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The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (PgCert)

Course Description

This successful one year training programme is designed to support the professional development of special educational needs coordinators (SENCOS). Gain 60 credits at masters level and join the hundreds of SENCOs in the South West Consortium who have already gained the award. Discover how you can get involved and make a positive impact on practice, and the achievements of schools and their pupils.

Key features

Take the opportunity to undertake this Department for Education (DfE) approved post-graduate qualification which must be achieved by teachers new to the role of SENCO. If you are an experienced SENCO, you can also gain the qualification.

Benefit from an award offered through the South West Consortium consisting of Plymouth University and the University of Exeter, working in partnership with the local authorities of Bournemouth, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Plymouth, Poole and Somerset.

Take part in a programme which runs in Bodmin, Plymouth, Exeter, Ilminster, and Dorchester. The local tutors are mainly Special Educational Needs (SEN) advisory teachers and experienced SENCOs, working in conjunction with university tutors.

Gain experience working with a tutor allocated to you, offering extensive expertise, knowledge and experience and high quality local personal tuition.

Draw on support from a professional learning community through face-to-face and virtual learning support and resources. Access valuable university facilities and online resources.

Gain 60 masters level credits which can be used towards a masters degree (e.g. MA Education Special Educational Needs).

Course details

You'll complete two modules (each worth 30 masters level credits) which include a total of six days attendance at sessions in your local authority location as well as four school focused/research days. Each module consists of three full days taught sessions and two study days. The modules are designed to explicitly relate to the DfE SENCO Learning Outcomes.


To apply for the programme please complete the application form detailed below and e-mail it to us at or telephone 01752 585858.

If you are a SENCO in Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Torbay or Somerset and would like general information about the programme, please contact the Plymouth University programme leader Mike Murphy.

If you are a SENCO in Bournemouth, Dorset or Poole and would like general information about the programme, please contact the University of Exeter programme leader Hazel Lawson.

International applicants

If you are applying with overseas qualifications please can you check their compatibility with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service. The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.

Visit the The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (PgCert) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The SENCO programme is open to you if you are a teacher who is not a SENCO but who has an interest in the role of SENCO and leadership of special educational needs. It is also open to you if you are a qualified teacher in the role of a SENCO. If you are a teacher and are not a SENCO, you must have access to pupils with special educational needs and will need the support of their headteacher.

Course Fees

Part-time (per 10 credits): UK/EU: £314, International: £750, Islands: £750

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Recipient: Plymouth University

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