Department of Psychology

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology entry requirements

You must meet all essential criteria to be considered for a place on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course. Please check our quick Eligibility Quiz to make sure you meet the requirements before you apply.

All places are NHS funded, so there are other specific requirements you must meet (see below). We do not currently offer any self-funded places. 

All applicants who meet the essential entry criteria will be allocated an academic score which will be based on their grades at A Level, undergraduate degree, master's and PhD. Only the top scoring candidates will then be considered by our shortlisting panels.

We operate an equal opportunities policy and you will not be disadvantaged in the selection process or through training because of race, religion, age, gender, social class or sexual orientation.

We welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds including mature or second career applicants. We encourage applications from candidates who have a disability, and are committed to making all reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of interviewees and trainees with disabilities.

Essential criteria

Criteria Note
You must hold either:
  • a 1st class or 2:1 in an undergraduate psychology degree, or
  • an undergraduate degree in another subject, with a master's level conversion course (at merit or distinction)
If you have a 2:2 in an undergraduate degree your application will only be considered if you have also achieved a relevant qualification at doctoral level.
We will not accept any other qualifications or class of degree different to these.
Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the British Psychological Society (BPS) Candidates from non-GBC accredited courses need to have applied and gained membership themselves.
Clinical experience A minimum of nine months (full time equivalent) relevant clinical experience of working with people with psychological needs (see ‘desirable criteria’ below for examples).
Research experience Research experience in addition to an undergraduate project. This can be an undergraduate placement year, if additional to the degree requirement. Other suitable experience includes service audit/evaluation and development, PhD, MSc or other research posts.
Two strong references from appropriate referees One of these must be from an academic referee who has taught or supervised you in an academic setting.

One of these must be from an experience referee who has knowledge and experience of you working in a relevant clinical setting.
Personal qualities and values consistent with the NHS constitution You must demonstrate that you can give the highest standards of professional care. You must demonstrate a commitment to evidence-based practice.
Eligibility for Home/EU fee status  
Eligibility for Funding Health Education South West commissions the course and provides trainees with financial support. You must ensure before applying that you are eligible for NHS funding for both tuition fee and salary support (bursary), including having the right to work in the UK. Please check the NHS guidelines and personal eligibility quiz before you apply.
An adequate level of English (if this is not your first language) Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of study.
  • IELTS 7 (with no less than 6.5 in each of the four components)
  • Completion of a degree in an English-speaking country, studied for a period of at least three years.

Desirable criteria

Criteria Note
Appropriate research experience Research development, co-ordination, ethics-approval and dissemination (for example) are rated more highly than data collection/entry.
Appropriate work experience We give credit for the amount of experience and more credit for work experience in:
  • the NHS or a health or social care setting (such as those commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups)
  • experience with a wider range of client groups or variety of settings and over longer periods of time
  • experience that indicates a candidate has shown development in their skills and competencies
  • direct experience of therapy under appropriate supervision (such as an assistant psychologist or psychological wellbeing practitioner)
  • structured clinical or neuropsychological assessments
  • clinical health psychology
We value significant voluntary work over and above full-time education or employment.
Publications We give credit for authorship of publications in peer-reviewed journals where the candidate has evidenced their contribution to the work. We also also give credit for oral and poster presentations at national conferences and contribution to substantive health service publications.
Additional skills and competencies We value a range of additional activities, skills and training (such as postgraduate certificate level training and counselling courses). Valued indirect skills include:
  • leadership skills
  • teaching qualifications
  • community involvement projects
  • drama skills
  • competency in different languages
  • publishing
  • media experience.

Make an application for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

You can view guidance on how to make an application.