Educational and Child Psychology DEdPsy

London, Bloomsbury

The Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology (DECPsy) is a three-year programme of professional training in educational psychology, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). The DECPsy provides an internationally respected qualification to practice as an educational psychologist (EP).

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
3 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

All UK applications (for government-funded places on the programme) are made via the AEP training website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or the overseas equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants for the Professional Doctorates should note that additional requirements, including relevant work experience, will apply. UK applications for the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology are handled by the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP). Please visit

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Special. Requirement of 7.0 in IELTS with 6.5 in each subtest.

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The DECPsy programme integrates three key elements - academic knowledge, research ability and professional practice. Through research-led teaching, we aim to enable our students to deliver evidence-based and innovative psychological practice with children and young people, their families and other professionals. We also strive to conduct rigorous practice-based research in relation to the developmental, learning and mental health needs of children and young people aged 0-25 years. We are located within the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, a world leading integrated department of applied psychology, focusing on the implementation of ground-breaking research to improve development, education, and mental and physical wellbeing in individuals and social groups. We use a broad range of scientific approaches to advance understanding and practice across these domains. The department has an exceptional track record of influencing policy in the delivery of health, education and social care.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

UCL has a long-standing reputation for excellence in professional training in educational psychology. Some key features of our programme are:

  • A reflective, Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach paired with innovative teaching and learning in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Video Interactive Guidance (VIG) and more.
  • A range of learner resources including the provision of laptops for trainees, an in-house psychological testing library and a self-contained teaching suite.
  • A first rate setting offering access to all UCL libraries, facilities and vibrant, central London campus
  • Delivery and support from a committed and diverse tutor team and a range of high profile external speakers.

The foundation of your career

To date, all DECPsy graduates have been successful in their application for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), so have been able to start independent practice immediately on completion of training. In addition, all applications for chartership to the British Psychological Society (BPS) have been successful, a recognition of the high standards of professional competence that have been achieved over the course of training.


All EP trainees that receive a government funded place and bursary commit to work for a minimum of two years full-time equivalent in a local authority in England immediately following graduation.


There are many opportunities for inter-professional training and cross-professional learning on the DECPsy for example, workshops with trainees from clinical psychology and speech and language therapy. We also invite speakers from external institutions and professionals working for health services to deliver DECPsy workshops. The department has research collaborations with many institutions including the Anna Freud Centre and Yale Child Study Centre. To support engagement with national academic and professional networks, we provide financial support for DECPsy trainees to attend the annual BPS Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) conference.

Teaching and learning

Research areas and structure

Research competence is developed through engagement in a significant piece of original, professionally relevant research. Trainees develop skills in critiquing the existing knowledge base and in designing studies to address questions important to advancing theory and practice in educational psychology. For example:

  • Child and adolescent development (atypical and typical)
  • Assessment (e.g. learning, social, emotional and mental health)
  • Educational interventions
  • Psychological therapy
  • Systems and services
  • Health and wellbeing 

Dissemination of research is strongly encouraged. Many DECPsy programme graduates have published their research with the support of their research tutors in national and international journals – please see our website 

Research environment

This doctorate offers an innovative, research-rich learning path exemplified by our focus on evidence-based practice. The thesis involves undertaking an original piece of professionally relevant research, to demonstrate your ability to apply scientific principles and undertake rigorous investigation. The programme supports a broad approach to research and provides training in a range of paradigms and methods, delivered through a series of workshops led by research methods and statistics lecturers, and augmented by web-based learning. This will help you to develop your skills and confidence in:

  1. Critically appraising published research, to extend your knowledge and understanding of evidence-based practice.
  2. Designing and conducting investigations to address important research questions.
  3. Analysing quantitative and qualitative findings, and drawing appropriate interpretations relevant to practice.

The selection of a thesis topic is a process in which personal interest, professional relevance and practical feasibility are all important. Your thesis will need to meet doctoral criteria and make a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the field of educational and child psychology. The completed thesis includes a systematic review of an aspect of the literature relevant to the research topic and an empirical paper which follows the usual research article format and is of publishable quality. The final part of the thesis provides an overview of the policy, practice and future research implications in academic, professional and social terms. Your strategy for promoting and evaluating the dissemination of your research and a detailed plan for publishing papers from the thesis is also included.

In Year 1, you will undertake ten, two-week problem-based learning (PBL) modules in groups of 6-8 students with a tutor who is an Educational Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council. You will also undertake a series of Workshop Sessions at UCL and professional placement experiences. You will begin a significant piece of original, professionally-relevant research, and a service-related research project commissioned by a Local Education Authority Educational Psychology Service, both of which will be completed by the end of the programme.

In Year 2, you will undertake eight further two-week problem-based learning (PBL) modules together with Workshop Sessions at UCL and professional placement experiences. You will also undertake Objective Structured Professional Assessments (OSPAs) and receive standardised feedback from UCL tutors and practicing educational psychologists in relation to professional competence demonstrated in scenarios with 16-25 year olds. In addition you will receive specialist supervision by UCL tutors of therapeutic intervention work by the trainees on their professional placements in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You will also continue to work on your research project.

In Year 3, professional development tutors facilitate small group support for learning on further modules, individually tailored to your learning needs and special interests, and to placement learning opportunities. You will continue to receive specialist supervision by UCL tutors of therapeutic intervention work on your professional placement in Video Interaction Guidance. In Year 3 you will also complete your significant piece of original, professionally-relevant research and your service-related research project commissioned by a Local Education Authority Educational Psychology Service.

Year 1:

Academic (including workshops and seminars)

PBL 1: Educational Psychology: Practice and Context

PBL 2: Raising Achievement: Whole School and Community Focus

PBL 3: Literacy Difficulties and Bilingualism in the  Primary School

PBL 4: Reducing Social Exclusion

PBL 5: Primary Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs

PBL 6: Promoting Inclusion: SEN and Disability Focus

PBL 7: Children in Early Years Settings: Language and Behaviour issues

PBL 8: Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD): Challenging Behaviour - School and Family

PBL 9: Neuropsychology and Autistic Spectrum   Disorders

PBL 10:  Emotional Issues in Adolescence: Individual Interventions


Placement (1 day a week)

LA Observations and visits

Primary School Placement

English as an Additional Language (EAL) work

CAMHS and Social Services meetings

Dynamic assessment

Shadowing Educational Psychologists

Multi-Professional Working interviews

Secondary School Placement

Early Years Placement

Visits to Special Provision



Research Methods Workshops

Conducting systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses

Research Methods Workshops

Thesis consultation sessions

Research thesis tutorials


Year 2:

Academic (10 x 3 day UCL blocks)

PBL 11: Dyslexia and ADHD – Science and Social Construction

PBL 12:  Family and Community Interventions

PBL 13:  The SEN Tribunal, Parent Partnership and Local Authority Provision

PBL 14: Children & Young People in Public Care - Vulnerable and LAC

PBL 15: Post-school Psychological Services (16-25 year olds)

PBL 16: Educational Psychology: Professional and Personal Review

Peer supervision
Video Interation Guidance (VIG) Training

Objective Structured Professional Assessment (OSPAs)


Placement (3 days a week)

Local Authority Placement



Research thesis tutorials presentations

Advanced research methods workshops

Thesis consultation sessions


Year 3:

Academic (6 x 3 day UCL blocks)

PBL case presentations

Workshops/Masterclasses/Innovative practice sessions

Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) supervision


Placement (3 days a week)

Local Authority Placement



Research thesis tutorials

Submit thesis for examination (early May)

Thesis vivas

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Professional placements in Years Two and Three (approx. three days per week) are allocated following regional processes and consider trainee preferences about location. Please see our website for further information about the placement allocation process.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £17,795
Tuition fees (2022/23) £27,057

The published fee is for students in Year 1 only. The fees for Years 2 and 3 (per year) are: UK £8,897, Overseas with UK placement £23,187 (subject to UCL's fee increase of 3-5% annually)

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

This programme requires a completed DBS check for some compulsory modules. You will receive more information from UCL on how to complete the check once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer for the programme. The DBS application cost will be covered by UCL, but offer holders will also need to have their ID checked and verified at a Post Office, for which they will incur a charge of £12.75. The offer holder is also required to arrange and pay for any overseas police check that may be necessary; costs vary by country. For more information about the DBS application process, please contact the UCL Graduate Admissions team.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Successful applicants who secure funded training places will have their university fee paid by the Department for Education for all three years and a bursary. Please see our website for details about fees for applicants from the European Union (EU) and overseas.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (ROS)

Value: UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Applications for UK-funded places are made through the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) website. Applications can be made through the AEP website in the autumn for prospective trainees wanting to start the following academic year. Interviews are usually held at the end of February/beginning of March.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.