Research in clinical psychology

This programme in particular emphasises the intimate relationships between clinical practice and research; you will recognise important connections between rigorous, clinical case studies and assessment and research. Research using single-case designs as well as larger scale research is equally encouraged.

Research components of the programme:

1. Evaluation of a service – you will work jointly in pairs to evaluate a local psychology service in response to requests from local service providers. The research involves both quantitative as well as qualitative research methods, and the findings are employed to develop and promote services.

2. Psychotherapy process study - this consists of a reflective exploration of a piece of psychotherapy conducted with the intention of exploring the processes involved in therapeutic change. You will explore your own work in detail, such as the therapeutic relationship, significant change events in therapy, assimilation of problematic experiences, specific changes in beliefs and perceptions and narratives of change.

3. Empirical research project - this is a substantial piece of original research which is intended to make a significant contribution to your clinical psychology knowledge. It can involve an exploration of aspects of a clinical problem, theoretical explorations, investigations of types of treatment and interventions and the experiences of various client groups. The research can utilise both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Though you will be encouraged to demonstrate originality and creativity, these projects are also attached to the research interests and expertise of the programme staff group.

Publication

You will be encouraged to publish various pieces of research and submit these to a chosen journal. In the past the programme has seen a good submission rate of research papers and there is increasing emphasis to see these through to final publication. 

Research training

Throughout your three years of study you will receive research training which is overseen by the Research Director. Training includes research designs in a clinical setting and a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Specific teaching sessions are delivered by nationally recognised experts in a variety of research methods. Individual supervision is provided for you throughout the three years by a member of the course team as well as by an external research supervisor with relevant specialized research skills for the empirical research project. The teaching also benefits from the development of a significant text (Researching Psychotherapy and Counselling by Dallos & Vetere, 2005). You will also benefit from various research groups within the School, for example the Mental Health Research Group, and the Parenting and Child Welfare Research Group.