Educational Psychology MSc

  • For Entry: September 2016
  • Duration: 24 months
  • School: Education & Social Work
  • Study Mode: Full Time

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.

An interview with Educational Psychology students

Why study this course 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.

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.

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.

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.


The programme begins with a university based 5 week block induction period followed by a block placement of 3 weeks. Thereafter, the normal pattern of attendance is placement on Mondays and Tuesdays; university-based teaching on Thursdays and Fridays; and Wednesdays for independent study and collaborative work. There are additional periods of block placement and independent study weeks.

An interview with our students about the aspects of the course that make them more employable.

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.

Year of Entry: 2016

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

  • You must be a UK or EU student. This course is not open to overseas students.
  • 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).
  • 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 +44 (0)116 254 9568, fax +44 (0)116 227 1314, or email
  • 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.
  • 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.

EU and International students

For entry requirements tailored to your home country visit the Your Country pages.

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 8.5
Listening 8.0
Reading 8.0
Writing 8.0
Speaking 8.0

Please check our English language requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English language courses.


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.

These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who

  • have not met our typical academic entry requirements
  • and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS

to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 10 week Pre-Sessional programme provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS.

The 5 week Pre-Sessional programme provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee statusFees for students starting 2016/17
Scottish, Rest of UK and EU students £9,650 per year of study.
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Scottish and EU applicants for this course may be eligible for a PSAS tuition fee loan
Overseas students (non-EU) This course is not open to overseas students.

You will have 2 main placements over the duration of the programme. We endeavour, where possible, to place trainees in an area of Scotland which is convenient to their home location.

Yes. You must have a minimum of two years' full-time work experience (or equivalent based on cumulative part-time 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, teaching assistant, social work assistant, residential child care officer, community education worker, youth club worker, literacy tutor, assistant psychologist (clinical or educational), research assistant, and careers adviser. Relevant paid and voluntary, part-time and full-time work can be taken into account.

You 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 you have had links with academia within 5 years of the date of application).  We reserve the right to take up references after your application is submitted by contacting your referees directly.

The closing date for applications is 23:59 on 11 January 2016. We would strongly advise you to read relevant webpages in this website before starting to complete the application form on-line. In Stage 1 of the selection process, all applications are screened by programme staff and Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP) representatives using agreed criteria. Applicants are informed whether or not they have been successful in reaching stage 2 of the selection process.

You should use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the work of an educational psychologist. You should reflect on your prior experience, knowledge, skills and personal qualities and demonstrate the relevance of these to being a trainee educational psychologist.

All successful applicants are required to be registered on the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This was introduced by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. This process replaces the "Enhanced Disclosure" check. If you are accepted onto the programme, we will apply to the PVG Scheme on your behalf.

Typically, we receive over a hundred applications each year, and 64 of these are invited to attend stage 2 of the process.

Applicants attend the university for a full day and take part in 4 selection activities. These include 2 interviews, a group activity and a presentation. Normally 16 applicants attend each day.

For Stage 2 of the selection process, you should think about the nature of the role of the educational psychologist and the associated knowledge, skills and qualities which you would expect. You should consider how you might find out more about educational psychology. Reflect on what you may bring to that role and what you would like to develop over the 2 years of the programme. The various activities have been designed to assess your understanding of the work of an educational psychologist and to assess whether you have the pre-requisite skills and qualities to engage in a demanding programme of study. This will include personal qualities and skills such as the ability to work independently; communicate using a variety of media; collaborate with others; and plan and organise study and work-related activities.

Please read the Postgraduate "How to Apply" section for information on how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Apply online via UKPASS

Course Contact

Admissions Administrator
Education and Social Work
+44 (0)1382 381458