Professional Doctorate in Child, community and educational psychology (M4)

Course overview

Completing this course will enable you to qualify and work as an HCPC registered practitioner educational psychologist and be Chartered with the British Psychological Society. This highly regarded professional doctorate training course has been recently re-validated, with commendations by the University of Essex. 

Applications for 2022 entry opened on Wednesday 15th September 2021 (Midday).  Applications are made via the The Association of Educational Psychologists website and must be submitted by Wednesday 17th November 2021 at 5pm.

This course incorporates an understanding of psycho-therapeutic perspectives for support and intervention with families and other professionals and facilitates 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 gain professional experience through a placement in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Educational Psychology Services. Recently a short placement with a neuropsychology services has been included. 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 areas of study ‘professional in context’ which considers the role of consultation and ‘psychological frameworks’, which considers psychodynamic and systemic perspectives.

Year one

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

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

You will focus on the individual child or family level, 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.

Year two

In years two and three, you will secure a professional placement in an educational psychology service 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 and 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.

You will continue with modules in planning research, psychological frameworks and Special Educational needs (CHAI).

Year three

In your third year the focus is on organisations and you will 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.

You will complete a further 130 days on EPS placement and complete a short placement with a neuropsychology service (subject to availability)

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.

This course is delivered in a working NHS clinic and is unique in its approach due to this. The CAMHS placement and the associated multi disciplinary working are unique to this training course.

What our students say:

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 minimum 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.

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

The 2022 intake dates  are as follows: 

  • Application Start: Wednesday 15th September 2021 (midday)
  • Reference submission: Tuesday 16th November 2021 (5pm)
  • Application submission: Wednesday 17th November 2021 (5pm)
  • Interviewing and shortlisting: Wednesday 30th March 2022 (midday)
  • Offer release: Wednesday 13th April 2022 (midday)
  • Offer accept: Wednesday 20th April 2022 (midday)

The course is assessed through written assignments including essays and a professional practice portfolio which is submitted at the end of each year. In the final year a research thesis of 40,000 words is submitted.

Brian Davis

Brian Davis

In his role as Director and as Deputy Head of Psychology, Brian is part of the team providing educational psychology doctorate training courses at the Tavistock. He has previously held a major strategic role in a Local Authority with responsibilities including the management and commissioning of specialist support services including educational psychology and child and adolescent mental health for children with special educational and additional needs. He has extensive experience as the Principal Educational Psychologist for two London authorities and as a practitioner educational psychologist including a specialism for social, emotional, behavioural issues and working with mental health teams. He has managed a service applying systemic and psychotherapeutic approaches to children at risk of exclusion and becoming looked after.

He has had a long term interest in Educational Psychology training. He has previously been on a professional Educational Psychology training university steering committee and delivered training sessions on courses. Brian has been a school governor and is also a qualified teacher, having worked in a teaching delivery and education advisory capacity across all age ranges in education and a number of specialist environments.

Brian’s special and research interests include the development of quality Educational Psychology practice and continuing professional development;  professional training;  the promotion of positive outcomes for children and young people; and  building of resilience in the community through strategic and multi - agency working.

This is a funded course – please contact us for more information.

Professional Doctorate
Course length:
3 years
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
Course lead:
Brian Davis