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Prof Doc Clinical Psychology

Course overview

Start date

September 2020

Subject area





On campus

Course summary

* The applications for this programme are now closed. They will open again in September 2020.

The Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) course provides a comprehensive training programme comprising concurrent academic teaching (on average two days per week) and clinical work placements based mainly in the NHS (on average three days per week). The overarching purpose of the training course is to supply highly competent clinical psychologists for the NHS and related settings.

Please view the full Trainee Person Specification if you are interested in this course.

On successful completion of training you will meet the Health and Care Professions Council's requirements for registration as a Practitioner Psychologist. You will also satisfy the British Psychological Society’s Committee on Training in Clinical Psychology requirements (BPS, CTCP) for becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

You will participate in a broad-based clinical-academic programme, designed and taught by a diverse core team, selected invited external speakers and NHS specialists. The course covers all of the major theoretical and clinical approaches to clinical psychology.

This training course requires you to fulfil two main minimum criteria in order to apply. You need at least a year’s experience of paid relevant clinical-academic work, such as an assistant psychologist in the NHS or a research assistant. And you need strong academic qualifications, i.e. at least an upper 2:1 degree in Psychology (which grants Graduate Basis for Registration with the BPS).

During the training course you will be robustly assessed to evaluate your clinical performance, academic achievement and your ability to integrate these two elements. As this is a doctoral-level programme, you will need to be able to work at this standard and produce an original research thesis by the end of training.

All applications must be made via the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology, click 'Apply' to find out more. 

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If you have any questions, please contact our Admissions team on +44 (0) 20 8223 4174 or email

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Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

This three-year, full-time doctorate-level training course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Help find solutions to growing mental health issues

You will join a clinical-academic course team committed to improving the lives of people of all ages affected by mental health issues. The ethos of the training course is distinctive, with an emphasis on critical thinking and a consideration of numerous approaches to benefiting clients and services.

Become a Clinical Psychologist with our course

You will become a Clinical Psychologist ready to work in the NHS and related settings, in accordance with the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and British Psychological Society (BPS).


How you'll learn

The course team will support your development using both a broadly critical and open-minded stance to working with clients and services. The team questions the idea of distress as being something that simply occurs inside individuals, and encourages a perspective that puts individual distress in its social context.

The team is highly respected across different fields and tutors are engaged in work at a number of levels: from clinical practice, to policy development and working with professional bodies. Team members are involved research initiatives spanning health and societal contexts. We aim to influence practice at regional, national and international levels.

Your clinical and academic learning will be supported by the course team and involve partnerships with NHS and related settings. A clinical-academic programme has been designed to enhance theory-practice formulation and intervention.

Your clinical work placements will typically be based in settings such as primary care, hospital inpatient departments, community health centres, charities or mental health teams. You will be required to successfully complete placements that cover the lifespan and associated psychological presentations. Throughout this time you will be supervised by qualified and experienced clinical psychologists.

Your academic teaching will comprise lectures, presentations, work within small groups and practical exercises including reflection about your clinical work. You will also be supported to produce a research thesis in the last two years of your training.

Theses that have recently been completed include a study of how mental health issues are represented in TV series aimed at young people, a project involving young asylum seekers in the UK, and an assessment of how young people manage issues of sexual identity.

We encourage a collective approach that encompasses the idea of self-help support groups and community psychological interventions.

“We view communities as more than just geographical communities and those who seek the help of psychologists often come from marginalised communities,” says Dave Harper, Programme Director (Academic). “For example, currently we have trainee clinical psychologists working in services for young asylum seekers. They listen to the young people’s stories about the circumstances leading to journeying to the UK, helping them to make sense of it all.”

Fees and funding

Current trainees are NHS employees within the London North Thames region, on a fixed-term full-time three-year contract, with university fees paid, and with associated NHS salaries (starting Band 6, point 21), London Allowance, annual leave entitlement etc.

For the 2019 intake, 31 trainee clinical psychologist posts were allocated. There are no self-funded places available. Since all funding (including fees) is currently provided by the UK NHS, the Programme is not in a position to offer places to candidates who do not have residency within the UK, or who would not intend to practise within the UK on completion of training.  Candidates for 2020 entry should check for funding updates on the Clearing House Funding page .

Applicants must be entitled to work full-time in the UK for the duration of the programme (three years): have full UK or EU residency and not require a work permit. To be considered for entry to the course in September 2020, they must normally have been resident in the UK or EU from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2020 for a purpose that is not wholly or mainly related to receiving full-time education during any part of this three-year period. There are no self-funded places on the programme. There is no option to take the programme part-time.

Tuition fees
This is a funded course.
Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold an honours degree of at least a high 2:1 class (overall grade of 65% or greater) which is acceptable to the British Psychological Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. Applicants with a conversion diploma/MSc must have a high 2:1 class or better in their first degree, and equivalent results or better in the conversion programme. We will consider applications with degree grades 60% and above but below 65% only where the applicant has either a MSc qualification at 70%+ (distinction grade) or/and a completed PhD/DPhil in a related field. Applicants must have research experience as a postgraduate, either postgraduate level training (eg MSc, MRes, PhD); or conducting applied or service-related research in clinical settings. Applicants must have knowledge of data analysis procedures employed within the field of psychology including multivariate statistical and qualitative approaches. The programme employs pre-interview assessment procedures to evaluate applicants' research knowledge, critical thinking skills, and capacity for making judgments in complex situations. Applicants must achieve scores on these procedures that place them in the upper 50th percentile of the cohort of applicants. Applicants will be invited to sit the pre-selection tests at the UEL campus on Saturday 15 February 2020.

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.

If you don’t quite meet the academic requirements for this course, you can apply with an additional foundation year. Read more about the International Foundation Programme.

Applicants must have the equivalent of at least 12 months full-time paid employment in a relevant post at the time of the application. Relevant posts mean those which give applicants a strong awareness of, and experience in, the practice of clinical psychology and supervision in the UK NHS or related settings. Unpaid posts (honorary, intern or voluntary contracts) do not count towards the 12 month minimum required. Applicants must have the commitment and ability to undertake advanced study, research and clinical psychology practice at the professional doctorate level. Accordingly, clinical and academic references must be provided and confirm excellent academic, research and clinical skills and the potential to succeed on the programme.
Applicants must be acceptable to the National Health Service (NHS) as a trainee clinical psychologist in a full-time capacity, including current regulations of the relevant NHS Trust. All offers of a place are therefore dependent on satisfactory checks as follows: Disclosure and Barring Service checks; HR fitness to practise review; occupational health assessment; the university and relevant NHS trust will verify applicant identity, eligibility for UK employment, and all qualifications claimed in the application form, using formal procedures requiring original documents.

Training as a clinical psychologist involves working with children and vulnerable adults. Throughout the selection process and the training programme we will take stringent measures to ensure that the clients that trainees work with are kept safe.
Applicants whose primary language is not English, and/or whose university qualifications were not taught and examined in English, must provide evidence of adequate English language facility: an IELTS certificate, undertaken within the last two years, with overall grade of at least 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component. No other language testing programmes are accepted.
Please see our Clearing House web page for more detail and advice on a career in clinical psycholog.

What you'll learn

In the most recent BPS accreditation, our Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology was widely praised for its structure, quality of teaching, clinical rigour and philosophy.

In the context of a critical and innovative approach, you will gain the knowledge and skills to become an effective clinical psychologist across different client groups and work settings. You will also learn how to apply knowledge and theory to different ways of working, such as direct therapy, indirect working (e.g. consultation), staff support, service development and organisational change.

You will gain core skills in assessment, formulation and therapeutic interventions. Your effective core therapy skills will include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and at least one other approach.

We offer theoretical frameworks for evaluating clinical psychology theory and practice in a critical but constructive way. You will learn about innovative approaches to practice, such as social constructionist, narrative and systemic therapies, and community psychology interventions.

The research element of the course encompasses both qualitative and quantitative methods. And we offer an outstanding range of placement and personal/professional development experiences.

At a recent accreditation visit, the BPS spoke of our course as being “clearly ahead of the game” in terms of engaging with the future directions of healthcare provision. It also acknowledged that the course was viewed extremely positively in this regard by trainees, recent graduates, supervisors and employers.

What you'll study and when

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

Year 1

  • Clinical Psychology Theory & Practice (90 credits)
  • Clinical Psychology Placements 1 & 2 (90 credits)

Year 2

  • Clinical Psychology Theory & Practice 2 (60 credits)
  • Clinical Psychology Placements 3 & 4 (90 credits)


Year 3

  • Clinical Psychology Theory & Practice 3 (30 credits)
  • Clinical Psychology Placements 5 & 6 (90 credits)


June of Year 2 to end of programme

90 credit Research project

How you'll be assessed

We will assess you through a variety of ways, including exams, placement supervisors’ evaluations, your thesis and practical reports.

Course specification Placement Supervisors - Course Documents Supervisor Workshop Calendar

Your future career

As a graduate of this course you will have the necessary training to work as a clinical psychologist in the NHS and related settings, such as primary care, community contexts, hospital wards, and charities.

The training programme will also send you forward into your career with an enriched and broadened outlook that we hope will be of lasting benefit.
The BPS praised the course’s critical stance as empowering the development of both therapeutic and non-therapy competencies – for example, developing skills in promoting new ways of working as well as influencing the field at a policy level.

We hope that you will graduate prepared for the new and evolving challenges within the NHS and other diverse settings.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal

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