Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme

Find out how to become an educational psychologist and how to get funding for our educational psychology training scheme.

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’ll 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’ll be expected to study for 1 to 2 days per week during this time.

When you’ve completed your 3 year degree, you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council, which is the regulatory organisation for educational psychologists. You’ll then be able to work as an educational psychologist and use this title. Following this, you’ll be expected to work as an educational psychologist for at least 2 years in England.

Failure to commit to this may result in you having to repay some, or all, of the cost of your training place.

Who can apply

You must have one of the following:

  • a psychology degree (please contact the university you would like to apply to for further details – as competition for places is very high some universities may require a 2:1 or above)
  • a conversion course
  • a psychology-based Master’s degree

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,, +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

Examples of the types of work experience successful applicants have undertaken in the past are: as teachers; teaching English abroad; classroom/teaching/SEN assistants; psychology assistants; learning mentors; roles in children’s centres; youth offending teams; children’s homes; NHS services and social services.

Please note placement experience as part of a course or working as a nanny, unless with a child with complex needs, often doesn’t count towards meeting the criteria.

Residency criteria

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

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 ordinary resident of the UK for 3 years preceding the first day of the first academic year. If you intend to come to the UK to train, you’re not eligible.

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 or limit to the number of times you can apply.


The scheme is the only publicly funded route in England to becoming an educational psychologist. Costs are shared between the Department for Education 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 Department for Education. The scheme covers the cost of course fees, up to a maximum of £35,000, 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 scheme contract prior to starting. Failure to do so will result in applicants being unable to start the course on an Educational Psychology Funded Training 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.

Universities offering the Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme

For more details please visit the university websites.


The application round for 2016 applicants has now closed.

The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) runs the central application process for all educational psychology funded training scheme places.

You can access more information on the AEP website. This will help you prepare for future application rounds, which often leads to a strong application.

Applications for the 2017 cohort will open in Autumn 2016. Applications are submitted via the AEP online application system.

We have funding for an intake in 2017. Ministers will make a decision on funding in 2018 and beyond, as part of a regular review of government funding for training in 2016 to 2017.

There are 150 places per year available across the universities.


If you have any further questions, please contact us.

Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme