Course Overview Course Overview

Based in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, this doctoral training programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Upon successful completion of this three-year, full-time programme, trainees will be eligible to apply for HCPC registration and, upon admittance to the Register, practise as an Educational Psychologist. Trainees will also be eligible to apply for Chartered Membership of the BPS.

The newest of only 13 programmes in England, this Department for Education funded programme was established to meet demand for qualified Educational Psychologists in the East of England. Upon competition of this rigorous initial training, you will have the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high quality, evidence-based psychological services to children and young people from birth to 25-years-old within education, community and Children’s Services systems.

Trainees will be exposed to a broad range of psychological theory which is framed within the principles of critical psychology, critical pedagogy and social justice. The programme places an importance on equality and diversity and promotes inclusion and anti-discriminatory practices to serve the needs of children, young people and their families. Upon completion of your training you will be able to critically analyse and synthesise complex psychological and educational information and, through the application of consultative, intervention and assessment models, have a positive impact on the lives of children, young people and their families.

We are proud to work in partnership with a wide range of local, regional and national partners to ensure a high quality, contemporary and relevant training programme. Our partners include Eastern Region local authority psychology services, schools, parents and carers, and the wider educational psychology training community amongst others.

The Doctorate in Educational Psychology (EdPsyD) provides an integration of theory, research and practice. We achieve this through a mixture of taught sessions, experiential groups, problem-based learning, discussion, debates, professional practice placements and research projects.

We aim for our programme to be challenging, collaborative, nurturing to our trainees which prepares them to be knowledgeable, flexible, creative, reflective/reflexive and ethically responsible practitioners.


Our core principles

The EdPsyD programme is situated within a critical psychology framework and built upon three, interconnected core principles, namely:

·         Social justice

·         Ethical and social responsibility

·         Reflective/reflexive practice

We place a high importance on the issues of equality, diversity, anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice, inclusion, and the equalisation of power which serves the needs of children, young people and their families.

Our programme will encourage you to develop your own professional identity and expose you to a wide range of psychological theory, practice and research. We do, however, expect applicants to our programme, and subsequently trainees, to show a commitment to these core values.


Benefits of the course

Our programme offers:

·         Established peer review groups to support with coursework, research development and practice issues.

·         Personalised support from university-based academic advisors who are all qualified and practising Educational Psychologists. Plus, support during placements and thesis through fieldwork supervisors and research supervisors respectively.

·         A research-active programme team.

·         A focus on learning with and from communities, including two specialist multi-agency and a school-based placement. We also work closely with a range of external partners to offer special visiting lectures and extra-curricular activity. For example, in 2018, we welcomed the Eastern Region Educational Psychology Conference, which brings together colleagues from all 11 services that UEA serve.

·         Embodied experiential learning opportunities.

·         Links with the School of Education and Lifelong Learning’s ITT programmes, School of Social Work and Speech and Language Therapy. This has included input from Professor Gillian Schofield, co-author of the Secure Base Model (Schofield and Beek, 2009).

·         Embedded assertiveness, eloquent challenge and conflict resolution training as part of our programme.

·         Extended block training in therapeutic interventions (Y2) and research methodologies (Y1/2).

·         A strong focus on dynamic, play and person-centred practices.

·         Use of innovative techniques for assessment and intervention, including teaching on the use of play, puppetry, creativity, Forum Theatre and narrative therapy approaches.

·         An exciting roster of external guest speakers and opportunities to invite your own speakers throughout Year 3 to help develop and extend your own areas of interest.


Course structure

Our programme integrates theory, research and practice which is reflected in our three core strands: Academic, Research and Practice. Within this, the programme is split into six modules and based on a spiral curriculum. This means each learning point is built upon the last and interconnected with developing professional competencies.

The modules you will undertake are:

Child in Context (Year 1): This module explores the child in a variety of contexts: the family, education and community. It considers how constructs of the child and SEND have developed historically and how children are situated within systems, such as Children’s Services, and within socio-political agenda, policy and law.

Critical Psychology and Pedagogy (Year 1): Teaching within this module is framed within an overarching critical psychology framework which aims to support trainees to apply psychology to real world contexts in an analytical, critical and ethical way. We will also explore complex and specialist areas of emotional, learning and developmental needs.

Consultation, Assessment and Intervention (Year 1): This module provides trainees with frameworks and skills training in consultation, assessment and intervention, setting the foundations for the Therapeutic Intervention module in Year 2.

Therapeutic Practice (Year 2): This module builds up on the Consultation, Assessment and Intervention module in Year 1. Trainees will be introduced to a wide range of therapeutic interventions which can be used in their practice. Competency in setting up and running therapeutic intervention is assessed through practice coursework carried out in an Educational Psychology Service (EPS). This module will be taught through lectures and skills-based practice master classes.

Professional Practice (Year 1-3): These modules are designed to provide an integrated understanding of professional practice skills, ethics, theory and practical experiences. Most of the learning for these modules take place through work-based placements in EPSs. In Year 1, trainees will have three block placements in at least two EPSs. In Year 2 and 3, trainees will spend an increasing amount of time in at least one EPS.

Advanced Research and Applied Psychology (Year 1-3): These modules will introduce trainees to a range of approaches used by educational psychologists and researchers in education and psychological contexts. Trainees will be introduced to key themes which will set the foundations for their doctoral level research study. Y2 will extend and integrate trainee knowledge into a doctoral research project. Trainees will work closely with their host service to identify local priorities. Trainees will then develop and design a research project in consultation with their placement host and their university tutor. In Y3 trainees will work during private study time, at university and, where negotiated, in their host service on writing up a 40,000-word thesis. This thesis will be assessed through a viva voce exam at the end of Year 3.

This module will be taught predominately through lectures, group discussions and research practice activities. Teaching sessions will be dominant in Y1 and gradually lessen through Y2. Y3 will focus on teaching through 1:1 research supervisions with the trainee’s university-based research supervisor (this person may be the same or different from their personal tutor depending on the trainee’s chosen area of research).


Prospective applicants should also be aware of the following points:

·         This is an intensive, full-time programme set entirely at doctoral level. If you are considering applying for this course, you should be aware that along with being intellectually stimulating, and a route to a rewarding profession, it will require commitment and will, at times, be demanding.

·         Trainees will be required to balance work placements, independent research and additional study. You will be required to travel throughout the Eastern Region of England for the duration of your study and may, at times, be required to travel beyond this region.

·         The course follows the school year rather than a University academic year. However, doctoral students do not follow the semester or term format and candidates for the degree of Educational Psychology will be expected to study on their course at all times except for agreed Annual Leave. Trainees will get a leave allowance which may be taken at agreed times and in negotiation with practice placement supervisors, the course director and within University Regulations.

·         To be considered for a place on this programme, you must meet the entry requirements.