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 first year of the programme comprises seven linked modules alongside two supervised placements in Local Authority Psychological Services (approximately 70 days) with 20% protected study time.
The modules are briefly outlined below.
Assessment and Intervention
Complex Individual Needs
Psychology in Professional Practice
Working with Organisational and Communities
Philosophy of Social Science Research
Research Design, Practice and Ethics
Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods
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