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St Mary's University

National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination PGCert

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (full-time)

The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 5 for Teaching Quality

Complete your National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination part-time over one year at a University rated Outstanding by Ofsted. 

  • Ideal for experienced, newly appointed, deputy or aspiring SENCos

The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination is a mandatory qualification (to be completed within three years of appointment) for all newly appointed Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCo) in mainstream, academies and free schools.

It is also relevant for SENCos/aspiring SENCos in specialist settings, further education and in the early years sector. The course combines the study and application of practice and theory to develop the knowledge, skills and qualities of a successful SENCo.  

The programme has been externally quality assured and accredited by the National Award for SEN Coordination Provider Partnership.

Why St Mary's

Building on our long tradition of excellence in teacher education, the programme is delivered by tutors and relevant guest lecturers with practice and research expertise in the field of SEN and inclusive education.

Along with the opportunity to network and learn from colleagues in other settings, we also personalise your learning through one-to-one tutorials.

You will have access to excellent online learning resources and facilities.

Dr Clare Martin

Senior Lecturer - MA Education

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Course content


The modules listed below are the modules that were available to students in the 2023/24 academic year and are illustrative of what may be offered for 2024/25. 

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

This programme is designed for experienced, newly appointed, deputy or aspiring SENCos who meet the following requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent in any subject (2:2 or higher)
  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), (QTLS) or Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS)
  • Completion of a Headteacher approval form indicating support for you to complete the Learning Log activities


Previous degree

Additional requirement information

Your headteacher will need to complete the headteacher approval form as part of the application process. No application can be approved without the support of the headteacher.

Download headteacher approval letter.

International Requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section.

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

September 2024





Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Alumni discount

A 10% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many home postgraduate students. Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding.  International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

How the degree is taught

Assessment methods

Learning is assessed through two practice-based written assignments of 6,000 words each.

As part of the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination, SENCos are also required to complete a Learning Log of identified activities in their setting.

Career opportunities

Many graduates go on to apply for new opportunities within inclusive education, as well as promotions to senior leadership roles in schools.

The 60 credits gained from this Postgraduate Certificate can be put towards a postgraduate diploma (120 credits) or masters degree (180 credits) offered through our MA Education pathways which include Leading Innovation and Change, Pedagogy and Inclusive Practice.

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We have a range of webinars and events to help you decide whether St Mary's is the place for you.


Student life

Discover what life is like on our London campus.

Open Days

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for you to meet academic staff. You'll also be able to look around the campus, speak to current students and find out more about services such as Accommodation, Student Wellbeing and Study Abroad.

Book your place now