• For Entry: September 2018
  • Duration: 24 months
  • School: Education & Social Work
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Accredited by the BPS, a two-year full-time professional training course leading to qualification as an Educational Psychologist.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

A profession for the 21st century: Our mission statement is "to enable trainee educational psychologists to develop and apply the knowledge, skills and values that will allow them to practise as confident, competent educational psychology professionals of the highest standard in order to make a positive difference for a wide range of people."

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

An interview with Educational Psychology students

This two-year full-time professional training course 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 an accredited local authority psychological service and obtaining the Qualification in Educational Psychology (Scotland) (Stage 2).

A key feature of the course 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 will provide you with an integrated model of teaching and learning as it crosses subject boundaries.

The course incorporates a spiral curriculum whereby there is an iterative revisiting of topics, subjects or themes throughout the course. You will 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.

Learn more about our research facilities

Aims of the course

The aims of the course 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 course is ideal if you wish to train as educational psychologist. You should have a wide variety of previous qualifications, experience and employment history.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

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 as well as oral examination by the external examiner (for a sample of students).

There is also a strong emphasis on self-assessment. You will be required to keep a Personal Learning Plan, to identify and monitor your targets related to particular skills or bodies of knowledge. These are reviewed in regular appraisal meetings with your university tutor. Grading 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.

You will be allocated an academic tutor from the programme team.  There are optional and compulsory tutorials (review meetings) which can be undertaken face-to-face and/or using teleconferencing or videoconferencing facilities.  There are 3 way phone calls and visits involving your academic tutor and placement tutor. You will have supervisors for the collaborative project in year 1 and the thesis in year 2. You will get feedback on academic reports and opportunity to discuss the feedback with the academic tutor. On placement you will have a minimum of one hour’s supervision per week with your practice tutor.

What you will study

Based on the assumption that educational psychology is primarily about effective learning in different contexts, the course includes the following taught academic modules that reflect the different ages/stages as well as the various organisational contexts that educational psychologists 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 course begins with a university based 5 week block induction period followed by a block placement, in a local authority psychological service, of 3 weeks. Thereafter, the normal pattern of attendance is placement on Mondays and Tuesdays; university-based teaching on Wednesdays and Thursdays; and Fridays for independent study and collaborative work. There are additional periods of block placement and independent study weeks.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

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, you can progress to Stage 2 of your 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).

You will be expected to apply for jobs as an educational psychologist when you complete the course.  You use the designation educational psychologist (probationer) during the probationary period.

From 1 July 2009, if you wish to practise as an educational psychologist in the UK you 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.

To date, we have had a very good success rate in graduates obtaining employment when they complete the course.

Former Student

“The director and tutors create a critically reflective, collaborative and supportive course facilitating an environment to gain the knowledge and skills required as an EP - while having fun along the way!”

Former Student

“I think the format of the course really helps because you have two days on placement where you get practical experience and two days back at the University where you have the chance to reflect.”

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 Chartered 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 enquiry@bps.org.uk
  • 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 qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 8.5
Listening 8.0
Reading 8.0
Writing 8.0
Speaking 8.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are 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.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

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 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £9,650 per year of study.
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £9,650 per year of study.
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) This course is not open to overseas students.
Applications for September 2018 will remain open until 14 May 2018

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

We organise placements taking account of your place of residence whilst you are on the programme. We endeavour to ensure that placements are no more than one hour’s travel time from your place of residence.

Placements are arranged to be as convenient to your place of residence as possible. The main placements are organised by the university. You may choose to arrange additional short placements.

One of the distinguishing features of the programme is that trainees have two main placements. Although in principle it is possible to have the same placement in both years this would be on a case by case basis.  If you are in the same placement over the two years, it would be expected that you experience a short placement in another Educational Psychology Service.

You do not have to have a car but it would be easier to engage in placement activities if you had access to a car.  On placement, you will be in a base but you would be expected to travel to various venues.

If your travel distance from place of residence to placement is greater than the distance from place of residence to university then we will pay the difference.  On placement you are expected to travel to different venues from your placement base.  There are different arrangements operating in different local authorities.  These include self-funding, car pool arrangement and reimbursement of travel costs.

There are a minimum of 76 days on placement in year 1 and 106 days on placement in year 2.  Trainees are expected to produce a Placement File for each placement.  This consists of a Placement diary, Placement Activities Record, Placement Assessment Schedules, Accounts of Work and Information Gathering Exercises. You will undertake a range of work which reflects the 5 core functions and 3 levels of working of educational psychologists as set out in the Currie Report (Scottish Executive, 2002). As you gain in confidence and experience over the two years you will be expected to take on more independent work, under the supervision of an educational psychologist. 

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 course. 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 speak to educational psychologists to gain an understanding of the profession.  If you have been offered a place on the course, you will have some pre-course tasks.  You will also be sent a copy of the course handbook before you start the course and you could have a look at some of the key readings for the first academic module.

Trainees bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience. This is a perceived strength of the programme due to the focus on peer learning. We encourage trainees to identify learning targets based on their prior learning.  Thus, someone who hasn’t worked in a school would endeavour to ensure that they gain experience in that context.

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.

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 course, we will apply to the PVG Scheme on your behalf.

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.

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 course. 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 course 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.

You are allowed to work part-time whilst studying on the course.  However, you should appreciate that this is a demanding full-time course over two years and that working may impact on the time that you can devote to your studies.

Additional costs include PVG (can cost up to £59 depending on whether the applicants are registered with Disclosure Scotland or not); residential at the end of the course (typically in the region of £50 for accommodation and food); and travel costs (travel to university, travel to placement and travel whilst on placement).

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the how to apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

  Degree Course code
Apply nowEducational Psychology MScP026357

Course Contact

Dr Elizabeth Hannah
Education and Social Work
+44 (0)1382 381463