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Funding for the 2023 intake

Following the release of the SEND Green Paper, funding has been provisioned for the 2023 intake:

Over £10 million will be invested to train over 200 more educational psychologists from September 2023, to give advice and input into EHCP assessments, advise schools on how to support pupils with SEND and offer wider wellbeing support to them, their families and teachers.

About the scheme

The 2022 Educational Psychology Funded Training (EPFT) scheme provides government funding in partnership with employers for 203 trainee educational psychologists. It is a five year commitment made up of a three-year doctorate degree course, followed, by a period of employment immediately after graduation as an educational psychologist within a local authority (or alternative setting which supports the statutory work within a local authority) within England for at least two years. If you do not complete the training course or if you fail to spend the two years immediately after graduation employed as an educational psychologist within a local authority, or in a capacity which supports the statutory work of a local authority service, in England you may have to repay some or all of the funding associated with your training place.

The Department for Education (DfE) works with the participating universities to manage the funded element of the EPFT scheme. The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) hosts and administers the online application process. The participating universities, in partnership with employers, are responsible for selection of the successful applicants. Employers also offer practice placements in years two and three.

The information on this page concerning availability of funding and eligibility requirements has been supplied by the DfE. The AEP is not in a position to offer definitive advice on funding matters. If the information on this page does not address your specific circumstances adequately, then you should seek further advice and guidance directly from the DfE. However, you should be aware that the DfE are unable to assist on queries relating to your nationality or immigration status. If your query relates to these, you should contact the Home Office.

Candidate Specifications

In this section:

  1. Entry requirements
  2. Nationality/residency requirements
  3. Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)
  4. Overseas Qualifications
  5. Proof of Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)
  6. Applicants with a 2:2 class degree
  7. If English is not your first language
  8. Relevant work experience
  9. UK Residents who are temporarily overseas

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to apply through the EPFT scheme you must

  • have a psychology degree (2:1 (‘upper second’) or above) or have completed an approved conversion course or a Master’s degree, AND be eligible for the British Psychological Society (BPS) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). You must have the qualification that grants you eligibility for GBC before the application deadline. If the qualification that grants you eligibility for GBC is not from the UK or Ireland, you will be required to enter your BPS membership number at the application stage (see below)
  • be able to demonstrate that you have gained a minimum of one year’s full-time (i.e. 37 hours a week for 52 weeks or part-time equivalent) experience working with children and young people within an educational, health, social care, youth justice, childcare or community setting by the application deadline. This can be made up of all paid employment or at least nine months full-time equivalent paid employment and the equivalent of three months sustained relevant voluntary experience. Any additional paid/voluntary experience over the one-year minimum requirement should also be included
  • have permission to work in England for the duration of the course and for at least two years after completing the course. If you are uncertain of your immigration status you should contact the Home Office at:https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk
  • satisfy the nationality/residency requirements

 

Nationality & Residency Requirements

The residency requirements for the funded scheme are harmonised with Student Finance eligibility. You can find their residency criteria here: Student finance: Eligibility - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

EU Candidates

The following guidance has been published by the DfE for EU citizens wishing to apply. These guidelines come into effect from the 2021 intake onwards.

British Nationals in Hong Kong and UK nationals in British Overseas Territories

The following resources are available for those holding BNO passports, or UK nationals in British Overseas Territories:

 

Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)

To be eligible for the GBC of the British Psychological Society you must have one of the following:

  • acquired a qualification in psychology (usually a Bachelor (Honours) degree) which has been approved by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for GBC
  • undertaken an appropriate British Psychological Society accredited conversion course
  • passed the British Psychological Society Qualifying Examination

Academic qualifications awarded in the Republic of Ireland that confer eligibility for Graduate Membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) are also recognised for GBC.

You do not have to be a member of the BPS to apply for the EPFT scheme if you hold qualifications accredited by the BPS or the PSI that confer eligibility for the GBC.

If you were awarded your psychology degree by a university in the UK or the Republic of Ireland but are unsure whether you are eligible for GBC, please contact the BPS for advice on 0116 254 9568 or emailing enquiries@bps.org.uk. Alternatively, a full list of the accredited undergraduate courses can be found on the BPS website: www.bps.org.uk/public/become-psychologist.

 

Overseas Qualifications

If you obtained some or all of your required qualifications overseas you will need to obtain confirmation that you are eligible for GBC, usually through the process of applying successfully to the BPS for Graduate Membership. Further details can be found on the BPS website: www.bps.org.uk. When applying for an EPFT place you must enter your BPS membership number and provide evidence that you are eligible for GBC membership of the BPS. Further details can be found either on their website: www.bps.org.uk, or by contacting their Partnerships and Accreditations Team (PACT) on 0116 252 9563 or emailing pact@bps.org.uk.

 

Proof of Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)

You must have completed the qualification that grants you eligibility for GBC before the application deadline. If you are shortlisted for interview by a university, you will be required to bring written confirmation of your eligibility for GBC to your interview. A letter confirming your eligibility from the director of the relevant degree course or from the BPS is acceptable evidence.

 

Applicants with a 2:2 degree

Some universities may accept an application if you hold a 2:2 (‘lower second’) degree. In this case you must have both extensive experience and completed further professional development. You should consult with your chosen universities before applying if you hold a 2:2.

 

If English is not your first language

A good command of written and spoken English is essential. If your first language is not English, you must be able to provide recent evidence in your application form that your spoken and written command of English is of the required standard. The only acceptable English qualification for the course is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic. An overall grade of at least 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in each of the sub-tests, is required.

You must complete the application form and references in English.

 

Relevant work experience

Universities will expect you to have the equivalent of a minimum of one year’s full-time experience of working with children and young people within an educational, health, social care, youth justice, childcare or community setting by the application deadline. This can consist solely of paid employment or a combination of at least nine months full-time (or equivalent) paid employment and the equivalent of three months full-time sustained relevant voluntary experience. For these purposes, ‘one year full-time’ would usually be taken to mean at least 37 hours per week for 52 weeks. Thus, someone working part-time for 18.5 hours a week would usually require two years’ employment to meet the ‘one year full-time equivalent’ requirement.

Relevant work experience overseas will be considered as part of your application.

University course requirements may vary slightly. Therefore, before completing your application we advise that you read the guidance on the websites of the institutions that you are interested in.

Universities will be looking for knowledge and understanding of:

  • the UK education system
  • application of psychological theories

 

UK Resident who are temporarily overseas

If you are a UK resident who is temporarily travelling or working abroad you can apply for an EPFT scheme place. You must be able to attend an interview in person if invited. However, if you are currently living overseas you must be able to satisfy the nationality/eligibility requirements in order to be eligible for funding.

Funding

The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for funding the EPFT scheme.

Under the EPFT scheme, funding allocated to successful candidates covers tuition fees for all three years of the course, and a bursary for the first year, all of which will be paid to the university by the DfE on the candidate's behalf.

  1. First Year Bursary
  2. Second and Third year bursary/salary arrangements
  3. Self-funded training places
  4. Alternative sources of funding

First Year Bursary

In your first year, the university will pay the bursary directly to you. The amount you will be paid is:

  • £15,950 per annum if your course is outside London
  • £16,390 per annum if your course is in London 

 

Second and Third year bursary/salary arrangements

Arrangements for the second and third years of training vary. Most employers offer practice placements during which you are paid a bursary, while a small number offer employed posts where you are paid a salary.

 

Self-funded training places

Individual universities determine whether to offer places for self-funding students and, if so, how many. If you are interested in applying for a self-funded place, you must contact the relevant university directly. The DfE does not cover any of the costs for self-funded trainees.

You must apply for a self-funded place directly to the university offering such places, not through the EPFT online application system. You can apply for both EPFT scheme and self-funded places but you must inform the AEP if there is any change to the status of your EPFT scheme application.

 

Alternative sources of funding

The EPFT scheme is currently the only funded Educational Psychology training scheme in England.

FAQs

  1. Can I defer my entry?
  2. Are part-time and fast track routes available?
  3. Can I apply if I have a criminal conviction?
  4. What is the process for applicants with disabilities?
  5. What happens if I withdraw my application?
  6. Can I defer my employment at the end of training?
  7. What if I have long-term absence from the course? (over three months including sickness and maternity leave)
  8. Do I need a teaching qualification or experience?
  9. Can I apply if my psychology undergraduate qualification was acquired abroad?
  10. Can I practise in the UK if I am an internationally qualified Educational Psychologist, or will I need to complete the doctorate?
  11. Is there an age limit to applying for an EPFT place?
  12. How likely is it that government funding for Educational Psychology training will continue?
  13. I am starting my conversion course in September, can I apply for the 2022 intake? / I’m in my third year of my psychology degree, can I apply for the 2022 intake?
  14. Where will my practice placements be in years two and three? Or can I choose a practice placement close to home?

Can I defer my entry?

The high demand for EPFT places means that deferred entry is not possible.

 

Are part-time and fast track routes available?

At present, educational psychology and EPFT funding is available only as a full-time three-year course.

 

Can I apply if I have a criminal conviction?

All courses involve work with children, so if you are successful in your application you will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check organised by the university. More information on the DBS check can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service

If you have any concerns about what information the DBS check will reveal you should raise this with the university.

Please note, if you have convictions it may prevent you from being accepted on the EPFT programme. Should you reach the shortlisting stage a decision regarding your application will be considered on a case by case basis, in consultation with programme directors and Principal Educational Psychologists (PEPs).

 

What is the process for applicants with disabilities?

If you have a disability it is suggested that you contact the university before you apply to ascertain how they can best meet your needs. You should do this at the earliest opportunity to allow universities sufficient time to make any necessary arrangements.

 

What happens if I withdraw my application?

Should you want to withdraw your submitted application prior to accepting an offer then you must do this by the online system. If you withdraw you will not be able to submit a second application in the same year. The AEP will hold your information until the close of the application year.

 

Can I defer my employment at the end of training?

Waiving of the obligation to seek employment as an educational psychologist, in England, for at least two years after qualifying is only possible under exceptional circumstances. Extended travel or gap years do not count as exceptional circumstances.

 

What if I have long-term absence from the course? (over three months including sickness and maternity leave)

In the event that a long-term absence results in your needing to repeat an academic year, there is no guarantee that the course will still be running at the establishment you were previously studying at when you return from your absence. 

 

Do I need a teaching qualification or experience?

There is no longer a requirement to have a teaching qualification, although work experience of the education system is valued by course directors.

 

Can I apply if my psychology undergraduate qualification was acquired abroad?

If you acquired some or all of your qualifications abroad, the British Psychological Society will be able to advise you if they are eligible for BPS Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). They can be contacted at www.bps.org.uk or on +44 (0) 116 254 9568.

 

Can I practise in the UK if I am an internationally qualified Educational Psychologist, or will I need to complete the doctorate?

The Health and Care Professions Council will be able to advise you, they can be contact via their website www.hcpc-uk.org or on +44 (0) 845 300 6184.

 

Is there an age limit to applying for an EPFT place?

There is no age limit. For more information on this please visit www.aep.org.uk/training/reporting.

 

How likely is it that government funding for Educational Psychology training will continue?

The cost of the training is currently split between the Department for Education and employers (local authorities, private educational services and schools).

The DfE has agreed to commission educational psychology training up to the 2022 intake. We expect to receive further information on the 2023+ intakes between late 2021 and mid-2022.

 

I am starting my conversion course in September, can I apply for the 2022 intake? / I’m in my third year of my psychology degree, can I apply for the 2022 intake?

The high demand for EPFT places means that it is not possible to make any conditional offers. You must have completed the qualification that grants you eligibility for GBC before the application deadline.

 

Where will my practice placements be in years two and three? Or can I choose a practice placement close to home?

Practice placement vary each year, as the course is dependent on local educational psychology services and school partnerships providing a placement plus a bursary or salary. These would ordinarily be in:

  • Local Authority Educational Psychology Services
  • School partnerships
  • Other Educational Psychology Services

We would also recommend you contact the university (s) you are thinking of applying to, as they will be able to advice you on where their placements are commonly available. It is sometimes possible because of the consortia arrangements, that if you’re on a course some distance from you family, to request a practice placement closer to home. For example, if you are at the University of Nottingham, but your family is in Cumbria, the University of Nottingham on your behalf can approach Manchester to see if there are any placements in Cumbria. This isn’t guaranteed, and you will not be able to transfer university as the course content and awarding bodies vary.

Trainees are able to express their preferences and most universities have practice placement panels, which try as best as they can to accommodate these.

Application Guidance

Applicants should note:

  • The AEP will not accept any requests to alter university choices after the closing date.
  • Successful submission of an application online does not constitute confirmation of eligibility for entry. 
  • Once an application is submitted no further changes can be made. A submitted application can be cancelled. However, applicants who choose to cancel their applications will not be permitted to re-apply for the same entry year.  
  1. References
  2. Referees unable to complete a reference online
  3. Data protection and references
  4. Procedure for processing applications
  5. Shortlisting and interviews
  6. Offers under the EPFT scheme

References

All applicants need to ensure that they submit two references: an academic and a relevant work experience reference. We do not expect referees to provide highly detailed and extensive references and a focus on the criteria outlined below will be sufficient. It is important that referees are able to confirm that you are known to them and that they provide a brief statement relating to suitability of your academic skills or experience relevant to training as an Educational Psychologist.

Academic Reference
We anticipate that the majority of applicants will be able to provide an academic reference from an academic known to them. However, in the rare circumstances where this is not possible a reference written by another professional colleague would be acceptable so long as this focuses explicitly on academic skills. It is important that in these circumstances the referee addresses the academic competence criterion, this could be by commenting on CPD you have undertaken and how you use your psychological knowledge and research/evaluation skills.

Academic referees are asked to provide an assessment of the applicant, particularly in the following areas:

  • Confirmation of knowledge of the applicant
  • Opinion of the applicant’s academic competence
  • Any notable achievements
  • Suitability to train as an Educational Psychologist

Work Experience Reference
Your current or most recent employer should provide a relevant experience reference. It may be helpful to know that references are required to proceed beyond the initial shortlisting stage but it is the confirmation of suitability rather than the detail that is important.
[To fulfil safeguarding requirements please note that if you are temporarily working in a role that does not include relevant experience with children or young people, or have been working somewhere less than 3 months, you can ask a third referee to provide a reference in addition to your current employer].

Relevant experience referees are asked to provide an assessment of the applicant, particularly in the following areas:

  • Confirmation of knowledge of the applicant
  • Overview of range of experience in current role
  • Ability to work as a member of a team
  • Creativity, problem solving skills and evidence of use of psychology
  • Suitability to train as an Educational Psychologist

 

Referees unable to complete a reference online

Where possible, referees should complete an online reference. If this is not possible we may make alternative arrangements for them to provide their information via email or post. We can upload this information directly onto the application system. Referees are asked to contact us about this at training@aep.org.uk as soon as possible.

Please note: AEP support is available Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm. We aim to respond within two working days.

 

Data protection and references

The AEP operates in compliance with data protection legislation. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you a right to access the data we hold about you. However, GDPR also imposes on us a duty of confidentiality to third parties, which includes referees. We are not able to disclose references without the permission of the referee. We will not process requests to view a reference until the application deadline has passed. If you would like to view your reference before this time, please contact your referee directly.

 

Procedure for processing applications

Your completed application can be accessed by your chosen universities as soon as you have submitted it. However, universities are unable to see which other institutions you have selected.

 

Shortlisting and interviews

Shortlisting and interviews will take place after the application deadline and be completed by the interviewing deadline. If you are shortlisted you will be called for an interview directly by the university or universities concerned.

If you are unsuccessful in your application, the university will update the status of your application on the online system to let you know their decision.

 

Offers under the EPFT scheme

The participating universities will make all offers for EPFT scheme places by 12pm, 13 April 2022. If one or more universities offer you a place your status on the online application system will be updated to show that you have been made an offer and you should also receive a separate notification by email or letter from the university.

Applicants are permitted to accept only one EPFT scheme place, all others must be rejected. Participating universities will not automatically be made aware that an applicant has accepted an offer elsewhere and, therefore, rejected their offer. To do this you must respond to each individual offer through the online system. Please note that you do not have to give a reason for your decision.

You will have until the 20 April 2022 at 12pm to accept or decline any offer of an EPFT scheme place.

If you do not respond to any offer by the 20 April 2022 deadline you will be considered to have withdrawn from the application process. The scheme place will be offered to another applicant.

Once you have accepted an offer of an EPFT scheme place this decision is final and cannot be changed.

Deadlines (2022 intake)

Application Start  15/09/21
Reference submission 16/11/21 (5pm)
Application submission 17/11/21 (5pm)
Interviewing and shortlisting 30/03/22
Offer release 13/04/22
Offer accept 20/04/22
Course start 01/09/2022

 

Universities and training places

There are 203 places under the EPFT scheme available starting in September 2022. A breakdown of the total number of places per university, and links to the individual university course pages, are below. Applicants can apply to a maximum of THREE of the courses listed below through the EPFT scheme.

University Number of places
Bristol University  10
Exeter University  10
Newcastle University  12
University of East Anglia  15
University of Sheffield  18
University of Nottingham  16
University of Birmingham  18
University of Manchester  24
Institute of Education  16
Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust  16
University College, London  16
University of East London  16
University of Southampton  16

 

Interested in applying for the 2023 intake?

We are still awaiting confirmation for the 2023+ intakes. Click below to sign up to our mailing list so you are informed as soon as further information is available.

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