Educational psychologist

Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would help children and young people with problems in a number of areas such as learning, additional support needs, social, emotional or behavioural issues. 
 
Your work would involve improving young people’s life chances by finding solutions to support their learning and wellbeing.
 
The role includes working with young people but also with parents and carers, teachers, social work and health services to make sure young people get the best help.
 
Typical tasks might include:
 
  • Work with teachers, parents and other professionals to understand what a child needs and decide on the best approach
  • Observe and assess the child if needed
  • Help develop a solution matching the needs of the child
  • Run projects to promote healthy learning and socialising amongst young people
  • Train teaching staff working with children in need of extra support
  • Carry out research and develop policy 
 
You would be employed in the public sector, but some private sector posts are available.
 
It would be important to be able to deal with pressure. You may sometimes have to keep calm in stressful situations.

Working conditions

Hours

You would work 35 hours, Monday to Friday. There may be some meetings outside of these hours.

Environment

You would work in an office and a variety of educational settings.

Travel

You will need to travel to meet children and attend meetings in schools and other offices. A driving licence is desirable.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Listening to people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Being tactful
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Researching and investigating
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

Becoming an educational psychologist in Scotland involves taking a postgraduate training route.

This route is set out by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

To start training as an educational psychologist you will need:

  • A psychology degree (SCQF Level 10) accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the BPS. You're accredited degree will qualify you for membership. If you don't have a BPS accredited degree you can gain membership by completing an accredited conversion course

With GBC Membership you can start your postgraduate training.

You will need to complete three years of postgraduate study to Doctoral level with supervised work placements (SCQF Level 12).  The postgraduate training includes:

  • A BPS accredited Master of Science in Educational Psychology (Scotland). This is a two-year full-time professional training programme
  • A year of supervised placement with a BPS accredited psychological service in Scotland
  • Completion of the BPS’s Qualification in Educational Psychology (Scotland) Stage 2

Your postgraduate study will qualify for the BPS's Chartered status and allow you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Only when you have registered with the HCPC can you start work as an educational psychologist.

You must be a UK or EU resident to undertake postgraduate study in this area. Courses aren’t currently open to students outside the EU. 

Useful subjects

  • English (Required by many courses)
  • Maths (Required by many courses)
  • Sciences (Required by many courses)
  • Computing science
  • Geography
  • Psychology
  • Other social subjects
  • Modern languages

You will also need

Before training as an educational psychologist, you will need experience working with children, young people and their families. Examples of relevant experience include work as a teacher or teaching assistant, social work assistant, residential child care officer, community education worker, youth club worker, literacy tutor, assistant psychologist (clinical or educational), research assistant, and careers adviser.  

Each university will specify a minimum length of relevant experience. Typically, this ranges from one to two years. 

All successful applicants are subject to a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme check prior to starting the programme.

You will be eligible for membership of the British Psychological Society.

You will also need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Educational Psychologist. 

Helpful to have

You may also consider membership of the Scottish Division of Educational Psychology.