Graduates who have a good Honours degree (with GBC) in Psychology are eligible to apply for the DECAP course once they have had relevant experience in working in an appropriate setting with children or young people. In the normal course of events, this experience is likely to follow the award of the degree: successful applicants are those who are able to communicate to the course selection panels the ways in which they have brought to the work experience the psychological knowledge, theories, evidence and practices which they have learned, and how these have informed and influenced their work. There is no strict criterion in terms of length or quantity of the experience: quality, relevance and the application of psychological knowledge in practice are likely to be the most important factors - broad rule of thumb would be at least two years’ full-time equivalent.
As a guide to potential applicants, we have listed below a sample of practical experiences which the course team consider would be relevant and helpful to your application. The list is by no means exhaustive. Work can be either voluntary or in a paid capacity.
- Work as an assistant psychologist or volunteer in a school or CAMHS setting, whether in a permanent post or for a temporary project.
- Completion of a postgraduate course in psychology (eg. a Masters in Applied Psychology) or education, especially if there is a practical/placement component.
- Work as a teacher.
- Work with children in schools (eg. after school clubs, homework clubs, breakfast clubs).
- Work as a classroom/learning support assistant.
- Work in a social service or social care setting (eg. with looked after children/children in public care).
- Work within Education Authority programmes (eg. Sure Start, Big Deal, EOTAS, hospital school, ESL, specialist support services, with immigrant children and families).
- Work with voluntary organisations for children and young people (eg. Barnardo's, Save the Children, NSPCC), vulnerable groups (eg. Women's Aid), excluded groups (eg. travellers), immigrant groups, disability groups.
- Research activity especially with children, people with disabilities, in education, or in relevant areas of psychology.
- Work in nurseries and playgroups (voluntary, private or public sector).
- Work in disability organisations and projects (eg. Summer schemes).
- Work as a counsellor (eg. Samaritans, Childline) or psychological therapist with children, young people and families.
- Short-term bursaries to visit relevant centres of excellence in UK or abroad.