Royal Holloway - University of London

Course Code: 22

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Department of Psychology
Royal Holloway
University of London
Egham
SURREY
TW20 0EX

01784 443851

Course Director: Professor Andrew MacLeod

Introduction

This Course, founded in 1997, is a three-year full-time programme that leads to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) awarded by the University of London. Individuals who complete the Programme are eligible to apply, on completion of course requirements, for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as Clinical Psychologists. Completing the Course does not automatically confer registration with HCPC. HCPC require evidence of health and character as well as completion of a relevant approved programme. For more information, please see the HCPC website.

The course is an NHS London partnership between the Department of Psychology, and Clinical Psychologists in North London. It is one of three courses in North London. The Course, along with the other two courses (UCL and UEL), draws its clinical placements from the entire North London area. These encompass a diverse range of locations and treatment modalities. Because of the presence of major clinics and teaching hospitals in North London, the placement pool includes cutting edge services and settings. The Course has particular strengths in cognitive-behavioural and systemic teaching. Whilst the training does not confer BABCP (CBT) accreditation on completion, we will actively help interested trainees to complete and record their training to enable them to apply for accreditation after the course.

The Department has an international reputation for research and was ranked sixth out of 82 psychology departments in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Its tradition and strengths are in a number of clinically relevant areas (cognitive behavioural theory and therapy, neuropsychology, health and social psychology, vision, language and other basic science areas). This provides additional resources for trainees.

Philosophy and Values

Training at Royal Holloway is underpinned by an ethos of public service, that is, we believe that the state (in this case, the NHS) has an important part to play in the wellbeing of individuals and communities. We aim to equip trainees with the skills and knowledge to be effective practitioners within the NHS, or related organisations, in their chosen areas of practice. The values enshrined in the NHS Constitution underpin the values of the Course. We adhere to a belief that the quality of a person's experience is of supreme value and that actions that promote the quality of life for a person and reduce impediments to that quality of life are therefore of great value. Our work is based on the view that psychology has a role to play in facilitating wellbeing - helping people to live lives that are good for them - and that psychological knowledge can be applied and brought to bear on enhancing people's experience and in tackling some of the impediments to wellbeing and thereby reducing distress. A desire and commitment to make a difference to people's lives through the compassionate application of psychological knowledge is fundamental to training and practising as a clinical psychologist. We believe that this is a shared enterprise between psychologists and the users of psychological services, and that the rights and dignity and autonomy of all service users, whatever their social or personal characteristics, are paramount. In line with this view, we also believe that the benefits to be derived from the application of psychological knowledge to people's lives arise through a process of active collaboration, with both service-users and their families and with other professionals.

Training Objectives

The Course Team aims to facilitate the development of Clinical Psychologists for the NHS who:

  • are respectful and responsive to all clients and colleagues, with an awareness and understanding of diversity in all its aspects;
  • will have experienced an up-to-date, balanced coverage of the major orientations, ideas and knowledge that inform clinical practice;
  • will be a continuing resource for the NHS, its clients and staff;
  • are aware of and contribute to NHS policy development and initiatives;
  • engage in reflective practice in relation to their own work and that of their colleagues and services and, in consequence, act constructively to foster good practice;
  • will become clinicians able to manage their own work, learning and continuing professional development needs, including learning from their mistakes and recognising and working within their limits of competence;
  • can work both independently and collaboratively and provide and accept professional support from peers;
  • are competent to undertake the differing forms of research and teaching that contribute to the advancement, in all its forms, of psychological healthcare;
  • encourage and foster a commitment to improving people's lives, with a commitment to high standards that is guided by a compassionate understanding of service-users' experiences and difficulties sometimes in embracing change;
  • foster high standards of professionalism and value-based practice in relation to conduct and practice, including collaborative working with colleagues alongside the courage to challenge poor practice.

Physical Location

The College is based in very attractive surroundings just outside the M25 to the west of London in Surrey. Access by public transport is good (College Bus during term-times or 15 minute walk to Egham Station, 40 minutes to Waterloo). The College also has a central London base, in Bedford Square, which is available for trainees and staff to use.

Approximately half of trainee time on the Course is spent on placement in the North London region. Approximately one fifth of trainee time is spent at College. The remainder of time is for private study and research.

Entry Requirements

We are interested in graduate applicants with a good academic record and a minimum 2:1 degree in psychology. Applicants are required to have approximately a year or more of experience relevant to Clinical Psychology at the time of entry to the course. This could be: (a) direct clinical or clinical research experience (which may be part of masters or doctoral research); (b) as an Assistant Psychologist, Research Assistant, Graduate Mental Health Worker, Support Worker, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner or any other role that involves significant client contact where the applicant is engaged in activities relevant to clinical psychology. Applicants with experience of other social, healthcare or research posts will also be considered.

Relevant clinical experience would normally be either paid or as part of a postgraduate degree. Voluntary experience is only acceptable in the context of other non-voluntary clinical experience. Lack of any direct experience in the NHS may be a disadvantage. At the time of application, the trainee's degree must satisfy the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). We do not consider applications from Undergraduate students.

Graduates with a first degree in a field other than Psychology must have completed a BPS approved Conversion course prior to application or completed the BPS exam conferring GBC, and will be expected to meet the same experience requirements as other applicants. The Programme does not accredit prior (experiential) learning.

Consistent with Royal Holloway equality and diversity policies, we positively welcome applicants from all sections of the community and are committed to ensure that all are treated fairly and with equality of opportunity without regard to race, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, age, marital or parental status, dependants, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political belief or social origins. We adhere to Royal Holloway Admissions policy and procedures. We do not intend to use the equal opportunities data that you provide with your application during our selection process.

We welcome enquiries from applicants with disabilities to discuss the course requirements and any adjustments that may be needed during the selection process or once on the course.

EU applicants will be considered if they meet the selection criteria outlined above, with the equivalent qualifications and experience. We consider applications from non-EU/EEA applicants but not from those that do not have the right to work in the UK.

If English is not the first language of applicants and university qualifications were not taught and examined in English, evidence of ability in English language will be required. This should be a TOEFL or IELTS academic test if possible. If candidates require a visa to work in the UK we can only accept IETLS academic test scores. The minimum scores needed are: 88 for internet-based TOEFL (with 26 for writing), 570 for paper-based TOEFL or 6.5 for IELTS academic test (with 7 for writing).

Any questions about admissions to the Programme can be directed to Dr Michael Evangeli, Admissions Tutor.

Selection Procedure

Preliminary, paper-based selection is undertaken by Course staff and regional psychologists. At this stage, attention is paid to the applicant's academic record, clinically relevant experience, and referee reports. These assessments are guided by a standard grading system. We anonymise applications at the short-listing stage.

For the 2017 entry, we selected 100 from 972 applicants to interview for 29 places. Each interviewee attends for three interviews, focusing on clinical, research/academic, and service user/carer topics. The clinical and research/academic interviews are carried out by one member of the course team and one Clinical Psychologist working in the region. The service user/carer interview is carried out by a Clinical Psychologist working in the region and a service user or carer. There will also be an opportunity to meet current trainees and attend a presentation by Course staff.

Definite offers of a place, as well as reserve list notifications, are made shortly after the interview. Offers are subject to the usual NHS Trust health and police clearance. Health checks include screening for TB and checks for chicken pox, rubella and measles. HIV and Hepatitis C tests are offered. Police clearance involves enhanced DBS checks. There is no charge to successful applicants for these checks.

Feedback to Applicants

We do not give feedback to applicants who are not selected for interview. Applicants who are on the reserve list following interview or not selected will be given feedback within three weeks following interview. They will be advised of when they can telephone for feedback.

We regret that we cannot pay interview travel expenses incurred by applicants.

Funding

All current trainees are full-time employees of Camden and Islington Foundation NHS Trust, are subject to their standard employment conditions, and annual leave and other standard NHS entitlements apply. Please also see the current Job Description. Salary is based on the prevailing NHS Trainee scales (Band 6) plus an Inner London Allowance (currently £26,565 plus HCAS at £5,313). University fees are covered by NHS London. As is the case for all NHS employees, travel expenses are not paid to attend your main place of work, which in this case is Royal Holloway. Travel expenses will be paid, at the usual employer's rate, to attend placement or for research purposes, if the cost of the journey exceeds the cost of the journey between the trainee's home and College. The employing Trust will pay these "out of pocket" or "top up" travel costs, that is, the amount extra that a trainee is having to pay to travel to placement or for research as opposed to what they would be paying if they were attending College.

These terms and conditions may be subject to change in the future. Candidates for 2018 entry should check for funding updates on the Clearing House Funding page.

We are unable to accept self-funding trainees.

Structure and Content

The Royal Holloway Clinical Doctorate follows an Adult Learner model in which trainees are encouraged to take increasing responsibility over the course of the programme for their own learning as the Course progresses. As with all courses, we aim to enable the trainee to cover the academic, clinical practice and research knowledge and skills that underpin and guide clinical practice. The Course timetable includes formal teaching, tutorials, and clinical and academic seminars with clear blocks of time for independent study. Attendance is compulsory for all teaching, tutorials and seminars. After a one month full-time Induction Block in the first year, trainees will be expected to attend College for two days per week during the College Terms for Years 1 and 2 of the course. There is a further one week teaching block at the start of the second year. During the third year, teaching requirements diminish to allow trainees to concentrate on their research projects. The Induction Block introduces the Course, provides a background to the NHS and Psychology services, and introduces those clinical and other skills needed for placement. Thereafter, the Course is geared to enabling trainees to cover areas relevant to the practice of Clinical Psychology. The core areas of theory, empirical research and clinical topics spanning the age and client groups are covered. The syllabus is continually evolving in the light of trainee feedback and professional requirements.

Attention is given to psychological measurement, research design and methodology. This is to ensure that trainees have the knowledge and skills necessary to approach the theory and research literature at a level expected of a postgraduate in psychology and in a manner that is helpful for clinical practice. As the completion of a substantial thesis is a major requirement for the award of the degree, trainees are encouraged to begin to develop research proposals by the end of the first year.

Clinical placements will normally be in North London. Placements are co-ordinated across three regional courses and allocation of placements is made on the basis of trainee, professional and Course requirements. Trainees have the opportunity to indicate areas of special interest when planning their third year placements. Most trainees commence training with a 12-month placement, with later placements of 6 or 12 months' duration. Trainees are informed of their first placement once they have started the course. They are informed of subsequent placements as far in advance as it is practical to do so.

Each cohort has a clinical tutor to support and monitor trainees' progress. Within each placement (or twice in a year-long placement) a mid-placement visit is undertaken to monitor progress and resolve any difficulties. An individually allocated member of course staff or an honorary Associate Clinical Tutor carries out this task. Quality supervision is seen as a major determinant of good training and we work together with the other Courses to provide training to ensure that trainees have a good experience of supervision, and supervisors a good experience of trainees.

Service User Involvement

Steps to increase service users and carers' involvement in the running of the course led to the setting up of the Service User and Carer Involvement Group (SUCIG) in 2007. The group includes two trainee representatives and meets four times per year in our central London base. At present, service users and carers contribute to various aspects of the training course, including specific teaching sessions, selection and curriculum development. However, we are keen to develop this further and SUCIG plays an important role in generating and providing feedback on ideas for increasing involvement opportunities.

Assessment

Different procedures assess various aspects of the Course, as described below.

Clinical Skills

Clinical supervisors from placements are required to complete an assessment of the trainee's clinical competence at the end of each placement. Trainees are also required to submit four Reports of Clinical Activity over the three-year period of training, one of which is a reflective practice assessment.

Academic Work

Academic work is assessed by a combination of essays and examination methods. The Course requires trainees to submit two essays, one in Year 1 and the other in Year 2, with the second essay being a review of the literature relevant to the Research Dissertation.

Formal examinations (two papers) are held at the end of the first year.

Research

The Research Dissertation is the major research component to the Course. It is submitted in June of the third year and examined in July. Trainees are encouraged to pursue a topic in an area of active research within the department, but are not obliged to stay within those areas. These can cover a wide range of mental health and health topics. The overall standard of the research will be expected to be commensurate with a PhD, but the dissertation will be considerably shorter.

A Service Related Research Project is completed on one of the placements. There is also a research design exercise at the end of the first year and a practical statistics assessment at the end of the second year.

Support

There are a number of different procedures in place to ensure that trainees feel properly supported throughout their training.

Internally, the Course provides support through a number of mechanisms. Trainees are allocated a "Buddy" from the year ahead, who provides advice and mentorship during the first year. Each year has a confidential Reflective Practice Group, with an external facilitator. Each trainee has a Personal Tutor assigned from the teaching staff who will meet with them over the three years. This allows for continuity of support and also provides the trainee with a resource for personal support, should the occasion or need arise. An Independent Personal Advisor from within North London is also available. Trainees can approach these individuals for confidential advice. Trainees are also able to access the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Scheme, and the Black and Ethnic Minority Scheme, which have been established jointly by the three North London Courses. There is no formal mechanism for organising personal therapy for trainees. However, counselling services are available through the University or the relevant NHS Trust, and a list of private therapists who trainees may approach is provided by the Course.

Support for Trainees with Disabilities

Any disclosure of disability is treated with sensitivity and within the bounds of our confidentiality policy. We liaise closely with the Royal Holloway Disabilities and Dyslexia Services Team and with the relevant NHS Trust to ensure that an assessment of need and subsequent reasonable adjustments are made for trainees with disabilities.

Staff

The Course Team cover a broad range of clinical psychology specialities. The Core staff with day-to-day involvement with the Course are:

Dr Gary Brown - Senior Lecturer and Research Director
Dr Lyn Ellett - Senior Lecturer and Research Tutor
Dr Michael Evangeli - Reader and Admissions Tutor
Dr Alex Fowke - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Dr Jessica Kingston - Lecturer and Academic Tutor
Professor Dawn Langdon - Professor and Academic Director
Dr Olga Luzon - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Professor Andrew MacLeod - Professor and Course Director
Dr Helen Pote - Senior Lecturer and Clinical Director
Dr Oliver Schauman - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Dr Kate Theodore - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Dr Jane Vosper - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor

Mrs Annette Lock - Course Secretary
Mrs Stephanie Mundy - Course Secretary
Mrs Michelle Watson - Clinical Secretary
Ms Susan Waud - Course Administrator