Psychology Conversion/MSc

(26 Posts)
YokoUhOh Mon 12-Dec-16 21:14:48

I'm a secondary teacher with 10 years experience and am interested in retraining as an EdPsych.

My undergrad degree is in an unrelated subject (2:2 from Oxford) but I've been looking into conversion courses to set me on the right path.

Has anyone done this/researched this option? In the interests of full disclosure, I did a year of Psychology A-level and loved it, but dropped it for various reasons. I've always regretted that decision, and regret my decision to study a different subject.

Any advice/experiences welcome!

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NotLadyPrickshit Mon 12-Dec-16 21:21:10

To become a member of the BPS (which you need to be to practice) you would need to check that the conversion degree is recognised by them as to apply for a masters in any psychology discipline you need a BPS accredited BSc Psychology degree.

YokoUhOh Mon 12-Dec-16 21:26:26

The MSc I'm looking at (local to me) is definitely BPS accredited.

I'm really wondering if anyone's done the same i.e. retrained in psychology as a mature student.

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YokoUhOh Mon 12-Dec-16 21:27:48

Sorry, what I meant was, the MSc is the conversion course. You can have a degree from any subject to gain entry.

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NotLadyPrickshit Mon 12-Dec-16 22:38:55

To become a practicing educational psychologist you would need to do the MSc conversion degree then a further MSc in educational psychology both of which need to be accredited by the BPS.

I'm not sure where you are so couldn't really advise on funding options but I know in Scotland there is only one MSc Educational Psychology for which a tuition fee loan is available.

NotLadyPrickshit Mon 12-Dec-16 22:39:37

I'm currently studying my BSc Psychology as a 37 year old

SausageD0g Mon 12-Dec-16 22:42:49


I did the OU psych degree (also a teacher with a 2.2 from Oxford) when the Msc conversion didnt exist so had to do undergrad to cover BPS registration.

I thought in England EDpsych was a 3 year taught doctorate rather than masters now (but still masters in Scotland.)

Similar age and wondering about whether I'll finish trainng but will be old and Im not close to a training uni!

Im glad I did the psych course though, it was fascinating.


NotLadyPrickshit Mon 12-Dec-16 23:01:06

From the BPS website - it's probably the best source of information.

bojorojo Mon 12-Dec-16 23:13:27

The Association of Educational Psychologists web site has excellent advice and FAQs that answer your questions.

YokoUhOh Tue 13-Dec-16 06:10:24

Thanks everyone.

Glad to hear sausage and not that you enjoyed/are enjoying undergrad.

I'd be converting (MSc) then hopefully taking the EdPsych 3 year course. I'd hope that 10 years in teaching might give me some background.

I think, though, that I'm going to have to move to a cheaper part of the country if I do it as funds probably won't allow currently (2 small DC and a mortgage in the SE!!).

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SausageD0g Tue 13-Dec-16 09:44:55

I'm sure it will help tons! I'd looked at both ed psych and.clinical psych but couldn't bring myself to move the family. Still think about it though!

All the best. Excited for you smile

bojorojo Tue 13-Dec-16 12:38:58

Looking at the AEP website, you will see that few people with a 2:2 are accepted, but that if they show demonstrable skills and talents, this is no barrier. I would look very carefully at your experience to show that you are indeed this exceptional person!

Many years ago, when my job was working alongside Ed Psychs and placing children in appropriate schools, all of them had been sponsored by a LA to do the training. Even then, it was highly competitive. Those were the days!

YokoUhOh Tue 13-Dec-16 15:08:12

I might email my preferred course asking about the 2:2. It's 15 years since I got it and I'm hoping all the experience working with children/heading up a department will work in my favour.

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SausageD0g Tue 13-Dec-16 15:50:11

Bojo I think the ed psychs are (currently) paid to do the 3 year training, however to access that you have to have met the bus requirements which is a degree or conversion course in psychology.

SausageD0g Tue 13-Dec-16 15:50:30

Bps not bus.

YokoUhOh Tue 13-Dec-16 15:51:41

It would be helpful to get paid during the 3 year EdPsych training. I'll go back to the BPS website and have another look.

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YokoUhOh Tue 13-Dec-16 16:10:01

Ah yes, the LEA fund the 3 year EdPsych doctorate but it's only available at certain unis.

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SausageD0g Tue 13-Dec-16 16:40:38

Yep. I've got 2 but each is an hour + away from me. Read carefully where the placements are too as they can often be anywhere on a wide area around the uni!

Mapless Tue 13-Dec-16 16:53:32

I did just this. I completed a BPS recognised conversion course and then had funding to train as a Child and Educational Psychologist. It is quite an undertaking. Everyone who is accepted onto professional training will have relevant experience with children. Your experience as a teacher could give you an advantage, if you can also demonstrate the ability to think primarily as an applied psychologist. The psychology conversion course would help you to think psychologically, but not necessarily in an applied way. Your ability to use both teaching and psychology knowledge bases in order to think, as a scientific practitioner, about children's needs is what I'd focus on.

In my experience universities often look for very academically capable individuals, with strong social skills, excellent understanding of psychological models and research skills. They are primarily looking for individuals who are able to use their psychological knowledge base to inform action. They need to know that you will manage a doctoral thesis and on the job training at the same time.

If you did the conversion you would have recent experience of postgraduate study, up to date knowledge of psychological research and maturity. You might be able to demonstrate an ability to engage with teachers, families and whole school systems that could work to your advantage. The 2:2 could potentially be off-set by a very good MSc result and also an aptitude for the dissertation. (Choose something relevant - they'll probably ask you). I'm guessing you are academically capable (Oxford).

I also came from a secondary teaching background. What experience have you at working with parents and families? What insight have you about whole school systems (how larger organisations think and behave)? These things could help.

It's very competitive - but you probably already know that. You will be a Child and Educational Psychologist (0-25yrs). Your unique contribution to the schools you work with and through will be your applied psychology - teaching could give you some useful insights. This is the way to think to get considered for professional training. (I remember on interview day sitting next to someone who had the code of practice on her lap. I had a love of psychological thinking and hadn't ever opened that document. She didn't get in).

Re funding - we fund two year 2/3 trainees. This is common place. I have come across trainees who have had small children, and others who had a baby while training. However it would be truly gruelling and you need to have the support, focus and willingness to sacrifice a lot of family time. Ultimately you are the best judge of this.

Best of luck with it.

lightgreenglass Tue 13-Dec-16 16:54:23

I have an MSc Psychology conversion, finished last June with a distinction.

If you really want to do EdPsych then you'll need it - I don't think the 2.2 will hold you back. However, a couple of things to note, EdPsych's are increasingly stretched - those who I know do not tend to do intervention work but more recommendations and report writing. Is this what you are looking for?

Also, the course is not paid like a salary - your fees in year one are paid and you get a tax free bursary of £14k-16k. The second and third year you need to find a LA to pay you and will need to work for them after you finish for a set period of time.

YokoUhOh Tue 13-Dec-16 19:11:08

Thank you all flowers

light how difficult is it to get a position with your LA as an EdPsych trainee? (Sorry if that's a 'piece of string' question!)

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YokoUhOh Tue 13-Dec-16 19:14:56

mapless academically speaking, I've got 3 As at A-level and actually studied Psychology for a year at A-level before dropping it for reasons unrelated to how interested I was in it (was getting As in my assessments). I also got high 2:1s in my exams at degree level but dropped in my practical elements (Music degree). It was the wrong degree for me, in retrospect.

I hope my teaching experience/commitment/management experience would trump my degree result.

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bojorojo Thu 15-Dec-16 00:47:47

When I worked in my LA, they invited applications from interested teachers at schools within the LA for the Ed Psych training. The conversion course and the three years. They didn't open them up to outside competition but there were lots of applicants for the very few places. Therefore, Yoko, can you find out if your LA sponsors teachers to do this? Why don't you ask a senior Ed Psych or the one that visits your school for guidance because no doubt there are differences all over the country.

In my LA, schools now purchase EdPsych time so I am not sure whether the most deserving children now get the time they need, but there is no shortage of work.

YokoUhOh Thu 15-Dec-16 00:55:48

Thanks bojo I have a family friend who is an EdPsych so I'll ask him.

I wonder how schools manage to raise the funds to purchase EdPsych time? Is it a ringfenced part of the SEND budget?

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Mapless Fri 16-Dec-16 11:33:31

I'm not recognising the comments here with what occurs in our EP service/in my profession. So in the spirit of fair access to info accurate info I'll share further. Various university training courses have worked with our EP service. The universities request year 1 placements and then the year 2/3 placements tend to be for different trainees in their cohorts (so that the trainees get a range of experience). This year we offered 2 placements and paid these bursaries and the trainee's travel expenses. (This is typical in our region). The university asks their trainees where they would prefer to work and then attempts to organise this based on what year 2/3 placements are on offer from EP services.

I suspect Bojo is referring to invitations to teachers, with recognised psych degrees, to apply for assistant psychologist posts. These are salaried posts with EP services and are an opportunity to learn from the inside but are rare. They also are a pre-training experience and do not necessarily lead to being accepted onto training. It depends on how the assistant does at interview compared to others. I very much doubt that any LA would fund anyone to do a psychology degree conversion.

Yoko - if you read over my suggestions to you in my earlier post you will see that there's lots of useful advice especially re applying. I tend to give this to those ready to apply for professional training so it may not be what you wanted right now. Courses are looking for psychological thinking primarily. It is easier to grasp this when you've got onto the conversion. You have a lot to build on, including academic ability and understanding of teaching and learning and other things no doubt. It's the start of an interesting journey that I thoroughly enjoyed (despite the sacrifices and the huge efforts). Good luck.

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