Scottish Division of Educational Psychology


Considering a career in Educational Psychology? 

Have a look at what current Educational Psychologists say about their job, and hear the advice they offer you. 












How do I become an Educational Psychologist in Scotland?

In Scotland, all psychologists employed by local authorities must be Registered Psychologists with the Health Care Professions Council, or be completing the Qualification in Educational Psychology (Scotland) Stage 2 with the aim of registering with the Health Care Professions Council.


Training to become an Educational Psychologist

In Scotland, the post-graduate training route for Educational Psychology involves;

The minimum entry requirement for the MSc courses includes:

  • Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society. The easiest way to achieve this is to gain an accredited honours degree.
  • 2 years (minimum) of relevant experience

The MSc in Educational Psychology is available at both the University of Dundee and the University of Strathclyde

The year of supervised practice requires to be in an accredited Psychological Service and Probationer Psychologists are paid at salary scale point 0.

Further information is available from services directly and in the publications section of this website please click here

What is relevant experience and how do I get it?

You must also have at least the equivalent of a minimum of two years' full-time work experience with children, young people and/or their families on entry to the programme. Examples of relevant experience would include work as a teacher in schools or further education, or as a teaching assistant, social work assistant, residential child care officer, community education worker, youth club worker, literacy tutor, assistant psychologist (clinical or educational), research assistant (in some cases), careers adviser and so on. Relevant paid and voluntary, part-time and full-time work can be taken into account. Work undertaken must be clearly set out in the application with dates and information regarding full time equivalence.

Voluntary experience of various kinds may assist applicants in demonstrating a breadth of relevant experience. Whatever kind of work has been done, courses will be primarily interested in what applicants have learnt from their experiences that is relevant to work as an educational psychologist, and how they have been able to apply the knowledge of psychology gained through first degrees.


Educational Psychology/Research Assistants

A number of Local Authorities in Scotland are employing Educational Psychology Assistants and Research Assistants to support the work of qualified educational psychologists.

These posts are usually available to Graduates who have gained the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR). These posts are a useful way of gaining relevant experience for those who wish to gain a place on an MSc Educational Psychology course. Salaries for these posts are at the discretion of the employer.

For those wishing to follow a career in Educational Psychology in England and Wales, the Society Careers Section gives further information.


Doctorates in Educational Psychology

There are a number of Universities in Scotland that offer a postgraduate course in educational psychology usually known as a Doctorate in Educational Psychology. These courses do not offer a route to becoming an educational psychologist. They are an additional qualification that educational psychologists (or others) that are interested in an academic exploration of the field of educational psychology can undertake. The difference is that this course is not accredited training in applied educational psychology.

This differs from a Doctorate in Educational Psychology available in other parts of the United Kingdom, which are accredited by the BPS as a course in applied psychology and form the basis of training to become a chartered educational psychologist.

Candidates that are interested should check with the University whether the qualification they are offering is accredited by the BPS as a qualification in applied educational psychology.


Current Pay Scales

The current pay scales are:

  • Maingrade Educational Psychologist: Point 0-6 £39,144 – 49,791
  • Senior Educational Educational Psychologist: Point 1 £52,890
  • Management Spine: Points 1-9; £52,890-61,296

Pay and conditions are negotiated in Scotland by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) and the pay scales are available on the EIS website here.


Where are jobs advertised?

Job opportunities for qualified educational psychologists in Scotland are good. There are 31 employing local authorities and vacancies are common. Most newly qualified educational psychologists will be employed by the Local Authority, Educational Psychology Service (EPS) or Psychological Services accredited by the SDEP.

Positions are commonly advertised within the national press, e.g. The Times Educational Supplement (TES) and Times Educational Supplement (Scotland), The Herald and The Scotsman.  The majority of Local Authority Educational Psychology Services also advertise positions on My Job Scotland

Some Educational Psychology posts are advertised along with a range of other psychologist posts at all levels in the Society’s Appointments Memorandum which is sent to members each month. Posts are also advertised in the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) appointment memorandum, which is sent monthly to members.


Working as an Independent Educational Psychologist

Some educational psychologists work wholly or partly in private practice. The Society published Guidelines on Private Practice as a Psychologist.