Career Service: Educational Psychologist

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I was recently talking to a first year psychology student and he informed me that after completing a degree in Psychology, he will be pursuing a Master in Educational Psychology. Whilst I am glad to hear that the student is looking forward to the future and is excited about becoming an Educational Psychologist, I did note that he was a little bit confused about the eligibility rules for British Psychological Society (BPS) membership and Chartered Psychologist status. We had a long chat, and so hopefully, he will research the issues further. I also told him that Study Coach would post something on Educational Psychology, hence this post. 

For some students, deciding on a career is a relatively easy decision, for others it can take quite a while to decide what to do with life. The process of applying to UCAS and choosing a course of study is very important, since our chosen degree is very much linked with choosing a future career. Therefore, please choose wisely, you need to be certain about the academic discipline, the establishment where you want to study and the type of degree, you wish to study for. There are different types of psychology degrees on offer, please note that a Psychosocial degree is different to a Psychology degree. Furthermore, not all psychology degrees on offer will give you accreditation to the BPS, if you choose a degree that is not compliant with BPS requirements, BPS graduate membership will be denied. You will then need to top-up the degree with a Diploma in order to satisfy BPS requirements. If your undergraduate degree is not accepted by the BPS, you won’t be able to achieve Chartered status as a Psychologist. It is therefore important to be informed from the start, so you can select the right undergraduate course of study. 

I suggest that students should enquire with the BPS or UCAS when deciding where to study psychology. I do know that University College London https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ City University https://www.city.ac.uk/ University of East London https://www.uel.ac.uk/ Cardiff University https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/ Cambridge University and many others do offer a Master in Educational Psychology. 

Let’s turn our attention to the role of the Educational Psychologist and type of settings where you will find an Educational Psychologist. You are likely to find the Educational Psychologist working in schools, nurseries, colleges and special units. They work primarily with teaching staff and parents. Local Educational Authorities therefore employ the majority of Educational Psychologists, though a growing number of educational psychologists work as private consultants. 

The psychologist work in a variety of ways including carrying out observations, conducting interviews and assessments and offer consultations; psychologists are well placed to advice and support teachers, parents and the wider community as well as the young people concerned.

The Psychologist will carry out intervention projects but is not directly involve with learning programmes; there is a collaborative working relationship between the psychologist and the teacher. The psychologist will then make recommendations to determine the most appropriate educational provision for the child with needs. Furthermore, the psychologist will liaise with other professionals in education, health and social care services.  

Educational Psychologists spend a considerable amount of time engaged in furthering knowledge by conducting academic research. You should note that after achieving a Master degree, the majority of Educational Psychologists will continue to study to achieve a PhD. Research usually produce innovative ways of helping vulnerable young people and the research is often use to train teachers, learning support assistants and others working with children. 



It has truly been a pleasure to have had you as my psychology teacher. I do not think I would have understood half of what we learnt otherwise. THANK YOU for being so supportive and encouraging and for making Wednesday mornings unexpectedly amusing at times.
Falak

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