PsychD Practitioner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
- Programme director
- Mary John
- Programme length
- Full-time: 36 months
- Programme start date
- September 2013
This programme leads to eligibility for registration with the Health Professions council and for chartered status with the BPS.
The PsychD Practitioner Doctorate programme is a three-year full-time programme which leads to eligibility for registration with the Health Professions Council and for chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Clinical psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and to enhance and promote psychological wellbeing. This means working with individuals, couples and families presenting with mild to severe and enduring difficulties. This can be within the community mental or physical health contexts. They work with people throughout their life-span and with those with learning disabilities.
The Practitioner Doctorate aims to provide highcalibre professional clinical psychology training based on a coherent synthesis of psychological theory, research and practice. The programme integrates three elements:
- Academic: a comprehensive review of the major academic areas of clinical psychology
- Research: the development of theoretical and research skills, generating novel research, development and evaluation of all aspects of clinical practice
- Clinical: high-quality training in clinical skills
Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the BPS; a minimum of a 2.1 degree in psychology is typically required; at least nine months’ (whole time equivalent) sustained, recent experience in clinically related areas. As the programme is training professionals for the NHS, we cannot accept applications from non-EU countries. Entry to this programme is conditional on a satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.
Applicants are required to hold a current, valid UK driving licence and have access to a car for work purposes.
All communications with the University, written or verbal, may form part of the selection process.
English language requirements
IELTS minimum overall: 7.0
IELTS minimum by component:
We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Fees and funding
All fees are subject to increase or review for subsequent academic years. Please note that not all visa routes permit part-time study and overseas students entering the UK on a Tier 4 visa will not be permitted to study on a part-time basis.
|Programme name||Study mode||Start date||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees|
|PsychD Practitioner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology||Full-time||Sept 2013||Please see note above||Not applicable|
Programme Content and Structure
Training commences with a five-week teaching block that offers experiential therapy skills in preparation for the first placement. You will complete a year-long adult placement in the first year. In the second year, you will complete a placement in two of the following areas: children, people with learning difficulties, and old people. In the third year, you will complete two further placements: the remaining placements not taken in Year 2 and a specialist placement. For the second and third years, you will normally be on placement for three days a week. Throughout the three years of training, you will have regular opportunities to link theory and practice through discussions with clinical and research supervisors, within personal and professional learning development groups, problem-based learning and regular meetings with a mentor. These discussions also provide an opportunity for reflection, personal and professional learning, exploration of difference and diversity, the transferability of clinical competencies and knowledge across placements.
Teaching and research are scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays and placements are scheduled for Wednesdays to Fridays. Study time is also allocated within the timetable. Models of teaching as well as content are regularly reviewed, in consultation with trainees and regional clinical psychologists. Research training is provided through a series of lectures on both quantitative and qualitative methods and put into practice through a service-related research project, a qualitative group project and a major research project. As with all elements in the programme, this is well supported by close supervision.
Year 1 of Training
|Academic Topics will be organised around core competencies and include an emphasis upon the following:||Clinical Placement|
|Issues of diversity and difference||Adult Services|
|Development and understanding of the therapeutic relationship||Adult Services|
|Basic therapy skills||Adult Services|
|Life-span approaches||Adult Services|
|Development of skills of reflexivity and self-reflexivity||Adult Services|
|Specific and complex forms of distress presenting in adults||Adult Services|
|Foundations in research design, methodology and statistics||Adult Services|
|Qualitative research methods||Adult Services|
|Neuropsychology and psychometric assessment||Adult Services|
|Professional roles, organisations and their contexts||Adult Services|
|Service-related research project (This can be taken in Year 1 or any of the subsequent two years)|
|Qualitative group project|
Year 2 of Training
|Academic Topics in addition to those built upon from Year 1 will include:||Clinical Placement|
(6 months’ duration)
|Models of therapy – CBT, systemic and psychodynamic||Two of the following three areas: Child and Family Services, people with learning difficulties, older people.|
|Forms of distress presenting in children and adolescents|
|The psychology of older people|
|Working with people who have learning disabilities|
|Foundations in research design, methodology and statistics|
Year 3 of Training
|Academic Topics Advanced workshops including:||Clinical Placement|
(6 months’ duration)
|Two placements to include the third area that was not undertaken in Year 2 and a specialist placement.|
|Models of therapy – CBT, systemic and psychodynamic||Older people|
|Psychology and the law||Older people|
|Professional roles, organisations and their contexts||Specialist|
Research assignments to include a service-related research project, which can be undertaken at a number of points across the three years, a literature review in the first half of the first year, a qualitative project within the second half of the first year, and a major research project which commences at the end of the first year and is submitted in early summer of the final year.
The programme is approved by the Health Professions Council and accredited by the British Psychological Society. On completion of the programme, trainees are eligible to apply for registration with the Health Professions Council and for chartership with the British Psychological Society.
All three clinical, academic and research components of the programme are assessed. At the end of the programme, trainees submit a portfolio of their work covering academic, clinical and research competence.
Assessment is undertaken through a variety of methods, including essays, problem-based learning exercises, literature reviews, reflective accounts and oral presentations of clinical work. All of these should demonstrate the ability for critical and reflexive thinking, a knowledge of psychological theories and their application to practice, as well as an understanding of clinical and professional issues.
Assessment is via written and oral case reports, supervisor evaluation on placement and logbooks. The five case reports (four written, of 5,000 words each, and one oral) are submitted and assessed at six-monthly intervals.
Assessment of research competencies is via a multiple choice examination in statistics; a service-related research project undertaken in an NHS Trust (3,000 words); a group project in qualitative research methods; and a major research project (20,000 words) which will be submitted as a literature review and a paper for publication. These assignments should demonstrate research skills in a variety of domains and cover exploratory, descriptive and confirmatory strategies. The research must include empirical work judged to constitute a contribution to knowledge or practice, and evidence of originality should be demonstrated by the discovery of new facts or by the exercise of independent critical judgement.
Clinical Psychology at Surrey
A core philosophy of the Practitioner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is the application of academic and research rigour to health and social care contexts. Our programme stresses the need for clinical psychologists to be responsive to changes within the health and social care sectors. As such, the programme emphasises the development of leadership skills so that clinical psychologists are able to integrate, operate and initiate applied clinical psychology theoretical knowledge within community and public, voluntary and organisational systems.
The programme team, and the Department as a whole, is involved in research related to the clinical domain, with particular interests in the following areas:
- Trauma and loss
- Cognitive models of phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Positive psychology and wellbeing, including men’s access to services
- Personality disorders
- Service provision for adults with learning disabilities
- Meaning of psychotic experiences and recovery from psychosis
- User involvement in research and training
- Leadership and organisational-related issues
- Representations of disability
- Process of change within therapy
- Health-related audits
- Shame in young people and its influence on psychosocial functioning
We expect that trainees will do research in one of these interest areas. Programme team members have expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and close research and teaching links exist to the wider Department of Psychology.
Psychology professional expertise
The programme is run jointly with regional health service psychologists and NHS Trusts, and utilises professional expertise across all of the specialist areas of clinical psychology. Trainees are on clinical placement for two and a half days a week, with the remaining time being divided between academic, research and personal study time.
We provide learning environments at the University and in NHS and other health and social care settings to allow for the utilisation, integration and evaluation of a broad range of theoretical perspectives, including the major models of psychotherapy, as well as a wide psychological knowledge, scientific and research base. In undertaking these processes, the trainee will be able to integrate a scientist-practitioner and reflective-practitioner approach in their work. The teaching and supervision provides opportunities to consult and collaborate with professional colleagues, service users and carers to ensure the development of responsive and high-quality clinical practice.
The programme is commissioned by the South of England Strategic Health Authority on behalf of the London area, as well as their own area. The Strategic Health Authority provides financial support to cover the fees of the trainees and their salaries, and the occupational benefits.
Your professional contribution
We develop trainees who will contribute to the health service through:
- A commitment to the maintenance and delivery of high-quality clinical practice grounded in respect for clients from all backgrounds
- The application of reflective, rigorous and flexible thinking to all aspects of clinical psychology practice
- An ability to utilise and evaluate psychological theories, knowledge and practice from a wide-ranging clinical, scientific and research base
- Competence in selecting psychological theory, research and practice appropriate to the context and client groups to which they are applied
- The ability to function effectively in a range of social, cultural and organisational environments
- Self-awareness of their personal and professional development, and the implications for clinical practice
- Active engagement with service users’ and carers’ views and priorities
- A commitment to working within multidisciplinary settings and with colleagues from other disciplines
Clinical Psychology as a career
Most clinical psychologists work within the health and social care sectors. Over the last few years, the Department of Health has been attempting to increase the profession by 15 per cent to meet the psychological and psychotherapeutic needs of the population.
Following the success of the National Service Framework for Mental Health, the government has developed a set of proposals, embedded within the New Horizons document, stating that wellbeing and mental health should be supported. Recently the government published ‘No health without mental health: a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for peoples of all ages’. Clinical psychologists will be crucial in delivering this agenda. Contrary to what many potential applicants think, it is not impossible to gain a place on a clinical psychology training course.
At the University of Surrey, we are committed to equality of opportunity of access to clinical training. We value diversity and welcome applications from individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, whether in terms of ethnicity, educational or social background, previous career path, age, gender, disability or sexuality.
The Department of Health has raised the profile of applied psychologists in addressing the health of the nation. Applied psychologists are cited in a number of the national service frameworks as necessary for the effective delivery of services. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has published guidance in a number of areas, stipulating the need for psychological assessment and psychological therapy access. There is convincing evidence that talking therapies can make a significant difference to people presenting with the widest spectrum of psychological difficulties.
Psychology at Surrey
The Department of Psychology at the University of Surrey is one of the most active and highly regarded psychology departments in the country. We specialise in applied and policy-oriented teaching and research within a strong theoretical context. The international, interdisciplinary, policy and applied strengths of the Department mean that students’ theoretical and methodological research puts them at the cutting edge of the discipline.
We are one of the highest ranked departments in the country for graduates entering employment, and also one of the largest providers of postgraduate training in the UK.
The Department of Psychology at the University of Surrey has been the centre for many cross-national studies and has attracted funding from research councils and local and national government departments, such as ESF, Defra, the MoD, the Home Office, the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency, Surrey County Council and the EU.
If you choose to study psychology at the University of Surrey, you will be provided with a combination of opportunities that would be hard to match elsewhere. We offer you a degree that provides a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of contemporary psychology. Our programmes lay particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, and also consider issues related to professional practice in preparation for your career as a professional psychologist.
The basis of good postgraduate courses is the research activity of staff, the incorporation of current research programmes in teaching material and a reciprocal relationship between theory development and applied research in everyday contemporary issues. We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the Department through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects. As a student of the Department of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.