Leading Provision and Practice for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (IDL) PGCert

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Course starts: 07 October 2019Apply now

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Be a professional guide and leader. Explore the impact on the learning and development of children such as teacher knowledge and confidence, mental health and specific learning difficulties. Study from anywhere in the world.

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This course is for practitioners in the education and care sectors who wish to develop their knowledge and understanding of effective provision and practice for children with special educational needs and disabilities. 



Why us?

  • An excellent reputation in training, guiding and supporting professionals in effective teaching and learning approaches for children with SEND
  • Highly successful and sought after accredited programmes for special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and aspiring SENCOs in leading and managing school improvements in terms of provision and practice
  • Gain a qualification from a university which has been training teachers for over 100 years
  • ‘World-leading’ research in Education, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • 95.3% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on UK postgraduate students)

Course structure

This course is for professionals who have an interest in meeting the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The course has been designed to fit around work commitments and is taught in independent learning mode under the guidance and support of the Programme Leader and Module Leaders.

Core modules:

  • The Practitioner as a Professional Guide for those Working with Children and Young People with SEND

This module enables aspiring, practising special educational needs coordinators and those with an interest in SEND to investigate, critically evaluate and reflect on inclusive education and the impact on pupil participation and outcomes. You will critically evaluate and analyse evidence about learning and teaching in relation to a range of specific needs in order to positively improve practice.

Drawing on relevant research and inspection evidence about teaching and learning, the module will examine how a range of special educational needs and/or disabilities affect pupils participation and learning including social, emotional and mental health needs. There will also be a critical discussion of planning for pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Strategies for removing barriers will be explored.


  • The Practitioner as Leader for those Working with Children and Young People with SEND

This module enables special educational needs coordinators and practitioners to develop effective leadership. You will critically reflect on the generic attributes of leadership and how they impact on provision and practice for children with SEND. You will be able to make decisions in challenging situations and communicate effectively with colleagues in school, with other professionals and parents and carers. You will understand the role of coaching and mentoring.

The importance of working in collaboration with parents and carers is central to the module. Multi-agency approaches will be explored in terms of support, progression and transition for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. You will explore the characteristics of highly effective leadership through critical evaluation of key leadership and management processes and the tools that support change in schools. You will self-evaluate your own leadership including strengths and areas for development. You will explore the role of leadership and professional challenges in supporting and promoting a culture of professional learning to improve outcomes for pupils. Leadership of SEND will be analysed as a means to improve systems to collect, analyse and interpret data to inform school policy and practices to raise expectations, pupil participation and ensure challenging targets are set. You will engage with relevant theory and research.

  • As a distance-learning student, you'll be able to remotely access online journals, articles and e-books.

    The library team offer real-time online help through ‘Live Chat’ at various periods throughout the day, and they also offer online tutorials to help you make the most of our electronic resources.

    Library Services - distance learning
  • This course can be studied anywhere in the world that has internet access. The course is delivered by Canvas - the University's Virtual Learning Environment. You will use learning and reading packs, e-books, e-journals, relevant websites and multimedia.

    You will have full access to our libraries and, as a distance learning student, you will particularly benefit from our web-based ‘Discover’ search tool. This helps you gain remote access to online journals, articles and e-books – whenever and wherever you happen to be studying.

    Virtual Learning Environment


This course is delivered via distance-learning. You will need internet access to use our Virtual Learning Environment, where you will access specially designed learning materials, e-books, e-journals, relevant websites and multimedia.

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a second class honours degree (usually a 2:1) or equivalent. Qualifications gained outside the UK will be equivalency checked.

You will also be currently working with children or young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing, and no less than 6 in Reading, Speaking and Listening.

Before applying please note:

Along with your application form, you must upload the following documents on application:

  • Degree and or PGCE certificate
  • Support letter from your Education or Care setting stating they are in agreement with you undertaking the course


Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £1,860.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student at the graduation ceremony


The School of Education offers high-quality teaching that is evidence-based and relevant to your future career. Some of our recent successes include:

  • Recent Ofsted Inspection October 2015: rated ‘Good’
  • Teaching Excellence Framework 2017: Silver rating

Further training

On successful completion of this course you can also progress onto MA Education or MA International Education which are also available via distance learning.

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