Child, community and educational psychology (M4)

Course overview

This highly regarded professional doctorate training course is exclusively positioned in an NHS Mental Health Trust. Uniquely, on our course you will also focus on the promotion of children and young people's emotional wellbeing. Our comprehensive course will enable you to qualify and work as an HCPC registered educational psychologist. 

This course focuses on the understanding of psycho-therapeutic perspectives for support and intervention with families and other professionals and establishing joint working with mental health services, schools and other professional agencies. Over the three years you will learn experientially and through lectures, seminars, tutorials and group learning. You will study psychodynamic and systemic psychological frameworks and gain professional experience through placement in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Educational Psychology Services. You will follow the British Psychological Society (BPS) core curriculum which includes an assessment and intervention/child development theme and a research theme. These will be supplemented by two distinctive clinical themes – ‘professional in context’ and ‘psychological frameworks’. 

Year one

You will follow the British Psychological Society (BPS) core curriculum which is supplemented by two distinctive clinical modules (*). The course modules are as follows:

  • assessment and intervention/child development (CHAI)
  • professional in context *
  • research
  • psychological frameworks *

You will focus on the individual child or family with a one day per week placement in a CAMHS team working alongside experienced multidisciplinary practitioners.  You will also undertake a placement in an educational psychology service supervised by our Tavistock Fieldwork Tutors.

Years two 

In years two and three, you will secure a professional placement in educational psychology services where you will spend 130 days per year.  You will also spend two days per week at the Tavistock where your course modules continue.

In year two you will focus on groups. You will be required to facilitate either an adult or a children’s group as part of your learning under supervision. You will also be supported in implementing CBT.

Year three

In your third year the focus is on organisations and you will be required to carry out supervised organisational development work in your placement. You will be required to complete a piece of research of relevance to educational psychology practice within your placement. This will be supervised and submitted as a 40,000 word thesis in the third year. 

This comprehensive course, which includes a clinical and therapeutic emphasis, will enable you to make a successful transition to the role of applied psychologist working in schools, local communities and multi-agency contexts. 

You will be able to deliver the core service expectations of consultation, assessment and intervention for complex additional and special educational needs, research, evaluation and staff training.

Our course is truly unique in that it is delivered within an active NHS mental health trust as opposed to a traditional University setting.

Open evening 

Our opening evening for the course will take place on 16 October 2018 at 5pm-8pm. To book, email 

This course is for you if you are seeking a professional applied psychology training course, have already completed an honours degree in psychology and gained sufficient and relevant experience of working with children and young people to form a basis for your training and on-going development.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:

  • have the minimum of a psychology degree (with Honours, preferably 2.1 or above) or a qualifying conversion course or Masters degree, with eligibility for the British Psychological Society (BPS) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). You can check your eligibility with the BPS and please note that you must have achieved eligibility before the application deadline. If the qualification that grants you eligibility for GBC is not from the UK or Ireland you will also be required to enter your BPS membership number at application stage.
  • are able to demonstrate that you have gained a minimum of one year’s full-time (37 hours a week or the equivalent if part-time) experience of working with children and young people, usually within an educational, health, social care, youth justice, childcare or community setting by the application deadline. This experience might include teaching, learning and behaviour mentoring, being a teaching assistant, social worker, speech and language therapist, assistant psychologist.  This mimimum experience can be made up of all paid employment, or at least nine months full-time paid employment (or the equivalent if part-time) and the equivalent of three months sustained relevant voluntary experience. Any additional paid or voluntary experience over the one year minimum requirement should also be included in applications as the length, depth and range of experience may be taken into consideration in selection.

The vast majority of places for this course are funded through a national scheme. When you apply, an application is made jointly for a place on your course of choice and the funding of fees and subsistence will be paid through a bursary fund in the first year. 

In years two and three, your course fees continue to be paid by the DfE and you will receive a subsistence bursary from the placement provider (usually a Local Authority)

To be eligible for a funded place on the course you will need to be eligible to work in England for the duration of the course and for at least two years after completing the course.  You will also need to be ordinarily resident in the UK. All Non-UK applicants must be living the UK at the time of application and be able to provide proof of residency. Please note that if you intend to come to the UK to train, you will not meet the criteria of ‘ordinarily resident in the UK'.

If you meet entry criteria for the course but are a non-UK resident or you have not secured a funded place, you may be considered on a self funding basis.  Please note that self funding places are very limited.

Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Applications to this course are made via the Association of Educational Psychologists

The previous code for this course was M4.

Professional Doctorate
Course length:
3 years
Admission status:
Closing date for applications:
5 December 2018
Course lead:
Brian Davis