO Learning Outcomes Framework. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes Dr.Seán Bracken and Gareth Dart from the Institute of Education, both of whom have Fellowships from Advance Higher Education. Additionally, accomplished experts in the field of education and inclusion provide additional guest teaching sessions. 


You will receive feedback on formative assessments and on formal summative assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.


Where could it take you?


The PG Cert. Education (Special Educational Needs Coordination) (NASENCO) is worth 60 level 7 (Masters level) credits and is equivalent to one third of a Masters degree. Once you have completed the NASENCO, you can transfer your credits into the MA Education (Special and Inclusive Education) or the MA Education with the University of Worcester. Contact for more information.


How much will it cost?


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

How to apply