Prof Doc Educational and Child Psychology
Counselling and wellbeing
On campus, dual delivery
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 educational psychologist 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
- 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 The Association of Educational Psychologists.
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.
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.
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. Her main focus in on participatory approaches to research and she has published in this area. Pandora is the Deputy Editor of the open access periodical Educational Psychology Research and Practice (EPRaP) and a co-facilitator of the Participatory Approaches to Research Special Interest Group (PARSIG).
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
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
- 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
- PY8111 Dr Mary Robinson
- PY8112 Dr Helena Bunn
- PY8113 Dr Janet Rowley
- PY8114 Dr Pandora Giles
- PY8115 Dr Lucy Browne
- PY8116 Dr
What you'll learn
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 educational psychologists 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
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.