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.

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."

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

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 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

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.