Becoming an EdPsych: A Beginner's Guide

After realising that I didn't want to become a primary school teacher after all, I decided to weigh up my career options. Yes, I had worked in schools previously in support/mentoring roles, and even had a go at teaching myself. But the intense competition for teacher training courses and even further competition for jobs wasn't the only thing that dissuaded me; I felt hungry for more than differentiated lesson plans, Pritt stick, and OFSTED inspections. 

Then I discovered the perfect job - one which would satisfy by academic appetite while allowing me to work directly with pupils in an effort to improve their well-being socially, psychologically and academically: the chance to apply psychologically to school and conduct research all in the same role is very appealing. So I have opted for intense competition for training and jobs afterall, albeit in a different profession!

To my dismay, I discovered that I would need a BPS-accredited degree to begin my training. But my dismay transformed into hope when I discovered that I could do a conversion course. Further information available on the BPS website (under Careers, Education and Training).

After achieving GBC, you would be John Smith, MBPsS. After achieving Chartered Membership, however, this would upgrade to John Smith, CPsychol (by this stage though you'd have a nice little string of qualifications like BA/BSc, MA/Msc, MEd, PhD, etc...). In order to be a legally practising psychologist, one needs to register with the Health Professions Council.

Getting on a course
There are 12 universities in the UK that offer the Doctorate training programme. Each university accepts about 10 applicants each year. Each year, then, the UK adds a measly 120 Educational Psychologists to its ranks.

Every institution will tell you that competition is fierce. Believe them. This year (2012), UCL received 311 applications for 12 places. Aside from relevant qualifications, applicants need to have relevant work experience, i.e. should be able to demonstrate how they have applied psychological theory and research and how it relates to the work of EdPsychs.
Please see Where can I train as an EdPsych for more details.

To get an idea of an Educational Psychologist's academic background, take a look at these examples from a document from Manchester University:

[name,] BSc, PGCE, MSc, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPS
[name], BSc (Econ), PGCE, MSc, DEdPsy, CPsychol
[name], BA, PGCE, MSc (from back in the old days when all you needed was a Masters degree!)
[name], BA, PGCE, MEd, MSc, DEdPsy, CPsychol

*Disclaimer: I am not an Educational Psychologist myself. What you see here are the results of my research on getting into the profession. Please do not take everything here as gospel - I've provided links for you to check it out yourself too.

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