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Key Facts

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Start Dates: Oct
Attendance: Part-time day | Part-time distance learning
Course Level:Postgraduate
Duration: 1 Year
Campus Location: Bedford Campus

About the course

The National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination (NASENCO) is a legally required qualification for all new Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) that must be completed within three years of appointment.

This course will support you to improve your knowledge of current legislation, theory and practice in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision in schools/colleges and your skills in meeting those needs.

This course will assist you to fulfil your leadership role as outlined in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for 0 to 25 years (DfE, 2015):

  • Overseeing the operation of the institution’s SEN policy
  • Coordinating provision for SEND
  • Liaising with the relevant designated teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
  • Advising on a graduated approach to providing SEN Support and effective deployment of the institution’s delegated budget and other resources
  • Liaising with families of children with SEN, other schools and relevant external professionals/ agencies
  • Liaising with potential next providers of education and consulting young people and families to ensure a smooth transition is planned
  • Working with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school conforms to the Equality Act (2010)
  • Ensuring that the institution keeps records of young people with SEN up to date.

You will be able to tailor the assignments to fit your, and your institution’s, needs.


  • Study on a course designed for to develop SENCOs’ professional attributes and knowledge, understanding and skills, to enable you to fulfil the leadership role set out in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for 0 to 25 years (DfE, 2015).
  • Explore course content highly relevant to mainstream and special school practitioners alike, focusing on issues related to literacy difficulties and dyslexia in schools, and how potential barriers to learning can be removed
  • Develop your understanding of concepts, theories and approaches to literacy difficulties, including dyslexia, and inclusion in schools, and on your potential for influencing change
  • Gain insight into the learning of dyslexic and other pupils/students who experience difficulties in literacy development/specific learning difficulties, and ways in which learning might be more effectively supported
  • Benefit from a qualification that could be used as the basis for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) claim into an MA Education course (Level 7).
The campus where this course is taught

Units

  • Further Development Of Special Education Needs Coordination In Schools (EDC047-6) Compulsory
  • Introduction To Special Education Needs Coordination In Schools (EDC004-6) Compulsory

Each unit in this course has its own assessment. Wherever possible, the specific focus of assignments is negotiated individually between the unit tutor and the student, within the parameters of the unit, in order to ensure that the assignment meets the personal and professional needs of the student. The course provides students with a carefully planned and coherent sequence of learning opportunities that facilitate their development via diagnostic, formative and summative assessments. There are six assessments across the two units. The first assessment in Unit 1 requires application of personal understanding of current legislation and associated Regulations to the individual context with a critical and analytical reflection on the extent to which current school or college practice is both inclusive and compliant with the law. Assessments then move to a focus on critical application of assessment theory and research to the assessment of individual learning and behaviour needs, the design, development, and implementation of an individual plan linked carefully to needs, and critical analysis of the effectiveness of this, together with reflection on the implications for future planning. The assessments in Unit 2 follow a similar pattern but at institutional level: analysis and reflection on current school/college policy in areas related to special educational needs and inclusive practices and the negotiation of any improvements required; analysis of weaknesses in areas of special educational needs and disabilities provision, the design, development, implementation, critical evaluation, and reporting on a small-scale practitioner research project focused on addressing the weakness in one priority area. At this level the expectations, in terms of the quality of work produced, is high and students will need to take active control of their learning. At Masters level the expectation is that students are autonomous and confident learners, will undertake assessments that are challenging and require mature argument and sustained research, and fluent and cogent presentation. Students are encouraged in their assessments to draw upon an extensive range of literature to demonstrate a deep theoretical understanding and communicate effectively in written and oral form. Assessments at Masters level reflect the greater challenges in terms of skills and intellectual understanding specified in unit learning outcomes, and in particular, the emphasis placed at this level upon the capacity to engage in reflective practice, synthesis, comparison, contrast and to critically evaluate theoretical and methodological concepts. The assessments are designed to test understanding of theoretical concepts through their application to a given context. The assessments test the ability to construct a reasoned, sustained and coherent argument, and to articulate it fluently. Students are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of research, of independent argument, and to reference in an appropriate way. They will also provide evidence of knowledge and understanding, allow students the opportunity to express their individual responses to a topic or issue, and to demonstrate research into a given topic. Through the assessments designed for units, students will practise and reinforce skills in information technology and information retrieval (e.g. word processing, internet and electronic journal searching), quantitative and qualitative data handling, skills using IT, together with Key Skills and skills associated with conventional academic tasks. Unit assessment is based on specified learning outcomes and assessment criteria. The assessment must be passed for students to complete the unit. The unit templates state clearly the aims, objectives and learning outcomes of the unit, and delineate the criteria of assessment for each outcome. The unit assessment feedback forms refer back to the criteria for M-level study as well as the learning outcomes for the TDA (now National College for Teaching and Leadership) National Award, and offer detailed comment to the student on the assessment piece. Both units must be passed (credited) at the appropriate level to achieve the qualification. In summary: - Units are assessed by the production of evidence to meet the unit outcomes specified for the Level of award for which the student is enrolled, and meeting the appropriate Level Criteria as specified in the Handbook. All outcomes must be met for a unit to be credited. Students must submit for a unit within one year of starting it. There is a formal requirement to request deferral to the Course Board (Assessment) after the conclusion of teaching for the unit. Any deferral is subject to UoB regulations.

Why study in the School of Education and English?

  • Broad spectrum of opportunities to study language and linguistics
  • 92% satisfaction with English Language and TEFL, NSS 2020

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree at Honours level, or equivalent.

To apply for a place on a postgraduate course (MA/MSc/MBA) at the University of Bedfordshire you should have a good first degree and the required English language qualification

Find out more about specific entry requirements for your country

To apply for a postgraduate degree (MA/MSc/MBA/LLM) at the University of Bedfordshire you should have a good honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in an appropriate subject from a recognised university or HE institution.

We will also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications or appropriate work experience.

You also need to have the required English language qualification

Contact your country’s International Admissions Team for more information.

In addition course participants will need to be practising teachers working in the area of special educational needs provision in schools, early years settings or FE colleges.

To be a SENCo in a ‘relevant school’ (i.e. a UK mainstream school), the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) require you also to:

  • have qualified teacher status (QTS);
  • have passed your probationary period.

Entry requirements


Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree at Honours level, or equivalent.

In addition course participants will need to be practising teachers working in the area of special educational needs provision in schools, early years settings or FE colleges.

To be a SENCo in a ‘relevant school’ (i.e. a UK mainstream school), the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) require you also to:

  • have qualified teacher status (QTS);
  • have passed your probationary period.

To apply for a place on a postgraduate course (MA/MSc/MBA) at the University of Bedfordshire you should have a good first degree and the required English language qualification

Find out more about specific entry requirements for your country

In addition course participants will need to be practising teachers working in the area of special educational needs provision in schools, early years settings or FE colleges.

To be a SENCo in a ‘relevant school’ (i.e. a UK mainstream school), the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) require you also to:

  • have qualified teacher status (QTS);
  • have passed your probationary period.

To apply for a postgraduate degree (MA/MSc/MBA/LLM) at the University of Bedfordshire you should have a good honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in an appropriate subject from a recognised university or HE institution.

We will also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications or appropriate work experience.

You also need to have the required English language qualification

Contact your country’s International Admissions Team for more information.

In addition course participants will need to be practising teachers working in the area of special educational needs provision in schools, early years settings or FE colleges.

To be a SENCo in a ‘relevant school’ (i.e. a UK mainstream school), the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) require you also to:

  • have qualified teacher status (QTS);
  • have passed your probationary period.

The course is specifically designed to enable you to meet the learning outcomes for the qualification (NASENCO) that is legally required for all new SENCOs in schools within 3 years of their appointment. It enables you to fulfil the leadership role of SENCO in a school with greater confidence, competence and from a much better-informed position.

After graduating you will be in a good position to apply for positions of greater responsibility in schools/colleges.

The units on this course can be used as a short route to an MA Education (Special Educational Needs), providing 60 credits of recognised prior learning.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) must constantly meet the challenge of co-ordinating first-rate provision for children with special needs and disabilities. This course has been designed to fit in with their busy day-to-day responsibilities. Effective SENCOs may play a vital role in shaping of the future of young people, so we are delighted to be delivering a course that has been so highly rated by course members since its inception.

Course Lecturer

Fees and funding

The fee for this Postgraduate Certificate for the Academic Year 2020/21 is £1,800 and for the Academic Year 2021/22 £1,850.

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

Note: In the rare circumstances that an International student is eligible for admission to this course, standard postgraduate international status fees will apply.

Scholarship Available

The University of Bedfordshire is proud of its alumni and is delighted to offer a tuition fee discount for those who choose to continue or return to the University for on campus Postgraduate level studies.

We offer a 20% discount on full and part-time Masters courses to those who were successful in completing an Honours Degree with the University of Bedfordshire, DMU’s Bedford campus or the University of Luton.

Fees and funding


The fee for this Postgraduate Certificate for the Academic Year 2020/21 is £1,800 and for the Academic Year 2021/22 £1,850.

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

Note: In the rare circumstances that an International student is eligible for admission to this course, standard postgraduate international status fees will apply.

Scholarship Available

The University of Bedfordshire is proud of its alumni and is delighted to offer a tuition fee discount for those who choose to continue or return to the University for on campus Postgraduate level studies.

We offer a 20% discount on full and part-time Masters courses to those who were successful in completing an Honours Degree with the University of Bedfordshire, DMU’s Bedford campus or the University of Luton.


Extra Costs

Find out more about additional costs while studying at Bedfordshire. Click here.

How to Apply

UK students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form

EU students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form

International students applying for a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country. You can also apply online

Find out more about how to apply as an International student

How to Apply


UK students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form


EU students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form


International students applying for a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country. You can also apply online

Find out more about how to apply as an International student