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).
Modes and duration
This programme is full-time for 3 years. There is no part-time option.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. The fee listed is for all students in Year 1. The fees for Year 2 and 3 (per year) are: UK students £8,897, Overseas students with UK placement £22,511.
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 https://www.aep.org.uk/training.
English language requirements
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.
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.
Select your country:
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.
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
About this degree
Professional placements in Year One are supervised by UCL tutors in local authorities, enabling learning experiences on placement to be sequenced with academic curriculum coverage, ensuring expert supervision and facilitating ongoing reflection on the evidence-base and ethical practice.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why study this degree at UCL?
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.
Department: Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
- All applicants
- 18 November 2020
All UK applications (for government-funded places on the programme) are made via the AEP training website.
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.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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