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Research and Assignment Components

At UCL, the summative assessment requirements for the four-year DEdPsy course for practising educational psychologists are as follows -

(a) An applied research project of 30-40,000 words in length which makes a distinct contribution to knowledge of the subject and offers evidence of originality shown by the discovery of new facts and the exercise of independent critical power.

(b) Four professional assignments of 7,000 words each, which offer course members the chance to illuminate, develop and evaluate aspects of current or future practice in Educational Psychology. Three assignments must relate to the following core topics in applied psychology:

  Psychological Assessment and Intervention

  The Profession of Educational and Child Psychology and its Context

  Personal Effectiveness in a Professional Context

The fourth assignment may relate to any aspect of the practice of educational psychology.

Examples of Topics

Practising educational psychologists working on the four-year DEdPsy course have taken full advantage of the wide range of subject matter available them. Such topics, which are often at the cutting edge of EP practice, have included:

(Research Project topics):

 parenting styles in different cultural groups;

 thinking skills and pupil attainment;

 gender and emotional and behavioural difficulties;

 shared attention and autistic spectrum disorder;

 loneliness in childhood;

 the impact of word level skills training approaches on self-perceptions relating to reading;

 the education of looked after children;

 psychology and expert witness roles;

 confabulation in childhood;

 resilience and children's attributions of success and failure, children's mental health;

 non-attendance and school alienation;

 teacher attributions and pupil attainment;

 self efficacy and pupils' reading ability;

 motivational interviewing;

 nursery-reception class transitions;

 hypnosis and children's anxieties;

 the development of handwriting skills

 perceptions of EPs' consultation sessions with teachers

(Professional assignment topics):

 bereavement and children with severe learning difficulties;

 the role of the EP in supporting children and young people with medical needs;

 developing integrated support in a secondary school;

 child maltreatment, physical abuse and school performance;

 educational psychology and multi-agency work;

 race and ethnicity in foster home placement;

 the interpersonal effectiveness of educational psychologists;

 communication skills in the statutory procedure for assessing special educational needs;

 critical event management, and gifted children;

 anti-racist discourses in education;

 LA responses to the needs of children of refugees and asylum seekers;

 play based assessment;

 the effectives of social stories in work with children who have autism;

 neuropsychology and EP practice;

To download a fuller list of sample Research Thesis and professional practice assignment topics completed by course members click here (pdf)

Other forms of Assessment

Additionally, two types of formative evaluation and feedback are utilised:

 Self-evaluation. This aims to encourage habitual self­evaluation and reflection on practice which is an essential basis both for immediate learning and for continuing professional development.

Quality assurance. This is carried out by the research advisory teams to ensure that satisfactory standards of competence are attained and that timely and specific advice and support can be provided.

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