Start date
38 weeks
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Are you passionate about working with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities? Do you want to qualify to teach children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?

If you are keen to become a teacher and work with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, our 1-year PGCE SEND programme is the perfect course for you!

This programme, in partnership with Chadsgrove Training School, offers an opportunity to qualify as a Primary teacher. You will develop enhanced skills to become a knowledgeable and expert teacher of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 

The course integrates teaching sessions at the university with school-based training and placements, where you will gain excellent teaching experience. You will be given placement experience in both mainstream and special schools, enabling you to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with expertise in SEND.

As part of your Primary ITE programme, you will complete two intensive training and practice modules (ITAPs). ITAPs are an opportunity for you to focus on a particular strand of primary teaching for a week of intensive training, with opportunities for feedback on individual teaching. The focus of the four weeks of ITAPs for all primary routes are: 

  1. Effective instruction
  2. Early reading
  3. Adaptive teaching including for children with EAL and SEND
  4. Assessment and adaptive teaching

Our one-year PGCE in SEND teacher training programme leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This incorporates 80 Masters’ level credits which may be used toward a Masters’ degree. Trainees are eligible for a loan to contribute towards the cost of tuition fees (subject to the Student Loan Company’s criteria.)

For further information on Chadsgrove School, contact Steve or Nic who can arrange a visit. Email:

If you are interested in general primary teaching, you may wish to view our PGCE Primary course page. Alternatively, if you have a grade 7/A or above in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent), you may like to train as a mathematics specialist. Information may be found on our Primary Education in Mathematics course page. 

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham in the West Midlands, has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' three times by Ofsted inspectors which affirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

Equal Opportunities

The School of Education and University of Birmingham is committed to equal opportunities in the access to and provision of education. For more information please see the following documents:

Dubai Campus

Study for a PGCE with iQTS at the University of Birmingham Dubai campus

Our PGCE with iQTS which has been approved by the KHDA, follows teaching standards within the U.A.E



Fees for 2024-2025 are:

£9,250 (UK), £24,120 (International).

When you apply for this course, it is important that you also take into account living costs and should ensure that you will have sufficient funds to finance the full duration of your studies. Our PGCE programmes include a significant amount of time spent on placements in a variety of schools at different locations, and so when budgeting to study you should also allow for travel to and from placements, as well as textbooks, printing, photocopying and stationery that you may need.

Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan

With or without a bursary, you can also access a  Tuition Fee Loan to cover your tuition fees and a Maintenance Loan for your living costs. The available loans for 2023-2024 are:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover your fees
  • a Maintenance Loan of up to £13,022 to support your living costs

Additional financial support

If you have children or a disability, extra funding is available. For instance, you could get:

Find out more information on the  extra financial support available

For further information contact the School directly visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 

How To Apply

Apply online through DfE Apply

Course code: Primary SEND: Z638

The Interview process 

Selection is rigorous and designed to identify candidates with the strongest aptitude. Candidates selected for interview will be invited to:

  • meet course tutors
  • find out more about the course
  • have a one to one interview
  • show GCSE and Degree certificates (where these are available).

We work closely with partner schools to select candidates and applicants will often have the opportunity to meet senior colleagues from partner schools when they join us for interview day.  

Our Standard Requirements

All applicants to the Postgraduate Certificate in SEND must hold a degree from a UK Higher Education Institution. Normally, this should be a 2:2 or above (and this will be a condition of any offer where the degree is not already awarded). 

You must also have GCSE Mathematics, English and Science (Grade 4/C or above) or equivalent qualifications which will be a condition of any offer, if not already achieved. Equivalency tests will be accepted but only from equivalency testing.

We are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about teaching pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and who are committed to providing an outstanding learning experience for children.  We can assist applicants who wish to gain school-based experience, but this is not essential for application, please contact us for advice.


If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact us on

You must also:

  • complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before taking up a place.
  • complete relevant checks to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
  • agree to abide by the University of Birmingham Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise.

*Equivalent GCSE grades

International Requirements

The Primary SEND programme enables you to gain experience working alongside exceptional, skilled teachers within each school setting. You will be mentored by experienced and enthusiastic practitioners who will provide the highest quality support whilst challenging you to become a confident and truly effective classroom teacher. 

You will also be fully supported by a mentor from Chadsgrove School and a tutor from the University of Birmingham.

Trainees completing the course will be qualified to work in both mainstream and special school settings.  Although most trainees gain employment in special schools, the course is also excellent preparation for work in a mainstream school, potentially as a SENDCo or teacher specialising in SEND.

‘The course enabled me to be immersed in SEND.  I learned so much from my mentor and through the training and mentoring both at the University and at Chadsgrove.’  2023 trainee.

‘I was passionate about SEND prior to starting the course.  What I learned through my training year was how to use my passion to support children with SEND to make the best progress they are capable of making.’ 2023 trainee.

‘Although the year was hard work, I loved it.  I grew as a teacher with the guidance of my class teacher and can’t wait to have my own class in September.’ 2023 trainee.