Teesside University

Course Code: 29

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
School of Health and Social Care
Teesside University
Tees Valley

01642 384110

Academic Tutor (Recruitment and Marketing): Dr Sarah Craven-Staines
Programme Director: Dr SJ (Ash) Summers

We are hosting an Open Day on Wednesday 6 September: 2.00pm - 7.00pm.
Please email us to express an interest or sign up for the open day.


The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is a joint enterprise between the University and the NHS. The University is responsible for providing a high quality training Programme which meets and indeed aspires to exceed the requirements of its regulatory bodies and clinical partners. The involvement of clinicians is essential in providing advanced, contemporaneous and specialist academic teaching, as well as highly competent supervision of practice-based learning.

The Programme commenced in 1996 and, as a newly established Programme, was able to be innovative and creative in its approach to training clinical psychologists. The Programme has continued to develop, while maintaining its original ethos, so that today it is viewed as a flexible and contemporary training course with a well-established reputation for producing excellent clinicians. Trainee clinical psychologists are considered to be junior colleagues in the profession and an asset to NHS psychology services in which they practise under supervision.

The Programme aims to train clinical psychologists to be fit for practice for work in modern health and social care settings. They will be enabled to meet clinical need through the provision of a range of clinical skills and services at a high level of competence. This includes providing training, advice and guidance about the benefits and implementation of psychological theory and knowledge in all health and social care contexts. Graduates of the Programme will be able to work effectively with other colleagues in inter-professional contexts, demonstrating effective leadership as well as attributes commensurate with emerging specialist roles in contemporary health and social care services.

Clinical Psychology is a profession whose practice is based upon a body of psychological knowledge. The Programme is not founded on one theoretical position but adopts an open stance through the presentation of a breadth of theories including: behavioural, humanistic, cognitive, psychoanalytic, systemic, interpersonal, developmental and social. The Programme aims to provide advanced knowledge, skills and experience to enable trainees to make an informed choice as to their own theoretical position.

The Programme emphasises the importance of collaborative, team and inter-disciplinary working.

Psychological formulation is at the heart of psychological intervention in health and social care and graduates will leave the Programme able to provide individualised formulations from several theoretical perspectives.

Graduates should be able to explain in a coherent, comprehensive and convincing manner how their practice is informed by their knowledge base.

Qualifying clinical psychologists must take a rigorous approach to the acquisition of knowledge, and be able to select and apply it in practice. They must be able to conceptualise, reflect, analyse and critically evaluate both underpinning knowledge and their own practice. They must be strategic and critical thinkers, able to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of proposals, and to anticipate the possible consequences of decisions or actions. The Programme aims to enable trainees to achieve all of these goals.

The value of development, both professional and personal, is fundamental at Teesside. Trainees should develop as reflective and ethical practitioners, who can recognise the psychological impact of their work on themselves, and who understand the importance of continuing professional development.

Teesside University is based in the North-East of England within the town of Middlesbrough, which is well located with good road and rail networks to the North, South and West of the British Isles. The region has its own international airport, with others in easy reach. The location provides easy access to the North Yorkshire Moors, the Yorkshire Dales and the beautiful North Yorkshire Coastline. It has the additional advantage of providing a good but inexpensive quality of life with accommodation within easy reach of the University.

The academic Programme is mainly delivered within the University site, but periods of clinical practice take place within the wide geographical region ranging from Scarborough, Harrogate and York in the South to Durham and Newcastle in the North.

Programme Management

The Programme is managed within the School of Health & Social Care of Teesside University and conforms to the regulations and procedures of the School. There is a Programme Board, which has responsibility for overall management and evaluation of the Programme. Members of the Programme team have responsibility for key areas of Programme management and development. Trainees are represented within all key meetings and this contributes to effective communication. Involvement also includes University colleagues and nominated clinicians from the partner NHS Trusts.

Entry Requirements

Application to the Programme is via the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology.

At present the minimum entry requirements at the time of application include:

  • Applicants meeting Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from an accredited undergraduate degree or conversion course.
  • At least 12 months full time equivalent relevant clinical experience. Normally, experience will have been acquired as a postgraduate in posts such as an assistant psychologist, mental health worker or nursing assistant.
  • Applicants who have shown a strong academic attainment in their undergraduate Psychology degree (2:1 or above). Candidates with a 2:2 degree will be considered if they can provide evidence of their ability to work at postgraduate level, ie they have successfully completed an academically relevant Masters programme with a research component.

Applicants who have not yet graduated from their undergraduate degree will not be considered.

Some direct experience of conducting a research project is required, which should be demonstrated either at an undergraduate level or in subsequent work. An understanding of the importance and contribution research plays within the profession is also desirable. Furthermore, it is important to demonstrate evidence of personal awareness and self-reflection within the application, as well as a clear commitment and motivation to train as a clinical psychologist.

The local NHS Trust ensures that all individuals accepting a place on the Programme undergo Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks prior to starting in September 2018. All offers of a place are subject to the receipt of satisfactory academic and clinical references.

Following the implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act (2005 amendment) and the Equality Act 2010, we encourage applicants to declare whether they have a disability in their application. The Programme, in conjunction with the local NHS Trust, operates its selection procedures in line with the principles associated with the "Two Ticks" Disability Symbol scheme and in compliance with the Equality Act (2010). If you are an applicant to Teesside who experiences a disability and would like to discuss how it might affect your studies and the resources available to support you, please contact Teesside University Disability services on 01642 342277 or email disability@tees.ac.uk.

Selection Procedure

The selection process is reviewed and amended each year in line with feedback and the reflections of those involved. We have a Working Group that meets twice each year to review selection and recruitment processes. The Working Group comprises local clinicians, trainees, members of the Programme team, Service User representatives, the Recruitment and Marketing Tutor, and the Trust Liaison Officer. All participants have a role in enhancing the process. The group is also informed by the National Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology Recruitment Working Group, as well as the Teesside University Recruitment and Marketing Working Group. The admissions procedure is closely monitored on a yearly basis and adheres to the Selection and Admissions Policy for the Programme.

All application forms are initially screened by members of the Programme team who review the forms according to minimum entry criteria. Each application form is then assessed by another member of the Programme team and is given a score for each of the following areas: academic, research, clinical and Personal Professional Development (PPD). The aggregate score then goes forward to a ranking process before deciding who is to be interviewed. A proportion of the forms (a minimum of 20%) are rated by two reviewers and a moderation meeting takes place to discuss any issues. A proportion of the applicants (approximately 50) are then offered an interview.

Interviews are normally carried out in March/April each year by a team drawn from the Programme and local experienced Clinical Psychologists. We also have Service User/Carer representation on the interview panel. The process on the day is supported by current trainees. Overall, the interview process is led by the Academic Tutor (Recruitment and Marketing) in conjunction with the Trust Liaison Officer. The two interview panels, clinical/PPD and academic/research, each last for approximately 20-30 minutes. The academic/research panel includes a short presentation from the candidate relating to a specific research question (10 minutes). This is followed by general questions relating to elements of the research process generally, including questions on design, analysis and interpretation of findings. The clinical/reflective panel includes questions relating to relevant skills and experience in line with the person specification of a trainee clinical psychologist. Anonymous feedback is obtained from attendees at the interviews and is used to help review our recruitment process.

The public places high expectations and levels of trust on clinical psychologists, and the Teesside programme develops practitioners who can meet these expectations. It is hard work and challenging. Therefore, to work within the healthcare sector it is essential that you are able to demonstrate the core values embedded within the NHS Constitution (DOH, 2013):

  • Working together for patients
  • Respect and dignity
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Compassion, improving lives
  • Everyone counts

The Programme operates an equal opportunities policy that is consistent with Teesside University and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and no applicant will be discriminated against on the grounds of age, race, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender.

Due to the volume of applications in recent years, we regret that we can only provide detailed feedback to those applicants who attend the interviews. Feedback will be given after the completion of the recruitment process and applicants should submit a written request for feedback to the Admissions Team via email or by post. Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests and our own recruitment pressures we are not in a position to provide feedback prior to that time nor are we able to provide feedback face-to-face or via the telephone.

It is important to note that each year every application is treated as if it is a first time application, and alongside other applicants.


Currently 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 are paid on the first spine point of Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Travelling expenses are paid for travel to placement, and University fees are paid directly by the NHS. You can download the job description and person specification from our website.

These arrangements may not apply to candidates entering the programme in 2018; candidates should check the statement on the Clearing House Funding page.

We can only consider applicants who meet home or EU fees status. This means that applicants must have full UK or EU residency and not require a work permit. If in any doubt about your fees status applicants should contact the Teesside University International Admissions for clarification before applying.

We do not accept applications from international applicants who do not meet the criteria for home or EU fees status.

Structure and Content

The Programme draws upon the Scientist-Practitioner and Reflective-Practitioner models of working. The overall purpose of the Programme is to produce competent clinical psychologists who are eligible for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a clinical psychologist, as well as being able to apply for Chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Trainees are exposed to a wide range of therapeutic approaches within a strong academic Programme that runs concurrently with periods of clinical practice. There is a comprehensive research component running throughout the three years culminating with the production of advanced independent work (thesis) in Year 3. Integral to this is a developmental framework of individual tutorials looking at levels of competency and skill, centred on the Personal and Professional Development component of the Programme.

Yearly individual progression tutorials take place to monitor progress and development.

The Programme is developmental and integrated with a focus upon building competencies and transferable skills across different settings and client groups. The University operates a modular system. Each member of the Programme team is responsible for the design and co-ordination of several modules across the three years.

The Programme is full-time for three years and attendance at all components is mandatory over that time, including the induction period. 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.


A significant amount of the teaching is conducted by practising NHS clinical psychologists and covers a wide range of theoretical orientations and approaches, including contemporaneous, as well as more established, interventions.

Teaching sessions are themed around theoretical knowledge building and the applications of this knowledge within a clinical setting. Methods of delivery are varied and trainee feedback is an integral part of the evaluation and modification of the academic programme. Trainees are introduced to core life-span teaching in Year 1, which is built upon in Year 2 within a special needs context. Year 3 looks at more complex and specialist presentations and service delivery sites. Legal skills and organisational approaches are now key elements of the teaching in the final year.

Trainees are allocated protected private academic study time but there is some flexibility in how this is taken. We expect trainees to attend all the teaching sessions unless prior approval is gained for absence.


Practice-based learning occurs in six placements, each of approximately six months duration, over the three year programme. Adult learning is facilitated and supported by application of evidence-based theory. As a result, placement supervisors should have theories of supervision and adult learning which inform and guide the supervisory process and which they can share with trainees. Trainees are expected to establish a self-directed programme of learning in conjunction with their clinical tutor and placement supervisors. The establishment, maintenance and development of a positive supervisory relationship are critical to the learning experience on placement and the programme seeks to support and enhance the supervisory relationship in its documentation and at all points of contact with supervisors and trainees on placement. The personal is inextricably bound up with the professional practice of a Clinical Psychologist, and Personal and Professional Development are part of a common process which underpins all learning and practice as a Clinical Psychologist. Personal reflection is a central element by which knowledge, competence and understanding are enhanced.

In the first two years of training, Trainees have placements in the three life-span groups (children/adolescents, working age adults and older adults) as well as a placement in learning disability services (either child or adult services). In the third year the trainees will have two elective placements (including therapy, organisational and long term placement options) in which the trainee has a personal interest. The placements are planned in discussion with the trainee so that any particular preferences for clinical area are taken into account.

Normally, throughout the three years of the Programme supervised practice will occupy three or four days of the week, with half a day protected during term-time as private clinical study. An individual pathway of clinical experience is devised for all trainees from when they begin the Programme in order to ensure a comprehensive and complementary series of experiences are gained. We expect trainees to attend each placement for a minimum of 56 days, excluding sickness and annual leave.

A tightly monitored assessment and evaluation procedure themed around clinical competencies is in place for each placement. This is co-ordinated by the trainee's clinical tutor who will follow the trainee throughout their three years of training.


There is an integrated research teaching component that begins in Year 1 and culminates in the submission of advanced independent work (thesis) during May in the third year. This research is then examined by means of an oral examination over the summer. The research tutor has overall responsibility for co-ordinating the research training for the Programme, which includes monitoring of the trainees' small-scale project (service evaluation/audit) and advanced independent work (thesis). In addition to the research tutor, the trainee is also provided with both an academic and field supervisor to help support them in their progress with their thesis. The Programme team have varied research interests, and there is a wide scope of possible research topics for trainees to pursue within the local catchment area.


Assessments are evenly spread out across the three years and range in type including essays, case studies, presentations, a court report, defence of a report in a mock court, reflective portfolios and clinical practice evaluations. There are no written examinations. There are both formative and summative assignments throughout the programme, which support trainees and facilitate learning. All aspects of the Teesside Programme involve a comprehensive feedback audit cycle, which ensures the Programme is continually monitored and adapted according to current need. Trainee evaluation is an integral part of this, and this can range from giving anonymous written feedback about individual teaching sessions to verbal feedback within various forums with members of the Programme team.


Personal and Professional Development

The Programme has in place a tutorial system that enables the monitoring of trainee progress throughout the academic year. Tutorials are held to cover the academic, clinical and research components of the course. These are then reflected upon with the Personal and Professional Development (PPD) Tutor to facilitate personal and professional growth. In addition, the Programme operates a personal mentor scheme whereby each trainee is allocated a personal mentor who is independent of the course and provides informal and confidential personal support to aid the trainee's personal and professional development. There is also an effective buddy system in place, which helps provide peer support between the year groups. The Programme team also co-ordinates PPD Reflection and Development Groups within cohorts.

Trainees also have access to the University Counselling and Support Services and the Occupational Health Services of the respective NHS Trust. Student Services offers a wide range of professional and advisory services to help students make the most of their time at University and to assist students with any problems that they may experience throughout their student life.


Dr SJ (Ash) Summers - Programme Director
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Special areas of interest include Learning Disability, Leadership, Working with Diversity and Ethical Decision-making.

Dr Steven Muncer - Reader
Chartered Psychologist
Special areas of interest include Research Methods, Psychometrics and Aggression.

Dr Angela Prout - Lead Clinical Tutor
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Special areas of interest include Personality Disorders, Complex Trauma Presentations, Organisational Issues and CAT.

Dr Raymond Chadwick - PPD Director
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Special areas of interest include Clinical Health Psychology, Neuromodulation for Chronic Pain and Organisational Intervention.

Professor Chris Colbourn - Research Director
Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Psychology
Special areas of interest include Cognitive Neuropsychology and Human-Technology Interaction.

Dr Alex Shaw - Clinical and Academic Tutor
Clinical Psychologist
Special areas of interest include Psychosis, Social inclusion and Group Psychotherapy.

Dr Richard House - Clinical Tutor
Clinical Psychologist
Special areas of interest include Community Psychology and Psychosis.

Dr Sarah Craven-Staines - Academic Tutor (Recruitment and Marketing)
Clinical Psychologist
Special areas of interest include Cognitive Analytic Therapy, supporting the emotional wellbeing of staff in mental health services, working with older adults and supervision.

Dr Alan Bowman - Research Tutor
Clinical Psychologist
Special areas of interest include visual hallucinations; neuropsychology, health psychology, chronic pain, Acceptance and Commitment therapy.

In addition the Programme is supported by a number of other academic staff from the University as well as a large number of Honorary and Special Lecturers from within the NHS, in addition to input from service user and carer representatives.