- Clinical experience
- Interaction and networking
- Online resources
- Practical sessions
- Real-life case studies
- Research project
- Supervisory team
- Video materials
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. Service users and carers 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.
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, than 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.
- Taught phase
- Writing up
- Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
- Submission for examination
- Examination (Viva Voce)
- Examiners report
- Final submission of thesis / portfolio
- Case Studies 1 and 2
- Placements 1 and 2
- Identification of research projects and initiation
- Case studies 3 and 4
- Placements 3 and 4
- Continuing research projects
- Case study 5
- Placements 5 and 6
- Finalising research project
- Portfolio Submission and Viva Examination
- Final Submission
Teaching attendance is mandatory. The academic teaching works in tandem with clinical placements. The curriculum in the first year covers core competencies in adult and older adult mental health and developmentally appropriate applications of clinical psychology. The latter extends through the second year, covering learning disabilities and children and young peoples’ mental health. The third year, teaching primarily focuses on Clinical Health and specialist areas, as well as the development of higher-level competencies and meta-competencies, such as supervisory, management and leadership abilities.
Neuropsychology teaching takes place primarily in the second year, however, as is the case with professional practice and research teaching, these units are interwoven throughout the three years of the course.
There is also some opportunity for trainee cohorts to choose topics in the academic teaching in the third year.
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, each 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, it is anticipated that the majority of trainees will have one placement of this kind in their final year. However, trainees who wish to gain experience in other specialist areas can choose to do so. For the final year, trainees may opt to have either two six-month placements sequentially or they can have split 12-month placements across two services (usually with two days in one service and one day in another service, swapping this balance after 6 months).
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.
Given the geography and size of the region, and the fact that some services work with vulnerable individuals where home visits are essential, we strongly recommend that trainees have a car plus current valid driving license to access placements which will allow them to meet their training needs, and align to service requirements. This means, they will not restrict training opportunities for themselves or for others. Arrangements will be made for trainees unable to drive through disability.
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.
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.
- Work-based placement
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Appropriate research experience - research development, co-ordination, co-production of research with service users 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
- clinical health psychology
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
- 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.
English Language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
- The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
- TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components
You will need to get your English language qualification within 24 months prior to starting your course.
If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.
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.
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, Island or Overseas student.
Fee information is not yet available for this programme. Tuition fees are liable to increase annually for all University of Bath students.
Programme titleClinical Psychology DClinPsy
Mode of studyFull-time
LocationUniversity of Bath
Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY
For a September/October start the deadline is the November in the preceding calendar year for UK students only.
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.
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.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) publication, a disabled person’s guide to becoming a health professional.
If you are an international student applying for this course, find out more about the visa requirements for studying in the UK.