Course details

Subject area

Children, Young People and Families

Start date(s)


Study mode(s)

Part time (1 year)

Course overview

How can outstanding provision be developed in schools for children and young people with SEN using evidenced-based best practice?

The field of SEND is complex and constantly changing. This part-time course will give aspiring and practicing SENCo’s an in-depth understanding of effective policy, provision and practice to meet the diverse needs of children with SEND. 

The course will address all the professional learning outcomes required by the national award. You will meet colleagues and develop professional networks with both practitioners and leaders in the field of SEN.

The Student Contract

Your health and wellbeing is important to us which means that we may need to adjust elements of our courses to take into account COVID-19-related government restrictions. However, please be assured that we will do our utmost to limit any impact this has on your university experience. If you have any questions about your course, please contact us at hello@leedstrinity.ac.uk

Financial support

You may be eligible for a scholarship or discount to help fund your postgraduate studies.

Find out more

About this course

Leeds Trinity University provides postgraduate training to professionalise the SENCo role, improve pupil outcomes and to invest in and retain current SENCos.

It is a requirement that all schools have a qualified SENCo and all new to role SENCos will need to achieve this qualification within three years of taking up their post.

This course is taught over ten teaching days over a period of a year or across an academic year. You will focus on both SENCo as a practitioner and SENCo as a leader across two modules.

You will be asked to explore the reasons why a child cannot access learning and will develop innovative ways to remove barriers to progression for vulnerable children. You will develop skills to critically evaluate policy and provision to develop outstanding inclusive practice with children and care givers. 

You will also develop skills to understand each child’s needs and start the journey to becoming an expert in identification and assessment to allow personalised planning and support to be developed so no child is left behind in their educational journey.

Celebrating strengths in children and planning for teaching methods which incorporate these will be explored in detail.

You will develop:

  • Professional knowledge and understanding that you as a SENCo will need.
  • Expertise and capabilities that a SENCo needs to lead and coordinate effective provision.
  • Personal and professional qualities that are specific to your role, and will be key in you making a positive impact on the ethos and culture in your setting will also be explored and developed.

You will evaluate evidence-based practice on learning, teaching and assessing students with SEND, such as the impact of research evidence on different literacy schemes or the impact of CPD on support staff effectiveness in schools.

The course is delivered as blended learning with on-campus days, work-based tasks and activities on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

The course will take place at Leeds Trinity University and is run within our excellent teacher education department with the support of our on-campus support services such as the library and Learning Hub. You will have a personal tutor who will support you in developing your own school-based practice and in submitting your final work-based portfolio.

Why study with us?

  • The course has been developed for SENCos by SENCos with the now-legal requirement as its focus.
  • Our staff are highly experienced in SEND practice.
  • Grow your professional networks with both practitioners and leaders in the field of SEN, which we hope will continue alongside your own CPD journey in this exciting and important discipline.
  • Benefit from campus-based learning, with personal tutors and support services such as our library and Learning Hub. 
  • You will receive highly personalised learning to help you develop school-based practice and your skills to work strategically in educational settings.
  • Credits can be used towards a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
  • Once you’ve completed the course, you will become a member of our Leeds Trinity Alumni community where you will be able to take advantage of our networks, research and conference opportunities.

Career progression

After completing the PG Cert, you could apply for new opportunities within SEN, as well as promotions to senior leadership roles. SENCos could also provide consultancy to other schools in a Multi Academy Trust, or undertake further postgraduate study and research.

Take the next step

Get more information about your Postgraduate degree by requesting a course guide or asking your course leader a question.

Request a course guide Ask a question


The module details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

On this part-time course, you will complete two modules and you will also complete a portfolio of work-related tasks for each.

These portfolios will be the assessment element of the course. The tasks included in each portfolio will help you apply theory to your practice in supporting children with SEND learning.

SENCo as a practitioner (30 credits)

This module will focus on your work understanding and implementing the statutory and regulatory framework. You will focus your work on the graduated approach and the four areas of SEN. There will be a significant focus on your personal and professional skills linked to child-centred approaches and developing the practice of quality first teaching to meeting these. You will develop a practitioner enquiry on a child within your provision and submit a portfolio based on your own provision and work within it.

SENCo as leader (30 credits)

This module will focus on developing your leadership skills to developing your school provision to improve outcomes for SEND. Leading in the SENCo role will be the focus of this module. You will learn best practice in collecting and using data. You will develop a deeper understanding about developing whole school provision for SEND. There will be content linked to the effective management of support staff and developing a coaching culture in your school to support teaching staff to develop effective practice in their classrooms. The SENCo as leader of CPD will also be an area of exploration to develop whole school improvement. You will complete a practitioner enquiry on leading and developing your own provision linked to your developing leadership skills in SEND and you will submit your second portfolio based on this work.

Independent learning

There is an expectation that you will study and undertake independent learning outside of campus study days.

We understand the challenges of SENCo workload and have designed the course and have developed assignments linked to your core role in school or setting. There is a significant amount of choice in the portfolio development and tutorials can help you personalise your learning to your own needs and specific SEND areas of interest.

For students attending our course partnered with Leeds City Council

There will be a contextual session giving input into the Leeds Strategy for SEND and the services available to support your work. You will have access to SENDIT staff at key points over the year to help support your work. You will be offered two optional study support days on campus.


Learning and teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and a personal approach to helping you achieve your academic and professional potential. We have a strong tradition of supporting student employability, with relevant skills embedded in the curriculum.

The key themes of our strategy are:

  • student confidence
  • professionalism
  • social responsibility.

To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.

For over 50 years, we have developed a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching.

We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:

  • Personalised support
  • Expert lecturers
  • Strong connections with employers
  • An international outlook
  • The right tools and technology
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Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.

The following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Admissions Office who will be happy to advise you.

Applicants with QTS/QTLS/EYTS status

You will need to be a teacher who holds Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Early Year Teacher Status (EYTS) working in or with access to an educational setting.

You may work in a range of settings and be from a range of local authorities in or outside of our region. 

You must be:

  • A designated or deputy SENCo
  • An aspirant SENCo
  • An inclusion manager
  • In a position to undertake or support some of the SENCo duties over an extended period.

You will need a document of support from your head teacher and an understanding that you will be involved in ten days of learning on campus over the course of the year or across an academic year.

You will need to complete an application form and send a letter of support with the form from your setting. 

Applicants without QTS/QTLS/EYTS status

If you are not a qualified teacher and work within special needs co-ordination in a provision you can apply to undertake the course, however you would receive the award of PGCert Special Educational Needs Co-ordination. You would need the support of your establishment in undertaking the course due to the work-based learning focus of the course. This includes the portfolio development based on your work in your setting. You will also need to complete an application form and send a letter of support with the form from your Headteacher.

For more information on entry requirements, email admissions@leedstrinity.ac.uk 

For more information on the course, contact the Programme Leader, Bev Peartree at b.peartree@leedstrinity.ac.uk

Student Finance

UK Home Students:

For information about our tuition fees please visit our Student Fees and Finance pages.

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Leeds Trinity University, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 50% on the cost of your tuition fees.

International Students, including EU Students:

Visit our web page for international students.

Part-time study is not available for international students on a Tier 4 Student Visa.

Additional costs

We advise students to budget for the following in addition to annual tuition fees:

  • Recommended and required reading lists will be provided at the start of your course. All the books and e-books are available from our Library to borrow but you may choose to purchase your own.
  • Field trips may occur during this course and they will be either fully or partly subsidised by the University. More details will be provided at the start of the course.
  • You'll need to include placement/s travel and associated costs too, however the University will contribute a standard amount towards your total expenditure.
  • The University provides students with a £6 printing credit each academic year which can be topped up either on campus or online

How to apply

Download the application form below.

Return the completed form to our admissions team:


Admissions Team
Leeds Trinity University
LS18 5HD

What happens next?

They will acknowledge receipt of your application by email, process it, and forward to the relevant Programme Leader within three days.

The programme leader will either make a decision based on your application or invite you to attend an interview.

If you're selected for an interview, you'll be contacted with details within ten days of your application being processed.

The admissions team will notify you of your interview outcome in writing within five working days of receiving a decision from the Programme Leader.

Made an offer?

You should accept or decline your offer by emailing admissions@leedstrinity.ac.uk.

If you accept, you'll need to prove you satisfy the conditions outlined in your offer letter.

This will usually be by presenting the relevant supporting documentation in person to the student administration office (AM36) on campus.

Download pg-cert-nasenco-form.docx

NASENCo qualification and national strategy

We’ve aligned this course with the national outcomes for the NASENCo qualification and the national strategy which focuses on the development of skilled professionals who work in a range of provision in both mainstream and specialist settings.

If you have a desire to make a real and practical difference to children and young people with SEND in education, then this course will support your career development and enhance the development of provision in your setting.

For students attending our course partnered with Leeds City Council

We have secured a contract to work in collaboration with our partner, Leeds City Council to deliver SENCo education for the NASENCo award for the local authority and embed the ‘Leeds Approach’ to inclusion.

Leeds Local Authority state:

"Our vision in Leeds is to be the best city in the UK, and the best city for children and young people to grow up in. We want Leeds to be a child friendly city and we aim to improve outcomes for all our children, especially the most vulnerable.

"The benefit of working in partnership with Leeds Trinity University is that that new SENCos will develop the skills to implement
the graduated approach to identifying and meeting SEND needs and secure an appropriate continuum of support for pupils."