Practitioner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology PsychD

Moving here from the other side of the world was one of the best life decisions I have ever made.

Y. Gavriel Ansara PhD Psychology

Why choose this course?

The PsychD Practitioner Doctorate Programme is a three-year full-time Programme which leads to eligibility for registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and for chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The Clinical Psychology training programme at Surrey promotes the NHS values which are enshrined within the NHS constitution. These are: Everyone counts, respect and dignity for all, improving people’s lives, compassion, working together for patients and a commitment to the quality of care.

The programme team is dedicated to recruiting graduates whose individual values and behaviours align to those of the NHS.

What you will study

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 lifespan and with those with learning disabilities.

The Practitioner Doctorate provides high-calibre 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.

Programme content and structure

The Programme is a three-year full-time Programme which consists of an academic and research taught and experiential component with associated workshops to support the integration of the research knowledge.

Clinical skills are taught at the University as well as on health and social care practice placements. Half the time is spent on the academic and research elements of the programme, including some self-directed study time, with the remaining time being spent acquiring professional and clinical skills. 

The Surrey approach is to provide an applied psychology training that has an integrative basis for practice combining pan-theoretical psychological models with psychotherapeutic practice.

Time is spent both clinically and academically addressing the integration of theory and practice.  In clinical practice this is undertaken in supervision, within the university environment a number of learning experiences have been developed to provide opportunities to link theory with practice and to reflect on this process, e.g. skills groups and the personal and professional learning discussion groups, which are further supported by meetings with tutors and mentors.

There is a series of lectures and workshops, grouped together in teaching units, which provide the theoretical context for understanding the presenting clinical or organisational issues or dilemmas.

As the Programme is a degree by research, all academic assignments need to be individually passed at D level with a viva voce examination of the major research element of the training. All the clinical placements need to be passed.

There are no compensatory systems in place. The time distribution for academic / research work and clinical skill development has formally been set by the BPS to ensure that there is sufficient time to integrate the two aspects of the course.

At Surrey, the philosophy is to support the trainees’ considering themselves as applied scientists within the domain of clinical psychology who innovate and generate impact and not just as practitioners who consume research.

Below is an outline of the curriculum and the associated structure of the Programme.

The overall aims are as follows:

Primary aims:

  • Enable trainees to achieve the indicative content as laid down by the Health and Care Professions Council and the BPS
  • Ensure that trainees are prepared to practise safely and effectively, and in such a way that the protection of the public is assured
  • Enable trainees to utilise, integrate and evaluate a broad theoretical perspective including the major models of psychotherapy and to draw upon a wide psychological and social science knowledge and scientific practice and research base
  • Enable the achievement of knowledge, understanding and skill acquisition as well as the development of critical thinking, problem solving and reflective capacities essential to complex professional practice
  • Able to select psychological theory (and other social science theory as appropriate), research and practice that will be appropriate to the diverse contexts in which they are applied
  • Committed to the maintenance, development and delivery of high quality applied psychological clinical practice and services
  • Develop the capacity to contribute to the wider healthcare agenda through assessment, formulation, intervention, evaluation, consultation and leadership to enable and support clinical effectiveness and clinical governance
  • Committed to consultation/collaboration with service users and carers
  • Able to function effectively, professionally and responsibly in a range of social, cultural and organisational environments
  • Aware of, responsive to, and able to represent the changing needs of the profession within the larger organisational contexts within which it operates e.g.  local NHS Trusts and the University of Surrey
  • Sensitive and responsive to difference and diversity in client and population needs across the lifespan
  • Able to understand, and effectively communicate, the role of clinical psychology in a variety of social, cultural, and organisational contexts
  • Able to integrate a scientist practitioner/reflective practitioner approach in their work
  • Aware of the need to foster their personal and professional development and to look after their own emotional and physical well-being

The Programme objectives have, as their purpose, the development of clinical psychologists who:

  • Have a high level of skills resting upon the integration of psychological theory, research and practice
  • Are able to draw upon a wide social science theoretical and research knowledge base and to apply this appropriately in their clinical practice
  • Have an understanding of research theory and methodology, and a commitment to the application of these principles in the evaluation and development of clinical practice
  • Use specialist assessment skills, formulation and complex problem solving skills utilising psychological theory and research and their clinical application
  • Have a rigorous, disciplined and reflective approach to clinical practice alongside an understanding of, and sensitivity to, cultural differences and the individual and diverse needs of clients
  • Are committed to the implementation of Equal Opportunities in all aspects of their professional practice
  • Consult and collaborate with service users and carers and ex-service-users
  • Are able to work effectively within a variety of professional contexts whilst taking account of organisational structures, systems and processes
  • Are aware of, and responsive to, professional issues and the changing needs of the profession, and will work actively to promote service development
  • Follow the ethical guidelines of the HCPC and the BPS and practise within the limits of their own knowledge and competence
  • Have a commitment to lifelong learning and the role of continued professional development, self-care and reflective practice in order to improve their practice throughout their career

Intended programme outcomes:

The PsychD training Programme provides opportunities for the trainees to develop and demonstrate knowledge, understanding, skills, and competencies. These will be achieved by:

  • Providing a comprehensive and responsive academic Programme based on an integration of theory, experience, research and practice in clinical psychology

This will be facilitated by a collaborative approach from health service practitioners including clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, pharmacologists, Programme staff, and with consultation/involvement of service users and carers;

  • Providing research training and supervision

This will include a working knowledge of computer usage and statistics

  • Providing supervised clinical placements in the practice of clinical psychology across the lifespan

This includes adults, older people, those with learning disabilities, children and families, and in a variety of service contexts including those such as health, neuropsychology, and specialist psychotherapy services

  • Providing a broad training in clinical and professional issues

This enables trainees to practise in an ethical and culturally sensitive manner with a high degree of professionalism and to pay attention to personal and professional development over their careers

  • Providing opportunities to reflect on learning style and the need for ongoing professional development and reflection
  • Providing training in working within organisational contexts with local, regional and national agendas

Specifically, the PsychD Programme provides opportunities for the trainees to develop and demonstrate this knowledge and understanding and these qualities and skills in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

The teaching units will, over the three years, provide the newly qualified graduates with a substantial body of psychological knowledge embedded within research and its application to the health and social care sector. 

The knowledge will embrace an appreciation of psychological development and will take account of difference and diversity and difficulties across the lifespan and in a variety of contexts. 

The trainees will be able to apply this knowledge to the assessment and understanding of a wide range of presenting problems for individuals, families, groups, teams, organisations and agencies, and will be able to consider and appreciate the merits of a variety of approaches to intervention.  This application will include being able to tolerate uncertainty in critical, high risk, and highly distressing contexts.

The trainees will be able to formulate and reformulate, as well as conceptualise as appropriate, using the applied psychological models or psychotherapeutic approaches adopted across a broad range of health and social care settings with a variety of presenting problems and situations, including those related to individuals, groups and organisations. 

They will be conversant with pan-theoretical ways of understanding a presenting problem and be able to integrate information using bio-psychosocial frameworks in various contexts and with a range of presenting difficulties. They will be able to provide a critical perspective on diagnosis and formulations and will be able to work with these constructs to support the wellbeing of service users.

Cognitive and intellectual skills

On qualifying, the trainees will be familiar with a broad evidence-base so as to be able to generalise and synthesise prior knowledge flexibly in different situations and develop, as needed, novel interventions whilst paying attention to ethical and professional guidance. 

The trainees will be able to assess psychologically, utilising a range of assessment methodologies and procedures across a wide range of client groups and service delivery systems as required for practice in the NHS, social services and other healthcare systems.

In relation to interventions, these will be based on the formulation derived and will be flexible so as to be person-centred and collaborative with the service user and carer/s.  Trainees will be able to work with a wide range of client groups in their various contexts with a range of presenting difficulties.

The trainees will be able to evaluate the effectiveness, acceptability and broader impact of their intervention at individual, interpersonal and organisational levels, and in undertaking this process will be able to shape and inform practice, as well as generating unique procedures for the service user’s benefit.

The trainees will be able to utilise the wide variety of evidence-based and practice-based materials and critically evaluate them in light of their relevance to clinical practice. The trainees will acquire the cognitive skills associated with supervision and leadership.

Practical skills

On qualification, the trainees will be in a position to critically evaluate available evidence, and undertake a synthesis of the material to inform and facilitate the formulation of research questions; this will take place within the clinical or community contexts. They will also be able to translate the findings to inform future practice.

Against the backdrop of extant evidenced-based research they will be able to assess on the basis of hypothesising, have an ability to intervene on the basis of a formulation, and be able to implement a range of applied psychology and psychotherapeutic interventions across a range of client groups and service settings. 

Additionally, they will be in a position to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention and its utility at individual, interpersonal and organisational levels and, in so applying their skills, will be able to shape and inform practice as well as devise innovative solutions.

The Programme will enable the trainees to develop skills of self-awareness and reflexivity which lead to and support ethical and culturally-sensitive practice, addressing the needs of others.

They will also be mindful of self-management and self-care, and the ongoing need for self-directed study that maintains and supports professional development.  Personal and professional skills, which lead to effective oral and written communication and decision-making in a timely way across a number of specific tasks (supervision, consultation, direct and indirect work), as well as practice contexts, will also have been developed.

At the end of training, the trainee will have acquired the necessary personal and professional skills to operate safely, ethically and collaboratively and to do so in an appropriate, independent, autonomous manner which is consistent with their role in their employing organisation. 

They will have acquired an understanding of consultation, training, supervision and leadership, organisational and employer contexts and the policy drivers from public organisations such as the Department of Health and Department of Children, Schools and Families. 

Finally, they will have acquired the skills to work with a variety of disciplines and professionals within and outside the health service, including service users and carers, and be able to contribute to multidisciplinary teams, supervision and consultation processes.

Key transferable skills

On graduation, the trainees will be in a position to assess and intervene on the basis of a pan- theoretical formulation and to implement a variety of psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions across a range of client groups, lifespan and service contexts. 

This practice will be ethically safe and collaborative, and the individual trainee will be able to work with appropriate levels of autonomy and accountability within Health and Social Care and community settings. 

Communication skills will be well developed, resulting in timely, effective communication and decision making across practice contexts and referral sources, and with service users and carers directly and indirectly. Trainees will also be able to supervise, consult and teach a broad range of disciplines on topics that are within their competence. 

They will be able to undertake evaluation and audit processes as well as apply quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to questions posed.  The trainees will be sensitive and self-aware, which will allow them to practise ethically and in a culturally appropriate manner.  They will be able to use IT and other information management systems. 

Trainees will take an adult approach to learning to sustain their competencies as well as keeping up to date with evolving evidence bases.


The induction teaching block will provide training in the fundamental aspects of clinical practice and how these are related to the evidence base.  These include:

  • Basic therapy skills
  • An introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy, systemic psychotherapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy approaches
  • A lifespan approach; working with diversity and difference
  • Problem based learning and case discussion groups
  • Neurological and psychometric approaches as relevant to lifespan issues
  • Experience of integrating the reflective practitioner with that of the scientist practitioner
  • Two day introduction to working as a health professional and undertaking mandatory training run by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Following the induction teaching block, which lasts for a full five weeks, the trainees commence clinical practice and then return weekly to the University for two days of teaching or study/research whilst having two and half days on clinical placement and half a day for private study.


Your research development will be carefully monitored by the programme team throughout the three years of the training.

This will take the form of research supervision (40 hours in total), research workshops that focus on literature review and research proposal writing, seminars on critical academic writing skills, taught units that focus on qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, and trainee presentations of research proposals in Year 2 for formative feedback prior to assignment submission and viva voce examination.

Please note that access to further support for postgraduate research development (see Research Development Programme) will not always be possible due to programme and clinical placement demands that take precedence. 

When there is no clash in time tables or clinical placement attendance trainees are strongly encouraged to join departmental research development workshops and training. 

Year 1 of training

In Year One, the trainees have placement experience and supervised practice within a range of services for adults with mental health problems.

The academic component of the Programme consists of a number of teaching units, which are listed below. All these lectures are compulsory

Teaching Units

  • Building a Therapeutic Alliance
  • Complex Psychological Presentations and Evidence Based Interventions
  • Leadership and Organisational Issues
  • Neuropsychology
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Professional Practice
  • Research Methods
  • The Social Context of Clinical Psychology
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – Attachment Theory
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – CBT (Foundation)
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – Systemic Approaches (Foundation)

From the summer

  • Adults in Later Life
  • Children, Young People and Families
  • People with Learning Disabilities
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – Psychodynamic Approaches 

Year 2 of training

In Year Two the trainees have placement experience and supervised practice within two of the following three settings: child and family; learning disabilities; and older people services.  The placements are for six months each, with the trainees being on placement for two and a half days each week, with half a day for private study and two days at the University for teaching and research.

Teaching Units

Many of the teaching units continue in the second year

  • Adults in Later Life
  • Children, Young People and Families
  • People with Learning Disabilities
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Professional Practice
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – CBT (Foundation)
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – Psychodynamic Approaches
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – Systemic Approaches (Foundation)
  • Neuropsychology
  • Research Methods
  • Leadership and Organisational Issues 

Year 3 of training

Placement experience within the third year is currently configured such that the trainees are on two six-month placements for two and a half days each week - usually a specialist placement of the trainee’s choice, and an older adult, child and family, or learning disability placement (the choice depends on what the trainee has undertaken in the second year).

Teaching Units

  • Long Term Conditions
  • Leadership and Organisational Issues
  • Neuropsychology
  • Complex Psychological Presentations and Evidence Based Interventions
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Research Methods
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – Attachment Theory

Trainees have an option to choose one of the following

  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – IPT (Advanced)
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – CBT (Advanced)
  • Therapeutic Models and Processes – Systemic (Advanced)

Over the course of the three years, the trainees build up the breadth and depth of their clinical skills, in both applied psychology and psychotherapy so that by the end of the Programme they are equipped to work across a wide variety of organisational and community contexts with clients presenting in acute inpatient and outpatient, palliative care, rehabilitation, and community settings as well as across the lifespan.

The trainees have formal teaching and private study time for half of their time during the three years of full time training (52 weeks a year); the remaining time is spent in clinical practice. In August, although there is no formal teaching, clinical and research supervision continues throughout this month.

The programme is structured so that most teaching occurs in parallel or before their clinical placements to ensure that the trainees are equipped to work effectively and safely with their clients.

The assessment of the academic work is through literature reviews, reports of clinical activity, problem based learning, reflexive accounts, presentations and oral presentations of clinical material.  The research components of the programme are assessed through the following:

  • Reports of clinical activity which address N=1 designs, and the evaluation of clinical work undertaken
  • Service related research project which provides the trainees with an opportunity to design and undertake a service evaluation or an audit
  • Major research project involving a literature survey to enable the trainees to scope the identified research area and create a research question, a research proposal, a systematic literature review, and an empirical paper

A list of summative assignments is outlined below. In addition, the trainees have a number of formative pieces of work to enable them to develop Doctoral level skills.

All the academic assessments are awarded either a pass, borderline or fail. Overall clinical competence is assessed on a six point scale: pass, excellent pass, good pass, pass, low pass, borderline pass, and fail.

Schedule of Assessments – Year One







Presentation of Problem-Based Learning Exercise  (PBL-P)




Placement contract (PC)




WAIS Interpretation Report (WIR)




Service Related Project proposal (SRP-P)




Clinical Skills Assessment: Practice Report of Clinical Activity (PRCA)




MRP Literature Survey (reviewed by research supervisor and research progression dependent on satisfactory performance) (MRP-LS)

Research Progression



Clinical Skills Assessment: Report of Clinical Activity (n=1) (RCA(n=1))




Clinical Skills Assessment: Audio Recording of Clinical Activity with Critical Appraisal (CSA)




MRP Proposal (reviewed by Research Governance Committee and research progression dependent on approval by that committee)  (MRP-P)

Research Progression



SRP Report (SRP)



Schedule of Assessments – Year Two







MRP Literature Review (reviewed by research supervisor and research progression dependent on satisfactory performance) (MRP-LR)

Research Progression



Report of Clinical Activity/Report of Clinical Activity- Formal Assessment (RCA/RCA-FA)




Personal and Professional Learning Discussion Group Process Account (PPLD)




Presentation of Clinical Activity (PCA)



Schedule of Assessments – Year Three







Final draft of MRP Empirical Paper to supervisor (reviewed by research supervisor and research progression dependent on satisfactory performance) (MRP)

Research Progression



MRP Literature Review and Empirical Paper submitted for examination by Viva Voce in May Year 3

Research Progression



Report of Clinical Activity/Report of Clinical Activity- Formal Assessment (RCA/RCA-FA)




Viva Voce Examination of MRP Literature Review and Empirical Paper




Final Year Reflective Account (FR)



The supervisors monitor progress with research on a monthly basis and at each formal appraisal point. The literature review and the empirical paper are orally examined. This is in line with the research code of practice. 

Clinical skills are monitored and assessed regularly at approximately three monthly intervals against a specific set of competencies.  During the clinical assessment process, trainees are asked to reflect on their own performance as well as gaining feedback from the supervisor and visiting the clinical tutor.

The workshops provide an opportunity for the trainees to gain relevant subject knowledge and understanding of the applied psychology models within a developmental and service context. 

The Programme structure and teaching methods facilitate the trainees in being able to interrogate this extensive knowledge base and to debate issues within a containing environment with their peers, supervisors, mentor, clinical colleagues and clients. 

Owing to the integrated nature of the Programme the learning aims, in terms of subject knowledge, cognitive, practical and transferable skills are outlined in an integrative manner as they are embedded within each of the workshops and are transferable between each. 

The clinical placements provide learning opportunities, which are developed and tailored to enable the trainees to gain the necessary clinical skills and competencies. The specific learning opportunities and skills needing to be gained or further developed are undertaken in collaboration with the local Trusts and with appropriately skilled supervisors. 

The Clinical Tutors are in frequent liaison with the Trusts to ensure that the Trust’s staff, and the Human Resources Department’s managers and supervisors, are aware of a trainee’s arrival on placement and the need for induction to ensure client safety. 

The trainee’s preparation for the placement experience is organised through a series of directed study days which cover the health and safety aspects of working within the Sector and the therapeutic skills needed to be able to engage in meaningful interactions with clients, their carers, and the networks supporting them.

Required pre-requisites or co-requisites for study

As this Programme is commissioned by Health Education England, Kent Surrey and Sussex, the demands of the Commissioners are organising in terms of ensuring the Programme team are able to deliver the necessary workforce.

The most recent agenda follows the publication of the Francis Report which requires  practitioners to be compassionate, able to provide care, competent at the level recruited to, able to communicate effectively, to have the necessary courage to stand up for the client using the service, and to be committed to the values of the NHS.

The Programme’s admissions team are mapping the selection process to this agenda to ensure that we are recruiting trainees who uphold these values and skills at the outset of their careers as a clinical psychologist.

Prior to commencing the training Programme, the applicants are required to have a 2.1 or higher degree classification.  If they have not been awarded these classifications, the applicant needs to demonstrate that they have the ability to work at this level.  Compensatory degrees such as a Master’s degree in research or a PhD demonstrate this ability. 

Prospective candidates also must have a recognised degree in psychology that confers Graduate basis for Registration with the British Psychological Society (GBC). If the applicant’s degree is not in Psychology, an accredited conversion degree that confers eligibility for GBC will be required. 

Applicant must have had at least nine months of clinical or clinically relevant research experience; this experience would typically be supervised by someone with knowledge of psychological theories and models.

The experience can be gained in health and social care settings, but the setting in and of itself is not a pre-requisite.  Skills and competencies gained in other public, private or independent sectors will be considered on their merit. Applicants are not expected to have extensive previous experience in a range of settings – what is important is that they are able to demonstrate how their experience has allowed them to apply psychological principles in practice. Experience needs to be sustained and gained within the last 3 years.

If applicants are not using their current employer for their clinical reference, the reason for this must be stated on the application form.  Where the applicants has more than one employer, the reason for their choice must be stated.

Applications are expected to be well written, demonstrating a good grasp of the English language.  Applicants must possess a full valid driving licence by the date of the written test in February.

Selection process

Those satisfying the minimum entry requirements will be invited to sit a written test and an online test.  The date for the written test will be Saturday February 17th February 2018.  The online test will evaluate critical thinking skills and capacity for making judgements in complex situations.


The top ranking candidates from these elements will be invited to interview.  Interview dates for 2018 are 16th, 17th and 18th April.

Ethical issues

The trainees undertake research within both clinical and community environments.  These projects require scrutiny by the relevant Ethics and Research & Development committees.  All the trainees’ projects are approved by the Ethics committee at the University, even if they have been scrutinised externally by the NHS ethics review system. 

Clinical and research practice is undertaken under the ethical guidance published by the HCPC (Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students, 2016), the BPS Code of Human Research Ethics (2010), the BPS (Code of Ethics and Conduct, 2009), the BPS (Ethical Principles for Conducting Research with Human Participants, 2009) and the University of Surrey, Code of Practice for Research Degrees, 2013.

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 Health Education England [HEE] Kent, Surrey and Sussex, the Local Education and Training on behalf of the London area, as well as their own area. The HEE KSS LETB currently provides financial support to cover the fees of the trainees and their salaries, and associated 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;
  • Developing their leadership skills to contribute to their local clinical and community contexts;
  • 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. However, with recent NHS reforms clinical psychologists are being employed in a much wider variety of organisations, charities, social enterprises, and small independent organisations delivering psychological assessments and interventions.

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.

Career prospects

The Department of Health has raised the profile of applied psychologists in addressing the health of the nation. 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.

Applied clinical psychologists working in higher-education institutions in collaboration with clinicians in the service are at the forefront of developing this evidence base.

Psychology at Surrey

The School 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 School mean that students’ theoretical and methodological research puts them at the cutting edge of the discipline.

We are one of the highest ranked Schools in the country for graduates entering employment, and also one of the largest providers of postgraduate training in the UK.

The School 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 a good postgraduate clinical psychology course is trainees having access to clinicians who are experts in the field teaching them both at the University and in practice and having access to staff who are research active.

This familiarity ensures that the trainees understand the connection and transferable skills between the various aspect of the scientific practice with these in the integration of the clinical practice.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this programme:

  • Commuting (local travel expenses): Unable to specify amount - Current trainees are full time employees of the health service and have annual leave and travel expenses in line with NHS entitlements.  Candidates for 2018 entry should check for funding updates on the Clearing House web page.

Professional recognition

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PsychD Full-time 36 months September

Entry Requirements

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 (see pre-requisites section for additional details).

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 check by the Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS), formerly known as the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB).

NHS funding is currently available to UK/EU postgraduate students who meet NHS funding requirements, so these students would therefore not be personally liable for payment of tuition fees. No self-funding applicants can be considered. Find further information on the Clearing House website.

Applicants are required to hold a current, valid UK driving licence and have access to transport for work purposes.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 7.0

IELTS minimum by component: 6.5

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.


Study mode UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time TBC N/A

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2017 entry should please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Doctoral College

Our Doctoral College supports researcher excellence and employability across the doctoral and early career stages of the researcher journey.

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Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Our academic staff