RESEARCH DEPARTMENT OF CLINICAL, EDUCATIONAL & HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY GROUP

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Approaches, methods and programme overview

Principles and core values

The CPD Doctorate in Educational Psychology team members share the following principles and core values.

     Supporting effective application of psychological theory and research of direct relevance to key national educational objectives such as those set out in the DfES “Early Child Matters” initiative.
     Respecting course participants' existing knowledge, skills and expertise.
     Utilising the psychology of adult learning.
     Providing both personal and professional development opportunities.
     Promoting ideas of lifelong learning.
     Encouraging transparent decision-making processes.
     Encouraging co-operative as well as individual learning.
     Promoting service/LEA research which combines professional relevance with academic rigour.
     Providing high-quality teaching and advice.
     Supporting equal opportunities.
     Promoting accountable evidence-based practice.
     working in multi-disciplinary teams and collaborating with other professional courses at UCL e.g. Clinical Psychology and initial professional training in Educational Psychology.

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DEdPsy course member graduation daySupport for Learning

The psychology of adult learning and the provision of effective learning experiences for experienced professionals are areas of expertise at UCL. Learning activities build on and utilise participants’ prior knowledge of psychology and professional experience in educational psychology. Theory, research and practice are integrated in the provision of learning experiences. These provide meaningful foci for the group in sharing existing knowledge and expertise, developing the application of problem and systems analysis strategies, assimilating new psychological theory and research, evaluating the appropriateness of resulting assessment techniques, intervention approaches and provision. The importance of context at each stage in the process is particularly emphasised through the use of constraint analysis.

Two particularly innovative features characterise the UCL programme:

1. Research Advisory Teams. The work of each participant on the CPD Doctorate programme will be monitored, supported and evaluated by a professional tutor in Educational Psychology (who will act as principal research advisor) and a very experienced and senior member of the profession with EPS management experience (who will offer advice on professional issues and ensure a continuing link with LEA and EPS perspectives).

The Research Committee model of supervision has been adapted from that employed by universities in the USA which have a long tradition of applied doctoral-level training programmes. The rationale for providing supervision for applied professional doctorates through a small team, rather than through a single supervisor, relates to the broader focus of applied research and the wider range of skills and knowledge which are relevant to the participants areas of interest. Members of the research advisory team are selected so that all are knowledgeable about the academic standards required and that between them, they can provide a high level of expertise across the range of relevant knowledge and skills.

The Research Committee will conduct a yearly progress review for each course member and also provide feedback on participants’ written work at the following stages:

     Thesis outline.
     First draft of Literature Review.
     Yearly Progress Reports against agreed objectives.
     Second submissions of each of the 4 professional practice assignments.
     Penultimate draft of entire thesis.

In addition, towards the end of the final year, participants will be offered a ‘mock’ viva with feedback to assist them in preparation for examination of their thesis.

 

2. Leading-edge Psychology days. These days are organised on behalf of the four year groups on the DEdPsy programme, but are open to other EP practitioners from London and the home counties. The structure of the day is well-established and involves both research and practice components of selected topics which are delivered by established researchers and innovative EP practitioners (an illustration appears below). Leading/cutting-edge days, led by expert researchers and practitioners in a particular area, have so far included:

     Numeracy.
     Cognitive Style and Learning Strategies.
     Resilience and vulnerable children.
     Neuropsychology and Educational Psychology Practice.
     Recent Developments in Dyslexia.
     Metacogntive Approaches in Learning.
     Computer Supported Learning.
     Autism Spectrum Disorder.
     Promoting Well-being in Adolescence.

Example: 'Young people with severe social, emotional and behavioural difficulties': flyer

   
 

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Ongoing programme evaluation

Each year we attempt to evaluate all aspects of the DEdPsy programme (from selection to programme presentation, curriculum access and assessment).

Such evaluation provides useful feedback which we have incorporated into the programme organisation and delivery. The 2005 end of year evaluation highlighted the high level of satisfaction expressed by the majority of current programme members.

At a national level, the DEdPsy course at UCL received recognition by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in January 2002 and again in 2005. It should be noted, however, that the ESRC is unable to provide funding for professional doctorate course members at present.

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