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Clinical Psychology DClinPsy

Most students complete this programme in 3 years full-time

The aim of the programme is to train clinical psychologists skilled in evidence-based psychological assessment, intervention and research.

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) at the University of Bath is a professional training course for Clinical Psychologists in the United Kingdom, leading to a doctoral qualification approved by the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP: Level 2), and Association for Family Therapy (AFT: Foundation Level).

The programme provides a comprehensive range of placement and research opportunities. In all aspects of the programme there is a strong emphasis on integration of theory, research and practice, and on equality, diversity and inclusion, supporting trainees to become reflective scientist-practitioners. People with personal experience (PPE) are involved in and shape all aspects of the programme.

There are opportunities for trainees to join active research programmes in: Adult Lifespan Mental Health; Clinical Health Psychology; Children and Young People’s Mental Health; Autism & Intellectual Disabilities; Anxiety & Depression; Trauma; Addictions; Pain; Psychosis; Mindfulness; Environmental Psychology.

Find out about the department's research activities.

Programme structure

Most students complete this programme in 3 years. You cannot take less than 3 years to finish your research and the maximum time you are allowed is normally 3 years.

Throughout the three years, three days per week are spent completing six clinical placements, with the remaining two days per week dedicated to teaching (mostly on the University of Bath campus), study time and research.

Occasionally, trainees are unable complete the programme within the three years, which may be due to difficulties with meeting the programme requirements or personal circumstances. The programme works collaboratively with trainees in finding solutions in these cases. If programme registration does extend beyond three years where there are exceptional circumstances, then a funded extension may be possible; if there is no funded extension, then a trainee may incur tuition fee costs (we stress this is exceptionally rare).

There are compulsory taught elements throughout the three-year programme. The focus of teaching, assessment and clinical placements are aligned to support integration of theory and practice and support placement work.

You may start this programme at any time. Most students start in September.

There is no part-time option for this programme. For each new intake there is a single start date, which falls in late September or the first week of October.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Your academic progress and general welfare will be monitored by your supervisor.

Academic milestones

  1. Registration
  2. Induction
  3. Taught phase
  4. Research
  5. Writing up
  6. Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
  7. Submission for examination
  8. Examination (Viva Voce)
  9. Examiners report
  10. Final submission of thesis / portfolio
  11. Graduation

Year 1

  • Teaching
  • Case Studies 1 and 2
  • Placements 1 and 2
  • Identification of research projects and initiation

Year 2

  • Teaching
  • Case studies 3 and 4
  • Placements 3 and 4
  • Continuing research projects

Year 3

  • Teaching
  • Case study 5
  • Placements 5 and 6
  • Finalising research project
  • Portfolio Submission and Viva Examination
  • Final Submission

Programme content


  • Clinical experience
  • Interaction and networking
  • Lectures
  • Networking
  • Online resources
  • Practical sessions
  • Real-life case studies
  • Research project
  • Supervisory team
  • Video materials
  • Workshops

Taught content

Teaching attendance is mandatory. The academic teaching works in tandem with clinical placements.

Year one will cover core competencies and the knowledge required for clinical practice with adults of working age and later life.

Year two will cover working with children and young people, people with learning disabilities and neuropsychology.

Year three will focus on specialist areas of clinical psychology, and emphasise the development of higher-level competencies and meta-competencies including supervisory, management and leadership abilities.

There is a progressive shift from first to third year from supervision towards mentoring, peer supervision and supervising others.

Throughout the course trainees will also receive specialist teaching on our primary therapeutic models, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Systemic Family Therapy.

The course emphasises the integration of university-based theoretical and clinical skills training using a range of research led teaching and learning strategies. This includes traditional lectures using blended learning, flipping, workshop-based training, problem-based learning, small group sessions, and debates, matching the topics to be taught to the methods of teaching. Teaching is enhanced through the common use of interactive learning methods to ensure an engaging learning experience.

The clinical/research/academic integration is enhanced by teaching which is delivered both by course staff and clinical psychologists from across the region with respective expertise in their fields, as well as teaching by national experts. During the programme occasional teaching days take place in NHS settings as "Away Days". These sessions are also an opportunity for trainees to familiarise themselves with the range of NHS and social care services across the region.


You will usually complete six placements, normally of six-months duration, during the programme. The first two years focus on: core placement experiences. This involves working with adults of working age and adults with issues relating to later life in the first year, and; in the second year with people with intellectual disability and neurodevelopmental disorders and children, adolescents and young people. The first placement is mostly observational at first with only one day per week in placement. This, increases to two and then three days per week placement, as the trainee takes on more clinical responsibility. At this point they then have two days per week at the University. In April trainees will begin their second placement. Some first-year placements are within lifespan services, and in such cases, trainees may remain in the same setting for the whole of the first year.

In the final year, trainees can choose their ‘elective placements’. As the course has a strong commitment to Clinical Health Psychology training, trainees who have not yet had a placement of this kind will be strongly encouraged to choose one in their final year. However, trainees who wish to gain experience in other specialist areas can choose to do so.

Most placements are six months in duration, but in some instances it is possible to have extended, 12-month placements. This may involve ageless services in the first year (covering competencies for working age adults and later life), or specialist services in the third year, where certain therapeutic models (e.g. DBT) or client groups (people who are harder to engage or have more severe and complex needs) require more extended contact.

There may be some flexibility however in timings and placement arrangements according to training needs and interests, provided competencies in the core areas have been attained.

The aim is to arrange placements that meet the requirements of clinical psychology training whilst offering some flexibility to account for the particular needs, interests and career aspirations of the trainee. There is a personal planning and training needs assessment process which is central to making such arrangements work.

A range of other specialisations may also be developed, based on trainee career aspirations and NHS requirements, availability of appropriate expertise and supervisory capacity. Such specialisation can begin relatively early in the course. Assuming sufficient development of core professional competencies, specialisation can be emphasised during the third year of the course through elective placements.

Our training programme works in close partnership with NHS trusts in the South West region. This includes Avon and Wiltshire Partnership, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Mental Health, North Bristol NHS Trust, Sirona and HCRG. We also work with other providers including charities and Student Services. Together, these services provide a range of excellent training placements.

To access the opportunities across the wide region, and meet their training needs, trainees will need to travel over the course of training. It is the responsibility of the trainee to be able to get to their placement and to fulfil the need of work associated with that placement. You are therefore expected to drive your own car or to provide your own transport means and given the rural localities please note public transport is not always available.

Reasonable adjustments are made as required for those trainees with a disability that may prevent them from driving. If you think this applies to you please contact

Currently, candidates do not need a full licence at the point of applying. However any offer made to you would be conditional upon you confirming that you will have a valid driving licence and access to a suitable vehicle (or that you will be able to organise suitable independent transport links) for any placements.

Research content

Consistent with the aim to train competent scientist-practitioners, the course has a strong emphasis on research and service-evaluation. The thesis assessed at viva comprises three projects:

  • service-related project
  • literature review
  • main research project

all to be completed by May of the third year.

Trainees are supported in their research activities by a primary and secondary research supervisor. Research supervisors are drawn from the DClin programme team and wider university departments, as well as the pool of clinical psychologists working within the region. All trainees involve people with personal experience in one or more of the three projects.

The research projects are presented in a portfolio in a style suitable for publication in an appropriate journal, with at least one being of a publishable standard, rather than as a thesis which must then be rewritten for publication. This will help trainees develop skills in writing for publication and ensure that much of the high- quality work conducted by trainees finds its way into journals.

See a list of trainee publications.

Professional Development

Professional development is a crucial element of doctoral study, not only in supporting your research but also as part of your longer term career development. Our DoctoralSkills workshops and courses will help you build your skills and help you succeed in your doctorate.

Read more about professional development support


Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Portfolio
  • Work-based placement

Assessment description

Assessment of academic, clinical and research competence takes place across the course of the three years. This will take the form of:

  • Five case studies. Each case study is an academic report based on a piece of clinical work undertaken on placement. Case studies demonstrate skills in psychological practice and knowledge of the wider theory and research base, as well as evidence of self-reflection and cultural awareness.
  • Clinical competencies will be regularly assessed by your placement supervisor(s). Your clinical supervisor will offer regular supervision and observation of your clinical work. You will complete formal direct assessments of clinical competency twice in each placement, with additional informal observations from your supervisor(s). Your clinical tutor will attend a Mid Placement Review meeting half-way through each placement with you and your supervisor(s), and if there are outstanding training needs or essential competencies to be met in order to pass placement these will be identified, and a plan put in place to ensure these are met. There will be a final End of Placement Review meeting towards the end of each placement and at this point all relevant competencies must be passed in order to pass the placement and proceed onto the next placement.
  • Annual appraisal
  • Reflective narrative
  • Research conference presentation
  • Developmentally appropriate cognitive assessments
  • Research Project Proposals – you will write a proposal for each of the projects which makes up your portfolio
  • Research portfolio/Viva – your research portfolio will be examined in a viva towards the end of the final year of the programme.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

You must meet a range of essential criteria to be considered for a place on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course.

Academic qualifications - 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).

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.

Professional requirements

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).

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.

Other requirements

Desirable criteria:

Appropriate research experience - research development, co-ordination, co-production of research with people with personal experience (PPE) and stakeholders, ethics-approval and dissemination (for example) are rated more highly than data collection/entry. Research development, co-ordination, ethics-approval and dissemination (for example) are rated more highly than data collection/entry.

Appropriate clinical work experience - we give credit for the following types of relevant clinical experience:

  • 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 delivering psychological intervention under appropriate supervision (such as an assistant psychologist or psychological wellbeing practitioner)
  • structured clinical or neuropsychological assessments

We value voluntary work and commitment to social change and environmental issues.

Publications - we give credit for authorship of publications in peer-reviewed journals where the candidate has evidenced their contribution to the work. We 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

All places are NHS funded. We do not currently offer any self-funded places. 

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.

Eligibility for Home/EU fee status - find out more about eligibility and fee status.

Eligibility for Funding - Health Education England South West commissions the course and provides trainees with financial support. You must ensure before applying that you are eligible for both home fees status and have the right to work in the UK. For any queries regarding eligibility, general immigration and residence requirements, see the Clearing House website and the HEE funding for psychological professions training programmes FAQs.

Ability to transport yourself to placement locations - You are therefore expected to drive your own car or to provide your own transport means and given the rural localities please note public transport is not always available.
Reasonable adjustments are made as required for those trainees with a disability that may prevent them from driving. If you think this applies to you please contact

English Language requirements

You need either of the following:

  • IELTS: a minimum score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each element
  • TOEFL IBT: a score of 600 paper-based or 250 computer-based
  • a completed degree in an English-speaking country studied for at least three years

You need to have gained your English language qualification within 12 months before you apply for the course.


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.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding information for Clinical Psychology DClinPsy


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees are liable to increase annually for all University of Bath students. If you aren't paying your fees in British pounds, you should also budget for possible fluctuations in your own currency.

Find out more about student fees

How to pay

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card or bank transfer.

Read more about your payment options

Application information

  • Programme title
    Clinical Psychology DClinPsy
  • Final award
  • Mode of study
  • Course code
  • Department
  • Location
    University of Bath
    Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY
  • Application deadline

    For a September/October start the deadline is the November in the preceding calendar year for UK students only.

  • Regulator

Selection process

We will review all applications received and compile a short-list. If you are to be considered for this course then you will be invited for an interview.

All correspondence regarding the selection process will be sent via email, using the email address on the Clearing House application form. Successful candidates are notified by telephone as soon as possible after the interviews. Reserve list and unsuccessful candidates are notified by email in the first instance and general interview feedback is provided by email.

Formal offers will be sent out after the interviews by email. Reserve list candidates will be kept informed of any significant changes regarding their place on the reserve list.

If you are accepted on to the course you will be an employee of the NHS for the duration of your training. Trainees on our course will be employed by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

You will receive salary support paid at Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scale.

Any offer of a place will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of pre-employment checks, including an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and an Occupational Health check, both carried out by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Any offer of a place will be conditional upon you confirming that you are able to organise suitable independent transport links for any placements. Ideally this would be a valid driving licence and access to a suitable vehicle.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) publication, a disabled person’s guide to becoming a health professional.

Find out more about pre-employment checks for candidates with EU nationalities, including settled status.

Programme enquiries

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