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Training to become an Educational Psychologist

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How to access the Educational Psychology Funded Training scheme and qualify as a practitioner educational psychologist.

If you are not yet ready to apply to train as an educational psychologist but want to know more about what the job involves, or how you can prepare for training, go to our Careers page.


  1. Who can apply?     
  2. What’s involved?    
  3. Costs   
  4. Universities offering the Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme     
  5. How to Apply          
  6. FAQs   
  7. Login to online system 
  8. Download guidance documents


1. Who can apply

You must have one of the following:      

  • A first degree in psychology (preferably 2:1 or above)      
  • A psychology-based Master’s degree   
  • A conversion award conferring eligibility for GBC (see below)             
You must also be eligible for the British Psychological Society Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).  If you want to know more about conversion courses or your eligibility for GBC, please contact  The British Psychological Society, www.bps.org.uk, +44 (0)116 2549568.

If the qualification that grants you eligibility for GBC isn’t from the UK or Ireland, you’ll need to provide your British Psychological Society membership number when you apply. 

You must have a minimum of 1 year full-time experience of working with children and young people within:   

  • Education
  • Health
  • Social care    
  • Youth justice        
  • A childcare or community setting    

Full time means 37 hours a week, or the equivalent if part time.  This can be made up of either:  

  • All paid employment          
  • At least 9 months’ full-time paid employment (or the equivalent if part time) and the equivalent of 3 months’ relevant voluntary experience.       

You must be a UK resident. If you’re a non-UK applicant, you must be living in the UK at the time of application and be able to provide proof of residency. You must also have been an ordinarily resident of the UK for three years preceding the 1st day of the 1st academic year. If you intend to come to the UK to train, you are not eligible. 

You must be eligible to work in England for the duration of the course and for at least 2 years afterwards. If you are uncertain of your status, please contact UK Visas and Immigration for advice. 

You must have a good command of written and spoken English.  If your first language isn’t English, you must provide recent evidence that you meet the required standard.  The only acceptable English qualification for the course is the International English Language Testing System, Academic.  An overall grade of at least 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in each of the sub tests, is required. 

There is no age limit to applying.




2. What’s involved? 

A place on the scheme is a 5-year commitment, made up of a 3-year, full time, doctorate degree followed by 2 years of employment in England. 

You will spend your first year studying full time at a university that participates in the scheme. In the second and third years, you’ll work as a trainee educational psychologist on a practice placement with a local authority or another provider of educational psychology services. You will be expected to study for 1 to 2 days per week during this time. 

When you have completed your 3-year degree, you will need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council, which is the regulatory organisation for educational psychologists.  You will then be able to work as an educational psychologist and use this title.   

After completion of training you will be expected to work as an educational psychologist for at least 2 years in England.  Failure to commit to this may result in your having to repay some, or all, of the cost of your training place.




3. Costs   

The scheme is the only publicly funded route in England to becoming an educational psychologist.  Costs are shared between the Department for Education (DfE) and employers (96% of whom are local authorities and schools).  

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is responsible for the administration of the funding scheme on behalf of the DfE.  The scheme covers the cost of course fees, up to a maximum of £29,000, and pays the student a tax-free bursary in year 1. 

The bursary for 2016 is: 

  • £15,950 for trainees attending a university outside London.  
  • £16,390 for trainees attending a university in London.   

In years 2 and 3, while you are on your practice placement, your placement provider will pay you either a bursary or a salary. 

Successful applicants will be required to sign an NCTL Educational Psychology Funded Training (EPFT) scheme contract prior to starting. Failure to do so will result in applicants being unable to start the course on an EPFT scheme place. 

Self-funded training places may also be available.  If you are considering funding your own training, please contact the relevant university directly to find out if there are any places available and how to apply. 




4. Universities offering the Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme


 The following universities in England currently run approved post-graduate training programmes in educational psychology and offer places through the funded training scheme.  


Educational psychology training in Wales and Northern Ireland 

There are comparable doctorate-level courses recognised by the HCPC and accredited by the BPS for professional post-graduate training in educational psychology, offered by universities in Wales and Northern Ireland.  Places on these courses are not eligible for funding support under the EPFT scheme.  The courses are not included in the EPFT online application system referred to below, but have a separate application process.  Further information can be found on the course webpages at Cardiff Universityand Queens University Belfast.




5. How to Apply 

The Association of Educational Psychologists now manages the on-line application process for the EPFT scheme for the benefit and convenience of applicants and training providers.  Full details of the application process are given in the handbook for applicants, which may be downloaded free of charge from this site (see download links below).  Additional information for potential applicants can also be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page. Terms and conditions apply to users of the on-line application system.  By registering on the EPFT system applicants agree that they accept those terms and conditions.

For any other queries regarding the application process please write to:  EPFT@aep.org.uk




6.  Frequently Asked Questions


We have published a number of frequently asked questions concerning the funded training scheme which you may find useful to review before proceeding with registration (see Download links below).




7.  Applications for 2017 intake


You can start your application now by first paying the £25 administration fee via this link:


If you have already submitted your application, you can track its progress by logging into the application system via this link:   




8. Download documents:

EPFT Scheme 2017 - Applicant Handbook (pdf) 

EPFT Scheme 2017 - Referees' Guidance Notes (pdf) 

EPFT Scheme 2017 - Frequently Asked Questions (pdf) 

Academic reference template (doc) 

Employment reference template (doc)



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