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Since 2008, the PG Cert SENCO or National Award SENCo (NASENCO), has been a mandatory award for newly appointed SENCOs in maintained schools. NASENCO is also available for experienced SENCOs who wish to refresh their current knowledge and skills in the field of SEND. The PG Cert SENCO is fully validated as a University of Worcester programme as part of our master’s offer. It consists of two 30 credit modules at Level 7.

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 University of Worcester continues to be an approved training provider for the NASENCO

Please contact to express your interest.




The NASENCO at the University is noteworthy as it:

  • Provides opportunities for course participants to develop long lasting communities of professional practice. These networks provide collegiate support in terms of project development, assessment completion and developing innovative practice within your setting.
  • Enables participants to address ‘real setting challenges with real setting solutions.’ Strategies are provided enabling course participants to self-identify areas for further professional enhancement. Through active processes of reflection, research, application, and evaluation course participants are empowered to empower learners with SEND within their settings.
  • Strengthens capacity for leadership and change management as a means of developing positive outcomes for all learners.
NASCO Provider Group logo


The NASENCO provision at the University of Worcester adheres fully to the peer generated Provider Partnership’s Quality Standards Framework and it is therefore registered as a trusted provider on the NASEN website portal.

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).

To graduate with the National Award SENCO (NASENCO), applicants must be practising SENCOs in a position to evidence full engagement with the

in a position to evidence full engagement with the DfE Learning Outcomes Framework

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 required 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

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules will change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course.

The course has two start dates, one at the beginning of the academic year and another at the beginning of the new calendar year. This facilitates flexibility in relation to when it may be best for you to complete the course.


The PG Cert SENCO consists of two modules:

  • 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?

Teaching and Learning

You are taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures, seminars and virtual as well as face to face discussions and practical activities. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities.  Seminars enable the development of topic understanding covered previously in interactive sharing and developing of new ideas. Individual and group project work also forms a key aspect of course learning

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled at least once prior to each assignment undertaking.

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future career progression, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful as a SENCO.

Contact time

Overall, each module consists of:

  • 4 x 8 hours of face to face or blended learning sessions

  • 2 x 1 hours of group and individual tutorials

  • 8 hours per week in preparation for assignments and completing pre-session readings and preparatory tasks.

Independent self-study

Typically, for each module lasting over a twelve-week period, you are expected to complete in the region of 170 hours of independent learning. 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.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. The assessment process prepares participants to meet the Department for Education (DfE) Learning Outcomes Framework. The assessment items promote critical reflection on your current professional practice and seek to bring about practical, positive change in your setting through a process of analysis, change and review. The aim is to bring about an ever-inclusive culture within your setting so that learners identified with SEND are enabled to reach their potentials

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 has several facets including presentations, posters and formal academic writing. For course participants with specific learning requirements there is also scope to negotiate the nature of assessment to facilitate learning outcome attainment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Over the duration of the course, iterative completion of the DfE Learning Outcomes Framework also forms part of the assessment process. The following overview provides an indicative overview of the assessment process:


Module 1:

Peer generated presentation focused on one of the dimensions of SEND

Written assignment to explore implications of an area of SEND

Written assignment based on implications of pertinent policy and legislation.

Module 2:

Extended reflective project exploring the nature of inclusive change leadership in an educational setting.

Feedback will be provided on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors.


  • First option, full academic year September to June
  • Second option, two semesters, first beginning in January and finishing in December.

Location of teaching

All sessions are provided at the University of Worcester or are made available online via the University Virtual Learning Environment, which is Blackboard.

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 a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and Gareth Dart a Fellow of the HEA.   Invited specialists and practitioners are invited to complement the learning experience.


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. SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordination) (NASENCO) is worth 60 level 7 (Masters level) credits and is equivalent to one third of a Master’s 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.

Some colleagues who have completed the course have been promoted within their settings and progressed to positions of senior leadership within their schools.


How much will it cost?

Part-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fees for part-time home students enrolling on PGCert courses in the academic year 2024/25 are £750 per 15-credit module, £1,500 per 30-credit module, £2,250 per 45-credit module, and £3,000 per 60-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Course-related costs not included in the fees

Apart from travel costs to and from the teaching space, and should you wish to purchase key texts, there should be no additional costs associated with the course.

Sources of financial support

Most financial support is available from Student Finance England The University’s Money Advice Service can provide information about student money; this can be accessed through firstpoint.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Apply for the course here


Want to know more?

If you would like further information about the application process or programme schedule please email

Applicants are welcome to contact the programme coordinator Dr Sean Bracken 

Before applying, please download and complete the Head Teacher’s Supporting Statement and upload it to your application.

 The Head Teacher’s supporting statement confirms that the school will support your study and ensure that resources and collegial support are provided to enable you to realise the intended learning outcomes of the course. 


Get in touch

Admissions office

Admissions Office