School of Psychology

MPsych (Hons) Clinical Psychology

Our four-year masters level programme will give you an academic preparation for a career in clinical psychology. Building on foundations of social, developmental, health, and cognitive psychology, you will be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society. Specialist training and clinical skills provided in your masters year will then provide you with the experience and knowledge you need to fast-track your future career in clinical practice.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.

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Careers with this subject

The MPsych in Clinical Psychology provides an extension to the fundamental knowledge and competencies provided by our BSc programmes by providing the clinical training, experience, and skills that are valuable in the competitive career pathways to professional clinical practice. These provide practical insight to NHS service delivery in clinical practice, and an excellent foundation for practice or further clinical training.

Understanding where your degree subject could take you is an important first step in career planning. Due to the transferrable nature of the skills you gain from your studies, you may discover that there is a much wider range of opportunities open to you within this profession that you may first appreciate. Find out more about where your degree could take you.

Key features

  • Four year integrated masters programme.
  • Receive funding for your masters year with a student loan.
  • Build a thorough knowledge of psychology through the first three years of our BSc course, and extend it with an additional year of masters level study. This will provide the specialist training for professional clinical practice, interventions and clinical skills that will prepare you for clinical professions.
  • Practical insight into NHS service delivery in clinical practice an optional placement year.
  • Hands-on learning in our psychology experiential learning lab. We embedded practical activities throughout the course, so you can put new knowledge into practice and build practical skills for future careers.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Your first-year modules provide a foundation of knowledge and skills across the breadth of psychology. Immersive modules integrate theory and practical workshops to provide a deeper exploration and of the psychology of learning and relationships. You will learn about the current debates in psychology as well as how our knowledge informs other disciplines.

    Core modules

    • Learning (PSYC411)

      This module explores how we gather information, with an emphasis on the scientific method. The module will introduce students to different perspectives on learning, including how to learn effectively, the biological and cognitive basis of learning, and social learning.

    • Psychological Science (PSYC412)

      This module will provide an introduction into a broad range of fundamental topics in psychology. Across eight independent topics, from across the entire breadth of psychology, students will learn key theories. Students will also learn how those theories have been applied to real-world situations and will be asked to explore these theories in practice in Labplus activities.

    • Debates in Psychology (PSYC413)

      This module covers both current and historical debates in topics drawn from across the breadth of psychology, involving discussion of theoretical issues and application and practice. The module will involve independent study sessions exploring some of the empirical differences seen in the literature and practice, and tutorial sessions will support extended writing development.

    • Relationships (PSYC414)

      This immersive module focuses on the Psychology of Social Relationships across the lifespan. This topic is introduced and analysed from different disciplines in Psychology, including Developmental, Social, Biological, Clinical and Individual Differences perspectives. Lectures introduce methodologies, key findings and concepts for understanding Social Relationships. Lectures will be supported by workshops and tutorials.

    • Topics in Psychology (PSYC415)

      This module will provide an in-depth exploration of four topics from core areas of psychology. Each of the topics will run for four weeks with interspersed group-based linked Labplus activities. These will allow students to get involved in a continued project, within the scope of a particular topic, which might involve data collection and subsequent statistical analysis of that data.

    • Connecting Psychology (PSYC416)

      This module will link psychology to other disciplines by exploring how the study of human and animal behaviour is investigated in collaboration with scientists and practitioners in a variety of other fields. A series of topics will be interspersed with independent study activities that allow students to get involved in a continued project, involving data collection and analysis.

  • Year 2

  • With a focus on developing the research and practical skills clinical psychologists need to develop their practice. You will get hands-on experience in designing and testing your own experiments to explore a range of topics.

    Core modules

    • Career and Placement Planning (CPIE202)

    • Cognition and Biological Psychology (PSYC513)

      This module covers four core areas of psychology each with 2 sub-topics: Perception & Attention; Learning & Memory; Cognition & Language; Neuroscience & Comparative Psychology. The biology of cognition will be covered within each of the four core areas, integrating them. Each core area will be covered in 12 hours of lectures. The first hour will cover CHIP issues and the last hour integration within/between topics.

    • Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology (PSYC514)

      This module covers three core areas of psychology - individual differences, social cognition, and human development. Each core area will be covered in 16 hours of lectures. The first hour will cover CHIP issues and the last hour will focus on integration within/between topics.

    • Health and Wellbeing (PSYC515)

      The module explores the multiple factors that determine health-related behaviours, introducing professional areas of health, clinical and forensic psychology.

    • Applied Psychology (PSYC516)

      This module explores the contribution of psychology to success in education and work. It considers different approaches to educational assessment, risk communication, and behaviour change.

    • Research Skills in Practice 1 (PSYC519)

      In this module students develop an understanding of the processes involved in undertaking and communicating research of increasing complexity. Students work in supervised groups to develop research questions on the association of factors and test them using empirical methods. Results are communicated via both oral presentation and written report. Methods workshops are also provided.

    • Research Skills in Practice 2 (PSYC520)

      In this module students develop an understanding of the processes involved in undertaking and communicating research of increasing complexity. Students work in supervised groups to develop research questions on group differences and test them using empirical methods. Results are communicated via both oral presentation and written report means. Methods workshops are also provided.

  • Optional placement year

  • You can take an optional work placement after your second year to acquire real-world experience of clinical practice through our partners in the NHS or other settings.

    Core modules

    • Placement: Psychology (CPIE501)

      During this 36 week placement, students will begin to apply their psychological knowledge in the workplace and develop the range of skills required to work within the specific placement setting. This zero-credit module is also home to timetabled careers talks and information for Stage 3 students who are away on placement.

  • Year 3

  • With complete freedom of choice from a wide range of current psychology topics, you can explore the areas of psychology that benefit you the most. A supervised research project also gives you the opportunity to work on a clinical research question, or learning how to use or improve a clinical assessment tool.

    Core modules

    • Current topics in psychology
    • Research project

    Core modules

    • Careers Planning (PSYC600)

      This zero-credit module is home to careers talks.

    • Current Topics in Psychology 1 (PSYC601)

      This course allows students to develop an in depth and critical appreciation of two areas of psychological research (two topics drawn from the current research programmes of the School's staff).

    • Current Topics in Psychology 2 (PSYC602)

      This course allows students to develop an in depth and critical appreciation of two areas of psychological research (two topics drawn from the current research programmes of the School's staff).

    • Current Topics in Psychology 3 (PSYC603)

      This course allows students to develop an in depth and critical appreciation of two areas of psychological research (two topics drawn from the current research programmes of the School's staff).

    • Current Topics in Psychology 4 (PSYC604)

      This course allows students to develop an in depth and critical appreciation of two areas of psychological research (two topics drawn from the current research programmes of the School's staff).

    • Research Project (PSYC605)

      Students, supported by academic supervisors and specialist workshops, are required to conduct a complete piece of research, from establishing a research area, formulating a research question, conducting a literature search, designing and conducting a study that meets appropriate ethical standards, analysing the data and communicating the research verbally and in writing.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, having completed three years to at least a second-class degree standard, you will progress to master’s level training in clinical psychology. With the supervision and guidance of clinicians and clinical researchers, you will acquire specialist skills and knowledge that will prepare you for your clinical career pathway.

    Core modules

    • Asking psychological questions
    • Data fluency
    • Advanced Interpretative methods
    • Supporting behaviour change
    • Foundations of clinical psychology
    • Understanding clinical interventions
    • Core competencies for Clinical Practice in Psychology
    • Applied clinical research

    Core modules

    • Personal and Professional Development (PSYC750)

      This module will enhance students awareness of the transferable skills they possess, focus thinking about future employment, spur reflection on recent learning, and promote the effective use of feedback to enhance academic performance.

    • Data Fluency: Processing, Visualising and Analysing Data for Reproducible Research (PSYC753)

      Become fluent with numerical and textual data. Learn practical skills to summarise, visualise, and communicate insights from quantitative data; become familiar with software for working with large datasets; and best practices for reproducibility and transparency in psychological science.

    • Advanced Interpretative Methods (PSYC755)

      Advanced treatment of interpretative and discursive techniques in psychology, extending students knowledge beyond basic thematic analyses and introducing interpretative phenomenological analysis, narrative analysis, discourse analysis and conversation analysis.

    • Supporting Behaviour Change (PSYC774)

      What makes a psychologically based intervention effective? This module covers a range of contemporary interventions for clinical psychological and behavioural problems, focusing on a critical analysis of the psychological mechanisms underlying interventions and explores how laboratory research can be translated into new interventions.

    • Applied Clinical Research (PSYC783)

      Conducting research with service users in clinical settings poses a unique set of challenges. This module supports students to tackle a small-scale clinical research project and to analyse and report results.

    • Foundations of Clinical Psychology (PSYC791)

      This module provides foundational knowledge in the theory and practice of clinical psychology, and the social, cultural and legal context in which mental health professions operate.

    • Understanding Clinical Interventions: Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Systemic Family Therapy (PSYC792)

      This module introduces students to fundamental principles and techniques of the cognitive behavioural approach, and contemporary developments which address individual psychological difficulties within a biopsychosocial framework. Students will be introduced to the importance of understanding individual difficulties within the systemic context of relationship dynamics, family, communities, and wider society, including the impact of social inequalities on mental health outcomes. Core clinical skills, are introduced, including listening, building a therapeutic alliance, communication, group-work, techniques for working with families, collaborative working, and monitoring change.

    • Core Competencies for Clinical Practice in Psychology (PSYC793)

      This module introduces students to core competencies in clinical practice. Practical and experiential learning help students develop these competencies, and reflective activities aid students in the process of taking control of their own professional development identifying strengths, weaknesses and formulating a plan for treatment.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

MPsych Hons Clinical Psychology Programme Specification updated for 2020 21 6477

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

120 - 128

A Level: 120–128 points from a minimum of three A levels from any subjects (excluding General Studies).  

BTEC 18 Unit National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM – any subject.

International Baccalaureate: 30 points overall.
English – Advanced 4+ (A1) or 5 (A2/B); Standard 5+ (A1) or 6 (A2/B). Maths – Standard 4.

Access courses: Pass Access to HE Science/Combined Science/Humanities/Social Sciences course with 60 credits overall, to include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at distinction and 15 credits at merit or higher.

GCSE
5 GCSE subjects at a pass are preferred and this does not necessarily need to be Mathematics and English subjects.

Extended entry requirements

Other international qualifications considered – please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

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Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Funding opportunities

A range of studentships, fee waivers and other funding for psychology students is also available for both UK/EU and international students.

School of Psychology: undergraduate scholarships for international students 

International students who have met the conditions of their University of Plymouth offer of study will be eligible to receive the School of Psychology Gold Scholarship to help towards the cost of tuition fees.  You may also be eligible to apply for the University's Undergraduate International Academic Excellence scholarship. 

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health additional costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Why choose Plymouth?

We've redesigned the way we teach psychology. We have listened to feedback from our students and created a curriculum where the focus is on active learning instead of attending lectures. As well as this hands-on approach there are many aspects to the course that we are immensely proud of. 

Specialist Facilities
We have 22 specialist laboratories which can be booked by students and staff. Labs range from single participant rooms through to labs with a range of networked or standalone computers and social interaction or group participation rooms.

Placement Year
All of our psychology students can opt to take a voluntary placement year, so you do not have to apply for a particular course. You will gain invaluable experience and cultivate professional contacts. The process starts in your second year, with information sessions to help you decide if a placement year is right for you.

Psychology Research Apprenticeship Scheme

Every year around 60-70 first and second-year students volunteer to work with a member of staff as a 'Research Apprentice'. With this informally run scheme, you'll get first-hand experience of carrying out research – everything from literature searching through experimental design and data collection to analysis and even publishing papers.

Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)
Learning alongside other students on your course can give you a greater opportunity to discuss ideas, broaden your knowledge, gain confidence and make friends. You will benefit from regular, coordinated Peer-Led Study Sessions planned and delivered by student PALS leaders from the academic year above. Your group will be small enough to work together, discussing ideas, completing tasks and checking understanding in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Discover psychology at Plymouth and explore our open days

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Research in the School of Psychology

Plymouth is a centre of excellence in psychological research. In the last Research Excellence Framework assessment over 80% of our research outputs were rated as either international (3*) or world-leading (4*) quality. This puts us in the top 20 nationally on this measure, and above institutions such as Bristol, UCL, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, and Portsmouth.

We have a thriving PhD community, with around 80 doctoral students, purpose-built research facilities.

Learn more about the research in the School of Psychology

Staff insight – Professor Caroline Floccia

...I was in my twenties, and I went to a party and I met somebody who told me for the first time about the existence of a field called cognitive psychology… a field in which people study how the brain and mind work… it was a revelation…

Find out why Professor Caroline Floccia is passionate about cognitive psychology.

Read more about Professor Caroline Floccia’s teaching and research interests

Our labs

Academic Staff