National Award for SENCO – Bath Spa University Skip to main content

National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination

National Award for SENCO and PGCert

Postgraduate degree

National Award for SENCO and PGCert Vulnerable Learners and Inclusion
School of Education
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
12-16 months, part time.

Entry requirements

You’ll be either a new or aspiring SENCO. You must be working in a school and have the support of your headteacher or Senior Leadership team to undertake the award. You must hold QTS.

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

Extend your knowledge of and skills in Special Educational Needs Coordination in our SENCo training course.

  • High quality, interactive programme delivered by specialists in the field.
  • Access additional mentor support from an experienced SENCo.
  • Integration of theory and practice to support role development.

The National Award for SENCo is a mandatory award for all SENCos new to post. New SENCos must gain the National Award within three years of appointment. We work in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire Local Authorities, with students joining us from across the South West.

Through our exciting and interactive award, you’ll extend your knowledge and skills in relation to the role of the SENCo. As a Nasen approved provider, we provide the most up-to-date information regarding policy, theory and practice. A unique feature of our course is that you’ll be mentored by an experienced SENCo in your area.

“I would recommend the course to any aspiring or new SENCos. It has given me confidence and a deeper understanding into Special Educational Needs (SEN). I now enjoy my role so much more.”

National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination graduate

What you'll learn


The National Award for SENCo is a mandatory award for all SENCOs new to post, and must be achieved within three years of taking up the post. The National Award for SENCo explores the key aspects of the role of the SENCo, as specified in the Learning Outcomes for National Award for Special Educational (NCTL, 2014). Current legislation and national perspectives are explored in relation to the role of the SENCo.

You’ll critically explore areas such as pupil voice and parent engagement. Alongside this, you’ll investigate the key areas relating to the strategic and leadership aspect of the role, for example finance, data, management, and the role of Ofsted.

You’ll develop skills that can immediately be put into place in your setting. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the SENCo role, and effective practice. Throughout the award, there is ample opportunity to link theory and practice through collectively exploring practical solutions to identified issues.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • The SENCo as a leader: policy to practice
  • The role of the SENCo - provision for SEN
How will I be assessed?

The two modules are assessed through written assignments, which lead to a Postgraduate Certificate in Special Education Needs Coordination.

In addition to completing the two modules, you're required to complete a professional portfolio to achieve the National Award for SENCo.

How will I be taught?

Sessions are face-to-face and online, with input from experts in the field of SEN. In addition to this, you’ll be supported with:

  • School-based mentor support throughout the year in small groups
  • Writing workshops to support writing at Master’s level
  • One-on-one or small group tutorials.

You'll meet with an experienced SENCo mentor four times throughout the year. The SENCo mentor will support you with the completion of the Professional Development Portfolio. You'll also have access to our Virtual Learning Environment and the online library.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.



The National Award for SENCo is ideal for current teachers who are interested in working in the area of SEN. New SENCOs must achieve the National Award for SENCO within three years of appointment. Those who complete the National Award for SENCo can accredit their prior learning towards the Master’s in Inclusive Education.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The award is taught at our Newton Park campus.


You'll have access to our:


UK students part time

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

Course fees

2023/24 entry £2,775
2024/255 entry Published Jan 2024
2025/26 entry Published Jan 2025

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

You’ll be either a new or aspiring SENCo. You must be working in a school and have the support of your headteacher or Senior Leadership team to undertake the award. You must hold QTS or QTLS. School staff in the role of SENCO will have completed an induction period (SEND Regs 2014, paragraph 49). 

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Please include with your application your QTS number, scan of your highest qualification, a reference from your head teacher and your location preference (Newton Park or Corsham Court). A portfolio is not required.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

An ideal way to get ahead is to begin to keep a record of your SENCo activities. Pre-course reading lists are available from Helen Curran. Keep up-to-date with SENCo information and policy through following @bathspasenco.

Want to apply for this year? 

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

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