University of East Anglia

Course Code: 05

Self-funded Course Code: 05 - X

Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Therapies
Norwich Medical School
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
NORWICH
Norfolk
NR4 7TJ

Admissions Enquiries:
01603 591709
pgr.enquiries.admiss@uea.ac.uk

Programme Director: Professor Niall Broomfield
Admissions Lead: Kiki Mastroyannopoulou
International Students Enquiries: Professor Sian Coker and Dr Paul Fisher

Welcome to the University of East Anglia (UEA) ClinPsyD

We are delighted that you are considering UEA as a place to train as a Clinical Psychologist.

We will be holding a virtual Open Event for prospective applicants on Thursday 16 September 2021.

Please check our webpages for updates and registration information.

Comments from our trainees:

"It's a great course, which has been both challenging and incredibly enjoyable. I would highly recommend it."

"I have found the placements at UEA to be a real strength of the course. In each placement I have been inspired by the clients I have worked with, and been lucky enough to have been supervised by clinicians who are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive."

"I feel valued at UEA and am proud to be a UEA trainee."

Comments from supervisors:

"I enjoy having UEA trainees as I feel there is great communication between supervisors and the course. The course staff make an effort to get to know supervisors and to keep in touch. This means as a supervisor I feel I can support my trainee better as I know who to speak to if I need to get more information."

"UEA trainees bring enthusiasm and energise our teams. They ask questions which make us think and keep us thinking about why we do things the way we do."

"UEA trainees perform to a consistently high standard. They are highly reflective and hard working. They have been an asset to our service."

Introduction

The UEA Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology is dedicated to developing a workforce of Clinical Psychologists, who are not only highly skilled clinicians, but are able to operate as the next generation of clinical leaders for our profession. The NHS and our society is constantly changing, and as a highly adaptable and responsive programme, we want to equip and support you to develop the skills that our mental health services and systems need to deal with the challenges of the future. Our programme will enable you to become conversant, knowledgeable and confident in applying evidence-based practice through the integration of clinical, academic and research skills, recognising the diverse and wide-ranging role of the clinical psychologist in the modern NHS.

If you've never heard of Norwich or considered East Anglia, you may well be pleasantly surprised. The region is a fantastic place in which to live and to study. The university itself is based in the beautiful and historic city of Norwich and is surrounded by beautiful market towns, countryside and coastline across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The vibrant and historical cities of Cambridge and Peterborough are located to the West of our region. The cost of living is also often reasonable compared to other areas of the country.

Who should apply?

At heart, we are looking for applicants who demonstrate the potential to become skilled clinical psychologists in applied healthcare settings. We place equal value on both clinical and research excellence. As the profession strongly identifies with the Scientist Practitioner role, we seek to recruit applicants who wish to become sophisticated producers and consumers of clinically relevant and impactful research.

We firmly believe that to address the needs of the NHS in the long term, our workforce of Clinical Psychologists needs to develop in diversity, representing more effectively the populations and groups that we serve. We welcome applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds and seek to promote and support diversity across the wider programme and department.

We strongly recommend if you would like to apply to UEA that you check our webpages for the most up-to-date information regarding the Programme and our admissions procedures.

What can I expect from the programme?

The Programme, which is a partnership between the University of East Anglia, the NHS and practising clinical psychologists in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, is offered on a full-time basis only and is three years in duration. Trainees will be part of the research community within the Norwich Medical School in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UEA. A core strength of Norwich Medical School is its interdisciplinary nature.

We offer a wide range of core competency placements in the first two years of training and specialist placements, including international training opportunities, in the final year.

Other teaching in the School includes medical undergraduate education, interdisciplinary health sciences MSc programmes, postgraduate training in CBT (IAPT low and high intensity Programmes) and Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP Programme), alongside short courses providing continuing professional development for health professionals. This provides a unique environment for training clinical psychologists to work in the NHS of the future.

The Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Therapies comprises a multi-disciplinary group of psychologists, psychological therapists, psychiatrists, researchers and research assistants. We work closely with colleagues in the Medical School and across the wider University as appropriate, contributing not only to the Clinical Psychology programme but to wider programmes within the Medical School.

A detailed description of the Programme is given on our website, outlining the course philosophy, orientation, goals of training and strengths.

There is also extensive information for International Applicants on our website.

A concise introduction to the Norwich Medical School, the University, and Norwich can be found on the UEA website.

We encourage you to visit these webpages for full information.

Comments from our trainees:

"UEA has offered me the chance to develop my skills in more areas than I thought possible."

"The opportunities and experiences it will have provided me are undoubtedly worth all the efforts!"

"I have had brilliant support from the course so far."

"I have had really supportive placements, enabling my clinical skills to develop in leaps and bounds over just a few months."

Entry Requirements

All applications should be made via the national Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology.

Please ensure you apply for the correct funding route according to home fees or overseas fees status. Your application may be affected if you do not do so. Further guidance is available on the UKCISA website.

Essential Criteria

As a minimum, applicants must meet the following Essential Criteria to progress to short-listing, together with the additional criteria outlined subsequently:

  • Eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) as defined by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
    Applicants who are currently completing a GBC-accredited undergraduate degree or conversion course in the UK or Ireland must have completed the degree, obtained the results and provided a document to confirm their GBC status by the time short-listing commences at the beginning of February.
  • At least a 2:1 honours degree in psychology.
  • Applications will also be considered from applicants with a 2:2 honours degree who have successfully completed a postgraduate course - either at Masters, DPhil or PhD level. The course must be classified as a research degree (and the research component would normally be at least 50% of the course) i.e. not a taught Masters.
  • Applicants must provide transcript evidence at the point of applying to demonstrate that their degree/s meet this requirement (please see supplementary information section below). We have provided a flowchart to help you assess whether you meet this minimum entry requirement.
  • All previous courses that contribute towards minimum requirements must be fully complete at the point of application. Please see later comments in regards to timing of submission and viva examinations for candidates who are offered an interview or a place.
  • Applicants must have relevant clinical experience, will be judged on the quality of their clinical experience. They must also demonstrate at interview personal and professional qualities consistent with NHS values and standards. Relevant clinical experience can be split across posts and may include voluntary work. Whilst no minimum length of experience is required, the quality of experience and the way in which applicants have applied this knowledge will be assessed as part of short-listing. Short or limited experience is unlikely to give sufficient experience to be judged as representing high quality.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English should provide, at the time of application, evidence of an English language proficiency of IELTS level 7 (with no score below 7 in each test element - listening, reading, writing and speaking) or see the UEA website for information about other equivalent English language evidence. If this is not possible then these criteria must be met prior to accepting an offer of a place on the Programme.
    Applicants who are not from a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) approved majority English speaking country and who have not completed their undergraduate or postgraduate qualifications in these, need to provide evidence of English language proficiency, even if they state English is their first language. Applicants from non-approved countries who have completed their qualifications in an UKVI approved country need to have completed them in the last three years but do not need to provide evidence of English Language speaking ability.
    For visa applications, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) now only accept IELTS for English Language tests taken at acceptable test centres outside the UK (see also the UEA PGR Admissions for more information).
  • All applicants must demonstrate that they have a right to work in the UK or that they meet the requirements of the UKVI for working in the UK. Applicants should check that they meet the criteria before making an application to the Programme.

Supplementary Information Requirements

Applicants are required by the Programme to provide supplementary documents to support their applications if necessary (in addition to those documents sent to the Clearing House), for example:

  • degree transcripts for any degrees completed over and above the degree giving GBC, e.g. Masters degree or PhD
  • undergraduate degree transcript if GBC comes from PG diploma or Masters conversion course to evidence degree award
  • any degree completed prior to or following a conversion course

This is to verify minimum entry requirements are met, any degree classifications and to ensure the degree has been completed. An official translation into English must also be supplied if appropriate.

These documents should be submitted directly to the Programme. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all appropriate supporting evidence is always supplied. Applications without sufficient information will not be considered.

Applicants have until 28 January 2022 to provide copies of original documentation.

Conversion Courses

Applicants who have taken conversion courses that confer GBC are viewed as equivalent to applicants whose original degree confers GBC, though they still need to meet minimum entry criteria in terms of original degree classification. We have provided a flowchart to help you assess whether you meet this minimum entry requirement.

The Programme does not require a specific classification or mark for PG diploma or Masters conversion courses over and above a pass, though the minimum undergraduate entry criteria of 2:1 (or 2:2 with supporting research Masters) must still be met.

Applicants in this position are required to provide a transcript of both their original degree, with an official translation into English if appropriate, as well as documentation evidencing the outcome of the conversion course.

Please send the transcript for your original degree if this does not confer GBC, and translation if appropriate, directly to the programme at the above address. Applications without sufficient information will not be considered as there will be no means to verify the minimum requirements stipulated. You will also need to include the transcript for the degree that confers GBC in your application to the Clearing House.

References and Relevant Experience

Applicants must provide recent references from referees in a position to comment meaningfully on the applicant's experience.

Your Academic Referee may be from your undergraduate degree or conversion course, whichever gave you GBC. Your relevant experience reference should be as current as possible.

Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the variety of roles taken up by the clinical psychologist in the health service and of their personal suitability for this career. The Programme reflects the core NHS values in their selection processes and as such recruits those whose values and attitudes reflect these. Where an applicant is making a career change, including from other branches of psychology, or from other walks of life, it may strengthen their application if they provide information about the background and rationale for this. Our recruitment process is consistent with BPS accreditation criteria and the values of the NHS Constitution as well as being consistent with the 6Cs.

Relevant clinical experience can be gained before, during or after work for the psychology degree. This may be from a clinical setting, as a psychology assistant, a healthcare assistant or a support worker, and would give experience of working with people with psychological needs. Experience working alongside a clinical psychologist is particularly relevant.

Applicants must have relevant clinical experience, will be judged on the quality of their clinical experience and must also demonstrate at interview personal and professional qualities consistent with NHS values and standards. Relevant clinical experience can be split across posts and may include voluntary work, though at least one significant period of work in the same position is required.

We are also interested in appointing people with clinically relevant research experience, although this needs to be supplemented by some clinical experience.

Masters programmes with a clinical component which provides practical experience within a relevant clinical setting, supervised by a suitably qualified professional, will be considered to provide relevant clinical experience.

International Applicants

Applications should be made via the Clearing House using Course Code 05 - X.

Every year we offer a small number of places for self-funding international applicants who can secure financial support throughout the duration of training on the Programme. Successful applicants will join an established and growing community of international students on the Programme. Such applicants must meet our entry criteria and have overseas fees status. Please see our website for further information on applying as an international candidate as details regarding essential entry criteria for international students are given there.

For applicants with international qualifications, a copy of an appropriate transcript of all relevant qualifications (along with official translations into English where appropriate) must be included with the application.

Applicants with international qualifications will need to have them assessed by the BPS to check whether they meet criteria for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). We advise you to do this at the earliest opportunity opportunity as confirmation of GBC by the BPS is a requirement prior to accepting an offer of a place on the UEA Programme.

The offer of a place on the UEA ClinPsyD Training Programme is also subject to the applicant undergoing a successful police check in their own country (from all relevant residences) and also start the process of gaining an Occupational Health clearance prior to arrival in the UK. A successful Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check (which is similar to a police check, but which is carried out once you are  the UK) is needed prior to starting your training with us. We can provide further guidance and help on how to apply for this, on your arrival in the UK.

If a candidate is unable to provide the programme with the above clearances, this will lead to UEA having to withdraw their sponsorship of the candidate and the applicant will unfortunately be required to return to their native country. Please check our website for further information.

Comments from an international trainee:

"I have no regret in pursuing my professional dream in the UK. It is one of the world's leading destinations for international students as UK universities perform well in the world rankings. Besides the excellent teaching standards, the UEA programme considers opportunities for international trainees to either complete their final year specialist clinical placements and/or research locally or in their home country. This is a unique attribute that really sets this University apart from the rest."

Equal Opportunities

The University has an equal opportunities policy and is concerned to implement fair selection procedures. However, the University does not currently operate a guaranteed interview scheme for student applications (the "Double Tick" scheme). Enquiries about any aspect of entry, including support available for people with disabilities, should be addressed to the Admissions Enquiries administrator at the telephone or email address above. Appropriate accommodations are made at interview for those with a declared disability. Please inform us at the earliest opportunity if this is the case.

Comments from a trainee:

"The course is very good at trying to not overwhelm us. The support systems are many and very good, the assignments are tailored and not excessive compared to others and they are responsive to us and our concerns as trainees. There seems to be genuine care and effort to offer a good experience to us all."

Selection Procedure

Our selection process is under a continuous evaluation and review in light of feedback from applicants and the views of those involved in selection. For the 2021 intake, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we took the decision to move all of our interviews online. This was very successful and we are currently reviewing the use of virtual technologies for interviewing for the 2022 intake. We will provide updated guidance on this on our website and in direct correspondence to candidates.

Short-listing

We no longer require candidates to complete a selection test as part of the short-listing process.

For the purposes of short-listing, applications are reviewed comprehensively by a panel of Programme staff from the University and Clinical supervisors from the NHS. Short-listing is completed against published short-listing criteria. Applicants are ranked in order of total scores and interviews offered based on ranking.

Applicants who are not offered an interview are provided with information about the short-listing criteria and a list of common reasons for an applicant not being offered an interview. These can be used to evaluate their own application. Unfortunately, due to the numbers of applications we receive, we are unable to offer individual feedback following short-listing.

We are currently reviewing our short-listing criteria for the 2022 entry.

Interviews

As of this year, applicants will attend one interview (covering both academic/research and clinical areas).

The interview panel will include a member of the Programme team, a Clinical supervisor and a Service User Representative. Interviews are conducted using a standard set of questions and scenarios to aid consistency and applicants are scored against a person specification.

The person specification includes:

  • demonstrating a good understanding of research design principles;
  • the ability to develop a research proposal;
  • the ability to demonstrate basic clinical skills;
  • the ability to link theory and practice;
  • the capacity to reflect on one's own experience and to learn from it.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding gained in their undergraduate psychology degree and have a good working knowledge of clinical psychology in the NHS. Further details about the Programme and the interview process are sent to all those invited for interview. An opportunity will be provided to talk to existing trainees online on the day of the interview in order to provide additional information and answer any questions.

As well as the criteria outlined above, applicants should note that consideration is also given to any Fitness to Practise issues that arise during the short-listing or the interviews process in relation to entry on to the Programme. Please see the Clearing House page about Fitness to Practise for more detail.

Training as a clinical psychologist involves working with children and vulnerable adults.  Throughout the selection process and the training programme we will take stringent measures to ensure that the clients that trainees work with are kept safe.

Place offers are made based on performance in all aspects of the selection process including the numeracy and literacy test.

As part of the interview paperwork applicants will have an opportunity to express their preference for placement base location. The four bases are: Norfolk and Waveney, Suffolk, South Cambridgeshire and North Cambridgeshire. Wherever possible account will be taken of preferences and any personal circumstances in the allocation; but UEA cannot guarantee that candidates will be offered their preferred choice.

It is strongly recommended that the trainee lives within the base allocated, as clinical placements are likely to involve considerable amounts of travel and trainees are expected to follow the normal working pattern followed at the placement. Living in the base location enables contact with and support from other trainees. Trainees are ordinarily expected to be able to drive and have access to a car.

Offers and outstanding qualifications

Please note that the University will not usually allow you to enrol onto a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology if you are currently enrolled on any other degree e.g. a PhD or Masters’ programme; this includes any outstanding requirements such as a viva examination or any associated corrections. If you have any incomplete assessment / reassessment or other criteria from another programme, it may not be possible for us to offer you a place on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or you may be required to provide proof that you have withdrawn from your incomplete programme.

Offer of an interview to those completing a PhD will be conditional upon submission of the PhD for viva by the time of interview in March.  Any offers made to applicants currently studying for a PhD will ordinarily be conditional upon the applicant passing their viva with at most limited modifications (maximum of three months), before the acceptance deadline in early June.  Applicants should take account of this early in their planning given delays in organising vivas.

Offers made to applicants who have not provided academic transcripts and certificates will be conditional upon the provision of suitable evidence of completion.  Applicants who are required to submit corrections following their viva must have submitted all corrections no later than 1 September 2022.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that any conditions attached to their offer are met as specified in the offer letter.  It will not normally be possible for UEA to offer extensions to deadlines.  We regret that offers for places on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology cannot be deferred beyond 1 October 2022.

Successful applicants will be notified by email shortly after the interviews.  Unsuccessful applicants from the interviews will also be notified at this time. Please ensure that you check your junk mail folder regularly through the application process, and that you advise us of any changes to your email address.

In order to facilitate the process of employment for successful candidates we will require candidates to provide documentation and referee-information to be used for a range of checks by the NHS.

These checks are:

  • Right to Work in the UK
  • Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
  • NHS ID checks
  • Employer reference(s)

Candidates selected by the University will be offered employment by an appropriate NHS employer to facilitate their training

Contextual recruitment process

The wording within this section is standardised. UEA is currently in the process of finalising our approach to contextual recruitment and our website will be updated once this has taken place.

Our programme is considering developing contextual recruitment processes. This is based on evidence that contextualising individuals' achievements using additional information about their educational, social and economic background can lead to fairer and more inclusive selection processes. In particular, this information could help us to recognise individuals with strong potential for success at doctoral level and within the profession, who otherwise might not have been identified.

The Clearing House will circulate a survey to collect Contextual Admissions data separately from the application form. The Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology have agreed the questions in this survey, which have evidence for improving the inclusivity and equity of recruitment processes. Completion of this survey is optional, however if you are able to answer any of the questions which provide some additional background about you, and you are happy to provide this to us via the Clearing House, then we would encourage you to do so.

We will in due course provide further details on our website about how we will use the data collected in the survey e.g. as part of our selection processes; for audit/research purposes to consider developments to selection processes in future years; to create reports for external agencies such as Health Education England (which commissions many of the training programmes); etc.

Funding

Current NHS funded 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 current NHS trainees commenced on the first spine point of Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Please see the NHS Careers website for information on current salaries and conditions of service. Expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with NHS terms and conditions of service. A copy of the current Job Description may be found on our website.

In 2021, following national developments in the allocation of training places, we were able to offer 49 funded places. We anticipate a similar number for 2022, in order to support the NHS workforce plans. As a result, we would anticipate interviewing approximately 160 applicants.

For 2022 we will offer places to a small number of self-funded international applicants who can secure financial support throughout the duration of training on the Programme. Please see the Entry Requirements section above for further details.

Please ensure you apply for the correct funding route according to home fees or overseas fees status. Your application may be affected if you do not do so. Further guidance is available on the UKCISA website.

Comments from employers:

"I have employed many ex-UEA trainees. I feel that as clinicians they are able to take a broad-based and eclectic approach to therapy, calling on a range of psychological models and rarely being wedded to one."

"UEA Trainees often come with excellent communication skills and an ability to empathise with clients, their families and other professionals. They have a confidence in their abilities and training but are able to communicate complex ideas with clarity and sensitivity."

Structure and Content

For details on our course structure, including placements, research programme, academic content and trainee support, please see our website.

Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

There is no provision in the UEA degree regulations for Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning. The Programme is full-time for three years and attendance at all programme 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.

Support

A full list of current staff in the Department of Clinical Psychology, together with information about research interests can be found on our website.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this entry is correct at the time of writing. However, it does not form part of any contract between the University and a student, or the employing Trust and the trainee.

In the event of an applicant wishing to raise issues of concern regarding the application and admissions process, please see the UEA website for details regarding the University complaints procedure.