Please check your timetable for this years Educational Psychology talk (usually in the Spring term).
If you miss it or in the meantime you can access last years talk on the VLE 'Psychology Employability Tutorial' module under Psychology resources. There are also some personal insights from a 2015 graduate who is working in a Special Educational Needs School. Some key information from the talk and from Claire Elsdon, Senior Educational Psychologist, City of York Council, is copied out below (it’s also on the VLE).
- Educational Psychologists don’t have that much hands on time with children, instead it is more about working with the adults that work with children (e.g. training teachers / other professionals to do interventions). If students want lots of hands on work with kids, teaching may be a better option for them.
- Breadth of experience with children of all ages is most likely to impress. If they would like to teach at primary level to get their experience after graduation, advise them to try and get a YSIS placement in a secondary school/volunteer with some older children and pre-school children whilst they are here.
- It is so competitive to get on to the doctorate programmes that it’s likely they’ll have to apply several times (just scraping together the min 1 year of experience is unlikely to make them competitive). With this in mind, it might be better to qualify as a teacher for their experience, so that if it takes them several attempts (and years) to get on the course, they are doing it from a well-paid job, with prospects for progression if they are never successful at getting on the course (whereas 3-5 years as a teaching assistant on the minimum wage and no career progression is not as appealing).
- There are 12 Universities that offer the Ed Psych doctorate and going to an open day will enable them to get a better idea of what the admission tutors are looking for in applications. They should also try and find out the number of applications each institution gets and consider being tactical with where they apply (e.g. pick the institutions with the least applicants to maximise their own chances of success).