University of East London

Course Code: 06

Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)
University of East London
Water Lane
E15 4LZ

020 8223 4174

Programme Director (Academic): Professor David Harper
Programme Director (Clinical): Dr Paula Corredor Lopez
Admission Tutor: Dr Matthew Jones Chesters
Professional Programmes Team Leader: Claire Correia


The programme was established in 1975 and is housed within the School of Psychology of the University of East London's Stratford Campus. Training at UEL is seen as a collaborative venture between the University-based programme and clinical psychologists in the North Thames London region, who, in addition to supervising trainees' clinical placements are also closely involved in programme teaching, assessment, management and selection. The North Thames London programmes (i.e. UEL, UCL and RHUL) share an extensive range of placements, particularly in specialist areas.

The programme's key orienting principles are: (a) that psychological problems are best understood in a social and cultural context, and (b) that trainees and those who teach and supervise them have a responsibility to be aware of and to be able to reflect upon, the social, professional and personal influences on their professional activities.

The programme is characterised by this distinctive approach to the subject. As well as providing teaching on the major approaches to clinical psychology theory and practice, the philosophical bases of scientific activity are examined, especially the problems of applying philosophies and methods from the natural sciences to human behaviour and society. The programme strongly encourages the formulation of psychological problems in their social context. There is a particular emphasis on conceptual issues such as the reliability and validity of diagnostic categories, and an awareness of debates about the evidence bases for psychological interventions.

Our principles imply values and assumptions that permeate the programme and that we seek to develop in staff, supervisors and trainees, and include:

  • those values set out in relevant professional Codes of Conduct;
  • the development of a scholarly and constructively critical approach to clinical psychology theory, research and services, which includes being aware of a wide range of theory and of research evidence and its evaluation;
  • placing strong value upon listening to the views of service users and seeing clients' strengths and resources as fundamental to any collaborative work;
  • a commitment to valuing diversity in staff and trainees; and
  • a commitment from programme staff, supervisors and trainees to ensure that such diversity enhances the training experience for all.

There is an emphasis on reflective practice and a serious commitment to equal opportunities, both in clinical practice and in the curriculum. Trainees, supervisors and our service-user and carers consultative committee (People's Committee) members contribute actively to all aspects of teaching, curriculum design, placement monitoring, and selection for admission to the programme.

Entry Requirements

Please read carefully the UEL Trainee Person Specification (available on our website) for details of the essential and desirable criteria for selection. As a general principle in selection, it is for the applicant to demonstrate their eligibility, suitability, and preparedness for the programme, in their application and supporting documents.

The essential criteria are applied strictly, and all applicants must meet the essential criteria set out in the UEL Trainee Clinical Psychologist Person Specification at the time of application. We do not accept applications from undergraduates or other applicants who do not yet have GBC. We do not accept applications with insufficient clinical experience at the time of application.

In line with good practice in relation to the employment of people with disabilities, the programme offers interviews to all applicants declaring a disability and who meet the minimum entry requirements set out below. The University and the relevant NHS Trust work to equal opportunities policies and no applicant is discriminated against on grounds of ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, or age.

Widening access to the profession of clinical psychology is important to the programme. We are working closely with other clinical psychology programmes within London, Surrey, and Kent to widen access for people from Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic backgrounds, as well as collaborating on a national level within the Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology and BPS Division of Clinical Psychology. We keep our selection processes under constant review and aim to ensure they do not discriminate against people with "protected characteristics" under the Equality Act (2010). We are committed to ensuring the profession is more inclusive, valuing people bringing experience from a range of backgrounds

Minimum entry requirements

Applications are only accepted from candidates who are entitled to work full-time in the UK for the duration of the programme (three years). Applicants must have full UK residency, which includes EU Settlement Scheme settled and pre-settled status, and not require a work permit. To be considered for entry to the course in September 2022, applicants must normally have been resident in the UK from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2022 for a purpose that is not wholly or mainly related to receiving full-time education during any part of this three-year period. There are no self-funded places on the programme. There is no option to take the programme part-time.

Applicants must be acceptable to the university as doctoral-level (postgraduate) research students. Applicants must hold an honours degree of 2:1 class or better which is acceptable to the British Psychological Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). Applicants with a conversion diploma/MSc must have a 2:1 class or better in their first degree, and equivalent results or better in the conversion programme. We do not consider applications where it is not clear from the transcript, module results, or by other means, what was the overall level of attainment.

Applicants must have research experience as a postgraduate, either postgraduate level training (e.g. PhD); or conducting applied or service-related research in clinical settings. Applicants must have knowledge of data analysis procedures employed within the field of psychology including multivariate statistical and qualitative approaches.

Applicants must also demonstrate appropriate commitment and realistic appreciation of what training and practice involve. Accordingly, they must have gained the equivalent of at least 12 months full-time paid employment in a relevant post at the time of the application. Relevant posts mean those which give applicants a strong awareness of, and experience in, the practice of clinical psychology and supervision in the UK NHS or related settings. Unpaid posts (honorary, intern or voluntary contracts) do not count towards the 12-month minimum required.

The UEL programme team is trialling the use of contextual admissions processes, whereby some forms of social disadvantage are considered when evaluating applications. Applicants may be asked for further information in support of their application. The Clearing House will circulate a survey to collect Contextual Admissions data separately from the application form. The Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology (GTiCP) have agreed the questions in this survey, which are intended to improve the inclusivity and equity of recruitment processes. Completion of this survey is optional; however, we encourage applicants who can answer questions on the survey to do so.

Applicants whose primary language is not English, and/or who have any university qualifications, that they rely upon in their application, that were not taught and examined in English, must provide evidence of adequate English language facility: an IELTS certificate, obtained within two years of the date of application with overall grade of at least 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component. No other language testing programmes are accepted.

The programme employs pre-interview assessment procedures to evaluate applicants' research knowledge, critical thinking skills, reasoning, and capacity for making judgments in complex situations. Applicants must achieve scores on these procedures that place them in approximately the upper 50th percentile of the cohort of applicants.

Applicants must have the commitment and ability to undertake advanced study, research and clinical psychology practice at the professional doctorate level. Accordingly, clinical and academic references must be provided and confirm excellent academic, research and clinical skills and the potential to succeed on the programme. References must be from a person who knows the applicant well and can provide for the programme genuine information on the qualifications, experiences and statuses relevant to the application. References must be provided through the Clearing House system: we do not accept letters of recommendation or references provided in any other format, and we deselect applicants without appropriate references. Applicants should ensure that their referees will complete the Clearing House reference form.

Applicants must be acceptable to the National Health Service as a trainee clinical psychologist in a full-time capacity, including current regulations of the relevant NHS Trust. All offers of a place are therefore dependent on satisfactory checks as follows: Disclosure & Barring Service checks; HR fitness to practise review; occupational health assessment; the university and relevant NHS trust will verify applicant identity, eligibility for UK employment, and all qualifications claimed in the application, using formal procedures requiring original documents. 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.

Selection Procedure

Each application is reviewed by programme staff and/or local NHS clinical psychologists for the essential and desirable entry criteria including:

  • satisfactory completion and preparation of the application;
  • residence and right to work in the UK and in accordance with relevant NHS regulations;
  • academic qualifications and ambitions;
  • research appraisal skills and development experience;
  • relevant clinical or research employment experience, settings and range;
  • motivation to work in the UK NHS and realism regarding the challenges of training;
  • quality of academic and clinical references; and
  • respectful communication with the programme and admissions team.

Applicants with a conversion diploma/MSc must email to the programme a PDF of the transcript of their first bachelors/undergraduate honours degree, demonstrating a 2:1 class of degree.

Applicants who have qualifications, that they rely upon in their application, in a language other than English must email to the programme a PDF of a certified translation of the certificate(s) and transcript(s).

Applicants who have qualifications, that they rely upon in their application, in a language other than English, must email to the programme a PDF of their IELTS certificate, assessed within the previous two years.

All additional documents must be emailed to before 5.00pm (UK time) on Friday 26 November 2021.

Applicants will be invited to sit the pre-selection tests on Saturday 12 February 2022.

Application ratings are combined with scores on the pre-interview assessment procedures such that approximately 100 candidates are short-listed to attend a selection day.

During the selection day, candidates will attend a Competence Interview and the People's Panel. Competence Interviews are conducted by a panel comprising representatives of the Programme staff (one of whom is the panel Chair), and clinical psychologists from the region who offer placements. The People's Panel is a short task facilitated by members of our People’s Committee (experts by experience, service-users, carers, and their representatives). Current trainees are actively involved in supporting candidates on selection days.

Applicant performance in the Competence Interview and People's Panel are scored on domains capturing the essential and desirable selection criteria. On the basis of the selection day scores, test scores, and application ratings, offer and reserve list places are decided. For all interviewees, brief feedback on their performance is provided in the outcome letter. Please note that due to the large number of applications received each year, we are not able to provide individual feedback for applicants not invited to interview.

The programme's selection procedures are constantly being refined and developed, and applicants may be required to participate in additional procedures currently under development/audit in order to be eligible to apply to the programme. Applicants will be advised of any additional procedures at the time of applying.


Current trainees are NHS employees within the London North Thames region, on a fixed-term full-time three-year contract, with university fees paid, and with associated NHS salaries (starting Band 6, point 21), London Allowance, annual leave entitlement etc. For the 2022 intake we expect to offer at least 31 places. There are no self-funded places available. Since all funding (including fees) is currently provided by Health Education England (HEE), the Programme is not in a position to offer places to candidates who do not have residency within the UK, or who would not intend to practise within the UK on completion of training.

Structure and Content

The programme is a postgraduate course of full-time study and lasts for three years: intake is in September in accordance with commissioning rounds for clinical psychology training. Approximately 50% of trainee time is spent on clinical placement; around 30% is spent on academic teaching/study; and around 20% on research. Placements and teaching/research days and tasks run in parallel over the three years.

The academic year is divided into four terms: September/October-December, January-March, April-June and July-September. The placement year, which runs in parallel, is divided into two double terms, September/October-March, and April-September (though in Year 1 placements may begin later due to an induction period). The organisation and general timetable for modules is shown below.


The academic syllabus entails a total 180 credits (approximately 1,800 hours) of teaching, learning and independent study across the three years of the programme: 90 credits in Year 1, 60 credits in Year 2, and 30 credits in Year 3. The academic syllabus is divided into three main modules, one per year of the programme.

Module Year 1 includes
  • Induction
  • C1: Ethics and epistemology 1: Foundations
  • C2: Introduction to therapeutic approaches
  • C3: Generic clinical skills
  • C4: Personal and professional development 1
  • C5: Adult mental health
  • C6: Psychosis and severe/enduring presentations
  • C7: Neuropsychology
  • C8: Clinical health psychology
Module Year 2 includes
  • C9: Evidence, research, evaluation and practice
  • C10: Working with groups, families and systems
  • C11: Ethics and epistemology 2: Contexts
  • C12: Personal and professional development 2
  • C13: Working with children, young people and families
  • C14: Working with people who have learning disabilities
  • C15: Elders, families and carers
Module Year 3 includes
  • C16: Supervision, consultation and advanced clinical skills
  • C17: Skills for working in and with organisations and larger systems
  • C18: Personal and professional development 3

Clinical Experience

Within the competency-based model of training, trainees' clinical experience on placement enables them to develop a continuous accumulation of the competencies they must attain (a total of 270 credits of study). This is achieved by flexible use of a series of six-month and one-year placements, working with a wide range of service users and carers across the life-span. The programme's Clinical Tutors organise placements for trainees and facilitate their learning of practice-related skills.

Placements 1 & 2 in Year 1

Two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement(s) in an NHS or related setting, working with:

  • Psychological Presentations in Adults, and/or
  • Psychological Presentations in Older Adults, and/or
  • Psychosis and Severe/Enduring Presentations
Placements 3 & 4 in Year 2

Two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement(s) in an NHS or related setting, working with:

  • Children and Families; Groups, Teams and Systems, and/or
  • People who have Learning Disabilities, and/or
  • Psychological Presentations in Older Adults, and/or
  • Psychology in Health and Social Care settings
Placements 5 & 6 in Year 3

Two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement(s) in an NHS or related setting, working with:

  • Specialist Clinical Services, and/or
  • Advanced work with Groups, Teams and Systems, and/or
  • Community Psychology and Interventions, and/or
  • Organisational Frameworks and Approaches


The service-related research project is completed in Year 1 and must have a service-oriented focus. The clinical research thesis (90 credits) is submitted in the summer of Year 3, from research devised and conducted over Years 2 and 3. Topics for this research are selected from the projects offered by programme staff and/or regional clinical psychologists. This stream of research activity is co-ordinated by the Research Director, with supervisory resources drawn from university staff and regional clinical psychologists.

All the programme team actively engage in research supervision within their speciality fields. The programme team also have a track record of publishing peer-reviewed papers and books.

There are a number of active research groups in the School of Psychology and the wider university including:

  • Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group
  • Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Research Group
  • Health Promotion and Behaviour Research Group
  • Mental Health and Social Change Research Group
  • Developmental Research


Academic components are examined via:

  • Year 1: Essay; two exam papers; practical report
  • Year 2: Research proposal; service-related research; one exam paper; practical report
  • Year 3: Small group seminar presentation; Practical report

Placement performance across the three years is assessed per six-month component via Supervisor Rating of Competence, evidenced by a placement portfolio of clinical experience.

An external and an internal examiner read the research thesis and examine the candidate viva voce, following university postgraduate research regulations.


The programme espouses a learner-led model and seeks to develop the trainees' own learning skills throughout the three years. We recognise that learning is facilitated by the availability of personal support systems. In practice, this involves:

  • recognising that trainees bring many skills to the Programme and using these in academic and clinical contexts;
  • reflexive teaching where trainees learn to apply to themselves skills they may also try to develop in clients;
  • learning contracts which specify experiences to be gained and skills to be learned in placement;
  • an individual training plan by which trainees record their progress and which can be used for future planning;
  • the encouragement of collaborative activities and of the practice of learning from each other.

The programme provides a variety of personal support systems which offer choice and recognise that support should be available on a day-to-day basis as well as for crises. These include:

  • mentoring: all Year 1 trainees are allocated a second year trainee to act as a "buddy" to them to facilitate support between trainees from the very beginning of the programme;
  • academic and clinical year tutors meet with trainees regularly at scheduled tutor meetings to discuss any issues arising for the cohort;
  • clinical year tutors can meet with individual trainees to discuss any issues relating to placement experience, personal stress or personal circumstances and issues related to their role with the host NHS trust;
  • individual tutors support trainees in monitoring their individual training plan and specific training needs;
  • independent personal advisors: clinicians in the North Thames region are available to act as independent advisors, offering meetings to discuss and review training experiences and any problems should they arise;
  • personal and professional development groups provide the opportunity to make personal sense of training experiences and develop as reflective and critical practitioners.


Claire Correia - Professional Programmes Team Leader
Maha Anis - Programme Placement Officer

Professor David Harper - Programme Director (Academic)
Dr Matthew Jones Chesters - Deputy Programme Director (Academic) and Admissions Tutor & Academic Tutor Year 3
Dr Kenneth Gannon - Research Director
Dr Trishna Patel - Deputy Research Director
Professor Nimisha Patel - Senior Academic Tutor and Academic Tutor Year 3
Dr Maria Castro - Academic Tutor Year 2
Dr Lorna Farquharson - Academic Tutor Year 1
Dr Matthew Boardman - Academic & Clinical Tutor (intake 2020)

Dr Paula Corredor Lopez - Programme Director (Clinical)
Currently vacant - Deputy Programme Director (Clinical) and Admissions Tutor
Dr Amy Bartlett - Development Clinical Tutor

Dr Nargis Islam - Clinical Tutor Year 3 (intake 2019)
Currently vacant - Clinical Tutor Year 2 (intake 2020)
Dr Maria Qureshi - Clinical Tutor Year 1 (intake 2021)

Programme Management

The Programme Committee is the programme's main decision-making body and consists of the Programme staff team (above), Associate Clinical Tutors, Student/Trainee Representatives (one per year), People's Committee members, Clinical Supervisor Representatives, Heads of Service Representative, and a Representative from the programme's NHS Commissioners (Health Education North Central & East London, HENCEL) Clinical Psychology Sub-Group.

The Programme Committee has four subcommittees - for Selection, Placements, Academic Curriculum, and People’s Committee (experts by experience, service-users, and carers) - with relevant stakeholder representation on each.