Newly qualified educational psychologist Tom Hughes, talks about the programme and the university
The programme comprises a number of taught elements, augmented by supervised professional practice placements in a number of approved local authority and other settings. To complete the programme, students need to meet the assessed academic, research and supervised professional practice requirements of the programme, demonstrating the standards of proficiency required of practitioner educational psychologists by the Health Professions Council, and attaining learning outcomes specified by the British Psychological Society.
The academic and research requirements are assessed through a number of assignments completed during Year 1 of the programme, and a thesis compiled during Years 2 and 3 of study. The thesis comprises two volumes: Volume 1 is a report of a substantive original empirical study, while Volume 2 contains four practitioner research reports of work undertaken during the second and third years of training within the supervised professional practice context(s).
More detailed information about the programme is available within the Programme Handbook (PDF, 317KB)
October 2015: School of Education Open Evening
The School of Education holds an Open Evening once a year for candidates interested in applying to the course. The next one will be on 1st October 2015, from 18:00 - 19:30.
Please contact the Programme Secretary, Bev Burke (Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
Why study this course
The University of Birmingham has provided postgraduate professional training in educational psychology for over sixty years. When last re-accredited by the British Psychological Society in October 2004, amongst the major strengths of the training programme highlighted were:
- the programme’s ‘unique research-based approach to practice, underpinned by clear interlocking frameworks, key elements of which have been developed over time by the course team; namely Collaborative Action Research (CAR) and Research and Development in Organisations (RADiO) approaches and research methodologies’;
- the programme’s tutorial system, ‘which was highly praised by trainee educational psychologists (TEPs) and ‘demonstrated the tutors’ commitment to TEPs’ continuing development. This is of value in terms of both the academic and professional support provided. In addition, the sensitive and skilful way in which TEPs are helped to manage difficult personal issues was particularly highlighted by them’;
- ‘the process and structure of formative feedback used on the course’, which was ‘considered to provide a high quality, supportive yet appropriately challenging framework which promotes continuous learning and development, and supports TEPs in planning and identifying priorities’; and
- ‘the close and supportive working relationships between the course and local Educational Psychology Services’ which were described as ‘a real strength, which extends to a congruence about understanding the role of the educational psychologist and professional practice, which is valuable in promoting the integration of work on the course and placement practice’.
The most recent subject review carried out by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education similarly endorsed the high quality of provision made for professional training in educational psychology at the University of Birmingham.
In addition to the App. Ed. and Child Psy. D. programme, a post-qualification doctoral research programme and other continuing professional development opportunities for practising educational psychologists are offered within the College of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham.
Please note that the information provided below may be subject to modification in response to a range of influences, including developments within the University, developments to the profession and the context in which educational psychologists practice, changes in national policy and their effects upon professional training, and / or the desirability of responding flexibly to the needs of the student cohorts to whom the programme is offered.
All programmes are conceptualised as credit-bearing: in the case of research programmes, a minimum of 51% of credits must relate to research activity.
The doctoral programme in Applied Educational and Child Psychology is positioned as both a postgraduate professional training programme and a higher research degree. 180 of the 540 credits required for the doctoral award are built up each year, of which, in the first year, 60 are configured as ‘research’ credits (relating to the assessed requirement of the three Research modules), while in each of Years 2 and 3, the 180 credits awarded for successful completion of Volumes 1 and 2 of the thesis are also positioned as ‘research’ credits.
Accreditation of certificated prior learning apply to this programme solely in the case of the three Year 1 research modules. Each module accounts for 20 credits (a total of 60 credits for the three modules). For these modules, subject to trainees producing evidence of an appropriate match in both level and content between their previous studies and the Birmingham research module(s) for which they are seeking exemption, accreditation of certificated prior learning and credit transfer may be approved. Accreditation of certificated prior learning is not offered for other modules or components of the programme, since the inter-relationship between the University-based learning and teaching and supervised practice requirements of the programme would render an adequate match with prior certificated learning improbable and too complex to assess with the requisite rigour.
The second year of the programme marks a significant shift in the professional identity of students, in the approaches to teaching and learning, and in the role relationships between the University, the student and the Educational Psychology Service in which supervised professional practice is undertaken.
In Years 2 and 3, while still registered as full-time postgraduate research students of the University on the App. Ed. and Child Psy. D. programme, you will also become salaried employees of Local Authority Educational Psychology Services (with 40% protected study time). You will therefore normally need to secure an appropriate post as a trainee educational psychologist prior to the first day of September of the second year of training. From the University’s perspective, progression and development of learning are viewed within a spiral curriculum, with each successive year affording further opportunities for trainees to consolidate, apply and extend the knowledge and skills developed in earlier stages of the programme. Additionally, each successive year opens up new domains of study and professional practice.
Year 2 of the curriculum amplifies the focus on:
- low incidence / complex needs and disabling conditions;
- work in more specialised educational settings such as special schools and units;
- working in settings other than schools;
- working with children at the lower end of the age continuum and their carers, and related experience in health, education and social care settings which accommodate the needs of children under two years of age;
- family-based work;
- therapeutic intervention;
- collaboration with other professional groups and agencies; and
- work at the organisational development level in schools and / or other community settings.
Placement learning in Year 2
University-based Teaching and Learning in Year 2
You will continue in your work as a Trainee Educational Psychologist within your employing EPS.
Arrangements for Year 3 mirror those established in Year 2, in that a Personal Learning Agreement for the year will be negotiated during the first tutor visit to the employing EPS at the start of the academic year. As was the case in Year 2, within the placement context, inquiry-based learning will be well supported by access to the University’s Information Services and a range of web-CT resources.
Overall, the third year of the programme aims to provide opportunities for knowledge and skill consolidation, along with some opportunity for intensive involvement within a specialised field. The choice of specialism will need to be locally negotiated, to take account of the interests and development needs of each trainee on the one hand, and the needs and capacities of the employing Service and the opportunities available within the Local Authority.
A further distinctive feature of Year 3 is the increased emphasis upon applications of organisation psychology, and the role of the EP as an external consultant working to promote organisational learning, development and change within large, diffuse and complex organisations, and to contribute to policy development.
The specific focus of this work, and the context in which it is undertaken will necessarily depend upon the opportunities available within each employment context.
University-based Teaching and Learning in Year 3
Fees and funding
Fees Home/EU 2015-2016
Fees for the programme are paid for by the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP).
For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries.
Funding to Support Educational Psychology Training
The funding is managed by the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) on behalf of the DfE
Year 1: University fees plus training grant (£14,400: tax-exempt)
Years 2 and 3: University fee paid by DfE via AEP plus a bursary (£15,000: tax-exempt) and (normally, but not universally), travel costs (up to £1,000 per year) paid by placement provider
Please note that funding is currently assured only for 2015-2018
Applicants should have a good Honours degree in Psychology and be eligible for the GBC at the time of application (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership) of the British Psychological Society. Prospective students need to provide evidence of their eligibility for the GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership) of the British Psychological Society.
Prior to making an application to the programme, candidates must have undertaken a minimum of one year’s full-time equivalent postgraduate work experience with children and young people within the 0-19 year age range.
They are expected to have taken steps to develop their knowledge and understanding of the role and practice of educational psychologists in England, and of the factors which influence educational psychology practice.
In parallel to its function as an approved training programme, the App Ed and Child Psy D programme is a postgraduate research degree. Applicants will therefore need to demonstrate their academic and research competence, and their interest in psychological and educational research.
Language competence significantly in excess of the University's standard English language requirements is necessary. Candidates need to demonstrate sophisticated written and oral English language competence within a wide range of registers which ensure that they are capable of accurate and subtly nuanced communication with the wide range of service users, commissioners and colleagues with whom they need to engage during their practice as trainee educational psychologists.
Only those international students who are from EEC member states and are usually resident within the UK are eligible for places on the programme.
Learn more about entry requirements
How to apply
Selection process 2015 - 2016
If you wish to apply for training as an educational psychologist on the doctorate course for 2016, you will need to submit your application via the EPFT online application system, which is hosted and managed by the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP). The online system is open for applications from Monday 7th September 2015. Please note that a non-refundable administration fee of £25 is payable prior to commencing an application. The deadline for references submission is Friday 27th November 2015 and the closing date is Friday 4th December 2015 (5pm).
Shortlisting and interviews will be completed by 31st Match 2016 and offers for places made on Thursday 7th April 2016 (5pm). The deadline for accepting offers will be Monday 18th April 2016 (noon) and the deadline for the reserve list (final list) will be Monday 25th April 2016.
- Monday 7 March
- Tuesday 8 March
- Wednesday 9 March
- Thursday 10 March
- Friday 11 March
The School of Education is Building R19 in the Red Zone. Further information on directions to the School of Education building