Clinical Psychology Professional Doctorate

Applications can only be accepted via the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology

The programme is a partnership between Staffordshire University, the NHS, and practising clinical psychologists in the counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire. The core purpose of this programme is to train highly competent clinical psychologists who will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and chartering with the British Psychological Society. An important strand running through the curriculum is the impact of society and context upon psychological wellbeing and the programme has a particular emphasis on reflective practice. We encourage our trainees to be alert to the changing health needs of the population, the NHS and to the research basis that informs their clinical practice. The teaching programme is closely linked to the competence focus of placements in each year in order that the integration of academic, research, and clinical skills can be maximised. The programme has been recently been commended by the BPS for the very high regard in which the Programme team and the programme s trainees are held by both NHS stakeholders and Service Users. The Programme Team is very responsive to their needs and entirely committed to ensuring that Service Users continue to play a highly valued role in the development and successful implementation of the programme. Their involvement is exceptional and not at all tokenistic.

Course content

The trainees' time on the programme is divided between academic work, research and clinical experience. Each year begins with a mandatory induction block to prepare trainees for safe and effective practice in their supervised clinical work. Planned leave may not be taken during the Induction Blocks. Clinical placements start after the induction blocks and range from 25 days per week depending on the time of year and the stage in training. Individual days and blocks of time for private study and research are scheduled throughout each year. Year 1 Modules Seven week Induction Block Personal and Professional Issues 1 Psychological Models 1: Understanding People's Experiences Society & Context 1: Working with Systems and Communities Research Methods for Clinical Psychology 1 Assessing Psychological Processes Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation Placement 1 Year 2 Modules Three week Induction Block Personal and Professional Issues 2 Psychological Models 2: Intervention Society & Context 2: Living with Distress and Disability Research Methods for Clinical Psychology 2 Placement 2 Year 3 Modules Two week Induction Block Research Thesis Placement 3: Working with complex needs and ideas / Elective These modules are supported by regular skills based workshops throughout the year Academic Academic teaching consists of workshops, lectures, seminars, and online learning provided up to 2 days per week throughout the 6 university semesters of the three-year period. It covers a broad range of topics in psychology, providing the knowledge base for practice and training in clinical, professional, therapeutic, and research skills. Teaching in Years 1 and 2 is closely linked with the competencies that are assessed on placements whilst teaching in Year 3 focuses more on specialist skills. Attendance at all teaching sessions is compulsory. Clinical Experience The Clinical Tutor team is responsible for planning placements with each trainee to offer a coherent and effective experience. Clinical placements start after induction blocks and range from 25 days per week depending on the time of year and the stage in training, and take place in a wide range of hospitals, clinics, community centres, and voluntary agencies. In Year 1, trainees are normally placed in the same geographical area as their employer. Trainees have a degree of choice over their 3rd year clinical experience. During each year, trainees work with up to three Main Supervisors who assume responsibility for supervising the work over time periods ranging between 3 months and 12 months. Trainee may also undertake specific pieces of work with other supervisors. Each trainee develops an Individual Learning Plan which is drawn up by the trainee in discussion with the Main Supervisors, the Clinical Tutor and their Personal Tutor. Research The research component of the programme encompasses research methods training (qualitative and quantitative methods) and the process of conducting clinically relevant research. Assessed research activities include critical appraisal of literature; a research proposal; a research methods examination; a service evaluation project; and a major research thesis. The thesis is initiated early in Year 1 and completed in the second semester of Year 3. There is considerable scope for choice of research topic and methodologies, provided that they are in line with national and/or local research priorities and with available supervision. Trainees are cosupervised by academics from Staffordshire University and local clinicians. The thesis is written up as 2 papers of publishable quality in a format suitable for submission to identified peerreviewed journals, plus a commentary/reflective paper. Trainees have access to a wide range of University and NHS library and online resources to support research activity. Assessment The assessment strategy comprises a system of continuous assessment and examinations designed to sample fully and equally academic, clinical, and research work.

Professional Doctorate Award
September Start
Full-time Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

Candidates should have a good honours degree (2:1 or 1st) in psychology or equivalent qualification. Applicants must also demonstrate eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society. Candidates are required to have a minimum of one year fulltime (or parttime equivalent) practical experience of working with people in a human service setting. Applicants with experience outside traditional health/caring settings are encouraged to apply if they can demonstrate that their experience is relevant. The University operates an equal opportunities policy. Candidates with specific health or other requirements are welcome to contact the admissions tutor for discussion before application. Every effort is taken to make reasonable adjustments in partnership with Staffordshire University Enabling Service. Evidence of English language ability (IELTS score of 7 with no element below 6.5) is required from applicants whose first language is not English and whose university courses were not taught and examined in English. Enhanced criminal record checks are made through the Disclosure and Barring Service (for England and Wales) or Disclosure Scotland. Occupational health screening is carried out by the employing NHS Trust before commencing employment.

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