Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience - King's College London

Course Code: 12

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience
King's College London
PO Box 78
4 Windsor Walk
London
SE5 8AF

020 7848 0152

Programme Director: Professor Paul Chadwick
Programme Manager: Mark Ballham
Programme Co-ordinator (Selection): Kayleigh Rawlings

Introduction

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience established the first training in clinical psychology in the UK.

The Core Purpose of the Programme is:

"to benefit service users, carers and wider society through training clinical psychologists who are skilled in evidence-based psychological assessment and intervention, who produce applied research of the highest quality and impact, and who will become leaders within the NHS and beyond."

This core purpose is achieved by training students to demonstrate all HCPC Standards of Proficiency and British Psychological Society (BPS) required competencies for practising clinical psychologists, thereby conferring eligibility to apply to join the HCPC register of applied psychologists and become a practising clinical psychologist.

The three-year Training Programme values the reflective scientist-practitioner model as a basis for clinical psychology. There is a strong emphasis on integration of theory, research and practice in all aspects of the Programme. This integration is embodied in the way the Programme team and many clinical academics within the Department of Psychology provide clinical sessions within the NHS; it is embodied by the many practice placement supervisors who teach on the Programme and undertake research and it is embodied in the way the Programme curriculum is developed and kept up-to-date through partnership with local NHS colleagues.

This Programme is underpinned by a biopsychosocial framework. This framework identifies biological, psychological and social factors that contribute across the life-span to the development and maintenance of psychological difficulties and mental disorders, or conversely to wellness and resilience. Our understanding of this framework is that it is linked to a continuum view of psychological difficulty. Thus, the Programme seeks to understand psychological difficulty from an assumption of commonality of experience and human potential.

The Programme takes cognitive-behavioural therapy as its main therapeutic modality, reflecting the world-leading expertise within the department and wider Institute, and its evidence base. It also has particular strengths in family therapy, neuropsychology, mindfulness-based interventions, clinical health psychology, and the opportunities for research across the Institute are excellent. A further strength is the cohesive and comprehensive range of both local and national specialist placement opportunities across three world-renowned NHS Trusts: South London & Maudsley, King's College Hospital and Guy's and St Thomas' – known collectively as King's Health Partners. A final strength is the vibrant and diverse communities within South East London, and the Programme values and positively promotes diversity.

The Programme aims in partnership with all stakeholders to train clinical psychologists who:

  • Embody the scientist-practitioner ideal;
  • Are skilled in evidence-based psychological assessment, formulation and therapy;
  • Will become leaders within the NHS;
  • Conduct high quality applied research to advance psychological knowledge and therapy;
  • Are self-reflective and self-aware;
  • Embody compassion, dignity and respect in all areas of their work;
  • Use their overarching meta-competencies in a wide range of settings to respond creatively and flexibly to new challenges and to create positive change;
  • Take responsibility for meeting all standards of professional proficiency and ethical conduct set out by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Trainees on the Programme are key stakeholders, helping to shape the Programme's development and evolution through participation in training committees and feedback systems. The Programme promotes and values trainees' professionalism in all areas of training. Trainees are represented on key Programme training committees and hold year group meetings with the Programme Director and other senior Programme staff. As well as enhancing the quality of the Programme, these experiences provide trainees with opportunities to develop skills in leadership and systemic working. Trainees also lead a number of working parties which help inform Programme developments, including a Service User Involvement Working Party and an Increasing Access Committee.

Service users are another key stakeholder, with representation on key committees and working parties. Service users provide input to teaching, assessment, governance, research, selection and placement feedback – including being part of interview panels.

Location

The Programme is based predominantly within King's Health Partners (an Academic Health Sciences Centre) which comprise King's College London and three of the highest rated NHS Foundation Trusts in the country: South London & Maudsley, King's College Hospital and Guy's and St Thomas'. The majority of placements are located within South London and accessible via public transport links.

HCPC Approval

The Programme meets the standards of education and training required by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK. Successful completion of the Programme confers eligibility to apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council as a clinical psychologist.

BPS Accreditation

The Programme is also accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and graduates of the Programme are able to apply for Chartered Membership and full membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology.

Please note: the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology may not confer eligibility to obtain accreditation as a qualified clinical psychologist in any country other than the UK.

BPS 2014 Accreditation Visit Quotes:

"Research base for this Programme is excellent. A cutting edge research culture of international significance"

"Fresh, innovative & contemporary feel to this Programme"

"Trainees have access to a wide range of excellent placements, including those in the third sector, and clinical supervisors who are at the forefront of developments in clinical practice"

Entry Requirements

Please also see the Trainee Clinical Psychologist Person Specification.

Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)

All applicants to the Programme must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS, preferably at the time of applying, but certainly by the time short-listing takes place (usually in February). GBC is obtained by completion of:

  • an honours degree that has psychology as the main field of study or
  • a Masters or Doctoral degree that has psychology as the main field of study or
  • a recognised conversion degree that confers eligibility for GBC. The programme does not distinguish between types of accredited conversion degree or course centres where these are undertaken. Completion of a conversion degree means that during our short-listing process, we would weight your undergraduate degree in a different discipline the same as a psychology degree.

Any applicants who are uncertain about the status of their degree should check with the BPS that they qualify for GBC.

Current Undergraduates

Applications from current undergraduates still completing their undergraduate degree or conversion programme at the time of the application cannot be considered.

Academic Qualifications

Applicants should include full grade or pass mark details for all school leaving qualifications (whether A level or equivalent). Grades relating to any non-UK qualifications must be in the original grade format which will allow conversion to a UK equivalent.

Normally, candidates are required to have a minimum 2:1 degree in Psychology, or different discipline where the candidate has achieved Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) via a conversion diploma. Candidates without the required minimum degree class must provide evidence of a qualification at doctoral level. All applications are enhanced by evidence of a postgraduate qualification relevant to clinical psychology.

Please note: applicants who are undertaking a PhD at the time of application must have completed their degree in advance of starting the Programme.

A full transcript should be submitted as evidence of a BPS accredited qualification, along with proof of GBC status. If submitting a transcript in another language, the candidate must also provide an English translated copy.

Mature Students

There is no age limit for applicants to the Programme. All applicants are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential and applications are scrutinised on this basis alone.

Clinical Experience

It is important for applicants to demonstrate clinical competence, reflective practice and a realistic understanding of the profession, including its diverse role within the NHS.

Applicants are expected to have the equivalent of at least one year's full-time relevant clinical experience or employment, either paid or voluntary, prior to submitting their application. (Part-time volunteer work or short placements during a first degree will be insufficient on its own.) It is important that any such experience acquired is described in detail in the application form. Experience can be gained in any type of environment, whether within the NHS, another healthcare body or in private practice.

Positions for relevant experience include Assistant or Research Psychologists. Other roles are also considered as long as they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Supervision by a clinical psychologist
  • Familiarity with clinical populations and settings
  • Substantive (voluntary) position (preferably within a statutory setting, eg Local Authority Mental Health volunteer)
  • Face-to-face contact with service users (eg graduate primary care worker, nursing or healthcare assistant)
  • Applying/disseminating research

Research Experience

Research experience and academic publications are also valued and should be described in the application form. Academic publications must have been accepted for publication by peer-reviewed journals to be considered in the selection process.

Please note: Due to the high application ratio for places on the Programme, it is highly unlikely that candidates who do not have some clinical experience as well as research experience will be successful in the short-listing process.

References

All applicants must have one academic referee and one clinical experience referee.

Academic referees should be able to comment on an applicant's academic ability and preferably have direct experience of their academic work or research experience.

The clinical experience referee should be able to demonstrate an applicant's suitability for training as a clinical psychologist. Ideally this reference would be from a clinical psychologist and recent. If this is not possible, the rationale for the selection of that particular referee should be detailed in the application.

Applicants should request for their references to be anonymised (eg "they"). Applications which include references written by family members will not be considered.

The Programme encourages applicants to carefully consider their referees as to their suitability to provide the information requested in the Clearing House reference forms.

Please note: a number of healthcare organisations have a policy of providing standardised references for all employees and will not provide personal references. We do not accept these references and would not be able to consider applications where these are received.

Home/EU Applicants

Applicants for NHS places must:

  • have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership status (GBC); and
  • have the right to work in the UK without restriction; and
  • be eligible for Home (UK/EU) fees status.

International Applicants

Those who do not qualify for Home/EU fees status can apply for a self-funded place as an international candidate via the King's College admissions portal. Please see our online prospectus for further information on how to apply.

English Language Requirement

Candidates for whom English is not their first language will be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. The minimum level is: IELTS score of 7.0 (with no element below 7.0). Past English qualifications would also be considered adequate. This must be Grade B or above in GCSE English, C or above at A level, 5 or above at Higher Level on the International Baccalaureate or completion of the first degree in English. Please contact the Programme Administration team regarding acceptance of other English language qualifications.

Please note: King's College London does not accept TOEFL qualifications as evidence of English language proficiency.

Equal Opportunities

The Programme is committed to ensuring that all applicants are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential without receiving any unjustified discrimination or unfavourable treatment on grounds such as age, disability, marital status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, trans-status, socio-economic status or any other irrelevant distinction. We are committed to increasing the diversity of the profession and encourage applications from suitably qualified candidates from all sections of the community.

The Programme will not use equal opportunities data during the selection process.

Please note: King's College London does not currently subscribe to the "Disability Confident Scheme" (also known as "double tick").

The full King's College London Equality and Diversity Statement can be found on our website.

Selection Procedure

Application forms are anonymised and short-listed for interviewees and reserves by two members of the Programme Selection Sub-Committee. Short-listing is based on academic performance before and at undergraduate study, any postgraduate education or research, relevant clinical experience, personal statement, and references.

There are no assessment tests or formal presentations. If you are short-listed, you will be invited for one interview lasting approximately 30-40 minutes with a panel of three members of the Programme Selection Sub-Committee – this includes a service user researcher. The interview will consider a candidate’s communication skills, suitability for the Programme and profession.  An applicant’s academic and research experience, clinical experience, capacity for self-reflection and knowledge of current issues affecting the NHS will also be covered.

Please note: due to the high numbers of applicants, the Programme does not give feedback to applicants who are not interviewed. Feedback is offered to all candidates who are interviewed.

The Programme adheres to the standard fitness to practise requirements as well as making the necessary criminal record checks, health assessment and other checks.

Current higher degree courses

We will not usually allow you to enrol onto a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology if you are currently enrolled on any other degree, eg a PhD or Masters programme. If you have any outstanding requirements from another programme, you may be required to withdraw from that programme in order to take up a place or to continue your studies on a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Funding

Home/EU Fees Status Applicants (NHS funded places)

Current Home/EU fees status trainees are full-time employees of the health service and have annual leave and other benefits in line with usual NHS entitlements: on entry to the programme all trainees commenced on the first spine point of Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Extra costs for travel to placement are currently reimbursed and University fees are currently paid directly by the NHS. Please also see the current Trainee Clinical Psychologist Job Description.

The Programme anticipates having 21 NHS funded places available for entry in October 2018.

Overseas Fees Status Applicants (Self-funded places)

Those who do not qualify for Home/EU fees status can apply for a self-funded place as an international candidate via the King’s College London admissions portal. Please see our online prospectus for further information on how to apply.

Structure and Content

The Programme is intensive. The start date for the first year is at the beginning of October. In each year, trainees spend three days a week on supervised clinical practice placements (Tuesdays to Thursdays) with Mondays and Fridays dedicated for teaching and research. Attendance at all course components is mandatory. Trainees undertake six 6-month placements. The four "core" areas of the Programme are Adult and Child mental health (Year 1) and Older adults and Intellectual disability (Year 2); the third year comprises two elective or specialist placements of a trainees choosing. Academic teaching, research supervision and clinical supervision are mainly carried out by members of the Department of Psychology or other departments within the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience; or by clinical psychologists working within King's Health Partners, giving the Programme an overall cohesion and sense of community. The Programme also receives specialist contributions to its academic teaching from invited outside speakers and experts.

The teaching curriculum is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials. Lectures present theories and research findings, with some focus on practice. Workshops and clinical skills workshops have a more experiential and practical focus, and include the use of role-play and video recordings. Reflective practice is supported through facilitated experiential groups. Placements are conceptualised as key teaching and learning opportunities. This range of approaches is intended to fulfil the different learner needs and offer the trainees opportunities to reflect critically on theoretical issues and their application to their clinical practice and research.

The broad curriculum teaches all Standards of Proficiency for Clinical Psychologists set out by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), and the BPS accreditation criteria for training in Clinical Psychology. The teaching and learning methods fall under the following headings:

  • Adult General
  • Adult Addictions
  • Adult Anxiety
  • Adult Forensic
  • Adult Mood
  • Adult Psychosis
  • Research Assessment and Methodology
  • Ageing
  • Child
  • Clinical Health Psychology
  • Clinical Skills
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Communication and Dissemination
  • Diversity
  • Family Therapy
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Leadership
  • Other Therapy Approaches
  • Professional Issues
  • Reflective Practice
  • Supervision

The length of the Programme cannot be reduced through the accreditation of prior learning or experience. All trainees are required to complete the full Programme of training in order to qualify, and while on the Programme all trainees take annual holiday entitlement within set time periods to fit in with teaching and placement attendance requirements.

Trainees also have the opportunity to attend an optional eight-week Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy Programme in the second year of training.

Research

By May of the final year, trainees are required to submit a research thesis in two volumes, this is comprised of:

  • Literature Review (about 10,000 words, in publishable format)
  • Empirical Project (about 10,000 words, in publishable format)
  • Service-Evaluation Project (9,000 words, usually conducted in the first or second year)

The Literature Review and Empirical Project have a main and second supervisor; the Service-Evaluation Project will have a clinical supervisor.

Staff within the Department of Psychology and wider Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience offer research expertise and supervision in a wide range of topics. Please see our website for details of staff research interests.

Assessment

A developmental, competency-based approach is taken to assessment, combining formative and summative assessment methods.

Qualifying examinations are held in June of the first year to assess grasp of academic curriculum and theory-practice links. The pass mark is 50% and trainees who fail are allowed to re-sit on one occasion in July.

All six practice placements are Graded Pass/Fail by placement supervisors.

Trainees are also required to pass three assessments of clinical competence to qualify from the Programme - these assess generic therapy skills, cognitive therapy and cognitive assessment competencies.

The research thesis is assessed at a viva by two external examiners.

The failure of two placements, or of an examination resit, or resubmitted assessments of clinical competence or the viva examination, will constitute a Programme failure. No lesser exit award is available under the Programme.

In addition to summative assessment, the Programme provides formative feedback and assessment in a variety of ways, including annual appraisals and trainee-led conferences which take place in all three years: in Years 1 and 2 trainees present themed talks on clinical practice, and in Year 3 findings from their research thesis.

Support

The Programme has a number of support systems in place to ensure that trainees are well supported and to create a stimulating and rewarding environment for trainees to develop personally and professionally during their training.

  • Before joining the Programme, each new trainee is contacted by their "buddy" (one of the current first year trainees) to facilitate their transition onto the Programme.
  • Each trainee is allocated a personal support tutor - a qualified clinical psychologist available for confidential advice and support who is available to meet at least once per term throughout training.
  • Each trainee is also allocated a clinical tutor who will visit them on placement throughout the three years to maximise continuity, support and development.
  • Each trainee is allocated an appraisal tutor from within the Programme team to support progression across all aspects of the Programme.
  • Reflective practice groups and case discussions run throughout training, which provide an opportunity for trainees to reflect on training and the impact of clinical work.
  • The Student Services Department of King's College London offers counselling, welfare and medical services. These services can be accessed through the Compass office based at the King's College Denmark Hill campus.

Staff

Professor Paul Chadwick - Programme Director
Ms Sue Rutter - Clinical Director
Dr Patrick Smith - Research Director & Senior Lecturer
Dr Kate Rimes - Academic Director & Senior Lecturer
Dr Lucia Valmaggia - Head of Selection, Research Tutor & Senior Lecturer
Dr Barbara Barter - Clinical Tutor
Dr Tim Meynen - Clinical Tutor
Dr Kate Johnston - Clinical Tutor
Dr Troy Tranah - Clinical Tutor
Dr Rebecca Pons - Clinical Tutor
Dr Sadie Williams - Clinical Tutor
Dr Jessica Fish - Academic Tutor
Mark Ballham - Training Programme Manager
Kayleigh Rawlings - Training Programme Administrator
Carole Barnham - Training Programme Administrator
Emma Amadu-Suka - Training Programme Administrator