University awarded £23.5m to lead delivery of educational psychology training

The University of Manchester has been awarded over £23.5m by the government’s Department for Education (DfE) to lead a national consortium of eight Russell Group universities to provide over 400 doctoral programme training places for practitioner educational psychologists over the next three years.

Educational psychologists are central to council services for children with special educational needs and disability, as well as for mental health promotion and critical incident response in schools.

Extending similar awards in 2019 and 2022, the 13% increase in the number of places awarded for 2024 underlines the government’s confidence in The University of Manchester’s capability to deliver this externally validated programme to the highest academic and professional standards.

Seventy-two trainee psychologists will be registered on the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at The University of Manchester, with the remaining places allocated to the Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, East Anglia, Exeter, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield in order to provide national coverage.

"The University of Manchester’s Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology has excellent teaching standards, a consistency of approach, and innovative research to support evidence-based practice within the profession - this is widely appreciated," Dr Frances Parker from the North-West Association of Principal Educational Psychologists said in support of the most recent funding award. "A longstanding, close and positive partnership exists between services and programme staff at the University, through a shared commitment to vocational public service and effective joint working."

"This award is the largest government contract awarded for the training of educational psychologists to date, and it confirms The University of Manchester’s place as the national leader in the field of practitioner educational psychology training and scholarship," said Professor Kevin Woods, director of the national training consortium and Manchester’s Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology.

This wouldn’t have been possible without a very strong academic team at Manchester, together with outstanding guidance and input from colleagues in finance, the contracts office, and professional support. Being supported by senior academics from a range of other Russell Group universities really feels like a much-appreciated ’vote of confidence’ in educational psychology at Manchester.


"Trainee educational psychologists make a significant contribution to England’s educational psychologist workforce, supporting schools, families and local authorities, in identifying and supporting the full range of children’s needs. Their commissioned, doctoral research is central to the evidence base for professional practice and is actively disseminated to achieve positive impacts across the whole profession."

You can learn more about the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology, and Manchester Institute of Education by visiting https://www.seed.manchest­er.ac.uk/e­ducation/r­esearch/po­stgraduate­-research.