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Course content

Gain the qualification you need to teach in the area of special educational needs in Post-16 and Further Education, previously known as Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET), and including 14-19 provision.

It is suitable whether you are new to teaching and need us to find you a placement, or if you are already working as a teacher or trainer within the SEN context and want to become qualified.

The course maps to the national framework for teaching qualifications in Post-16 and Further Education, the new Diploma in Education and Training for Disabled Learners (DET, previously DTLLS). The course is recognised by the professional body, currently the Institute for Learning (IfL) and sector body the Education and Training Foundation (EtF). It enables you to apply for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status for Post-16 and Further Education, which is equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in schools. QTLS is currently awarded by IfL who charge a fee for membership and QTLS registration. An employer may be willing to pay the fee for you.

On the course, you

  • develop as a teacher in special educational needs
  • develop your knowledge and understanding of educational ideas and theories
  • engage with the latest developments for special educational needs in the Post-16 and Further Education context

You apply the course theory through your teaching practice. This consists of at least 120 hours teaching over either one year or two. During the course, University staff and your placement or workplace mentor assess your teaching practice eight times.

Key areas covered include • planning and preparing to teach • assessment for learning • teaching methods • behaviour for learning • using technology in teaching and learning • progression against the professional standards • understanding your wider professional context.

Settings of Post-16 and Further Education and Training include • further education colleges • school sixth forms • higher education institutions • adult and community learning providers • private training companies • public services • 14-19 educational providers.

After successfully completing the course, you gain a level 7 qualification equivalent to DTLLS or the new Diploma in Education and Training, but at masters level, and you can use these 60 credits towards a masters course.

We have partnerships with a range of settings across the Post-16 and Further Education sector, who provide you with a wide range of placement opportunities.

If you do not have an undergraduate degree or equivalent and need an initial teaching qualification, you can study our CertEd Post-16 Education and Training. This route is not available with the special educational needs specialism.

Further information

For more information regarding our routes into teaching, including funding, placements, QTS skills tests and career prospects visit our teach site.

Professional recognition

The course is recognised by the Education and Training Foundation (EtF).

Course structure


  • introduction to learning, teaching and assessment
  • the learner experience (SEN)
  • professional practice 1 and 2 (SEN)
  • exploring your specialist context (SEN)
  • extending teaching for learning


  • assessment of practical teaching
  • presentations
  • planning and evaluation exercises
  • preparation of teaching materials
  • written assignments


We have an excellent graduate employment record. On average 95% of our PGCE graduates are teaching or in further study within six months of graduating.

Previous students have gone on to teach in • further education colleges • sixth form colleges • schools • public services • private training organisations • voluntary sector.

Others work as educational development officers or similar for local education authorities, non-governmental organisations and charities.

Visit the Post-16 and Further Education (Special Educational Needs) PGCE page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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