For its effective delivery, the programme has acquired a secure partnership between the University and the Local Authority (LA) Psychological Services. As well as contributing to curriculum planning, delivery and staffing of the programme, local services also contribute to the first year of the programme through the supervision of placement activity (which accounts for approximately 70 days, spread across two placements, each undertaken in a different local authority) in a range of public sector and voluntary agency settings.
In Years 2 and 3 of the programme, students have a different role within educational psychology services, since they need to secure appointments to salaried or bursary funded posts as trainee educational psychologists. Students on the Birmingham programme have, in the past, been free to secure a training post anywhere in England or Wales, providing that they and their employing Service were able to:
- safeguard the requisite study time as an integral component of the role;
- ensure that the job description and person specification are compatible with the supervised professional practice and assessed research requirements of each year of the programme, (which, in turn, link directly to the learning objectives and outcomes required by the British Psychological Society); and
- ensure the student’s availability to attend the University-based components of the programme during Years 2 and 3.
The research training component of the programme takes places predominantly during the first year of training. The research training constitutes one significant forum within which trainee EPs work alongside colleagues from other professions and disciplines, so ensuring opportunities for training and collaboration across traditional professional and disciplinary boundaries at a formative stage in the professional development process.
All members of the tutor team are experienced chartered psychologists who have worked in a number of different local authorities and are actively involved in developments within their employing LAs. The field tutors enjoy including trainee Educational Psychologists in the ongoing work of their Services during professional practice placements. The tutor team is able to provide trainees with a broad range of learning opportunities in terms of academic teaching, research activity, professional guidance and tutorial support.
Tutorial Support in Year 1
Trainee Educational Psychologists are assigned a Core Tutor and personal tutor who support them throughout Year 1 by regular tutorial and supervisory contact.
More detailed information about the learning and teaching may be found in the Programme Handbook (PDF, 317KB)
The work and performance of students are evaluated in a number of ways.
Overall Formative Assessment
At the start of the first year in training, trainee Educational Psychologists are asked to take a lead in appraising their own transferable entry skills and training needs, and to work in partnership with their personal tutor to map out objectives for each stage of the first year in training, and plan steps that need to be taken in order to achieve these objectives. Thereafter, at regular intervals, review of progress toward meeting these development objectives forms the basis for discussion within tutorials.
Overview of the Assessment Framework.
In order to gain eligibility for the academic award and professional qualification of Doctorate in Applied Educational and Child Psychology, students need:
- to achieve a pass mark for all seven of the Year 1 modules (so achieving 180 credits);
- to achieve a pass mark for their thesis, and pass their viva voca examination (so achieving the remaining 360 Level ‘D’ credits during Years 2 and 3);
- to pass all the supervised professional practice requirements of the programme, in the judgment of the placement supervisor, and the supervising University tutor, and
- to conform to the requirements of the University’s ‘Fitness to Practice’ Code and Regulations throughout all components of the programme.
In cases in which a student is unable to complete the programme of study, a number of exit awards are available, to enable the student to translate the credits accrued into a recognised academic award. It should be noted that all such ‘exit’ awards are solely academic awards; none represents a recognised level of professional qualification in educational psychology.