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MSc Clinical and Community Psychology

Course overview

Start date

January 2018

September 2018

Subject area






On campus

Course summary

This course bridges the gap between BSc Psychology and doctoral-level training, and is aimed at those who have had at least some experience in psychology services who want to go on to train as a researcher, therapist or clinical, counselling or educational psychologist.

You do not need to have a first degree in psychology but your training and experience must be in a related area and demonstrate a suitable career trajectory.

Getting onto a professional doctorate course is a highly competitive business but this MSc in a well-established, highly-regarded teaching environment could help give you the edge you need, and it will strengthen your prospects of advancement in your established career.

This is a highly flexible course which offers the possibility of earning intermediate academic awards in the form of a PG Diploma or a PG Certificate.

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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Our course, unlike most courses of this kind, is taught mainly by qualified and practising clinical psychologists.

Relevant to the real world

The course has been carefully structured to reflect the competences set out by the British Psychological Society’s Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness.


Impact of research in the UK

Psychology is joint first in the UK for impact of research, beating Cambridge and Oxford, showing our incredible academic expertise and real-world relevance. (latest REF, 2014)

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What we're researching

Psychology at UEL has been ranked equal first in the country in terms of the impact of its research, beating Oxford and Cambridge.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework is a six-yearly national review by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

It rated 43 per cent of our research as ‘internationally excellent’ and a further 25 per cent as ‘world-leading’ – the highest accolade. It added that UEL’s School of Psychology was one of only four in the country whose research had a ‘100 per cent impact’ at the highest level.

The combined figure of 68 per cent from the top two tiers dwarfs the previous figure of 20 per cent from the previous national review in 2008.
Research subjects in recent years have included electronic cigarettes, infant development and neuropsychology.

Professor Irvine Gersch has produced world-renowned research in the fields of listening to children and pupil involvement, behaviour management, school leadership, systems analysis, management, educational psychology training, conciliation and mediation in special needs and teacher stress.

He is a former recipient of the British Psychological Society’s annual award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology.
Professor Rachel Tribe was awarded the British Psychological Society’s Ethics Committee’s 2013 award for promoting Equality of Opportunity.

Her clinical interests focus on all aspects of trauma, culture and mental health, professional and ethical practice, working with interpreters in mental health, migration and mental health and organisational development.

Dr Lynne Dawkins, leader of the Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Research Group, is one of the UK’s leading authorities on e-cigarettes.

Dr Caroline Edmonds’ research examines the effect of hydration on cognition in children and adults.

Dr Davide Rivolta’s research focuses on the cognitive and neural correlates of face perception, both in normal subjects and in people with congenital prosopagnosia (face blindness).

Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.1 Honours in Psychology, Social psychology, Counselling, Education, Nursing, Medicine or a related Health and Social Welfare discipline.

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. 


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

Overall IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll study

  • Clinical & Community Psychology Theory & Practice (30 credit, core for MSc)
  • Research Methods & Dissertation (60 credit, core for MSc)
  • Cognitive & Behavioural Therapies (30 credit, option)
  • Family & Systemic Therapies (30 credit, option)
  • Community Psychology Approaches (30 credit, option)
  • Psychodynamic & Psychoanalytic Therapies (30 credit, option, AKMI only)
  • Cognitive & Behavioural Therapy Placement (30 credit, option)
  • Family & Systemic Therapy Placement (30 credit, option)
  • Community Psychology Placement (30 credit, option)
  • Psychodynamic & Psychoanalytic Therapy Placement (30 credit, option, AKMI only)

How you'll be assessed

We use a range of assessment procedures. The five taught modules are each assessed via an essay and a seminar presentation. The research module is assessed via your research proposal and your 10,000-word research dissertation.

Each of the three available placement modules is assessed via supervisor competency ratings and a practical report of 4,000 words.

Course specification

How you'll learn

This is a highly flexible course which allows you to study over a range of timescales, and to tailor your choices of modules to fit your interests, current job status and career ambitions.

For instance, you can complete the MSc in a year full-time or two years part-time, and it is possible to switch between the two.

Typically the PG Diploma takes nine months full-time or 18 months part-time, and the PG Certificate either three months full-time or six months part-time.

The course involves three hours of teaching for 12 weeks in each of three terms (September to December, January to April, and May to September).

Teaching is on Fridays, from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.  This will entail a lecture, group work and class exercises. On occasions there are talks from local NHS clinicians.

In terms of your dissertation, you will be ideally placed in a School which has established its reputation internationally over more than 50 years.

The quality and impact of our research received official recognition with our strong showing in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Placement modules are also available for students already working under supervision in positions, such as an assistant psychologist in the NHS.

What you'll learn

You will take four modules which will provide you with theoretical and technical knowledge and experience in the main clinical and community applications of psychology.

You will also complete a one-module piece of self-directed research.

The course closely reflects the British Psychological Society’s Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness in terms of the knowledge, skills and attitudes considered necessary for safe and effective provision of psychological services.

The two core modules you will need for your MSc are Clinical & Community Psychology Theory & Practice, and Research Methods & Dissertation.

The first of these contains much of the distinctive UEL perspective, which looks at established theories with a critical eye. We are always ready to look beyond individual people to the social and cultural contexts in which they exist.

So the course provides training with a strong emphasis on the historical and current social, political and cultural issues that affect clinical and community psychology provision.

“We offer in our teaching a shift from the traditional scientific perspective,” says Dr Meredith Terlecki. “We engage with newer ways of thinking about psychological problems, contextualising mental health difficulties and how to help people affected by them.

“That might fit with traditional ’psychiatric’ practice but reflects a modern and inclusive approach to mental health and resilience.  It also involves a deep understanding of modern philosophy of science.”

Your future career

This course serves as a potential bridge between a psychology or psychology-related BSc and the prospect of doing further research or training or a professional doctorate.

Recent graduates have gone on to study for a PhD, or to work in NHS services, or undertake professional doctorates in Clinical, Educational and Counselling Psychology.

The availability of intermediate exit points from this degree means that it is also a highly flexible way of returning to work with enhanced prospects.

You will also be well placed to apply for jobs such as junior/assistant psychology posts, or research positions.

Whatever route you take, you will graduate with a deeper understanding of your subject.

We do not give our modules names such as “Depression”, “Addictions” or “Anxiety”.  We talk instead about a range of therapeutic models such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Systemic Family Therapy and Community Psychology Approaches.

We posit the idea that there is more than a medical model for practice, and we engage in a thorough discussion of other possibilities so that you can choose from a range of theoretical approaches.

It is an enlightened and distinctive approach which will enrich your future practice.

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