University of Liverpool

Course Code: 16

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
University of Liverpool
Ground Floor, Whelan Building
Quadrangle
Brownlow Hill
LIVERPOOL
L69 3GB

0151 794 5530 / 795 5446 / 795 8367 / 795 1079
dclin@liv.ac.uk
Twitter logo @DClinPsyLiv

Programme Director: Dr Laura Golding
Admissions Tutor: Dr Gundi Kiemle
Programme Co-ordinator: Mrs Amanda Harrison

An Open Day will be held for potential applicants to the Liverpool course on
Friday 23 October 2020 (time to be confirmed)
Due to ongoing social distancing requirements, this event will be held remotely (on Zoom).
Please register your interest in joining the Open Day by emailing dclin@liv.ac.uk

Introduction

Programme Location and Organisation

The programme leads to the award of the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology, conferring eligibility to apply for registration as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and for Chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS). We are based in the Department for Primary Care and Mental Health, in the Institute of Population Health, which is part of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (one of three Faculties within the University of Liverpool).

The Institute of Population Health comprises five academic departments: Health Data Science, Primary Care and Mental Health, Psychology, Public Health, Policy and Systems, and the School of Health Sciences. The Institute has around 250 academic staff, 70 research funded academic staff and is supported by around 100 Professional Service staff. Across the Schools of Psychology and Health Sciences, there are approximately 2,400 students (UG & PGT), and the Institute hosts 240 PGR students including the DClin Programme. The goal of the Institute is to deliver globally-important population health scholarship, fueling post-COVID-19 recovery through civic partnerships infused with education, learning and research in health data science, primary care and mental health, psychology, public health, policies, professions and systems.

The Department of Primary Care and Mental Health conducts world class scholarship focusing on theories, models, and interventions relating to primary health care, and support for mental health and wellbeing. Our research and teaching activities are directed towards enhancing excellence in primary, community, mental health and social care at both the local and global level. These activities are supported through strategic collaborations with health and social care providers, community organisations, and international agencies. The Department brings together academic General Practitioners, Applied Psychologists, and Psychiatrists. The scholarship activities in the Department focus on specific themes including primary care and mental health across the life-span, public mental health, and/or community-based approaches to primary care and mental health.

The DClinPsy programme is housed in a modernised and refurbished late-Victorian building: accommodation consists of teaching rooms, offices for academic, clinical, research and administrative staff, and meeting rooms. There is also a programme-specific resource and study room with computer terminals to provide trainees access to the University's IT system, numerous database facilities, software packages, and the internet. There is a range of other computer facilities linked to the University's computer network.

The University of Liverpool has two main libraries: the Sydney Jones Library (mainly for arts and social sciences) and the Harold Cohen Library, which holds the science, engineering, medical and related subject collections. A specialist subject librarian provides support for trainees on the DClinPsy programme.

Academic, clinical and research staff on the DClinPsy programme have additional areas of research interest and activity, and all programme staff supervise clinical psychology trainees on their major research project.

Trainees are registered postgraduate research students PG(R) in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. All members of staff are committed to ensuring that theory and practice elements are fully integrated within a programme structure responsive to both academic and service developments. There is a Programme Training Committee / Board of Studies consisting of representatives of appropriate bodies, with three sub-groups responsible for the clinical, academic, and research activities within the programme. Trainees and experts by experience are represented on all management groups.

A large number of NHS clinical psychologists in Merseyside and across the North-West region contribute to the delivery of the programme in some form - through direct teaching, clinical placement supervision, marking and feedback, research supervision, mentoring, or participation in intake/selection processes. Many have honorary university contracts in recognition of these contributions. There are links with many British Psychological Society Special Interest Groups / regional Division of Clinical Psychology faculties and other pre- and post-qualification activities throughout the North West. Communication with these various sources of support is maintained through a number of channels, including committees, working groups, training events, seminars, the programme's Annual Review Day and the programme newsletter.

Programme Values

The programme is delivered within a strong values base that embodies a person-centred approach, defends the human rights of experts by experience and all stakeholders, and emphasises the development of autonomy. Working within the framework and principles of the Human Rights Act (1998), we promote anti-racist practice, anti-exclusion principles and the inclusion of minority groups. The programme's values are entirely consistent with those enshrined in the NHS Constitution.

We recognise that clinical psychology as a profession needs to be strengthened by having a more diverse workforce, and that it needs to work to match the richness and diversity of our society as a whole. We are therefore particularly keen to attract suitably qualified and experienced applicants from ethnic minority backgrounds  and we want to encourage individuals representing diversity of experience, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, disability or age to consider applying to Liverpool (please also see Widening Participation information below). The programme has a long history of valuing and incorporating a wide range of theoretical and clinical approaches, and encourages trainees to explore how these can be integrated effectively to meet the needs and choices of clients, who are themselves unique and diverse.

The "Liverpool Experts by Experience" (LExE) group is a well-established, active strategic stakeholder group, acting as a "critical friend" to the programme. The group provides a framework for Expert-by-Experience (EbE) involvement across all aspects of programme delivery, including selection, teaching, assessment, clinical training, and research, using a co-production approach where possible. The group supports networks between service users, carers and professionals, acknowledging that psychological distress and mental health issues have the potential to impact on everyone.

Training Orientation

The essential aims of the programme are to equip trainees with a theoretical understanding of a wide range of clinical problems, models and approaches, together with essential clinical competencies and a variety of practical experiences as required by a Band 7 clinical psychologist, a junior lecturer in clinical psychology, or a clinical psychology research associate. There is also a focus on the professional aspects of the clinical psychologist's role, and on the acquisition of research and communication skills.

The overriding theme is the application of theoretical concepts to clinical problems on an evidential basis, within a problem-solving, reflective approach. In accordance with the BPS accreditation standards, the specific therapeutic competencies identified by the programme are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), and Systemic Therapy. Teaching in neuropsychological competencies represents another strength of the programme. In addition to CBT, CAT and Systemic Therapy, other therapeutic approaches are also valued and teaching is provided across the programme on psychodynamic psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), narrative therapy (NT), solution-focused therapy, and mindfulness. A strong emphasis is placed on the collaborative development of clinical case formulations, which are capable of informing subsequent interventions. Concern for empirically demonstrated effectiveness is emphasised alongside a broad conceptualisation of what constitutes evidence, and an appreciation of the complexity of understanding individuals' difficulties, together with their aspirations and achievements.

Entry Requirements

Widening Participation, Equality and Diversity

The University of Liverpool's 2019-2020 "Access and Participation Plan" states that "The University of Liverpool has an excellent and long standing track record both in attracting and retaining students from under-represented groups […] Widening Participation (WP) is part of our University's heritage and we are proud to be recognised as a sector leader in WP where we exceed our benchmarks and have the third highest proportion of students from state schools and highest from Low Participation Neighbourhoods (LPN) in the Russell Group. Widening Participation is a long-term strategic aim of the University of Liverpool and we have worked tirelessly over decades to maximise the opportunities for under-represented groups in higher education."

We are therefore committed to widening access and participation, eliminating discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity for applicants to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. We are actively exploring the use of contextual data and positive action (section 159, Equality Act 2010) in relation to our selection procedures, to maximise opportunities for applicants from under-represented groups (relating to eg ethnicity, social class, disability etc). We already take positive action where disability is disclosed. In practice, this means that anyone with a declared disability who is placed on the reserve list for interview following short-listing, will automatically be offered an interview.

We encourage applicants to share information about their personal experience in relation to diversity, and any contextual factors related to widening participation and increasing equality of opportunity, on their application, and we welcome discussion of this at interview.

Relevant work experience

The programme places emphasis on relevant practical experience which applicants are able to relate to psychological approaches and theory. This may be gained in a range of settings where psychological principles are applicable, including supervised work as an assistant psychologist (or equivalent) in a psychological therapies service, a psychological wellbeing practitioner or a psychological therapist, CBT therapist, or working in a supervised post within a related (mental or physical health) service context. Supervision and a reference from a qualified clinical psychologist substantially enhance the value of such experience and strengthen an application. Similarly, experience as a postgraduate research student or work as a paid research assistant on a clinically-relevant research project enhances applicants’ research experience, particularly if it is clinically relevant research which has entailed a reasonable amount of direct contact with service users. An equivalent of one year whole-time paid experience in suitable (preferably NHS) settings is considered a minimum requirement at the time of application. However, due to the high level of competition for a limited number of places, candidates are very unlikely to be short-listed for interview if their application only evidences the minimum requirements. Applications in 2019 for 2020 entry numbered just under 29:1 (applicants to places).

Academic qualifications

In order to be eligible to apply, candidates must have an honours degree in psychology or an equivalent combined honours degree, where psychology accounts for more than 50% of the programme content and examinations, and Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS.

In practice, the majority (but by no means all) of successful applicants have a high 2:1 or 1st class honours degree and (although not essential for minimum requirements) further postgraduate qualifications, such as a relevant Masters in an area of psychology (eg clinical, counselling, health, forensic), MRes, or PhD. However, every year we also have excellent candidates with a 2:1 honours degree and without any postgraduate qualifications, who succeed in obtaining a place on the programme.

Candidates with a 2:2 honours degree in psychology or a conversion degree pass and GBC are also eligible to apply. However, this needs to be accompanied by clear evidence that the degree outcome is not an accurate reflection of the applicant's true academic ability, via further information on the application and/or references evidencing  the reason(s) for not having fulfilled their true academic potential so far, and evidence of ability via, for example, additional research experience (eg paid employment as a researcher, peer-reviewed publications), or a postgraduate degree (Masters with merit or distinction, or PhD) that demonstrates the applicant's true academic potential. For applicants with a completed PhD, the class of undergraduate degree is irrelevant.

All applicants must be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society

Short-listing Criteria

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool has a usual intake of 24 places per year (due to an increased number of commissions by Health Education England, this rose to 30 places for 2020 entry, although the number of places for 2021 entry are not confirmed as yet). There were 689 applicants in 2019 for 24 places (increased to 30) for the 2020 entry. Short-listing results in 80 applicants being interviewed each year.

In considering applications, short-listers and selection panels attach significance to the following:

  • Academic ability and research experience, typically as reflected by the class of undergraduate degree obtained and other academic/research experience and achievements, such as completion of a postgraduate Masters or PhD, paid research experience and peer-reviewed publications (please see information above for applicants with a 2:2). A critical understanding of psychological theory and an enthusiasm for applying it to practical problems must be evident.
  • Evidence of what has been gained from relevant paid work experience in general. The emphasis is on the depth, breadth and quality of experience, what the applicant has learned from it about psychological concepts and approaches and about themselves as a (developing) practitioner, and their reflections on working with service users and carers. A period of full-time employment in a relevant setting will be regarded more highly than vacation or voluntary work.
  • Evidence of well-developed interpersonal functioning and communication skills; sensitivity to, and respect for, the needs and rights of service users and carers, colleagues and research participants; and a value base consistent with principles of equality, diversity and other values highlighted in the NHS Constitution. Referees' comments will be especially critical to judgments in this area.
  • Relevant information relating to the context of widening participation, equality and diversity (see Programme Values above and see Widening Participation, Equality and Diversity above).
  • References are also used for short-listing; the academic reference should ideally be from a previous University academic advisor / head of year / head of programme or research supervisor, who can comment on the applicant's ability, achievements to date, and potential to undertake academic study and research at doctoral level. A clinical supervisor should not be utilised as the academic referee unless the applicant has demonstrated substantial academic and research activities and competencies in their clinical role (over and above eg service evaluation projects, audits etc). The experience referee should ideally come from the applicant's current line manager who is able to comment on their clinical experience, current clinical work and professional competencies. Experience referees should have an understanding of clinical psychology training and the role of a clinical psychology trainee. If the applicant has only been in their current post for a short time at the time of application, then the previous supervisor / line manager might be preferable as a referee; this can be explained on the application.

Driving licence requirement

Trainees spend 50% of the programme gaining supervised clinical experience on placements across the North-West of England. Several local NHS Trusts support the programme by providing these placements, many of which are in Merseyside, but also include Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria.

Trainees need to be aware that in applying for the Liverpool programme, they have agreed that they will have to travel required distances from their home to the locations specified above. The majority of core placements will be in the Cheshire and Merseyside area; travel within placements will also be expected. It is necessary that all applicants must possess a full and valid driving licence that entitles them to drive in the UK and have regular access to their own transport to enable them to fulfil the requirements of placements (subject to reasonable adjustments for disability, for which candidates without a driving licence must provide formal evidence prior to an interview offer being confirmed). If offered an interview, candidates will be required to confirm that they will be able to bring their photocard driving licence on the day, which will also be used as documented photographic proof of identity. Candidates without a photocard licence must bring their paper driving licence and current valid passport. In cases where the required documentation has not been received at a stated "cut-off" date prior to the interview, candidates will have their interview offer withdrawn.

English language ability and Residence requirements

If English is not an applicant's first language and their university qualifications were not taught and examined in English, they will need to provide evidence that they have an adequate level of English language ability. This should be a TOEFL or IELTS test if possible, and a copy should be submitted with their application. The minimum scores needed are: 100 for internet-based TOEFL, 600 for paper-based TOEFL or 7.0 for IELTS with no element below 6.5.

Applicants should have home fees status (please see the Funding section below for further details).

University registration for another degree

Trainees on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology cannot be doubly registered for study on another postgraduate degree. Applicants accepted onto the programme who are registered for a higher degree such as an MSc, MPhil or PhD (or equivalent) will be expected to have submitted their thesis in advance of the start of the training programme in September 2021, although any viva voce examinations can take place after this date, usually within three months of starting on the D.Clin.Psych. programme.

Selection Procedure

Short-listing procedure

First, there is an initial screening of anonymised applications in order to exclude candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements (eg candidate does not have GBC, or minimum work experience, and is not a UK/EU/EEA applicant). Information regarding applicants' personal details (name, address, date of birth, nationality, funding status, and choice of programmes applied to ie first page of the application) is not routinely available to short-listers at stages 1 or 2, or interviewers, in order to reduce unconscious bias and promote fairness and equity in selection.

The first short-listing stage is conducted by programme staff who rate applications according to pre-determined criteria for academic achievement and research experience, relevant work experience, personal and interpersonal qualities, including aspects relating to diversity, personal experience and equality of opportunity, and quality of references. Applications scoring above a certain cut-off then go through to the second stage, in which local NHS clinical psychologists and experts by experience involved in the DClinPsy programme, short-list according to the same pre-determined criteria, to produce a list of applicants for interview and a reserve list for interview. Candidates who are unsuccessful at this stage are informed of the outcome. Please note that due to the high volume of applications, it is not possible to offer individual feedback to applicants who are not selected for interview.

In order to promote greater diversity in our profession, we take positive action where disability is disclosed. In practice, this means that anyone with a declared disability who is placed on the reserve list for interview, will automatically be offered an interview. Please note that a declared disability does not guarantee an interview if the applicant's short-listing scores fall below the minimum needed for a reserve interview offer.

Fitness to practise is a requirement of all professions registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (please see the HCPC website if you need more information about fitness to practise). During training, monitoring of fitness to practise is the responsibility of course centres. Concerns about fitness to practise could also be raised during the selection process, including the manner and tone of written and verbal communications with the course centre at any stage of the selection process, as well as behaviour both during and between interviews for those candidates called for interview.

During selection, course centres may take note of issues that could significantly impair trainees' capacity to practise in an open and reflective manner, eg whether an individual is open to feedback about any relevant concerns, shows appropriate self-awareness in relation to difficulties that impact on their capacity to work, and is willing to work collaboratively with relevant staff to address (and hopefully to overcome) any issues.

Interviews

Each year, 80 interview offers are usually issued for each interview cycle. Successful applicants invited for interview are usually seen by two panels. For the first (research and academic) panel, candidates are asked to make a short presentation based on a research task, which they will have prepared and completed in a timed preparation session immediately beforehand. Additional academic and research questions will also be asked. The second (clinical and professional) panel involves questions and materials designed to explore candidates' clinical and professional knowledge, experience and values. Interpersonal qualities are assessed in both panels. All panels include University programme staff, NHS clinical psychologists and experts by experience. Ratings are then produced which are used as the basis for offering places. In practice, this procedure has resulted in applicants with a range of experiences and qualities being offered places. All procedures are conducted within the framework provided by the University's and NHS Equal Opportunities policies. The selection procedure is carefully reviewed on an annual basis.

Please note that the interview procedure for 2020 entry had to be adapted and involved remote interviews only, due to the impact of coronavirus and lockdown at that time. We hope and anticipate that selection in May 2021 will involve face-to-face interviews as described above. In the event that this is not possible, candidates will be informed in good time, and we will adopt the 2020 remote interview format.

Offers

All offers of a place on a course are dependent on satisfactory Disclosure & Barring Service and occupational health checks. Criminal record checks are usually made through the Disclosure & Barring Service (for England and Wales) or Disclosure Scotland. The checks will disclose information such as: unspent and spent convictions; police information such as cautions, reprimands or warnings; etc.

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.

On completion of the selection process, any candidates who attended for interview but were unsuccessful in securing a place at Liverpool or elsewhere, are offered the opportunity for telephone feedback concerning their performance with the two interview panels. The feedback will usually be provided around July/August each year by a member of the programme team who will have interviewed the candidate.

Funding

Trainees are full-time employees of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and have annual leave and other benefits in line with usual NHS entitlements. On entry to the programme, all trainees are currently paid on the first spine point of Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Currently, travelling expenses are paid for travel to placement, University fees are paid directly by HEE North, and trainees have an allocation of £200 per year for attendance at conferences and for the purchase of books (in addition to a separate £1,000 budget for their large-scale research project).

Applicants should have home fees status (if you are unsure of your fees status, please follow the link to check). The programme is only able to accept applications from individuals who are current citizens of the UK, EU Member States, or European Economic Area (EEA) States and who are eligible to work in the NHS. The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020; during the current transitional/ implementation period (likely to end on 31 December 2020) EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can come to, or remain in, the UK on the same basis as before Brexit and can therefore apply to the Liverpool programme as usual. Non-EEA applicants are not usually considered because the NHS does not employ anyone as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist who does not have the right to work in the UK. Please note that we are not qualified to advise you on whether or not you have the right to work in the UK. The programme does not accept applications from self-funding applicants.

Structure and Content

Academic Curriculum

The academic content of the programme is organised within a series of teaching units which provide detailed coverage of the theoretical and research bases of clinical psychology. Programme teaching units can be grouped into five sets as follows:

  1. Professional issues including ethics and social and contextual factors affecting clinical, professional and service-related work.
  2. Models of individual distress; behaviour, cognition and emotion in therapy; cognitive-analytic and psychodynamic therapies; family and systems therapies, and third-wave therapies.
  3. Clinical assessment methods, including clinical interviewing, psychometrics, observational approaches, idiographic and qualitative assessments, and theoretically diverse approaches to clinical formulation.
  4. Teaching units covering the principal areas of application related to core placements and specialisms, including: adult mental health; child and adolescent clinical psychology; intellectual disabilities; clinical psychology of older adults / clinical health psychology / neuropsychology.
  5. Other areas of application such as psychopharmacology; human sexuality; forensic clinical psychology, and human rights.

Concurrent with these teaching units and running throughout the three years of the programme, trainees from all three year groups come together regularly in medium-sized reflective practice groups which involve discussion of clinical and professional material from concurrent placements. Small cohort-based personal and professional development groups also run through all three years of the programme, providing opportunities for trainees to reflect on various aspects of the interface between their personal and professional lives. The 2018 BPS accreditation visit commended the Liverpool programme on its explicit and integrated human rights approach to all aspects of the curriculum.

Each trainee is allocated an Academic Advisor / Personal Tutor from amongst the staff team, who will support their learning and development for the duration of their training. The trainee-centred interim and annual review process provides a further opportunity for reflection on general progress and personal achievement across all aspects of the training programme.

The programme begins with an introductory academic block of five weeks' duration, designed to equip trainees with the basic skills necessary for their first placement experience. Academic teaching continues on two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays) during the university terms of the first year, reducing to one day (Mondays) in the second and third years. Terms are approximately 10 weeks long. At the beginning of each six-month placement, there will be a two-week teaching block, during which experience on the preceding placement will be reviewed, and preparatory work, including coverage of relevant teaching areas, undertaken for the forthcoming placement. Teaching occurs usually from 09:30-16:30 (with one hour for lunch and breaks mid-morning/mid-afternoon) but trainees are expected to be available at the University from 09:00-17:00 for any additional meetings.

There is no accreditation of prior learning or experience: all trainees must complete the full programme of training to qualify. Attendance throughout the course is mandatory, including the induction period. Trainees are not permitted to take annual leave on teaching days unless there are exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the academic director.

Clinical Placement Experience

In accordance with the regional arrangements described earlier, there are six clinical placements in the programme. The sequence of placements for trainees usually follows the order shown in the following table, although there may be occasional changes to this for a small number of trainees.

Sequence of Placements
  Placement
Year 1
(Core)
Adult Mental Health
Older Adult or Clinical Health Psychology or Neuropsychology
Year 2
(Core)
Intellectual Disabilities
Children/Adolescents and Family
Year 3 Option A
Specialist 1 (6 months)
Option B
Specialist placement (12 months)
Option A
Specialist 2 (6 months)

NHS clinical psychology services in the North West region offer a particularly rich variety of specialist placements. Trainees may also gain experience within the various regional specialist facilities on Merseyside, such as Ashworth High Secure Hospital, or the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, as well as develop expertise in other areas, for example family therapy, consultation, adult mental health complex cases, paediatric liaison, brain injury rehabilitation, early intervention for psychosis, clinical health, and eating disorders. Trainees have the option to undertake two 6-month or one 12-month specialist placement in Year 3. Novel and innovative third year specialist placements, mainly in community settings with no history of clinical psychology provision, are being increasingly developed (for instance, a specialist homeless team placement based within a homeless hostel).

Research

The Research Training Curriculum in Year 1 introduces trainees to a range of methods and issues arising in the conduct of clinical research. There is in-depth coverage of research design, both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, guidance on the use of statistics, the process of planning research projects, and on preparing ethical applications.

In Year 2 the Research Training Curriculum aims to develop research skills and knowledge in conducting empirical studies and literature reviews, critiquing research, and understanding recruitment and ethical issues in the conduct of clinical research applications.

In Year 3 the Research Training Curriculum supports the ongoing development of research knowledge and critical appraisal skills, and the development of appropriate skills to effectively disseminate research in various contexts (eg publications, reports, conference presentations). Throughout the three years of research training, several specialist workshops and seminars are regularly offered in response to the expressed needs of the trainees, and to further support the development of research skills, knowledge and competencies.

Trainees undertake a major research dissertation and this work commences in Year 1. A full research proposal is submitted in Year 1. Each trainee proposal is independently reviewed and must be approved (firstly) by the programme's Research Review Committee and (subsequently) by the appropriate NHS or University ethical committee. In Year 2, the trainees commence work on their ethics application and literature review. The completed dissertation is submitted in Year 3 and this is followed by a viva voce examination. In Year 3, trainees showcase their research at an Annual Research Conference.

Assessment

In Year 1, one 5,000-word case-based clinical formulation assignment is submitted in the second term, with a further 5,000 word systemic competencies assignment at the start of third term in the second year. Trainees are also required to submit one 5,000-word professional issues assignment on a topic of their choice in the third term of their third year.

In addition, all trainees are required to submit a CBT-Clinical Case Related Investigation which must include a video of an intervention session with a client, and a linked 3,000 word essay. Trainees are also required to submit two 5,000-word Clinical Case-Related Investigations (CCRI) linked to two different core placements (and possibly their chosen "plus one" competencies) in the first and second year; these can be based on intervention/therapy, extended assessment, or consultation-based case work. In the first year, a summative presentation assignment with group and individual components is linked to the Clinical Health Psychology teaching unit. Finally, all trainees must submit a 5,000 word Clinical Service-Related Investigation (CSRI), constituting a small-scale piece of service-related research undertaken usually on a core placement.

A marked assignment that has failed can be re-submitted on one occasion. Failing the same assignment twice constitutes programme failure, unless there are exceptional circumstances and the trainee has extenuating circumstances which are upheld in accordance with the University's Code of Practice on Assessment. Assessed work is usually double-marked by internal programme staff and external NHS-based practitioners, and a robust system of moderation is in place to ensure consistency in the quality of marking and feedback.

The research dissertation must be submitted in the third term of the third year, for examination by one internal examiner and by one of the programme's External Examiners in a viva voce examination in the summer of the third year. Failure to do so will delay successful completion of the programme, award of the academic degree and professional qualification, and HCPC registration.

All documentation related to the programme as a whole, including an outline of the programme philosophy, information concerning the wider university context, details of syllabus teaching units, assessment and marking systems, and copies of relevant programme policy documents, are contained in the Programme Handbook, made available to trainees within their introductory five-week teaching block, and updated on an annual basis.

Support

The programme is open and supportive with a number of formal and informal systems available. A "buddy" scheme operates whereby current trainees offer support before new trainees start and maintain links throughout the programme. Year tutor groups comprise Academic, Clinical and Research staff with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the programme. Liaison meetings take place, usually once per term, when trainees have the opportunity to provide feedback on all aspects of the programme.

Each trainee has an Academic Advisor from the programme team who acts as a Personal Tutor to support their learning and development during the three years of the programme. The academic advisor and trainee meet twice a year formally to review the trainee's progress; however, trainees are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor / personal tutor at other times.

An NHS clinician is allocated for each trainee as a mentor to provide confidential and personal support independent of the programme team.

When required, trainees can access Staff Support Counselling Services (through Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust) or self-refer to Student Support Counselling Services (through the University). In certain circumstances, the programme will also consider paying for personal therapy for trainees, when this is considered essential in the context of the trainee's ability to progress with their training.

Staff

The core staff with day-to-day involvement with the programme are:

Dr Jenny Bowe - Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr Sarah Butchard - Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr Luna Centifanti - Research Tutor/Senior Lecturer
Dr Anam Elahi - Research Tutor/Lecturer
Dr Andrea Flood - Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr Stephen Gillespie - Research Tutor/Lecturer
Dr Laura Golding - Programme Director/Senior Lecturer
Dr Beth Greenhill - Joint Clinical Director/Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr Gundi Kiemle - Academic Director/Senior University Clinical Teacher and Admissions Tutor
Dr Charlotte Krahé - Research Tutor/Lecturer
Dr Katy Lobley - Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr James Reilly - Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr Julie Van Vuuren - Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr Ste Weatherhead - Senior University Clinical Teacher
Dr Ross White - Research Director/Reader
Dr Jim Williams - Joint Clinical Director/Senior University Clinical Teacher and Trainee NHS Line Manager
(Vacant post - Research Tutor/Lecturer)

Mrs Amanda Harrison - Programme Co-ordinator
Ms Kate Hawke - Academic Administrator
Mr Thomas Murphy - Research Administrator
Ms Lyndsey Murphy - Administrative Assistant
Ms Aime Grzesik - Administrative Assistant

Other university staff contributing to the programme include:

Professor Kate Bennett - Professor in the School of Psychology and Chartered Health Psychologist
Dr Helen Brooks - Lecturer in Psychological Sciences
Dr Chris Brown - Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences
Dr Gemma Cherry - Lecturer in Clinical Health Psychology
Dr Paul Christiansen - Lecturer in Psychology
Dr Anna Chiumento - Research Associate Psychological Sciences
Professor Chris Dowrick - Professor of Primary Medical Care
Professor Rhiannon Corcoran - Professor of Psychology
Dr Leonardo De Pascalis - Lecturer in Psychological Sciences
Dr Warren Donnellan - Lecturer in the School of Psychology
Dr Vicky Fallon - Lecturer in the School of Psychology
Dr Peter Fisher - Senior Lecturer, Communications Skills
Dr Lucy Frith - Reader in Bioethics and Social Science
Dr Clarissa Giebel - Research Fellow, Health Service Research
Dr Laura Goodwin - Lecturer in Epidemiology for Psychological Sciences
Dr Charlotte Hardman - Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences
Dr Jo Harrold - Reader and Head of School of Psychology
Professor Andy Jones - Professor of Bioinformatics in Functional and Comparative Genomics
Professor Peter Kinderman - Professor of Clinical Psychology
Dr Minna Lyons - Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology
Dr Stephen Mason - Research & Development Lead, School of Medicine
Dr Adam Noble - Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences
Dr Freya O'Brien - Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology
Dr Eric Robinson - Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences
Dr Louise Roper - Programme Director, MSc Health Psychology
Professor Helen Sharp - Professor of Child Clinical Psychology
Professor Pauline Slade - Professor of Clinical Psychology
Dr Laura Soulsby - Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology
Dr Linda Steadman - Senior Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Support Service for Student Practitioners (PSSSP)
Dr Angela Williams - Senior Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Support Service for Student Practitioners (PSSSP)
Dr Kerry Woolfall - Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences

Approximately 50% of the direct teaching on the programme is provided by the programme team and a contribution from members of the Department of Psychological Sciences and the School of Psychology. The remaining 50% of the teaching is provided by a large number of NHS clinical psychologists or allied professionals in Merseyside, Cheshire and across the North West of England.