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Postgraduate Certificate National Award Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) 0-5 years

Institution code: 

This course will start in 2019.

Typical Offer: 

Qualifications and management experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Please see Entry Requirements below.

For practitioners working with children aged 0-5 years. Those holding Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) and Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) can only be SENCO’s for 0-5 years age range and cannot apply to the generic SENCO course.


This course has been designed to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required to be an effective Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) for children aged 0-5 years. The course will enable you to study and research current and relevant issues concerning a range of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and to develop a rich, broad-based knowledge of inclusive pedagogy and practice.

Drawing on current legislation and national and international research, this course will cover issues of inclusion and emphasise the importance of strong leadership within SEND.

The course will meet the learning outcomes for the National SENCO Award (NCTL, 2015), enabling qualified teachers in the early years and primary sector to develop their expertise and knowledge in the area of special educational needs and disabilities while fulfilling Department of Education requirements for the role of SENCO.

It will help you further develop your practice as a committed, responsible and creative professional, capable of critical thinking and practical action and support you in enhancing whole-school provision for pupils who have Special Educational Needs or disabilities.

Course modules

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Guiding Provision and Practice

This module encourages investigation, critical evaluation and reflection on current educational provision and practice in inclusive education. Students will critically analyse the ways in which learning, teaching and assessment supports pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) that potentially impact on their participation and outcomes.

Leading and Managing

This module enables students to investigate, evaluate and reflect on the characteristics of highly effective leadership. Participants will critically reflect on the generic attributes of leadership in the SENCO role and will be able to demonstrate and apply initiative, responsibility and problem solving in creative and innovative ways. They will be able to make decisions in challenging situations and communicate effectively with colleagues in school, with other professionals and parents and carers.

Career opportunities

This award has been described as ‘mandatory’ by the Department for Education for new Special Educational Needs Coordinators working in the mainstream sector. It is also considered as a ‘strongly advised’ qualification by the Department for Education for experienced SENCOs in the same sector. The qualification is therefore central to career progression for all serving SEND Coordinators in schools.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £2,610 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £870 per 20 credits (please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £3,930 p.a.

Further Information

  • 20% reduction in fees for University of Suffolk graduates
  • Also see Postgraduate Study within Student Finance

At the University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.

Entry requirements

Academic Requriements

Students will require the following: 

  • 2:2 minimum classification or equivalent from undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, from a UK university or other recognised degree-awarding body, or a qualification at equivalent level.

Applicants without this qualification, but who have substantial relevant professional experience, may also be considered:

  • Currently working as a qualified teacher and working supporting teaching and learning in a relevant statutory, private, voluntary and/or independent setting with a direct responsibility for learning within their educational setting
  • Those holding Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) and Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) can only be SENCO’s for 0-5 years age range and cannot apply to the generic SENCO course.


Associate Professor in Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies

Facilities and Resources

The expanding library collection of relevant texts will support student reading and research. The use of electronic resources will provide capacity to satisfy demand on and off campus.

The flipped classroom method of teaching and learning will be applied throughout the course whereby students will be required to access and familiarise themselves with pre-uploaded course materials prior to the face-to-face lectures, seminars and tutorials to be held on the Ipswich campus.

Teaching takes place across our Ipswich campus, which is based on the waterfront with views across the marina. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from, and our Waterfront Building offers modern lecture halls, seminar rooms and breakout study spaces.