Diploma in
Educational Psychology

  • The proposed programme is intended as an initial in-service training to prepare the A/Psys for their role in MOE.  Upon completion of the programme, A/Psys are expected to be able to:

    • develop and implement appropriate school-based assessments to evaluate pupils’ progress, v-a-v educational, social and learning outcomes.

    • design and implement intervention programmes to meet students’ learning, social-emotional, and behavioural needs.

    • in consultation with Educational Psychologists, conduct assessments of children’s special educational needs, and provide advice to schools on strategies to support children’s special educational needs.

  • This 2-year part-time Diploma programme will have two main components: Course work (21 AUs) and Case work (15 AUs), a total of 36 AUs.  The course work comprises 7 courses each comprising 3 AUs.

    The titles of the courses are as follows:

    Course Code Title No. of AUs
    Concepts and Frameworks for Practice
    Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD)
    Assessment for Learning and Development
    Literacy, Numeracy and Specific Learning Difficulties
    Sensory, Physical and Severe Learning Difficulties
    Working with Schools as Organisations
    Communication Difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorders
    Casework in Educational Psychology


    • Each Academic Unit (AU) comprises 12 instructional hours
    • Courses could comprise of lectures, tutorials, seminars, web-based learning, and problem-based learning
    • Case supervision could be provided by fully qualified local EPs.

    For its course description, please click here.

  • IPS3007 - Concepts and Frameworks for Practice

    This course will provide the introduction, overview and course member orientation to the structure of the two-year programme and to discuss some of the major concepts, frameworks and themes that will be introduced over this period. Specific topics include:

    • The role and functions of the trainers, the course tutors and the work supervisors.
    • Issues, challenges and possibilities surrounding the education of children and young people with special needs: internationally and in Singapore.
    • The key components of the Associate Psychologist role, especially consultation, assessment, advice and evidence-based practice and intervention.
    • Professional ethics and standards.
    • Building successful working partnerships with professional colleagues.
    • Professional artistry: taking psychology out of the research journals and into the classroom/school: the challenges of being an applied psychologist
    • Listening to children and young people and working effectively with them
    • Getting organised and managing time effectively. Study skills, literature searches and assignment writing.

    IPS3008 - Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) (3 AUs)

    This course will cover the following topics:

    • Definitions of BESD, distinctions drawn with mental health problems. International and Singapore perspectives. Types of difficulties: conduct (e.g. disruptive, anti-social), emotional (e.g. anxiety, depression), attentional (e.g. ADHD). Influencing factors: Biological (e.g. neurological), Family (e.g. bereavement, child abuse), School (e.g. socio-emotional ethos), Peer (e.g. friendships, bullying).
    • Theoretical approaches: Behavioural (e.g. social learning theory), Cognitive (e.g. attribution theory), Psychodynamic (e.g. attachment theory), systemic (e.g. general systems theory).
    • Identification: signs of stress. Assessment approaches (applied within a problem analysis framework): Teacher and parent interviews and measures (e.g. School Social Behaviour Scale, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, Connors, Brown Attention Scales), peer assessments and sociometric scales (e.g. Social Inclusion Survey). Behavioural assessment (e.g. Systematic Observation, Functional Analysis of Behaviour). Cognitively-based assessment (e.g. Perceived Competence Scale for Children, Social Problem Solving Measure, Emotional Intelligence/Literacy, Myself as a Learner, Becks Inventory), child interviews using techniques from solution focused thinking and personal construct psychology.
    • Interventions: Ethical issues in behaviour modification. Behavioural programmes targeting antecedents and/or consequences, behavioural contracts, social skills training, anger management groups, circle of friends, staff conferencing. Whole school tiered/curriculum approaches aimed at promoting social and emotional competence and well-being such as Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning and Promoting Alternative Thinking Skills.
    • Evaluation: Setting realistic goals, establishing supportive monitoring arrangements. Charting and interpreting behavioural program data. Goal Attainment Scaling: principles and practices.

    IPS3009 - Assessment for Learning and Development

    This course will place standardised testing within broader frameworks for assessment and intervention. This includes:

    • Defining the assessment needs
    • The basic principles of scaling and standardization
    • The importance of reliability and validity
    • Deciding when psychological tests should or should not be used as part of an assessment process
    • Administering tests to one or more students/pupils/learners and dealing with scoring procedures (to include the WISC-IV , the WORLD and the SMART)
    • Making appropriate use of test results and providing accurate written and oral feedback to clients and candidates
    • Maintaining security and confidentiality

    Knowledge and skills in observation and interviewing will be developed as will consultation, action planning and evaluation of interventions. Approaches to assessment through teaching (such as precision teaching) and means to measure response to intervention (RTI) will augment and extend learning.

    IPS3010 - Literacy, Numeracy and Specific Learning Difficulties

    This course will involve examination of the normal sequence and different component processes of developing literacy and numeracy skills. Students will become familiar with a range of strategies involved in mature reading and mathematical processing. Cross-cultural features of language and literacy development will be covered. There will be a focus on evidence supported teaching approaches and consideration given to the purpose and nature of assessment for pupils who experience specific difficulties (frequently referred to as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia). Ways of conceptualising these difficulties and the implications for assessment, intervention and resource allocation will be addressed. Approaches in Singapore will be considered in the context of developments internationally.

    • Literacy:  understanding difficulties with literacy; multi-lingual learners and literacy acquisition; discussion of different approaches to defining dyslexia; assessment of reading accuracy and fluency and phonological processing skills (including the PhAB); motivational aspects of literacy learning; reading comprehension; interventions including precision teaching, paired reading and reciprocal teaching.
    • Mathematics:  typical maths development and key skills; learning difficulties in mathematics including mathematical understanding, mathematical language and motivational issues; dyscalculia; the impact of other SEN on mathematical development; assessment of mastery of mathematical knowledge and other aspects of performance and assessment of areas of difficulty including discussion of the use of error analysis, informal classroom observation and published tools.
    • Dyspraxia:  understanding of Praxis; assessment of dyspraxia; social and emotional implications of dyspraxia; implications for learning; interventions.

    IPS3011 - Sensory, Physical and Severe Learning Difficulties

    This course is designed to provide the research and practice knowledge to enable associate psychologists to support the teachers and parents of children who have sensory, physical and/ or severe learning difficulties. Specific topics include:

    • Components of assessment and intervention, which are relevant to ALL children and young people in school and at home.
    • Issues, challenges and possibilities surrounding the education of children and young people with sensory, physical and/ or severe learning difficulties.
    • Building successful working partnerships with professional colleagues within and across disciplines.
    • A review of specialist materials, equipment and teaching methods and approaches relating to the education and development of children and young people with sensory, physical and/or severe learning difficulties.
    • The key components of the Associate Psychologist role, especially with regard to consultation, assessment, advice and evidence-based practice for parents and teachers of these groups of children and young people.
    • A critical review of the theory and research relating to the course topics.

    IPS3012 - Working with Schools as Organisations

    This course will cover the following topics:

    • Organisational psychology and organisational development: key applications to psychologists’ work in schools. Ethical issues: who is the client, the child or the school? School and classroom effectiveness research. School ethos and organisational culture. Theoretical models of the influence of the learning environment. Assessing the learning environment approaches and instruments: observational, peer perceptual (e.g. My Class Inventory) and multi-perspective measures.
    • Whole school issues in the implementation of support for special educational needs in Singapore and in the promotion of initiatives such as inclusion and raising underachievement. Some lessons from international work on reducing bullying and promoting well-being. The school as a learning organisation.
    • Consultation and principled negotiation: skills and strategies (e.g. Accessible Dialogue, conciliation, influencing techniques, planning and preparation for difficult meetings, pacing, leading and managing meetings).
    • Communication with groups: presentations and inservice training. Identifying needs, setting objectives, programme/session design and organisation, effective communication with an audience, group work and evaluating INSET at different levels.
    • Action research and systemic approaches (e.g. Soft Systems Methodology). Applications at school and school district levels. Research ethics. Applied research, evaluation and audit. Designing and implementing evaluations of services and initiatives.

    IPS3013 - Communication Difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorders 

    This course will look at speech, language and communication development, some difficulties that can occur in relation to this and ways of assessing and intervening to address needs in this area.  Throughout, the particular issues relating to multi-lingual learners will be discussed.

    Speech and language difficulties

    • Language and communication: features of effective communication; multi-lingual learners.
    • Language development: typical language development; theories of language development; cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).
    • Assessment of language proficiency: common frameworks for assessment including linguistic and educational/social models; methods of assessment including observation, language sampling, checklists and standardised tests; advantages and limitations of these.
    • Problems that occur in the development of language skills: prevalence; delay and disorder; oral-verbal dyspraxia.
    • Language, behaviour and social skills: link between language and behaviour difficulties; language development and control of behaviour; peer relationships; selective mutism.
    • Interventions including classroom strategies to support learning across different curricular areas, listening skills and vocabulary development.

    Autistic Spectrum Disorder

    • How psychological theory and research can help understand ASD
    • Diagnostic classifications and prevalence of ASD, both in Singapore and internationally.
    • Co-ordination of assessment information and cross-agency planning, delivery, monitoring and review of selected assessment tools and approaches.
    • Identification and evaluation of a range of behavioural and educational interventions and consideration of issues relating to educational provision and support.

    IPS3014 - Casework in Educational Psychology 

    This practicum will provide opportunity for participants to apply the theories, techniques, skill, in consultation and under the supervision of experienced Educational Psychologists in the development and implementation of appropriate school-based assessments to assess children’s educational and social needs.  Participants will also help design and implement intervention programmes to meet children’s learning social-emotional, lifeskills and behavioural needs.

  • Application is only by nominations through MOE’s Psychological Services Branch and/or Special Education Branch.

    For queries on course administration, please e-mail: inservice@nie.edu.sg