Postgraduate Certificate SEN/ALN (Additional Learning Needs)

The Postgraduate Certificate in SEN/ALN (Additional Learning Needs) will be of interest to those who wish to enhance and develop their knowledge in the field of special educational/additional learning needs.

This distinct course is designed to encourage greater understanding and a critical appreciation of the developments and practice within SEN/ALN and disability provision across schools and other relevant settings both nationally and internationally.

The SEN/ALN course is designed for professionals working in educational, health and care settings, or in the third sector. It is suitable for those working with children or adults with special educational/additional learning needs and/or with a disability.

The Postgraduate Certificate SEN/ALN is also of relevance to newly qualified practitioners who are interested in gaining further knowledge in special educational /additional learning needs.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year September Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year September Newport City C

The Postgraduate Certificate SEN /ALN offers an in-depth focus on contemporary perspectives of SEN/ALN, learning disabilities and inclusive practice together with the opportunity to widen students’ theoretical understanding through research and evaluation within their respective professional roles.

The modular content of this course provides the opportunity for you to tailor your postgraduate study to meet your individual professional or personal needs. You will be required to study two modules from across the range of Professional Learning modules.

Your choice of modules is negotiated with the course leader, but must include at least one of the specified SEN/ALN modules for example:

SEN: Contexts and Concepts
This module examines practice in SEN/ALN, learning disabilities and inclusive education and critically reflects on the tension between identification of need and the philosophy of inclusion

Autism: Contexts and Concepts
This module examines the development of current theories of autism and explores the implications of these for autistic individuals, families and practitioners. It is designed to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the sensory perceptual differences of autism and consider the ways in which these may give rise to a different way of being in the world.

Managing and Supporting Autism
This module critically examines national and international developments in policy and practice in relation to autism education and support within a variety of settings and contexts. It will enable you to evaluate the continuum of provision for people with autism in the light of theories of learning and with reference to important models of disability.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health
This module focuses on the causation, presentation and implications of mental health difficulties in children and young people.

Leading and Managing SEN/ALN 
This module is designed to provide students with a better understanding of theory and practice in relation to the role of SENCo/ALNCo and so respond to the changing landscape of SEN/ALN.



Each module is taught during weekly on campus sessions over 10-week terms. Learning takes place in teacher and student-led seminars, group discussions and active learning tasks. Content is delivered in engaging and interactive ways, with clear direction and support provided for critical reading and academic-level writing.

Teaching usually takes place in the evenings and sessions are delivered by the course leader together with guest speakers from a range of professional backgrounds. Taught sessions are supported by independent study and individual tutorials. Resources are provided electronically wherever possible and so most of the independent study can be undertaken off campus.


Each module is assessed by a 5000 word written assignment where the topic is negotiated with the tutor.


The Newport City Campus offers an attractive and modern learning environment with access to specialist learning resources, study skills support and a range of student services.

Featured Lecturer:
Amanda Kelland

Amanda Kelland

"The PG Cert SEN/ALN at the University of South Wales offers you the opportunity to learn alongside both national and international students from a range of professional and diverse backgrounds in a highly supportive context. Whilst aiming to challenge your thinking around SEN/ALN and disability it also seeks to enable you to develop a more reflective and effective practice. Although students report that the course is hard work, they also report that it is relevant, engaging and enjoyable."

A good first degree is preferred but experience is greatly valued. 

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

Apply directly to the University for this course.

The majority of students will be professionals working with children, young people and adults with SEN/ALN and disabilities (education, health and social care) who would like to develop their expertise in the field. As professional development it is intended that undertaking the course will support promotion within a service and/or a move into a more specialist role.