School of Psychology

DClinPsy Clinical Psychology

Become a competent and capable clinical psychologist. Receive training which emphasises psychotherapy, reflective practice, complex clinical issues and applicable research skills. As the first in the country to be approved through a joint partnership between the Health and Care Professions Council (HPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS), and having run since 1982, this programme will enhance your psychological career and enable you to become a highly reflective scientist practitioner.

Key features

  • Study an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised research degree, one of the first to award the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
  • Benefit from service user involvement through working closely with the Service User and Carer Consultative Group. 
  • Widening participation in clinical psychology - candidates from diverse backgrounds and experiences are welcome.
  • Benefit from our commitment to producing competent and capable clinical psychologists who work as highly reflective scientist practitioners.
  • Become eligible to apply for registration as clinical psychologists with the Health and Care Professions Council, with the opportunity to gain Chartered Psychologist (C.Psychol) status, and full membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology with the British Psychological Society.
  • Take advantage of excellent relationships with local services in the South West of England; local clinicians are committed to supporting training and offer a wide range of placements in both rural and urban settings.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Each year of this programme begins with an extended teaching block, the remaining teaching is then spread regularly throughout the year. The remainder of your time will be spent on clinical placements with teaching interspersed to complement the clinical experience you gain. Over the duration of the programme you will also undertake year-long placement periods. During your first year of study you will work with children, young people and families, and people with learning disabilities. As a first year trainee you will also gain a foundation level qualification in systemic family therapy (independently accredited by the Association of Family Therapy).
    Core modules
    • CPSY610 Clinical Practice (Year 1)

      Establishes learners¿ safe, effective and ethical application of core psychological proficiencies in clinical practice and psychological therapy (integrating psychological theory and evidence in accord with service users¿ values and priorities) including establishing effective therapeutic relationships and inter-disciplinary team working; assessment and formulation,; intervention and evaluation; communication, training and consultancy; professional practice; supervision and personal development; related to psychological health issues though practice-based learning usually with children, adolescents and learning disabled people.

    • CPSY611 Academic Competence (Year 1)

      This module establishes knowledge for the trainees in the 5 core course themes and core course philosophy underpinning clinical psychology.

    • CPSY612 Research 1

      This module constitutes the learning necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills in research methods required during the first year of the programme.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you will gain experience interacting with adults and older adults. In this year greater emphasis is placed on working with individuals.
    Core modules
    • CPSY613 Clinical Practice (Year 2)

      Extends learners' safe, effective and ethical application of core psychological proficiencies in clinical practice and psychological therapy ( integrating psychological theory and evidence in accord with service users' values and priorities) including establishing effective therapeutic relationships and inter-disciplinary team working; assessment and formulation,; intervention and evaluation; communication, training and consultancy; professional practice; supervision and personal development; through practice-based learning usually with adults and older adults.

    • CPSY614 Academic Competence (Year 2)

      This module constitutes the learning necessary to acquire the academic knowledge and skills required during the second year of the programme. It develops further critical thinking in the 5 core course themes and core course philosophy underpinning clinical psychology.

    • CPSY615 Research 2

      This module constitutes the learning necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills in research methods required during the second year of the programme.

  • Third year
  • Your third year is a time for consolidating your new skills and preparing for future work in the health service. This year will take account of current legislation and policy with regard to the role of clinical psychologists in the National Health Service. For example, emphasis has been placed on acquiring competencies in supervision, consultation and leadership in line with recent policy guidelines. Research activities bridge the academic and clinical components of the programme with time allocated particularly in year three for a major empirical research project.
    Core modules
    • CPSY616 Clinical Practice (Year 3)

      Consolidates learners' safe, effective and ethical application of core psychological proficiencies at advanced level in clinical practice and psychological therapy (integrating psychological theory and evidence in accord with service users' values and priorities) including establishing effective therapeutic relationships and inter-disciplinary team working; assessment and formulation; intervention and evaluation; communication, training and consultancy; professional practice; supervision and personal development; through practice based learning in any service setting, to the level of a newly-qualified practitioner.

    • CPSY617 Academic Competence (Year 3)

      This module constitutes the learning necessary to acquire the academic knowledge and skills required during the third year of the programme. It develops further critical and reflexive thinking, analysis and synthesis within clinical psychology and prepares trainees for commencing professional practice in the NHS.

    • CPSY618 Research 3

      This module constitutes the learning necessary to acquire the sophisticated knowledge and skills in research methods for them to be able to complete their major piece of empirical research.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

  • The entry requirement for our programme is an honours degree in Psychology, a 1st or 2:1, that gives the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS), or an equivalent qualification that gives GBC.
  • Applicants who have completed a conversion course are required to have obtained a 1st or 2.1 in their first degree. 
  • Applicants with a 2:2 degree in Psychology who have also completed a further postgraduate academic research qualification in psychology may also be considered. Any conditional offers will be subject to achieving a 2:1 or above. 
  • We welcome applicants with an interest in learning from their life experiences, both personally and professionally.
  • Relevant experience of at least one year whole time equivalent is required (not including undergraduate placements). This may include part-time or full-time, voluntary or paid work, involving an advocacy or service role with clients in the public or voluntary sectors. 
  • Applicants may have relevant experience as an assistant in NHS Departments of Clinical Psychology, or social services, or in health or a range of human settings. 
  • It is helpful to have had clinical experience that has been supervised by a qualified Clinical Psychologist and to have current understanding of the profession of Clinical Psychology. 
  • Work experience with undervalued or marginalised groups is particularly valued. Research experience in a branch of psychology or a related discipline is relevant and valued by the course. 

Please see the entry requirements section of our website for further details about relevant clinical experience provided by our Clinical Lead.

  • Candidates for whom English is not their first language, or who did not complete their first degree in English, will be asked to provide evidence of English language proficiency, IELTS (7.0).
  • The course welcomes applicants from diverse cultural and personal contexts, mature applicants with extensive life experience, and applicants with disabilities. The University operates an equal opportunities policy. The recruitment and selection processes for the Plymouth Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme comply with Plymouth University Admissions Policy. Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, colour, gender, creed, sexual orientation, age or disability.

Selection procedure

  • Our values based recruitment process takes full account of the six core values and the NHS Constitution.
  • The programme strives to ensure that we uphold the values of equality and inclusivity at all times, including in our selection process. For this reason, our procedure is designed to actively encourage those from diverse backgrounds to apply and is focused on an individual's overall potential to become an outstanding clinical psychologist rather than over-emphasising existing knowledge and skills.
  • If due to disability you need support to access our selections procedure or feel that any aspect of our process would put you at a disadvantage, we will work with you to mitigate these issues and ensure that you are given a fair opportunity to show your potential. Please contact us and we can discuss your options.
  • Applications are also considered on the basis of academic attainment, clinical experience, life experience, reflexivity and critical understanding of the social and cultural context of the profession of clinical psychology and the workplace. Between 40 and 50 candidates are usually short-listed for interview.

Please see below for specific information relating to International Applicants with overseas fee status.

Short-listing

Why do we use a short-listing test?

We collaborate with the Lancaster and Cardiff University’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programmes with regard to our short-listing screening procedures. All candidates who have achieved Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and the minimum English language requirement will be invited to take part in our screening procedure (see the Entry Requirements section above if you need further details). Many applicants to our programme are fortunate enough to have had access to extensive education and employment/experience opportunities. However, some individuals have not had these privileges, and may never have, but have significant potential and are well suited to the programme. 

As we want everyone to be assessed on a fair basis, we use a short-listing test which examines potential rather than looking only at the application form which emphasises experience. Evidence also shows that application forms on their own are poor predictors of academic and job performance. Our approach means using short-listing tests which have substantial evidence to indicate they predict performance on both the programme and in a complex job role once qualified.

This component of our screening process uses an online general mental ability (GMA) test. This approach is widely used, for example by other healthcare professions with graduate entry training programmes, as it is a strong predictor of performance in complex or intellectually challenging roles. The GMA test will have verbal and numerical reasoning elements.

Giving yourself time to practise the tests beforehand can help ensure that all applicants, regardless of background, can demonstrate their ability. Please visit the SHL Direct website to complete the practice tests - you only need to do the verbal and numerical tests for the Plymouth programme. SHL practice tests are only examples of the type of questions you will be given and do not indicate the difficulty level as this changes dynamically in the live test based on your responses. The live test system has some visual differences from the practice tests and includes additional support to allow for zooming and changing text/background colours.

How the short-listing works

Candidates will be invited to take the online GMA test at a time and place convenient to them. Candidates must complete these tests during a time window of 2 weeks which will take place sometime between February-March 2018. Once arranged, it is not possible for online testing to take place outside of this window.

In the Plymouth selection process, these test results are considered together with information taken from the candidate's Clearing House application form to help inform the potential for training on a Doctorate training programme. Applicants should have a year whole time equivalent relevant experience in human services (not including undergraduate placements). Further knowledge of candidates is gained from two interviews at our Selection Event.

Selection Event*

Two interview panels are completed which together are designed to explore candidates' academic, clinical and reflective strengths. Panel members will include the course team, representatives of our Service Users and Carers' Consultative Group and practising clinical psychologists drawn from services across the Devon and Cornwall Peninsula.

As part of the interview questions, candidates will be invited to discuss three pieces of work: a clinical or professional paper plus a research and a clinical scenario all provided to candidates one day prior to interview. Information about the programme is available on the interview days and current trainees are present throughout the interview days to consult with candidates.

Following your panel interviews, you may be asked to take a second general mental ability test which acts to verify your identity as the original test-taker. This will comprise a short form of both verbal and numerical reasoning tests and is undertaken under supervision. These will take approximately 40 minutes in total.

The selection process takes place over two days, with each candidate joining us for the major part of one day. Candidates rank order their preference for their placement base at the selection day. Candidates are informed as soon as the selection process is completed and are allocated their placement base at this time. Feedback to non-successful candidates is offered after the selection process is complete.

All offers of a place on the doctoral programme are dependent on satisfactory references, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks. This programme is committed to Safer Recruiting.

*Our selection process may be subject to change for our 2018 round of selection, our procedure will be confirmed in September 2017.


Professional indemnity insurance is required.

Clinical experience required

For further general entry requirements please visit the Clearing House website.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU Check with School To be confirmed
International Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

Current UK/EU trainees are full-time employees of the health service and have annual leave and other benefits in line with usual NHS entitlements. On entry to the programme all trainees commenced on the first spine point of Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Travelling expenses are currently paid for travel to placement and University fees are currently paid directly by the NHS. Candidates for 2018 entry should check for funding updates on the Clearing House funding page.

Our trainee numbers for entry in September 2018 are to be confirmed for both NHS and international self-funded places.

International Applicants

Application for these self-funded places is through the Clearing House using Course Code 21 - X. We offer a Skype interview to candidates applying for our self-funded placements. This takes place each year in early March.

Fees Status

Applicants for self-funded places must have overseas fees status. We invite applications for these places from international applicants who can provide their own funding.

Find out further general information on our international students page.  

For specific questions please contact Michele Thomas, Course Administrator

Find out more about fees information for international applicants.

How to apply

Selection 2017 Online Screening Window: The dates for the first stage of our selection process are Monday 20 February to Thursday 2 March. Please wait for further information, you will be contacted with joining instructions prior to the opening date.

All applications for postgraduate courses in Clinical Psychology are made via:

The Clearing House
Fairbairn House
71-75 Clarendon Road,
Leeds, LS2 9PL.

Telephone: +44 113 343 2737 or visit www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp

Selection 2017 Online Screening Window: The dates for the first stage of our selection process are Monday 20 February to Thursday 2 March. Please wait for further information, you will be contacted with joining instructions prior to the opening date.

Our selection process: find out more about the selection process you will participate in when applying to our DClinPsy programme.

Learn about the DClinPsy selection process

Nicole Parish presented her research at the final of the Vitae Three Minute Thesis competition in Manchester on 8th September 2015

Studying at Plymouth University has really encouraged me to take a critical look at all aspects of my practice, and this presentation will be a great way to showcase my work to a distinguished audience.

Nicole’s doctoral thesis is centred around the collaborative work necessary in accurately diagnosing cases of autism.

Find out more about Nicole's D.Clin.Psy research

Placements

Your placements will enable you to apply your psychological knowledge and skills in ways that are informed by an understanding of the complex worlds and circumstances in which people develop and live.

Learn more about placements

DClinPsy Clinical Psychology at Plymouth University

Find out more about the programme in our video

Staff teaching on the DClin course