Psychology for Education Professionals (Foundation Degree)

Year of entry


Start date

October 2018


Central London


Fully Approved


Three years part-time


One afternoon and one evening a week, plus up to five Saturdays a year

Are you interested in psychology and education, how children and young people learn, or their mental and emotional well-being? Perhaps you already work, or would you like to work, with children and young people in educational settings and want to enhance your academic knowledge and professional practice.

Birkbeck's Psychology for Education Professionals (FdSc) offers a unique opportunity to explore how current psychological understanding can enhance professional practice. You will focus on issues of particular relevance to the everyday experience of educators, including children's intellectual, social and emotional development, communication and relationship building, working in partnership with parents and carers, working in multidisciplinary teams, and reflective practice.


Course structure

In Year 1, you take three core modules and choose one of four option modules.

In Year 2, you take three core modules and choose one of two option modules.

In Year 3, you take one core module and complete a Work-based Research Project.

Module groups

Sample timetable

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  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    We welcome all interested applicants with and without formal qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. 

    However, as a minimum, applicants must:

    • have extensive experience of working with children or young people
    • have a good standard of written and spoken English equating to GCSE English
    • have a good standard of basic mathematics
    • have basic computer skills
    • have an active and ongoing engagement in the education sector working directly with children or young people (as a paid employee or as a volunteer) for a minimum of one day (six hours) per week, for the duration of the degree.

    Suitability for admission will be assessed on the basis of the application and all applicants are interviewed. Applicants are also required to undertake a written test of their English as well as a self-assessment of their computer skills as part of the interview process. Admission will be conditional on students providing written confirmation of their work placement and on arranging for a workplace mentor who would be willing to provide ongoing professional support for the duration of the degree.

    Alternative entry routes

    The Certificate of Higher Education in Applied Psychology offers an entry route into the second year of this Foundation Degree.

    International entry requirements

    There are no formal IELTS requirements for this course and students undertake a written test prior to interview to determine their level of English.
    International students must also have a placement working with children or young people in the UK before their application can be considered.
    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees


    Part-time home/EU students, Year 1&2: £5400 pa
    Part-time international students, Year 1&2: £10025 pa
    Part-time home/EU students, Year 3: £3600 pa
    Part-time international students, Year 3: £6675 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment


    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    This programme is taught using a wide range of methods, including lectures (with students encouraged to ask questions and discuss points throughout) and small-group exercises with feedback to the large group to provide an opportunity for clarification of ideas and discussion. Other methods include videos, experiments, student presentations and discussion of published articles. You will be given help to develop your study skills. You should also expect to build on your learning in class by undertaking significant guided independent study, including appropriate reading and research.


    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.


    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Assessment will be varied and relevant to students' work contexts and individual interests. It will include case studies, small-scale research reports, class presentations, critical analysis of published research, learning and reflective journals, and essays, as well as some writing under examination conditions.


    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in psychology and education. This degree may also be useful for those considering teaching, family support work, or working with children with special needs. It may also be useful for people considering educational psychology (although students considering this career will need to obtain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society).

    Students who successfully complete this Foundation Degree can continue their studies to undergraduate degree level via a number of routes focusing on the aspect of the course most suitable to their future needs.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.

    Unless you are already working in the sector, you will need to obtain both a placement and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, both of which are likely to take some time to arrange. We therefore encourage you to apply as early as possible. Advice and guidance on how to obtain a voluntary placement can be provided if required.

    Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    Applications are welcome throughout the year and interviews are held every term.