University of Bath

Course Code: 02

Self-funded Course Code: 02 - X

University of Bath Department of Psychology
Clinical Psychology Unit and Research Centre
10 West
University of Bath
Claverton Down
BATH
BA2 7AY

Course Administration and Admissions enquiries:
bathcp-admin@bath.ac.uk

Introduction

This Programme, based at the University of Bath, started in October 2011. It is a three-year training course with an annual intake leading to the degree of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy). As the newest course in the UK, it has been developed to reflect recent advances not only in Clinical Psychology, but also in adult learning strategies and supervision. The course is well supported in this by the University of Bath and also by local NHS Trusts.

Key features of the Bath course include:

  • High quality taught programme incorporating student-led and problem-based learning,
  • Learning beyond the classroom including teaching on placement and away-days in local services; local clinicians are actively involved in both teaching and assessment,
  • New purpose-built programme base with excellent teaching facilities and dedicated clinical psychology trainee base, opened in May 2016,
  • Programme Advisory group of people with personal experience of the kinds of difficulties clinical psychologists treat and expanding PPE involvement in most aspects of the course, including selection, research, teaching and committees,
  • Focus on empirical, evidence-based approaches, primarily CBT and systemic therapy, also including interpersonal therapy, mentalisation, dialectical behaviour therapy, mindfulness-based CBT, metacognitive therapy and schema-focused therapy,
  • Mindfulness training as part of the core curriculum,
  • Development of higher level competencies and meta-competencies, in the third year, including supervisory, management and leadership abilities,
  • Teaching consistent with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (IAPT) requirements,
  • BABCP Level 2 accredited programme,
  • Foundation and Intermediate Level of the Association for Family Therapy accreditation,
  • Enhanced individualisation of training from the outset and supported specialisation through Personal Planning and Training Needs Assessment (PPTNA), and individual clinical and research interests,
  • Excellent clinical placements in the region with experienced supervisors and access to regional and national specialist clinical services,
  • Progressive development and assessment of clinical skills using live supervision via observation, audio and video-recording (all trainees issued with video recording equipment),
  • Clinical Health Psychology placements in the final year with the opportunity to specialise further in this area,
  • Optional elective specialist CBT placements in the third year,
  • Interesting range of research and professional projects, presented as publishable papers rather than traditional thesis.

Programme ethos

The Bath course ethos reflects the core values of the NHS Constitution. The Programme recruits individuals with the right attitudes and values to work in a professional, respectful and compassionate way with a full range of people presenting with distressing psychological difficulties. The Programme is committed to improving lives through promoting quality interventions. Trainees will learn the importance of theory-practice links; how psychological theory can inform clinical practice. The training will draw on the full range of empirically-grounded psychological theory, not only in psychopathology but also in other areas of psychology such as social and developmental psychology in order to allow consideration of context and life-span development. The emphasis in assessment and therapy will be person-centred in the broad sense. The course training and placements are based on an understanding of the importance of equality, diversity and empowerment.

Trainees will be supported to develop high levels of competency in academic, clinical and research domains through a learner-led model of training. They will learn to become highly capable scientist practitioners, able to skillfully blend the scientific basis of clinical psychology ("clinical science") with reflective practice and personally adapted approaches ("clinical art"). Through the acquisition of meta-competencies, trainees will feel confident to extend their skills to work with clients whose needs, or combinations of needs, they may not have encountered in training or for which treatment models do not yet exist.

The course is designed to foster enthusiasm for learning, personal development and research. A Personal Planning and Training Needs Assessment will enable trainees to reflect on their strengths and aspirations from pre-training and, in collaboration with course staff and placement supervisors, enable trainees to work throughout the three years towards the acquisition of skills and goals that are meaningful for them.

Specialisation in the third year will allow trainees the opportunity to shape their career pathway in any of the many ways increasingly on offer in the evolving NHS. BABCP and AFT accreditation of the programme puts graduates in a strong position in terms of employment opportunities.

Training at the University of Bath

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is one of a number of well-regarded postgraduate programmes offered by the Department of Psychology at Bath including an MSc in Clinical Psychology, MSc in Health Psychology and an MSc in Research Methods.

The undergraduate degree in Psychology is well subscribed with high entry requirements and excellent ranking in UK league tables, coming second in the Complete University Guide 2018, and first in the Guardian league tables. The Psychology Department, and University of Bath more generally, has a very strong record in academic achievement, with excellent performance in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

Living and working in Bath and the wider region

The University of Bath campus is situated about one mile from Bath city centre, and there are regular buses to and from the University. Bath is a spectacularly beautiful city. Among attractions are countless art and music activities spread over the year, including the prestigious annual Bath Festival and close by, Glastonbury. The city is within easy reach of London, only an hour and a half by train. The majority of trainees choose to live in Bristol which is 10 minutes from Bath by train. Bristol is one of the largest UK cities. It has a thriving art and social scene. It is regarded as a young person's city and is renowned for its cultural diversity and inclusivity. Bath and Bristol are both surrounded by beautiful countryside, with the Cotswolds to the north, the Mendips to the south-west and, just across the Severn Bridge, the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean. The coast at Weston-super-Mare or South Wales is also within easy reach.

Further information about the city of Bath and the university can be found at the University of Bath website.

The training course works in close partnership with NHS trusts in the South West region, Avon and Wiltshire Partnership, 2gether, Oxford Mental Health, North Bristol NHS Trust, Sirona and Virgin Health, all of which provide excellent training placements.

Placements will be available over a large geographic area, spanning from Gloucestershire in the north to Salisbury in the south and from Weston-Super-Mare in the west to Swindon in the east. Consideration will be given to trainees' circumstances in organising placements but placements in a particular location cannot be guaranteed and would restrict learning opportunities. The Personal Planning and Training Needs Assessment will form the main basis for consideration of placement requirements. Financial assistance may be provided to enable trainees to stay over in the more remote parts of the region to access placements.

Given the geography of the region, we recommend that trainees have the use of a car plus have a current valid driving licence to access placements and in order not to restrict training opportunities for themselves and others. Arrangements will be made for trainees unable to drive including through disability.

Entry Requirements

The programme seeks to recruit trainees who show evidence of a commitment to the core principles of clinical psychology and the specific ethos and philosophy of the Bath course.

Important note: All candidates applying to the Bath programme are required to complete an additional statement of values as part of the application process. This must be submitted directly to the course no later than 5.00pm on Friday 15 December 2017. Applications will not be considered without this additional question. Further information on how to submit can be found in the Selection Procedure section below and on our website.

Essential Criteria

All candidates must:
  • Demonstrate personal qualities and values consistent with the core values of the NHS Constitution, which are crucially important in establishing a therapeutic relationship and working alongside all those with psychological needs to give the highest standards of professional care. These personal qualities will be assessed by the initial screening process and at interview.
  • Be eligible for Home/EU fees status (Please check this before applying otherwise you risk losing one of your application options).
  • Have the right to work in the UK and meet the residence criteria. Health Education South West applies the same eligibility criteria for clinical psychology training as it does for bursaries so all applicants must meet the criteria. Full details can be found at NHS Bursaries, including a Personal Eligibility Calculator.
  • Ensure that their referees are appropriate; that is, that the academic referee is someone who has been involved in academic teaching or supervision of the applicant and the experience referee and has knowledge and experience of the applicant in a clinical setting.

Clinical Experience - all candidates must have:
  • Experience of working with people with psychological needs, either in a paid or voluntary capacity. For example:
    • Paid work as a psychology assistant or IAPT therapist would be particularly valuable;
    • Voluntary work as an AP or work as a Healthcare Assistant or Support Worker would be valued.
    • Experience involving working alongside a clinical psychologist or participation in psychological therapy would be particularly valued.
  • Experience in the practice of evidence-based approaches to therapy or express a strong commitment to evidence-based approaches, consistent with the course ethos.

Please note:

There is no minimum requirement for clinical experience, although applicants must have some relevant clinical experience to be considered. The course is more interested in the quality of the experience and the candidate's potential to become a capable clinical psychologist as evidenced, in part, by what they have made of the experience they have had.


Academic requirements - all candidates must have:
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the British Psychological Society (BPS). Candidates from non-GBC accredited courses need to apply themselves for GBC.
  • Either a 1st or 2:1 in an undergraduate psychology degree or an undergraduate degree in another subject with a Masters level conversion course with either merit or distinction.
  • Appropriate research experience, in addition to an undergraduate project, such as an MSc, PhD or other relevant research or service audit or evaluation experience.

Please note:

  • Applicants with a 2:2 or below in an undergraduate psychology programme will not be considered, even if they have obtained further qualifications in Psychology at the required level.
  • Undergraduate degree classifications for subjects other than psychology are not considered as part of the selection process.
  • PGDip conversion courses are only accepted where an applicant with an undergraduate degree including modules in psychology has taken a conversion course to achieve GBC. Candidates must still have a 1st or 2:1 in their undergraduate psychology degree. No score will be allocated to the PGDip as part of the academic score (see the Selection Procedure section below for details), however account will be taken of further qualifications in short-listing.
  • Candidates in the final year of an undergraduate degree or conversion course may apply provided that they meet the other essential criteria, but should note that any offer of a place will be conditional upon achievement of the relevant academic requirements before the course start date.
  • Any offers made to applicants currently studying for a PhD will be conditional upon the applicant passing their viva with at most minor modifications before the programme start date in early October. Applicants should take account of this early in their planning given delays in organising vivas.

Academic Verification

All candidates invited to an interview will be asked to bring their original A-level and degree certificates for verification. If a candidate is found to have given false information on their application form, their application will be cancelled and they will not be offered a place on the programme.

English language requirements

Candidates for whom English is not their first language will be required to provide proof that they possess an adequate level of English competence. This should be an IELTS test taken in the last two years, with a minimum score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each element. Grade C or above in GCSE English would also be considered adequate as would completion of a degree in an English-speaking country studied for a period of at least three years.

Equal Opportunities Policy

The course operates an equal opportunities policy and candidates will not be disadvantaged in the selection process or indeed through training because of race, religion, age, gender, social class or sexual orientation. We welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds including mature or second career applicants.

We also operate a double tick system. All applicants who declare a disability in the Disability Scheme section of their application and who meet all the essential criteria and the minimum academic short-listing score will automatically be invited to interview.

We will make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of candidates and trainees with disabilities. The course has a Disabilities Lead member of staff.

International Applicants

The DClinPsy training programme at the University of Bath welcomes international applicants wishing to pursue training in clinical psychology. International applicants who have overseas fees status can apply for a self-funded place.

Such applicants will be required to meet all other Essential Criteria, and applications will be evaluated according to the same Desirable Criteria as Home/EU applicants.

Application for these self-funded places is through the Clearing House using Course Code 02 - X.

For further information about the international programme please see our website.

Selection Procedure

In addition to submitting the Clearing House application, we ask all applicants to complete an additional question to demonstrate their suitability for the Bath programme.

Additional question: "Statement of Values"

The ethos of the Bath Programme is consistent with the core values of the NHS Constitution. We expect to recruit individuals from differing backgrounds, who have a variety of experiences, aptitudes and talents. The Programme is committed to improving quality through an evidence based and empirically grounded approach, whilst at the same time encouraging personal qualities such as reflection, creativity, innovation, collaboration, and leadership. We recognise that Clinical Psychology relates in a reciprocal way to wider organisational, social and cultural contexts. We aim to recruit individuals who have the ability to form meaningful and productive connections with the full range of vulnerable people and to always act in their best interests. The willingness and capacity to develop and manage these connections in a compassionate way in clinical, research and other roles is crucially dependent, amongst other things, on important personal qualities, values and beliefs that we recognise are hard to capture within the confines of the Clearing House application.

Candidates applying to Bath will therefore be required to submit a response to a further question asking them to reflect on and tell us how well they feel they are suited to joining the Bath Programme.

Applicants should follow the link above to the University of Bath website for details of the question and how to submit. We will accept submissions from Monday 4 September 2017 and the final deadline for submitting a response is 5.00pm on Friday 15 December 2017. Any applicants who do not submit a response before this deadline will not be considered further.

We will email all applicants in early December (shortly after the Clearing House closing date) to remind them of the deadline.

All correspondence relating to the admissions process will be sent via email to the email address provided on the Clearing House application. Applicants are advised to check their email regularly throughout the process, including junk/spam folders, to ensure that they do not miss any correspondence relating to their application.

Short-listing process

Given the academic demands of this doctoral level training course, an academic score will also be used to filter candidates prior to short-listing. This score will be based on academic performance from A-level through to postgraduate degrees. We have evaluated our selection procedures and have data to support the use of past academic achievements as a valid predictor of performance in selection and future performance on the Programme.

Further information about the scoring process can be found on our website.

A short-list of candidates will then be drawn up by short-listing panels comprising members of the Programme team and regional clinical psychology representatives. Applications will be rated at this stage in relation to the following:

Desirable criteria
  • Additional life skills and competencies related to personal suitability to train as a Clinical Psychologist
  • Quality of references
  • Relevant work experience
  • Research experience and publications
  • Clinical Health Psychology experience or strong commitment to developing this special interest
  • General strength of application
  • Presentation of form

Approximately 60 candidates will be short-listed for interview (this figure may change if the number of commissioned places changes). Candidates will receive an email confirming the outcome of their application. We will not be in a position to give candidates who are not short-listed detailed feedback and would refer candidates to the course essential and desirable criteria.

Double-tick candidates, who meet essential criteria and score above the academic cut-off, discussed above, will go straight through to interview and they will be additional to those chosen through short-listing.

Interviews

The interview process will take place over three days and 20-24 candidates will be interviewed on each day.

The process for each candidate lasts a full day and consists of three parts:

  • Clinical task
  • Clinical/general interview
  • Academic/research interview

Each part of the selection process will last approximately 25 minutes. Each interview will be conducted by a different set of interviewers. Interview panels will comprise a selection of programme staff, regional clinical psychologists, people with personal experience and psychology department colleagues. Final decisions will be made at the end of the interview process and will be arrived at through consideration of performance in relation to the three parts of the interview, as above, and the scores achieved in the short-listing process. A ranked reserve list will be drawn up.

Successful candidates will be notified by telephone as soon as possible after the interviews. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email in the first instance and offered the opportunity to talk to a member of the programme team to receive feedback.

Funding

We currently have 14 commissioned places however applicants should note this may change depending on local NHS requirements. We will inform candidates who are invited to interview how many places have been confirmed for the year of entry. Please note, however, that we often receive confirmation of number of places very late in the process, after the Clearing House closing date.

  • Currently all trainees are employed by the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Current trainees are appointed on a fixed term contract for three years, on band 6 of Agenda for Change pay scales and under Agenda for Change terms and conditions.
  • Currently, course fees are paid by Health Education South West. This year we will have places available for self-funded international trainees.
  • Current trainees can claim travel expenses to University and placements. Occasionally overnight accommodation for trainees on placement can be provided.

Please see the Conditions of Service for further details of current arrangements.

Candidates for 2018 entry should check for funding updates on the Clearing House Funding page.

Offers will be subject to occupational health clearance and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Structure and Content

Academic

The academic teaching on the course will work in tandem with clinical placements. The academic curriculum in the first year will cover core competencies and the knowledge required for clinical practice with adults of working age and later life. Working with children and adolescents, people with learning disabilities and neuropsychology are the main topics covered in the second year. The third year will in general emphasise the development of higher level competencies and meta-competencies, including supervisory, management and leadership abilities. There is a progressive shift from first to third year from supervision towards mentoring, peer supervision and supervising others. Teaching in the first two years is mandatory; there will be some opportunity to choose topics in the third year.

The course emphasises the integration of university based theoretical and skills training with clinical practice by using a range of research-led teaching and learning strategies including lecturing, workshop-based training, problem-based learning, small group sessions and debates, aligning teaching methods to intended learning outcomes. Some academic work will also be carried out as part of clinical placements, with integrated clinical/academic teaching being delivered by supervisors.

The clinical/research/academic integration will be enhanced by teaching which will be conducted both by course staff and clinical psychologists from across the region as well as national experts and people with personal experience. From the beginning of the course, some teaching days will take place in NHS settings elsewhere in the region as "away days" hosted in a variety of sites. These sessions will also be an opportunity for trainees to familiarise themselves with the range of NHS and social care services across the region.

Mindfulness Training

An optional eight-week mindfulness based cognitive therapy course is included in the curriculum as part of a personal and professional development teaching unit. This will enable trainees to use this approach in their own clinical practice if they wish. It is strongly recommended that health professionals undergo a mindfulness course for themselves before delivering this intervention to others. It has been shown that this allows trainees to experience some of the psychological processes and effects that they may be eventually helping to cultivate in clients using mindfulness interventions (Rimes & Wingrove, 2011). Even if trainees choose not to use such interventions with their clients, mindfulness practice should help to enhance self-awareness and reflection skills more generally which could contribute indirectly to improving clinical practice. Mindfulness will also be one of many options available on the course for supporting trainees to manage their own stress and wellbeing.

Clinical

Clinical Psychology trainees are recruited on to the course with an extremely wide range of prior experience, training and ability. Many trainees at this early stage will already have particular aspirations and career pathways in mind. It is also very clear in the evolving NHS that the role of the clinical psychologist is becoming ever more diverse and, to be fit-for-purpose, courses need to have the capacity to support a degree of specialisation. With this in mind, the Bath course has developed a Personal Planning and Training Needs Assessment (PPTNA) to enable the course to work collaboratively with trainees, from pre-training through their entire training experience, to shape their clinical experience to meet their specific needs, career plans and aspirations.

The PPTNA includes sections on skills and experiences prior to training, a personal development plan to meet future aspirations, core and advanced skills and also professional practice. The PPTNA is cumulative, and will be an important tool in identifying the suitability of placements and priorities within placements.

Clinical Placements

Half of the time during training is spent in supervised clinical practice. Clinical practice placements are typically six months in duration. Clinical Psychology with Working Age Adults is the first placement with a graded introduction via clinical observation and additional time in the classroom for teaching and skills training. Placement experience will then extend to a more independent case-load and comprise three days per week as the first term and placement progresses. The second placement in the first year of the programme is with Older Adults and the psychology of later life. In the second year, the placements are in Children and Young People's Services and Learning Disability services and the final year usually comprises a Clinical Health and Elective placement. There may be some flexibility however in timings and placement arrangements according to training needs and interests, as long as competencies in the core areas have been attained. A clinical health placement is not mandatory if trainees have had this kind of experience in another placement and wish to develop other specialist skills.

Research

Consistent with the aim to train competent scientist-practitioners, the course has a strong research element. There are three main research projects within the course, a literature review, a service improvement project and a main research project. There is some flexibility as to the timing of these projects according to topics and scheduling of relevant placements. All research projects need to be completed by May of the third year. All research assignments should be of a standard and in a style suitable for publication in an appropriate journal, rather than as a thesis which then has to be rewritten for publication. It is hoped that this will help trainees develop skills in writing for publication and also ensure that much of the high quality work conducted by trainees finds its way into journals. Trainee projects are also often presented at national and international conferences, such as the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy conference. As a Bath course trainee, you will be encouraged and supported to disseminate your work from early in the Programme.

Assessment

Assessments and examinations are an integral part of the degree. The course has worked hard to ensure that assessments are varied and interesting useful learning experiences in their own right. Assessments include case studies, clinical placements, research projects, a group debate task, a literature review, service improvement project, service consultancy, reflective narrative of professional development as a clinical psychologist and reflective report based on the PPTNA.

The only written examinations will be held in April/May of the first year and consist of two 2-hour papers: Empirically Grounded Psychopathology, and Assessment and Treatment in Clinical Psychology.

Support

Training is a life-changing process, hopefully life-enhancing, and this inevitably brings with it challenges of various kinds. The Bath course aims to help trainees to reflect on this process, in whatever way they find most useful, and also to develop resilience and a healthy work-life balance. A range of support options will be available for trainees in recognition of individual differences and preferences.

Support systems will include personal tutors, clinical psychologists from the Region who are knowledgeable about the course but not part of the course team; buddies from the year above; cohort tutors and clinical tutors. It is recognised that one of the main supports for trainees is members of their own peer group so there will be an emphasis on facilitating team building within each year group.

Staff

All academic staff on the programme are research and clinically active. Please see staff profile pages on the University of Bath website for further information about particular areas of interest.

Professor Paul Salkovskis - Programme Director and Research Director
Dr Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis - Academic Director
Dr Ailsa Russell - Clinical Director
Dr Catherine Butler - Clinical Tutor
Dr Jo Daniels - Clinical Tutor
Dr Cara Davis - Clinical Tutor
Dr James Gregory - Clinical Tutor
Dr Emma Griffith - Clinical Tutor
Ms Lorna Hogg - Clinical and Admissions Tutor
Dr Maria Loades - Clinical Tutor
Dr Elizabeth Marks - Clinical Tutor
Ms Josephine Millar - Clinical Tutor
Dr Cathy Randle-Phillips - Clinical Tutor
Dr Anna Strudwick - Senior Teaching Fellow
Dr Vuokko Wallace - Teaching Fellow
Dr Megan Wilkinson-Tough - Clinical Tutor
Professor Gregory Maio - Head of Department and Chair of Board of Examiners
Rachel Nee - Programme Manager
Dan Clifford - Programme Administrator
Julia Warburton - Programme Administrator