Taught course

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)

University of Reading · Institute of Education

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Entry requirements

You are normally required to have a good undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK). If you have other qualifications and a number of years’ relevant work experience then you may also be eligible to apply.

Apart from the standard university entry requirements, candidates for PGCert SENCo must be qualified teachers with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or equivalent (QTLS, EYFS).We also require a letter from the head of the school (or equivalent educational establishment) which specifies the financial, mentoring and time allowances that will be provided.

Other students on the MA Education course or new applicants may complete the three taught modules, but can only be awarded PGCert Education. The designation PGCert SENCo is reserved by law for those with a recognised teaching qualification.

Months of entry


Course content

Work with expert practitioners, and deepen your understanding of teaching and learning for all pupils, with our PGCert Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

The PGCert SENCO is a required qualification for all new Special Educational Needs Coordinators within three years of their appointment.

Deepen your understanding of teaching and learning for all pupils, as you reflect on, examine and explore the ways to meet an individual's needs through appropriate educational provision.

Three 20-credit modules provide a combination of theoretical and practical information about meeting the needs of all students. You will also have to submit a portfolio which demonstrates the breadth of your work in special educational needs. Your assignments take a practical school-based focus. We have excellent links with around 350 local schools, and you will be taught by expert practitioners, researchers and academics.

At the Institute of Education, we address our teaching to suit your individual needs. Your tutors are internationally or nationally renowned experts, and their research regularly has a direct impact on school curricula and learning techniques — both in the UK and abroad. As experts in their field, their research also directly informs the focus and content of your course.

Our teaching is interactive, experiential and innovative. We utilise a wide variety of technologies to enhance your learning, including use of presentation tools, interactive whiteboards, mixed media, social media and mobile technologies in our teaching, and screen capture in assessment.


The Institute of Education is based on our historic London Road campus, which has undergone a £30m refurbishment of the classical Oxford-cloistered quadrangle to create a dedicated world-class education centre.

We have created custom-built spaces for the teaching of specialist subjects, including:

  • modern laboratories
  • musical studios, including an electronic drum kit room and a recording studio
  • well-equipped art studios and facilities for the practise of work in drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media
  • studios for wet photography and printmaking, including silk screen.

Alongside these fantastic facilities, you will also find places to eat and drink, as well as plenty of green space to relax in.


The Research Excellence Framework (2014), the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, placed the Institute of Education in the top quartile of Education departments in the UK.

Over 80% of our research publications were rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The impact of our research on educational policy and practice in first and second language education was judged to be world leading.

Information for international students

IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent).

Fees and funding

UK students
£2,514 per year (2019/0 entry)
International students
£5,349 per year (2019/0 entry)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCert
    12-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Global Recruitment Team