University of Leicester

Course Code: 15

Self-funded Course Code: 15 - X

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
University of Leicester
Centre for Medicine
Lancaster Road

0116 223 1639

Course Director: Dr Noelle Robertson
Course Administrator: Ms Pamela Sawyer


The Leicester programme leads to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and eligibility for Chartered Clinical Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society. Completing this programme provides eligibility to apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council. The programme is three years full-time. We are located in a new state of the art teaching facility on campus.

The NHS Constitution outlines the core values which underpin all NHS services. This programme reflects those values, and those of the local Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. Our recruitment strategy maps well with the Values Based Recruitment approach recommended by Health Education England. A further outline of how we encompass these is on our website.

The programme reflects a competency-based approach to training. The aim is to develop trainees to graduate as reflective scientist-practitioners, able to take a flexible and responsive approach in a variety of service contexts in the evolving NHS. This will include developing knowledge and skills in four theoretical models (CBT, psychodynamic, systemic and community psychology) and neuropsychology; working with disadvantaged groups; engaging in reflective practice; and developing research capabilities, notably undertaking empirical work which makes an original contribution to the evidence base and profession, and developing competence in writing for publication.

We also provide foundational support for trainees interested in pursuing post-doctoral qualifications in systemic family therapy and/or the QiCN (ie qualification in clinical neuropsychology).

The Leicester DClinPsy course has an excellent reputation for training in cultural diversity and cultural competence. Both teaching and placement opportunities support competence in engaging with, and serving, clients from the diverse communities who comprise the vibrant, multi-cultural population of Leicester and the East Midlands. We have well-established international links with institutions in Cuba, Ethiopia and the USA, and encourage trainees to participate in reciprocal visits, enriching understanding of different models of professional practice, training, and healthcare delivery. The Course welcomes applications from the full range of cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds as represented in the UK population in the 21st century.

Entry Requirements

At the time of application applicants must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status and a good Honours degree in psychology (mid 2:1 or above). People with a low 2:1 or 2:2 will be considered if they have supplemented their first degree by completing a research-based Masters (achieving a merit or higher grade), or a PhD, in an area relevant to clinical psychology.

Please note that we determine a degree to meet the standard of mid 2:1 or above (ie an overall grade of 64.0 or above) by using the following calculation: the total score for all modules/courses taken in the final two years of the degree is divided by the number of modules/courses taken during those final two years. Double weighting (or other weighting) of modules is taken into account in this calculation.

For candidates whose initial degree was not psychology, we do consider applicants who have completed a postgraduate conversion course. A diploma conversion will not count as topping up a low 2:1 or 2:2 degree. A Masters conversion would count in such a circumstance, as long as a research element (ie a thesis) is evidenced, and a merit or higher grade is achieved.

People who have yet to graduate at the time of application to the Course will not be short-listed.

Applicants must have had the equivalent of one year's paid full-time experience in a work situation (clinical or research) which has brought them into contact with one or more client groups with whom clinical psychologists work. This is calculated to the end of January 2018.

For those whose first language is not English, a score of 8, with no element below 7.5, is required on the IELTS, or an equivalent score on TOEFL.

There are no Accreditation for Prior (Experiential) Learning (AP(E)L) concessions, exemptions or advanced progression with regard to training and experience prior to entry onto the course, nor once on the course.

Doctoral training is clinically, emotionally and academically demanding, therefore you need to demonstrate your aptitude for this level of work. While training itself will help to develop your skills, the Course expects that you will have a high level of ability in academic, clinical and research areas. Fitness to Practise is a requirement of all professionals registered with the HCPC and the University of Leicester has a fitness to practise policy in place.

The University is committed to the implementation of equal opportunities policies and does not therefore discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, race, gender or sexual orientation.

Selection Procedure

The process of selecting candidates for training is organised in Leicester by a Selection Committee, which includes Course staff, representatives of local NHS Trusts and clinical psychologists working within the area served by the Course.

There are three stages to our selection procedure:

  1. All applicants are screened to ensure minimum entry requirements are met.
  2. Following this, the majority of applicants are invited to undertake a range of Computerised Screening Tests, including reasoning and judgment.
  3. The third stage involves the most successful candidates from the Computerised Screening Tests being invited to attend an Assessment Centre, comprising a range of interactive tasks, and which includes a further orientation to the Course and an opportunity to visit the campus, and meet staff and current trainees. Candidates will also undertake three assessment tasks: a role-play, a personal interview, and a written task, contributing to a final summated total score. Our trained assessors comprise members of the staff team, local clinical psychologists, and our service user reference group.

Written feedback, in the form of a letter, is available to all unsuccessful candidates who attend the Assessment Centre. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide individual feedback to candidates not invited to the Assessment Centre.

Selection dates

In February 2018 pre-interview computer tests will be administered to candidates who pass the initial application screening process. The Computerised Screening Tests will run on Thursday 22 February 2018 at the University of Leicester. Applicants should note that the tests will run on this day only.

The Assessment Centre for NHS places will run during the week commencing Monday 19 March 2018.

The Assessment Centre for self-funded places will run a few days later (see below for details).


NHS funded places

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

The 2018 intake is expected to be 12 trainees.

Currently most Leicester trainees are employed as Trainee Clinical Psychologists by the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust on Agenda for Change Band 6. The Trainee Job Description and Person Specification are available on our website. Fees are currently paid by NHS Health Education East Midlands, and it is a requirement of our Commissioners that applicants have "home fees status". This means applicants must be UK/EU citizens and be ordinarily resident in the UK.

Commencing on the course is subject to enhanced DBS clearance, satisfactory enhanced health screening, and satisfactory references.

Trainees are expected to live within the geographical boundaries of NHS Health Education East Midlands (Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Lincolnshire). Trainees may be placed in clinical departments throughout this area, mostly in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Whilst every effort is made to take account of trainees' circumstances, trainees will often find that their placements involve travelling considerable distances. Applicants should note that the University of Leicester is the formal course base. Current trainees find travel costs to be high, particularly those who live a long way from Leicester.

International applications from non-UK and non-EU citizens

We also invite applications from candidates who are non-UK and non-EU citizens, and who are not resident in the UK (except for educational purposes). Applicants must have alternative funding for both fees and living expenses. We have up to three such places available. Entry requirements and criteria for selection are as described in the Entry Requirements section above.

International candidates will be asked to undertake the Computerised Screening Tests on Thursday 22 February 2018, and if successful and meet the minimum entry requirements, will be asked to attend the Assessment Centre on Wednesday 28 March 2018.

Application for these places is through the Clearing House using Course Code 15 - X.

Structure and Content

The Leicester Course is committed to integrating the three elements of training: clinical placements; academic teaching; and research.

Clinical Practice Placements

Approximately half of a Leicester trainee's time is spent on developing skills in clinical practice. In line with the core competency approach to training, the placement structures have undergone significant change and there is more variety in each trainee's path through the Course. Over the course of three years, trainees will usually have undertaken two 6-month placements and two year-long placements and will have had opportunities to develop the required range of competences in the required range of settings, clients and modes of work. Attendance at placements is mandatory, as is attending the University and NHS Trust induction programmes.

Academic Teaching

Teaching is organised in blocks at the start of each autumn term, followed by set days of teaching for each year group. This is Monday and Tuesday in autumn term then Monday only for first year trainees, Tuesday for second year trainees and Wednesday for third year trainees.

Attendance is mandatory at all teaching days through the three years of training. Occasional seminars are arranged across all cohorts and these are also mandatory. Trainees are allocated dedicated study days throughout the year, except during block teaching.

A range of teaching approaches is employed, including lectures and workshops by clinical colleagues who are experts in their field, research methods to support trainees in academic course requirements, the use of actors for clinical skills teaching and regular reflective practice seminars across the three years. The four approaches featured in the course curriculum are: cognitive-behavioural (including recent innovations and integrative approaches), psychodynamic, systemic and community. The course has a strong commitment to engaging with diverse populations, in particular black and minority ethnic communities, and this is reflected in the curriculum.


A report of a small-scale project involving placement-based research will be submitted in the second year. In addition, a more extensive research project of clinical relevance must form the basis of a doctoral thesis submitted in the third year. In line with the doctoral status of the Course, this thesis must constitute an original and substantial contribution to knowledge and/or clinical practice. Trainees choose their own research topic, but this is often shaped by the availability and expertise of supervision. At present core staff research interests include: difference and diversity, eating disorders, forensic psychology, clinical health psychology, health professional behaviour change, and neuropsychology. There is a small research budget per trainee and trainees are allocated 30 research days to be taken in the second and third years.


Assessment is based on the academic, research and clinical components of training and the trainees' ability to integrate these areas. The emphasis is on continuous assessment of core competencies and learning from ongoing feedback. Specifically, assessment includes: (1) written assignments (critical appraisal, psychometrics appraisal, literature review, case studies); (2) exam (a computerised statistics test); (3) clinical skills assessments, including video and/or actors assessments and clinical viva; (4) small-scale research project (ie service evaluation); (5) clinical placement performance ratings; (6) doctoral thesis. All theses are examined by an internal and an external examiner, the latter chosen for their expertise in the subject area and/or the methodology of the research study. To be awarded the degree, candidates must achieve a satisfactory standard in all elements of the assessment.


The Leicester DClinPsy Course places considerable importance on trainee support and development and offers a number of mechanisms for this. Each year cohort has an identified Academic Tutor, who together with their identified Line Manager act as Year Tutors with responsibility for communications and overseeing all aspects of training (clinical, professional, academic and personal). As well as ongoing support/guidance, a developmental perspective is maintained. The Academic Tutor provides general guidance and support specifically for academic aspects of training. The identified Line Manager ensures trainees are managed consistently according to NHS policies and procedures. In addition, there is a Safety Net Scheme in which trainees can choose from a list of local clinicians who will act as an independent and confidential source of support. A "buddy system", in which each new trainee is allocated a second year trainee, also operates to provide an informal source of support on any issues or worries. In addition, there is a system of Reflective Practice Seminars led by a course staff member and a local clinician where trainees discuss clinical cases and dilemmas in a reflexive way in groups of up to eight trainees. Finally, the Course structure includes several mechanisms whereby trainees can be represented on operational and strategic committees, and there are monthly liaison meetings for each cohort with their tutors.


Dr Steven Allan - Lecturer
Dr Gerald Burgess - Lecturer
Dr Jon Crossley - Clinical Tutor
Dr Kate Duckworth - Clinical Tutor
Mr Carl Gudgeon - Course Secretary (Clinical)
Dr Joanne Herdman - Clinical Tutor
Dr Arabella Kurtz - Senior Clinical Tutor/NHS Line Manager
Miss Penny Lorriman - Placement Administrator/PA to Senior Clinical Tutors
Dr Steve Melluish - Head of Clinical Practice/NHS Line Manager
Dr Gareth Morgan - Lecturer
Ms Aphrodite Papailiadi - Course Secretary (Academic)
Dr Helen Reader - Clinical Tutor
Dr Noelle Robertson - Course Director
Ms Pamela Sawyer - Course Administrator
Dr Alice Welham - Lecturer

The majority of staff hold clinical posts and are part-time with the course.

Please note that all the above information was correct at the time of going to press. Any changes to this information will be made available on our website.