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Prof Doc Educational and Child Psychology

Course overview

Start date

September 2020

Subject area





On campus

Course summary

This course provides full-time professional training leading towards registration with the Health and Caring Professions Council (HCPC) as an Educational Psychologist (this is a protected title). During the programme trainees will participate in university based teaching and learning, modular assessments, research culminating in a doctoral thesis and professional practice placements in Local Authorities and other settings relevant to EP work.

This course will equip you to work as an Educational Psychologist in Local Authority children’s services, Educational Psychology teams, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), voluntary agencies or independently. We are driven by our determination to work towards social justice for vulnerable young people and their families and for children with special educational needs, and to advocate for their rightful place in society.

The Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology programme at UEL aims:

To ensure trainees:

• develop the Standards of Proficiency required to work as safe and effective educational psychologists  
understand the implications of the HCPC’s standards of conduct, performance and ethics
• understand the implications of the HCPC’s standards of conduct, performance and ethics
• develop autonomous practice and reflective thinking
• develop appropriate research skills as a basis for evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence
• respect the rights and needs of service users through a commitment to equal opportunities and the principles of beneficence, autonomy and social justice.
• become competent and creative educational psychologists able to work effectively in educational and community settings

In reflecting the ethos of the University of East London the programme is committed to:

• applying psychology to make a positive difference to children and young people and their families
• using a broad range of assessment instruments with due consideration to their relevance to the client, their needs and likely interventions
• applying and keeping up to date with research evidence in child development and educational psychology
• listening to the child's perspective and involving children and young people in decision-making
• valuing the role of parents and carers in the education of children with additional needs
• promoting the inclusion of children and young people with special educational needs into mainstream schools
• exercising duty of care with regard to safeguarding children
• reflecting our multi-cultural and diverse society 
• promoting equal opportunities which recognise differences of race, disability, gender, sexuality, age, religious, cultural and socio-economic status
• carrying out research that promotes participation and is of benefit to communities 

We are looking for practitioners who are seeking to extend their use of psychology with children, young people and families.  You will need the Graduate Basis for Certification with the BPS and relevant experience. Full details of the application requirements and processes are available from

In recent years, around half of our students have been teachers or Assistant Educational Psychologists, while other professions represented have included Teaching Assistants, mental health and clinical practitioners, youth workers and social workers. Many have postgraduate qualifications as well as a depth of relevant paid experience.

The course meets both the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) standards and the Division of Educational and Child Psychology – British Psychological Society (DECP) criteria for three-year training.

Successful applicants are expected to confirm their fitness to study and practice at the start of the programme. Potential applicants need to be aware of these requirements prior to application. Once on the programme, trainees are expected to maintain their health and well-being throughout the duration of the programme and in line with the HCPC's guidance on conduct and ethics, to let the education provider know if their health status changes.

The programme is Doctoral level and the overall credit rating for this course is 540 credits. This is a national standard for Professional Doctorates. If for some reason you are unable to achieve this credit you may be entitled to an intermediate award, the level of the award will depend on the amount of credit you have accumulated. You can read the full University Student Policies and Regulations on the UEL website. Because the title of Educational Psychologist is protected it is important to be clear that any award other than that achieved by successful completion of the full Doctorate programme will not entitle you to use the title Educational Psychologist. The title can only be used following successful completion and subsequent registration with the HCPC. The AEP also place stipulations related to completion in the contract for a funded place.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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Funded by the Department of Education

This is a highly sought-after three-year, full-time course. It currently offers 16 places per year funded by the Department of Education. Graduates have an employment success rate close to 100%.

Only 1 of 13 courses in the country

This is one of only 13 courses in the country which will give you the protected title of a Practitioner Psychologist within Educational Psychology. This means you can apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and are eligible for Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society.

We have been teaching this course since the 1970s

In that time the academic team have issued a challenge to each trainee educational psychologist to be “the best EP you can be”. Nearly 200 Educational Psychologists have qualified at UEL at Doctoral level since 2006.

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What we're researching

Dr Lucy Browne is interested in research regarding SEMH and attachment.  Her thesis research was on the topic of emancipatory research with children in Pupil Referral Units, taking a critical psychology perspective using a Foucauldian-informed approach.  Lucy has also carried out action research into mindfulness-based approaches as well as the use of Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VERP) with teachers and teaching assistance.  Lucy is interested in the rights and systems of support for children in care and has carried out a case study in a school looking at staff, foster carer and children's views.  Lucy has also conducted comparative research in America to consider school systems to support children in care in England and in America.

Dr Helena Bunn uses a positive psychology stance in her qualitative, quantitative and action research projects. Whilst her research outputs focus on a variety of professional issues, she is particularly interested in complex medical needs in education, adverse childhood experiences – resilience – education triad and educational transitions. In 2019-2020, Helena has finalised My New School - a multi-cycled, inter-organisational, co-participatory action research project and has intensified her inquiry into SEN segregation systems and influences. She is also interested whether and at what point features such as special educational needs and complex medical needs identification can be considered significant traumatic events, as part of her exploration into psychological growth and resilience in education.

Dr Pandora Giles’ doctoral research took a personal construct approach to investigating parents' experiences of Children's Centres and the early years continues to be an area of interest for her. She enjoys supervising trainee educational psychologist research on a diverse range of topics and has recently published an article exploring social and emotional wellbeing in the early years with a former trainee. In her own current research she has recently completed a participatory research project with young people as co-researchers, the write up of which has been accepted for publication in Educational Psychology in Practice. She is currently leading a research project which is seeking to identify longer term changes for families of children in the early years who have worked with a Children’s Centre educational psychologist.  Pandora is the Deputy Editor of the open access periodical Educational Psychology Research and Practice (EPRaP).

Dr Mary Robinson has a keen interest in Early Years education and in supervision in Educational Psychology and related professions.  Her doctoral research was in the use of recursive models in supervision as changes in educational policies and assessment are incorporated into practice.   Her current interest is in supporting the development of action research in links between Educational Psychologists in Training and local Educational Psychology services and she is exploring joint work with the NurtureUK in developing a parent focused version of the Boxall Profile

Dr Janet Rowley has an interest in emotional processes in learning and her doctoral research was a mixed-methods study on emotion regulation strategies in learning contexts. Janet is also interested in involving service-users in research projects.  She has been involved with Dr Pandora Giles in a participatory research project finding out EPs’ responses to a film made by members of a Youth Forum on their experiences of EP involvement.  Janet has also recently carried out a participatory research project on the views of ethnic minority parents of children with SEND on a narrative therapeutic group approach.

Dr Miles Thomas is Research Lead on the Doctorate Programme. He is interested in research methodology including qualitative and critical approaches. He is also a Senior Specialist EP role (SEMH) in an LA and has a particular interest in SEMH research. He is co-author of the Handbook of Solution Focused Brief Therapy and has undertaken and supervised a range of research relating to solution focused work. He is Editor of Educational Psychology Research and Practice (EPRaP) 

EPRaP will give you a sense of some of our research activities and interests. It also contains many papers from our trainees.

Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

Fees and funding

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.


Phone: 020 8223 4444

Tuition fees
Course fees will be confirmed soon.

£10,280 to fund your Masters Programme under the Postgraduate Loans (PGL) scheme

Postgraduate Loans (PGL)

The Postgraduate Loan (PGL) provide non means-tested loans of up to £10,280 to taught and research masters students.  It will be paid to students as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.

Applications are made directly through Student Finance England


Whether you qualify depends on:
•    if you’ve studied on a postgraduate course before
•    your course
•    your age
•    your nationality or residency status

Full eligibility can be found here 

Please take a look at the Postgraduate Loans for an overview of the new funding.

Apply for a 50 per cent discount on your tuition fees! You can get a 50 per cent discount on course fees through a UEL Postgraduate Scholarship.

The scholarship is open to full-time and part-time UK and EU students of taught postgraduate courses.

To see our full eligibility criteria and how to apply click here

Terms and conditions apply.

How we can help you

Did you know that with a postgraduate qualification you can expect to earn £200,000 more than someone who only holds an undergraduate degree*?

If you want to build new skills, change career paths, or further your career prospects, a postgraduate degree can help you. Our range of scholarships and bursaries will make financing your education that much easier.

*Sutton Trust Report 2013

Alumni Discount - 15 per cent

Early Payment Discount - 5 per cent

Part-time Postgraduate Fee-waiver - up to £500

Sport Scholarships – Up to £6,000

Terms and conditions apply.

There are a number of ways you can pay your fees to UEL
•    Online payment facilities
•    By telephone
•    In person at our Docklands or Stratford campus
•    Bank transfer Full information on making payments can be found here
If you wish to discuss payments to the University, please contact our Income Team on 020 8223 2030 or you can email

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.


Phone: 020 8223 4444

Tuition fees
Course fees will be confirmed soon.

At UEL, we understand that studying in another country is a big financial commitment. If you apply early for an postgraduate course, you may be entitled to a scholarship of up to £4,000. You can find out more about the international scholarships here. In addition to this, we offer a five per cent early payment discount and 15 per cent alumni discount.

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) also run an Emergency International Fund to assist international students in hardship.

You can contact our SMART team on 02082234444 or

As part of the Tier 4 student visa requirements, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) estimate that you will need £1265* per month to cover your living costs. It includes expenses for accommodation, food and drink, travel within London, text books, entertainment, clothing, toiletries and laundry. Most Tier 4 students are required to show they have sufficient funds to cover the first nine months of the course before they start- a total of £11385- in addition to the tuition fees. You can find more information about the specific requirements of the Tier 4 student visa here. The amount that you will spend can vary depending on your lifestyle. The UKCISA International Student Calculator can help you plan and manage your money.

* Please note the Immigration Rules are subject to change and this figure is likely to be increased by UKVI year on year. Please therefore check our ISA pages ( for more information at the time of preparing your visa application.

Deposits and paying by instalments

International students are required to pay a deposit prior to being issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Your remaining balance will be paid in five monthly instalments over your first term. The first of these instalments must be paid when completing your enrolment on arrival at UEL. Please follow the payment instructions here.

After the required payment has been made, you will be asked to complete the online International Student Reply Form to confirm your acceptance of our offer and of our terms of admittance and fees policy.

Our International team at UEL are available for advice and guidance on studying in London, fees, scholarships and visa requirements.


Tuition fees
Course fees will be confirmed soon.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.2 Honours in Psychology (BPS Accredited)

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. 


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

If you don’t quite meet the academic requirements for this course, you can apply with an additional foundation year. Read more about the International Foundation Programme.


Applicants are required to have a minimum of Two years relevant experience of working with children within educational, childcare or community settings.   Examples of the kinds of settings in which relevant experience is likely to be gained include work as:  a teacher, a graduate assistant in an Educational Psychology Service, a Learning Support Assistant, an Educational Social Worker, a Learning Mentor, a Speech and Language Therapist, a Care Worker, a worker in early years settings.


Applicants should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Understanding of and ability to work with young people
  • Understanding of and ability to work in organisations
  • Commitment to train as an Educational Psychologist

Overall IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course. Find out more here.

As an inclusive university, we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Please note that some courses require applicants to meet the entry requirements outlined on the course page. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.
You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre.

What you'll study

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

Year 1
PY8111 - Educational Psychology Theory & Practice 1
PY8112 - Professional Practice Placement in Educational and Child Psychology 1
70 days on Local Authority of equivalent placement, activities as outlined in module specifications

Year 2
PY8113 - Educational Psychology Theory & Practice 2
PY8114 - Professional Practice Placement in Educational and Child Psychology 2
130 days on Local Authority of equivalent placement, activities as outlined in module specifications

Year 3
PY8115 - Educational Psychology Theory & Practice 3
PY8116 - Professional Practice Placement in Educational and Child Psychology 3
130 days on Local Authority of equivalent placement, activities as outlined in module specifications

Your research thesis commences in Year 2 for submission in Year 3 (35,000 words +/- 10%).

How you'll be assessed

Students are assessed in 3 main areas: professional skills, academic ability and research skills. These skills are integrated throughout the programme and are evident in all pieces of assessed work. We use a range of assessment methods, including, essays, reports and presentations (individual and group), all of which meet a range of different learning styles and best meet the learning outcomes.

To obtain the degree of Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology all aspects of the assessment procedure in all three years must be passed.

Course specification

How you'll learn

To be a practitioner you need to know how to help children and young people build resilience and confidence so that they can succeed in school, at home and in their community. This will involve working directly with children and young people as well as supporting parents, teachers and other responsible adults.

You will have regular individual and small group support from you Academic and Professional Tutor at UEL as well as from Fieldwork Tutors and supervisors on placement. Practice placements constitute a crucial and integral part of the training for Educational Psychologists in all three years. Trainees will be on placements throughout their training, working with a range of client groups and, increasingly, will develop skills and knowledge across the three years to enable them to work effectively and ethically with complex cases. The year-long placement modules support trainees' development on bursaries by progressively building their experience of service delivery and working effectively as a practitioner in different contexts with a range of client groups and issues.

Each trainee is assessed extensively using the Placement Assessment Report and Portfolio at the end of each year's placement by their placement supervisor, there is also an end of year progress review conducted by the trainees' Academic and Professional tutor. 

In your second and third years, when you will usually be placed in a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service, you will be expected to undertake a piece of research on an important area of concern. This will involve what we call ‘real-world research’.  For example, one of our students recently undertook research on students excluded from secondary schools. 

As Educational Psychologists we are committed to facilitating high quality adult learning. You will expected to engage as a professional trainee at Doctoral Level. Our trainees have varied knowledge and experience and we therefore recognise the need to offer differentiated experiences. We encourage reflection, autonomy and commitment. We are highly supportive as an academic team and we pride ourselves on promoting the wellbeing of our trainees. 

The course involves campus-based learning and teaching, self-directed learning, research and placement in Educational Psychology Services (EPS) and other employment settings, where you will work under supervision.

In your first year you will spend most of the first two terms on campus. The focus is on work with children and people. You will complete year long academic and placement modules. We currently arrange placements in Year 1 with partner local authorities in London and the South East Region. These are supported by Fieldwork Tutors who work in the Local Authority. You will also complete a group research project in the LA setting.

In your second year you will complete year long academic and placement modules. The focus is more on applying psychology at the group level. You will also take on a bursary-supported placement for 130 days (usually three days each week). During the autumn term you will complete a research proposal.

In the third year there is a focus on complex systems and organisational change. You will complete year long academic and placement modules. You will usually continue in the same placement. You will complete your research and write up your thesis.

The Programme Team

Dr Mary Robinson (Programme Director)
Dr Miles Thomas (Programme Director)
Dr Helena Bunn (Academic and Professional Tutor)
Dr Lucy Browne (Academic and Professional Tutor)
Dr Pandora Giles (Academic and Professional Tutor)
Dr Janet Rowley (Academic and Professional Tutor)
Claire Correia Research Administrator
Maha Anis Course Administrator

Module Leaders

PY8111 Dr Mary Robinson
PY8112 Dr Helena Bunn
PY8113 Dr Janet Rowley
PY8114 Dr Pandora Giles
PY8115 Dr Lucy Browne
PY8116 Dr Miles Thomas

What you'll learn

The course involves campus-based learning and teaching, self-directed learning, research and placement in Educational Psychology Services (EPS) and other employment settings, where you will work under supervision.

In your first year you will spend most of the first two terms on campus, completing modules in Professional Practice, Child Development, the Process of Psychological Assessment and Consultation and Intervention.

While studying these modules you will also spend time developing skills with children and young people.

In the third term you will undertake a module in Professional Practice in the Real World, during which you will have a block placement in an EPS setting. The sixth module is Research Design, which prepares you for your research thesis.

In your second year you will take on a bursary-supported placement for three days of the week. During the autumn term you will complete a module at the university on research – in order to complete your research proposal on the placement.

Throughout the year you will also take a module in Developing the Competent and Reflective Practitioner in Simple Systems and you will begin the research for your thesis.

In the third year you will continue in your placement, as well as completing a module in Developing the Critical and Reflective practitioner in Complex Systems. You will complete your research and write up your thesis.

Your future career

There is a national shortage of EPs and graduates of our Programme are in great demand. 

Our programme is designed to give you the opportunity to:

•Qualify as a practitioner Educational Psychologist with the HCPC
•Become a creative applied psychological practitioner
•Apply psychology to make a positive different to children, families, carers and schools
•Apply best educational psychology practice, based on research evidence and professional experience (practice based evidence) 
•Become a self-reflective practitioner and continue to develop personally and professionally through your career

We are focused on community involvement and we train people to work for local authorities. Some will go on to work privately but the vast majority will end up being public servants. We want to train EPs who can work effectively across diverse communities. We therefore actively seek applications from underrepresented groups.

What every one of our graduates will take with them is a sense of our values – an awareness and understanding of diversity, a commitment to social justice, beneficence and promoting autonomy.

Please note a trainee place is an exempted occupation for the purpose of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. All "spent" and "unspent" convictions must be declared. Having a "spent" or "unspent" conviction may impede your application for the course. This will depend on the circumstance and background to your offence in relation to the university place that you are applying for. Evaluation of information is based on strict confidentiality and discretion.

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