Educational Psychology Watch

LondonDreamer
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Has anybody looked into this as a career option? Whereas there's a lot of talk about the difficulties of getting onto the clinical psychology doctorate, I've barely heard anything about educational psych. I'm guessing it's similarly competitive?

Although I know it's no longer a requirement to qualify as a teacher first, it seems like this would surely be the easiest route?
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EastEffect
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This is my dream job, however realistically I know it wont happy. 3 year undergrad in Psychology with at least a 2.1, then 2/3 years work experience in a school, then a fight to get onto a postgraduate in ed psych, then a fight with hundreds of others for a job.

I'm likely to go down the ICT teacher route, however that ruins any chance of me becoming an ed psych, as I'd be doing a computer science degree then PGCE. I'd have to start from the beginning with a psych undergrad degree if I later on decided I wanted to give educational psychology a go.
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LondonDreamer
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(Original post by EastEffect)
I'm likely to go down the ICT teacher route, however that ruins any chance of me becoming an ed psych, as I'd be doing a computer science degree then PGCE. I'd have to start from the beginning with a psych undergrad degree if I later on decided I wanted to give educational psychology a go.
You can do a 12 month psychology conversion Masters course and get GBR that way if your first degree isn't in psychology.
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The Pale Dreamer
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It is a competitive course. I tried my luck last year (after working as a TA for a year) and didn't get any interviews. If finances allow, I'm going to try again after my NQT year. You can work as an assistant ed psych before you do the doctorate, but those jobs will be competitive too
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LondonDreamer
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(Original post by xKTx)
It is a competitive course. I tried my luck last year (after working as a TA for a year) and didn't get any interviews. If finances allow, I'm going to try again after my NQT year.
Sorry to hear that. What do they select on? Is it mainly about academics, or work experience, or personal qualities or all three/something else? I haven't done my GCSEs yet so it's obviously a really long way off for me but I'm curious.

(Original post by xKTx)
You can work as an assistant ed psych before you do the doctorate, but those jobs will be competitive too
And I'm guessing fairly poorly paid, like assistant clinical psychologist jobs?
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The Pale Dreamer
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that's certainly planning ahead! I think it's a mixture, altho you can't be sure what unis are looking for.

A quick search suggests they get paid about £25000, which is pretty good really... And you get a grant when you start the course as well, plus the fees are paid for
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LondonDreamer
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(Original post by xKTx)
that's certainly planning ahead! I think it's a mixture, altho you can't be sure what unis are looking for.
My two best friends at school are medics and have their careers all mapped out, which panics me a bit sometimes. Hence I find myself reading ahead a lot about what I might want to do.

(Original post by xKTx)
A quick search suggests they get paid about £25000, which is pretty good really... And you get a grant when you start the course as well, plus the fees are paid for
Oh, that's really good! The assistant clinical psychologist positions only pay around the £15000 mark I believe. Although similarly, you get a grant for the course and your fees are paid.
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Tombola
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I wish there were more information on Educational Psychologists here as it'd be insightful to hear some views on the job. So far I haven't had much luck finding much, the psychEd forums are pretty much dead and full of people trying to get onto the course.

I'm intrigued by the idea of educational psychology. But something tells me that I'm not actually interested in the role of determining whether students have educational difficulties, instead I'd rather be focusing on teaching methods and effeciency/effectiveness. I don't get the impression that the latter is what Educational Psychologists are really about though.

Why are you interested in the profession?
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The Pale Dreamer
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I spoke to a local educational psychologist and she said that basically the schools dictate what they want them to do. They have set days allocated to schools and the schools choose what to do, whether that is assessment, monitoring, training teachers. Because of this, they work similar hours to teachers (i.e. have half terms) but they do go into nurseries in that time as well. It may be different in different LEAs tho
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LondonDreamer
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(Original post by xKTx)
I spoke to a local educational psychologist and she said that basically the schools dictate what they want them to do. They have set days allocated to schools and the schools choose what to do, whether that is assessment, monitoring, training teachers. Because of this, they work similar hours to teachers (i.e. have half terms) but they do go into nurseries in that time as well. It may be different in different LEAs tho
So they're expected to cover both primary and secondary schools? That sounds tough. If you train as a teacher first, is it more advantageous to do primary or secondary, do you think?
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Fduffy87
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Hi,

I graduated with a joint Psychology and Education degree in the summer (2.1). I would absolutely love a career as an Educational Psychologust, however it is riduculously competitive and there are very limited places on the Doctorate courses.

Although they have changed the entry requirements, so you no longer have to of taught first, I think most courses expect you to have several years full time experience in an educational setting!

Consequently i applied for both Primary PGCE's and the Doctorate this year. I have already successfully gained a place at Bath Spa for Primary PGCE starting in Sept 2010. However I have yet to hear anything from the institutes where I applied for the Ed Psych. To be honest as I only have 18 months educational experience I don't expect to even get an interview, but i though if i started the process this year, I would get familiar with the procedure if it takes sveral attempt's to get a place!!

What are anyone else's experience's of this process?
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The Pale Dreamer
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It may be that different LEAs do it differently - with different EPs doing different age ranges or maybe even continuing with certain children throughout their education.

I applied and didn't hear from the last place until the last week before they had to make decisions
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misslucy2010
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Hi,

You are expected to cover the 0 to 19 age range and I've found that is the case no matter what LA. Some have specialist posts such as early years but you'd have to do generic maingrade work first.
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pandora205
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Hi.
I'm an educational psychologist and thought I'd reply (slightly belatedly) to this thread.
EPs work for Local Authorities (note no longer called Local Educational Authorities since the merge between other areas of services to children, such as social care (social work). We do cover the whole 0-19 age range, including working with families of very young children - often those with significant disabilities.
Many EP services do operate a time allocation to schools model though not all. In mine, we negotiate each term with the SENCO (special educational needs coordinator) as to what we will do. This is a joint meeting with other support services, such as speech and language therapy and specialst teacher teams. We do not necessarily do what schools as: if the request is for several individual requests regarding pupils with behaviouiral issues it would be more appropriate to consider the whole group or to provide training (for example). If I am contacted directly by a parent or another professional (such as a paediatrician, education welfare officer or psychiatrist) I would collect information then negotiate with the school.

In other authorities, there has a been a stronger move to multi-agency teams including those that are not school based. Sometimes requests are received via the CAF (Common Assessment Framework) process, and this could come from a range of professionals.

There is a legal requirement for EPs to provide advice for pupils undergoing statutory assessment of SEN but this is only a small part of the work. There is scope for developmental work, such as carrying out evaluations of approaches, training and therapeutic work (which children and families).

Getting onto training courses is very competitive and a good background in psychology (BPS recognised degree) is essential. Most applicants have more than the two years minimum experience in working with children and many have been teachers still. If you are still studying and interested in this career path, it would be useful to get as much experience as you can of working with children, e.g. holiday play scheme worker, babysitting, scout/guide leader, Camp America, etc and volunteering in a mainstream primary school would be particularly helpful.
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calc25
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Hi pandora205,

I have applied for the educational psychology doctorate this year and am still awaiting to hear whether I have an interview or not. I am a psychology graduate and completed my PGCE in Primary Ed (including 60 masters credits) last year and am half way through my NQT year in a primary school at the moment.

I am just wondering if you know of anybody who has completing/has completed the Ed Psyc doctorate program? I know you said your experience of the Ed Psy. masters was tough (I imagine it was similar to the PGCE) but am keen to know what the doctorate program is like ( I am really keen but don't think I could sustain the intensity of PGCE training for 3 years).

I am also intrigued to know about the working conditions of Ed Pycs. As a teacher I am typically working 11 days at school plus evenings and weekends. Does educational psychology also follow this pattern? The Ed Psyc course administrator where I applied has emailed my details to current trainees to give me their feedback of the course but not surprisingly I have not heard anything as I am sure everyone is far too busy!!!

I would be absolutely be delighted to hear from you as it is so difficult to get an honest and informed point of view. Thank you.

calc25
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zoginette
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Hi,
I have also applied for the EdPsy doctorate this year, and was wondering if anyone would have any tips for the interview and know what sort of written task will be given.

Thanks for your help!

Zoginette
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Ebuwa
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I also want to be an educational psychologist.
Some info I looked up that might be useful
http://www.connexions-direct.com/job...eContentID=654
http://www.cwdcouncil.org.uk/educati...y-requirements
http://ww2.prospects.ac.uk/p/types_o...escription.jsp
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pandora205
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Hi all,
Most Local Authorities will have trainees in years 2 or 3 of the doctorate, as this is how they get their experience, so it's worth giving your local one a call if you want some first hand information. We have our third trainee going through the doctorate at present, and I've supervised one of them in her third year so I do know a bit about the courses. They are post graduate level and expect a high level of written ability and research skills, as there is a thesis project as well as the academic study. It's quite demanding, not least as the trainees have to do some 'real' work in their second and third years. It does mean by the end of the course the trainee is fully qualified and can do the job pretty well, although experience does count for a lot.

With regard to work load, that depends on how quickly you can work to some extent, as there is usually quite a lot of report writing and preparation. I've found over the years that learning to use a dictaphone has been a god send, as it's cut back on the hours of writing. Some employers are more flexible than others with regard to working from home, etc. (ours does not permit it) so it is possible to cut down on travel times etc. In comparison with teaching, I think it's generally less stressful, although challenging meetings with anxious parents or irate head teachers can be very demanding, and now and again there are the very difficult times such as giving evidence at a SENDIST tribunal. And the work doesn't go away if you are off ill for a few days.... I found running training quite stressful at first, although I don't think about it now as I've done so much of it.

On the plus side, it is a very interesting and varied job, working with children and young people of different ages, with parents, staff in schools and EY settings, and with other professionals. The side I'm less keen on is the whole direction that LA services have moved, i.e. towards measuring defined 'outcomes', recording time spent on tasks in minute detail, charging for aspects of services and a plethora of bureaucratic procedures - but then, I think teachers would probably say the same!
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littleme123
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I'm very interested in doing this also, but the thought of how long it will take scares me!
I am in my first year of a psych degree, so gather I need to get at least a 2:1 in this (preferably a first?!), then work in a school environment (such as a TA? Or would I need to become a teacher first ).
My fear is spending forever in education and not getting out into the working world properly for another 5+ years!

Is it really that tough to get onto the doctorate? Do many people just give up or do you generally get on even if second time applying?

Thanks in advance
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The Pale Dreamer
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You don't have to be a teacher, but many people applying will have been teachers. It is very competitive (120 places in the whole of England this year!) and some people do apply several times if they don't get on the first. Others may not, probably depending on family/finance situations etc
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