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Programme outline and structure

This part-time doctorate for practising educational psychologists was set up following extensive consultation with services in London and the Home Counties. It aims to provide a carefully designed, part-time programme which will enhance personal, professional practice and service creativity and effectiveness. This is achieved by enabling practising educational psychologists to:

     acquire new knowledge in the field of child and educational psychology.
     become reflective applied researchers with a critical understanding of a range of research paradigms.
     enhance and extend professional skills in EP work.
     develop sensitivity to constraints on and possibilities for change.
     extend expertise in uncovering and creating organisational opportunities.

We are constantly striving to exceed these broad and ambitious aims by providing a programme which has two main components:

(a) high-quality applied research which brings psychology to bear upon a particular problem or issue in a service
(b) cutting-edge theory and research from the knowledge base in psychology which can be adapted or operationalised for professional practice in the service context.

Attendance and yearly programme overview

The DEdPsy at UCL is an intensive 4-year programme. In addition to attending the 43 timetabled days at UCL over the course of the four years, participants will need to commit up to 5 hours each week of term time to work on their doctorate studies. Further time will need to be allocated, in negotiation with Educational Psychology Service Managers, for data collection and other work-place based research activities.

Download the 2016 timetable here:

A total of 16 days (5-6 per term) are formally timetabled for the first year of the programme and 9 days (3 per term) in each of the subsequent three years. One of the timetabled days each term is earmarked for personal study which may not involve a trip to UCL.

The timetabled days are located at the beginning and ends of terms and in half term when schools work is less likely to be scheduled.

Curriculum Content

The following curriculum objectives form the cornerstones of the taught components of the programme and of each participant's negotiated learning and research plan, which is tailored to individual, service and LA needs as well as UCL requirements.

(a) Applied research

     to acquire applied research skills which will foster the development of insight, knowledge, understanding and expertise in a LA or EPS problem area.
     to acquire skills which can enhance the management of pressing problems in the education sector.
     to critically evaluate and monitor interventions and strategies for problem management.
     to develop a critical appreciation of the epistemological assumptions underlying a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods
     to develop mastery of the mix of methods employed in a personal research project which may involve either quantitative or qualitative methods or a combination of both

(b) Professional practice

     to engage with cutting/leading-edge research and theory in educational psychology.
     to consider how to adapt this knowledge to manage problems faced by educational psychologists in everyday professional practice.
     to critically evaluate and extend/develop such aspects of professional practice.
     to become a reflective practitioner.

Course content is drawn from the British Psychological Society required outcomes for educational psychology training. As an advanced level CPD programme with a major research component the DEdPsy course will focus on innovative and emerging ideas in psychology and particular needs of participants and their services. Over the course of the four year programme there will be considerable scope for tailoring course components to the needs and interests of particular groups of participants, and for participants to select for inclusion in their individual learning and research plan those aspects which are of most relevance to them and their services.

dedpsy reading listBackground Reading List

Educational psychologists who are offered a place on the course or who are thinking about applying for it sometimes ask us for reading suggestions that might help them update their knowledge in specific areas that they have not kept up with since their initial training. We hope this list will be of use to some of you. This is the version revised during 2015 for course members who were due to start in January 2016. It will be updated annually as needed. We have included in it some material by course tutors both for its relevance to the profession and as a form of introduction to us. Click here or on the icon to the left to download the list.

Programme Objectives

  1. Design and conduct high-quality applied research which brings psychology to bear on service problems or issues (current topic areas include - examination anxiety, disaffection and non-attendance at school; parental engagement in special educational needs; critical dialogue with teaching; baseline assessment and programme planning; exclusion of African-Caribbean boys).
  2. Apply leading-edge psychological theory and research to professional practice within their work contexts.
  3. Experience opportunities to reflect on personal development issues including beliefs, attitudes, aspirations and discomforts which may be assets for, or block to, effective problem management.

Site last modified 2nd February 2017
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Downloads and Events

Application to the January 2018 programme will open on 1 March 2017 and will remain open until 29 September 2017. Please download our:

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