2021 start
Doctor of

Educational and Child Psychology

School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

This professional training course will give you the skills, competencies and HCPC registration required to practise as an educational psychologist. We teach you the theory and support your practice, so you’ll be well prepared for your future career.
Postgraduate education students reading at desk

Course description

This is a three-year, full-time course approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and recognised by the Department for Education as a professional training course in educational psychology.

All our graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a practitioner educational psychologist and join the British Psychological Society's Division of Educational and Child Psychology.

Content

This programme is non-modular, but will include a focus on these broad areas:

  • Promoting Development and Education
  • Person and Professional Values, Ethics and Skills
  • Diversity and Cultural Difference
  • Consultation
  • Psychological Assessment and Formulation
  • Psychological Intervention and Evaluation
  • Service Delivery and Organisational Change
  • Training and Development
  • Research and Inquiry
  • Transferable Skills

Applying

For funded entry, you'll need to apply via the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) website. The application system opens in September and the deadline is in November of that year. Please see the AEP website for more details, developments and news.

Funded entry: apply via AEP website

Teaching

A mix of placement, private study and teaching from tutors. Your usual weekly pattern will be:

Year 1: Two days teaching, one day private study, two days work placement.

Year 2: One day teaching, one day private study, three days work placement.

Year 3: One day teaching or research, one day private study, three days work placement.

Placements

Placements during Years 2 and 3 might be within the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

The course allows for periods of independent study time across all three years of training to enable you to complete the academic demands of the course.

Objectives of the course

You'll develop personal and communication skills (both oral and written), which underlie the work of the Educational Psychologist. These include:

  • interviewing skills consultation skills
  • skills in communicating across institutional and professional boundaries ensuring a culturally competent professional practice
  • skills in managing groups for training, therapeutic work and co-ordination of understanding purposes written communication
  • skills to a wide range of audiences.

You will also develop critical approaches to theory and practice, research and publication skills, having regard to HCPC, BPS and University ethical guidelines. Also, to develop knowledge of how to analyse programmes and policies at a local level and disseminate the results.

Our aims and objectives broadly encapsulate the HCPC Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) for Practitioner Psychologists and BPS Required Learning Outcomes stated within the Standards for the accreditation of educational psychology training in England, Northern Ireland & Wales (BPS, 2018) against which trainees’ academic progression on the course including their placement competencies is determined.

You will gain knowledge of the full range of theoretical approaches and procedures involved in collecting information for assessment purposes and to use them in the context of children’s services.

You will understand and work within the full range of contexts of professional practice and within the statutory frameworks and regulatory guidelines relevant to the welfare of children and Children’s Services. This includes the professionally generated guidelines produced by professional bodies as well as those from statutory bodies and includes guidelines relevant to the provision of services to young people with all types of special needs and vulnerabilities.

You will become familiar with those areas of psychology relevant to the growth and function of individuals, families and organisations as far as they provide theoretical frameworks for understanding and managing behaviour and learning in children and young people.

The programme will help you to develop understanding and skills in intervention in social and emotional situations and to design and manage individual and group programmes to help children and young people and those who live and work with them. You will learn to work with vulnerable children in ways supported by a clear framework of inclusive values and equal opportunities for all children and young people.

You will learn about the origins of common learning and behaviour difficulties and approaches to your assessment and intervention.

Our distinctive approach

This course is organised around both an integrated curriculum model and adult learning model. Tutorials are integral to the course so that you have regular feedback.

In general, the amount of structure in the curriculum is high early in the course, and gradually reduces over the three years towards the end of the course.

The integrated curriculum as an approach enables us to introduce important ideas and areas of work to trainees early on in the programme and then to revisit them a number of times as the programme progresses.

We now use the British Psychological Society (BPS) competencies areas to ensure you clearly understand how a seminar relates to your overall learning journey. The trainee progression tracker is a person-centered document that enables you to map and orientate your learning to the required outcomes of the professional training in educational psychology.   

Assessment

Essays, practical work folders and a dissertation including research portfolio.

Duration

3 years full-time

Entry requirements

You must have over one year of full-time (or equivalent) experience of working with children within educational, childcare or community settings. You will also need an honours degree in psychology that is recognised by the BPS for graduate membership.

Disclosure and Barring Service

As this course involves working with children and young people, you'll need to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal convictions and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) prior to your training starting.

Selection criteria

The selection process is competitive. A good command of English language is essential to meeting the communication skills required to practise as an educational psychologist. Oral and written communication skills are assessed as part of the selection criteria.As this is a research degree, it is also also important that you can communicate in writing to a very high standard. For this reason we would encourage you to demonstrate pride and competence in your written application.

Factors considered at the shortlisting stage are:

  • Range and quality of academic background
  • Range, quality and relevance of work and voluntary experience
  • Extent of professional productivity in recent years
  • Extent of leadership demonstrated in professional and personal projects
  • Possession of special knowledge of any contexts relevant to the profession
  • Quality of written communication.

Factors considered at the interviewing stage are:

  • Evidence of the ability to apply psychological or educational theory to current practice
  • Knowledge of modern developments in applied education and psychology
  • Ability to analyse a problem/issue from a variety of perspectives
  • Understanding the tensions and dilemmas arising from working in an advisory capacity
  • Evidence of emotional flexibility in professional situations
  • Evidence of the capacity to communicate across cultural boundaries and awareness of equal opportunity issues
  • Evidence of skills in self-reflection
  • Evidence of socially skilled performance in group situations in professional life
  • Effective communication skills as demonstrated in the interview
  • Quality of written communication
Format of the interviews

Interviews are usually held in February or March each year and involve one-day events.

We generally invite about five shortlisted candidates per day at the interviewing stage.

The format of the day involves an unseen written task, a group task, informal group discussion about the course with two members of staff and opportunities for shared lunch with trainees if they are available on the day.

Individual interviews take place in the afternoon with the interview panel, which comprises of two members of the course team, two principal or senior educational psychologists from partnership/neighbouring local authorities or from private/independent providers and a parent with experience of working with educational psychologists.

The structure of the interview day is intended to provide candidates and members of the course team information that will allow for an informed choice about which candidates are given offers of a place and whether or not candidates wish to take up the offer. At least one principal educational psychologist attends the final selection meeting along with all members of the course team.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We particularly welcome suitably qualified applicants from Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds as they are currently underrepresented in Educational Psychology Services.

Inclusion at Sheffield

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Fees and funding

Bursaries for placements

You will usually apply for employed posts or bursary placements during Year 1. Your tutor will help you apply.

Apply

For funded entry, you'll need to apply via the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) website.

Funded entry: apply via AEP website

Contact

education-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 8177

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from. Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.