Institution / Queens University Belfast

Educational, Child & Adolescent Psychology - DECAP Doctorate

The DECAP Programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) to train Educational Psychologists.

The first three years of work, post qualification, must be spent (see above) in the EA EPS within Northern Ireland.

Applications are open - go to our website to download your application pack

Why Queen's?
The DECAP programme is recognised as being one of the leading training courses for EPs in the UK and Ireland. The three-year funding model makes it possible for students/trainees to retain close links with the programme's tutors and to attend the university throughout all three years of the programme (unlike equivalent programmes in Great Britain, there is no need or requirement for students/trainees to seek employment during the second and third years of training).

Amongst the benefits of this model of funding and course design is the capacity to provide not only close supervision, including research supervision, but also an Intermodular Teaching Programme which includes foundation training (and, in several aspects, qualifications) in:

•Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
•Dynamic Assessment
•Family Systemic Therapy
•Incredible Years Parenting Programme
•Video Interaction Guidance

Entry requirements

Applicants must have at least an upper second class (2.1) Honours degree in Psychology, or the equivalent. The qualification must be such that the applicant is, or will be, eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Prospective candidates are expected to have pre-entry experience (see DECAP website; entrance to this course is competitive). Applicants with international qualifications, or where GBC is uncertain, should seek confirmation of their status from the BPS by the time of interview (March/April 2017).

International Qualifications
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. (*Taken within the last 2 years). For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme. Please click the links below for more information: English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level. Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


3 years full-time.

Learning and Teaching
Within the training contract, through which the stipend is awarded and university fees paid, it is expected that trainees will work the equivalent of eight hours per day, five days a week.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
The Programme confers a professional qualification to work as an Educational Psychologist. Graduates register with the HCPC, which qualifies them to work anywhere within the UK and in those countries which recognise UK qualifications. The DECAP Programme is the only educational psychology training programme in Northern Ireland and almost all of the appointments of EPs to the EA EPS are recruited from the programme.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Gail Crawford
School of Psychology
Tel: 9097 4745

Subjects taught

Course Details
There are four modules in each of the three years of the programme. All four must be passed in order to be able to progress to the subsequent year.

Year 1: Children and Young People in Schools Trainees must pass all four modules to proceed into second year: Professional, Legal, Social and Historical Contexts The Developing Child in the Educational Context The Learning Environment at Home and School Research and Inquiry (1) Research Proposal

Year 2: Children, Young People and their Families Trainees must pass all four modules to proceed into third year: Developing Child Within the Family System: Casework Research Mental Health of Children and Young People Vulnerable Groups: Field/Desk Research and Inquiry (2)

Year 3: Children, Young People and their Communities Trainees must pass all four modules to obtain their Doctorate degree: Adolescence and Mental Health Promoting Change in Complex Systems Specialist Interest: Elective Research and Inquiry (3) All modules (except Research and Inquiry) will include an experiential learning component with children or young people in school, family or community settings. Trainees are entitled to 25 days' annual leave per annum (usually to include the month of August) plus statutory holidays.

Assessment method

Assessment & Feedback
Coursework submissions including essays and practice reports; placement appraisals; small scale research / practice based literature review (Year 1); 27,000-33,000 major research submission (thesis) in Year 3. 270/540 credit points are awarded for taught elements; 270/540 credit points are awarded for research elements.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. We advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply. See application weblink below.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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