Children, Young People and Families
Start date(s)
September 2024
Study Mode
Part time (1 year)
Main Campus (Horsforth)

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. You may be working as a SEND practitioner in a school, early years setting, college or alternative provision. You may or may not be a teacher, but you will be working with children and or young people who have additional needs. 

The course will address all the needs of a professional who is or wishes to develop a career in supporting and developing SEND provision. You will meet colleagues and develop professional networks with both practitioners and leaders in the field of SEN.


The Student Contract

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 or those working with in SEND provision.

This course is taught over a period of a year or across an academic year on four Saturdays and online between 3.30pm and 6.30pm on Thursdays approximately monthly between September and July. 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 children and young people with SEND. 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 that 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, online sessions, work-based tasks and activities on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The course will be led by national and international experts in the field, 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 setting -based practice and in submitting your final work-based portfolio.

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. The course is ideally suited for those wanting to progress into a career in inclusive practice or wanting to deepen their SEND expertise. 

Why study with us

  • The course is aligned with the government's national strategy which focuses on the development of skilled professionals who work in a range of provision in both mainstream and specialist settings.
  • Benefit from a blend of campus-based and online learning, with personal tutors and support services such as our Learning Hub, which provides personalised academic support, and our library.
  • Leeds Trinity University has a highly regarded and long-standing reputation for delivering the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination (NASENCo) programme. This course does not qualify you from September 2024 to be a SENCo, the SEND NPQ will be the qualification to achieve this. Many students may wish to undertake this course, to support their application for the role of SENCo in a school. Alternatively, you could study this course after undertaking the SEND NPQ to deepen your knowledge and understanding, achieving a postgraduate qualification in SEND.

Course Modules

You will study a variety of modules across your programme of study. The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Year 1

On this part-time course, you will study two modules.

SENCo as a Practitioner (Core)

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 a Leader (Core)

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.

Learning and Teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and provide you with the tools and support to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional potential.

Our Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy delivers excellence by providing the framework for:

  • high quality teaching
  • an engaging and inclusive approach to learning, assessment and achievement
  • a clear structure through which you progress in your academic studies, your personal development and towards professional-level employment or further study.

We have a strong reputation for developing student employability, supporting your development towards graduate employment, with relevant skills embedded throughout your programme of study.

We endeavour to develop curiosity, confidence, courage, ambition and aspiration in all students through the key themes in our Learning and Teaching Strategy:

  • Student Involvement and Engagement
  • Inclusion
  • Integrated Programme and Assessment Experience
  • Digital Literacy and Skills
  • Employability and Enterprise

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.

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
  • Understanding how to use tools and technology to support learning and development


You will complete a portfolio of work-related tasks for both modules. 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.

The work-based tasks will be linked to evaluating a setting and documenting ways to improve it. This might be linked for example in how to identify a SEND. You might audit an aspect of the setting linked to SEND provision for example in SEMH interventions. Each task you undertake will be personalised to your setting and your interests.  

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.

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.

  • This course is open to anyone who works in an educational setting with children and young people with additional needs. Usually, applicants have an undergraduate degree. However, we do accept applicants who have extensive experience in the sector and can evidence this with a letter of support from their setting and a CV for experience and qualifications without a degree. These applicants will need to access additional support outside of our taught sessions.
  • The letter of support from your employer needs to agree to support you in undertaking the work-based tasks as the tasks will be linked to evaluating a setting and documenting ways to improve it.
  • Applicants with PRL will be considered.

This course is only open to students who already have the right to live and study in the UK.

For more information on entry requirements, email 

Fees and finance


UK Home Students:

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

You can contact the Finance Office to discuss tuition fees and payment plans on 0113 283 7311 or at


How to apply

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

There is no official closing date for applications, but the course will be closed when it is full. We therefore encourage you to make your application as early as possible.

Please ensure you complete the application form in full and supply all the required supporting documentation when you make your initial application. Incomplete applications may be rejected.

If you need advice on your application, please contact our admissions team on 0113 283 7123 (Monday to Thursday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, or Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm) or

What happens next?

Our admissions team will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. Where applications are submitted but references are still in progress, admissions will wait for the reference(s) to be received and then will process it, and forward to the relevant Programme Leader within five days of receipt of the reference(s).

The Programme Leader will make a decision based on your application. You may be asked to provide a reference to demonstrate your academic and non-academic experiences, or you may be invited to attend an interview. If you are successful and made an offer, the conditions will be outlined in your offer letter. 

Applications will be acknowledged within five working days. Applicants will be contacted within 15 working days with a request for additional information, invite to an informal interview or an application decision.

Made an offer?

You should accept or decline your offer by emailing

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

You may be asked to present the relevant supporting documentation in person to the student information point on campus, if originals are not needed you’ll be contacted and given details of how to provide the supporting documentation.