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Educational Psychology


The MSc in Educational Psychology aims to prepare Trainee Educational Psychologists to work as practitioners of applied educational psychology in local government (usually Education or Social Services), in voluntary agencies and elsewhere, in the U.K. and beyond.

Intakes are every two years, in even numbered years, i.e. 2012, 2014, etc. This programme commences in September, the closing date is January of the same year.

Why study Educational Psychology at Dundee?

This two-year full-time professional training programme leads to qualification as an Educational Psychologist and eligibility for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Educational Psychologist, after a further year of supervised practice in a local authority psychological service and obtaining the Qualification in Educational Psychology (Scotland) (Stage 2).

A key feature of the programme at Dundee is Problem Based Learning (PBL) which has been shown to be effective in promoting the development of active independent learning as well as collaborative learning. PBL provides an integrated model of teaching and learning as it crosses subject boundaries.

The programme incorporates a spiral curriculum whereby there is an iterative revisiting of topics, subjects or themes throughout the programme. Trainees build new knowledge on prior knowledge and achieve better understanding by exploring topics at deepening levels and in more complexity. Examples of this are the teaching and practical application of frameworks for practice; working with video to reflect on effective communication; and the development of critical reflection skills.

Aims of the course

The aims of the programme are to promote:

  • the acquisition and development of information, theories, evidence, strategies, skills, services and products, which are based on educational psychology, and relevant to:
    • enhancing effective learning
    • promoting positive social, emotional and behavioural development
    • promoting inclusion
    • co-operative problem-solving
  • with children, parents, teachers and a wide range of other carers and other professional agencies

Who should study this course?

The programme is aimed at applicants who wish to train as educational psychologists. Applicants have a wide variety of previous qualifications, experience and employment history.

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff in the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education..

The course runs every two years, in even numbered years, i.e. 2012, 2014, etc. The start date is September and it lasts for 24 months.

How you will be taught

  • Learning experiences in the university are closely linked with those from a series of practical placements in local authority psychological services.
  • Active and self-managed learning methods are emphasised.
  • The curriculum is delivered through a range of traditional teaching and learning sessions, practical tasks, role play, video analysis and feedback, peer tutoring and assessment, demonstration and other forms of experiential learning. The utilisation of problem based learning provides an integrated model of teaching and learning.

What you will study

Based on the assumption that educational psychology is primarily about effective learning in different contexts, the programme includes the following taught academic modules that reflect the different ages/stages as well as the various organisational contexts that EPs work to.

There are 5 compulsory academic modules:

Year 1
  • Introduction to Educational Psychology Practice
  • Educational Psychology Practice in the Early Years
  • Educational Psychology Practice in the Primary Years
Year 2
  • Educational Psychology Practice in Secondary and Post-School Years
  • Advanced Educational Psychology Practice

These modules are designed to facilitate exploration of the following curricular areas in a holistic and integrated manner: child and adolescent development - normal and exceptional; assessment and intervention - individual and systemic; contexts and systems in which children and young people develop and learn; research and evaluation methods; and transferable interpersonal and professional skills.

There are also 2 compulsory placement modules, undertaken in local authority Psychological Services, one in Year 1 and the other in Year 2.

How you will be assessed

There are no traditional written examinations. All assessment is continuous by written academic reports and assignments, oral presentations, a major research thesis, a placement file documenting planning, activities and reflection in both placements, observation and rating by supervisors of performance while on placement., and oral examination by the external examiner (for a sample of students).

There is also a strong emphasis on self-assessment. Trainees are required to keep a Personal Learning Plan, in which they identify and monitor individual targets related to particular skills or bodies of knowledge. These are reviewed in regular appraisal meetings with their university tutor. Gradings of work are on a pass/fail basis. Summative assessment incorporates a formative element and trainees are asked to identify action points to address in the next piece of assessed work.


Training to become an Educational Psychologist (EP) in Scotland is undertaken over 3 years and consists of 2 separate stages.

Stage 1 involves studying for a Master of Science in Educational Psychology, which is a 2 year full time course, combining study with research and supervised placements.

On completion of the MSc in Educational Psychology, graduates progress to Stage 2 of their training - the Qualification in Educational Psychology (Scotland)(Stage 2). The Qualification is conferred by the British Psychological Society (BPS) on successful completion of one full time (or equivalent) year of supervised practice in the employment of a local authority psychological service and meeting the requirements as specified (for more information on the Qualification please refer to the BPS website).

From 1 July 2009, anyone wishing to practise as an educational psychologist in the UK must be registered with the regulatory body, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The Qualification has been approved by the HCPC, and Qualification holders are therefore eligible for registration as practitioner psychologists.

Entry Requirements

There are several key criteria which must be met in order for applicants to be considered for entry to the programme:

1. You must hold a 1st or 2.1 honours degree in Psychology or an equivalent qualification, which is recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as conferring eligibility for their Graduate Basis for Chartership Membership (GBC). This was known previously as Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR).

Note: All applicants, particularly those whose first degree was taken outside the UK, should check with the BPS that their degree meets the standard for GBC. The BPS can be contacted at tel. (+44) (0)116 254 9568, fax +44 (0)116 227 1314, or email

2. You must also have at least the equivalent of a minimum of two years' full-time work experience with children, young people and/or their families on entry to the programme. Examples of relevant experience would include work as a teacher in schools or further education, or as a  teaching assistant, social work assistant, residential child care officer, community education worker, youth club worker, literacy tutor, assistant psychologist (clinical or educational), research assistant (in some cases), careers adviser and so on. Relevant paid and voluntary, part-time and full-time work can be taken into account. Work undertaken must be clearly set out in the application with dates and information regarding full time equivalence.

3. Competence in the English language is essential. Applicants for whom English is not the first language must be able to demonstrate their competence, at an IELTS level of 8.5 or equivalent. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

4. All successful applicants are subject to a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme check prior to embarking on the programme. This is organised by the University although applicants are required to pay the fee, which can cost up to £59 depending on whether the applicants are registered with Disclosure Scotland or not.

Please also read our person specification.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU
2012-13 £9,350
2013-14 £9,350
2014-15 £9,500

Sources of Funding

Candidates are required to self-fund. You may be eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £3,400 for each year of the programme. You should refer to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland website for more information.

SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

The School of Education, Social Work and Community Education is not currently offering any school scholarships.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

Applications for September 2014 will be via UKPASS, between 1st November 2013 and 9th January 2014.

Additional information for your application

The closing date is 9th January in the year in which the programme commences in September.


You will be asked to attach documents to your UKPASS application. These are a scanned copy of your degree certificate; a scanned copy of your degree transcript; and your statement about the role of an educational psychologist.

Knowledge of the job of an Educational Psychologist (EP) and the Personal Statement

It is important that you tell us what you know about the role of an educational psychologist (EP) and about the transferable knowledge/skills you think you will bring to the training. You should also make explicit the links between your knowledge of psychological theory and the role of an EP. Please include details of any contact you have had with Psychological Services.

The Personal Statement box offers you the opportunity to expand on any issues which might strengthen your application for this particular training programme.


Applicants should provide the names and contact details of at least two referees.  At least one of the referees should be work-related.  Another referee should be academic-related (if the candidate has had links with academia within 5 years of the date of application).  In addition, applicants should attach copies of references on headed paper to their UKPASS application. Referees should include information on the following qualities/skills which are essential for working as an EP:

  • Personal organisation, including reliability, punctuality, time management, forward planning of work, target setting, ability to work to deadlines
  • Personal qualities, including social and interpersonal skills, communication skills, both written and spoken, ability to seek support and use supervision effectively, ability to work effectively within a team
  • Academic abilities, including research skills, critical thinking, the capacity for self-reflection, and the ability to link psychological theory to practice
  • Summary of the applicant’s areas of strength and those for development

Programme Director

Dr Elizabeth Hannah
School of Education, Social Work and Community Education
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 381463 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 381463 (from outside the UK)