Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
The University of Manchester
School of Health Sciences
2nd Floor Zochonis Building
0161 306 0400
Head of Division of Psychology and Mental Health: Professor Gillian Haddock
Programme Director: Dr Richard J Brown
Admissions Director: Professor Adrian Wells
Programme Administrator: Megan Brown
This three-year Programme, leading to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, is provided by the Division of Psychology and Mental Health, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health of the University of Manchester. The University of Manchester is the largest single-site University in the UK and the Division has an international reputation for the development and evaluation of psychological therapies, with particular strengths in CBT, psychosis, emotional problems in adults and children, functional ("medically unexplained") symptoms and health psychology. The ClinPsyD Programme is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council, accredited by the British Psychological Society, and commissioned by Health Education England (HEE). The Programme is based on the main University of Manchester campus.
The Programme aims to provide trainees with skills that will enable them to be reflective practitioners within the changing context of the NHS, and with clinical experience in a range of psychological approaches. In addition to a comprehensive in-depth training in cognitive-behavioural approaches, teaching is provided in psychodynamic interpersonal therapy, systemic approaches, clinical neuropsychology work, team working and leadership, research methods and other therapeutic and clinical approaches. A critical evaluation of all models is emphasised throughout the training. There is a strong emphasis on research throughout the programme and students work alongside research programmes within the Division of Psychology and Mental Health in particular.
The Programme extends over three calendar years. For many years we had an annual intake of 24 trainees. For the 2020 cohort this figure was increased to 30 in line with the additional commissions granted by HEE, which was further increased to 39 in 2021.
Enquiries regarding the Programme should be made to the Programme Administrator.
The Programme staff team and other contributors to the training are committed to principles of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). This is demonstrated across various aspects of the Programme, including selection and recruitment (where positive action is in place; see Selection Procedure section), mandatory training (where key legislation is covered), teaching on power, position, privilege and intersectionality, and a mentoring programme for aspiring clinical psychologists from underrepresented backgrounds. The continuing development of EDI on the Programme is led by the Programme EDI Lead and overseen by the Programme EDI Committee, which is co-chaired by a Programme staff team member and a member of the trainee cohort.
We recognise there is more work to be done. The Programme is implementing an ambitious EDI action plan to improve access to training and the training experience for people from Black, Asian and other minoritised ethnic groups. This drive is supported by additional funding from HEE, as part of wider plans to improve the experience of mental health care for people from minoritised ethnic communities, and NHS commitment to EDI. This work is also taking place within the context of the University of Manchester’s Race Matters at Manchester action plan.
We are working to tackle all forms of discrimination on and around the Programme, and to support the development of more equitable systems and a more inclusive culture. We look forward to the ongoing dialogue with trainees that is necessary for our continuing progress in these areas.
A minimum of a 2:1 degree in single honours psychology or joint honours where psychology constitutes at least 50% of the course is required. The degree must have already been awarded at the time of application; candidates who are currently undergraduates will not be short-listed for interview. For candidates with degrees that do not constitute at least 50% psychology, a BPS accredited Psychology conversion course must be obtained (original award grade will remain the same therefore the minimum of a 2:1 award remains applicable). Candidates must be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society; candidates must be able to demonstrate this eligibility when applying to the Programme.
The majority of our places are currently funded by Health Education England, for which we are only able to consider UK nationals or international applicants with Indefinite Leave to Remain (or "settled" status under immigration rules) with three years' residency in the UK. EU nationals who have "settled status" under the EU Settlement Scheme are also eligible to apply for a funded place. Applicants should indicate on their application if they have settled status (in the Personal Statements section regarding other factors relevant to their application). To qualify for a funded place, applicants must be eligible for Home Fees status.
Following the UK’s formal departure from the European Union, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals are now classed as international applicants and are only able to apply for self-funded places on the course at the international fee rate (unless applicants have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme).
Residents of The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are classed as international applicants and will be required to apply as a self-funded applicant.
A minimum of 12 months of clinically relevant paid experience (accumulated at the time of submitting an application) is considered essential. We define "clinically relevant" as any work in a healthcare, research or other setting that involves direct contact with service users in a context where psychological knowledge and principles are being applied. Points are scored at short-listing for work supervised by a qualified psychological practitioner that involves assessment, formulation, intervention and/or service development. Experience of working in a variety of clinical settings and supervised clinical work involving psychological research also score additional points.
We find it particularly helpful when applicants organise their applications so it is clear how much experience they have had of assessment, formulation, intervention, service development and research. We also find applications much easier to assess where there is clear spacing between paragraphs and separate sub-headings for different types of experience.
Many of our successful applicants have been assistant clinical psychologists, clinical research assistants, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, High Intensity Therapists or other mental health workers, although this is not essential if you can demonstrate that your experience meets our criterion of clinically relevant. Experience as a support worker alone is not considered sufficient unless formal application of psychological knowledge and principles were central to the role (if so, this should be made explicit in the "Main duties" section of the "Description of Post" part of your application).
The Programme has a substantial research component and, prior to short-listing, candidates will be required to demonstrate competence in, and commitment to, research.
All students whose first language is not English require a minimum of IELTS 8 (with no less than 7 in the writing element), although this may be waived if the student has completed an undergraduate degree in a majority English speaking country as defined by the UK Home Office. Applicants may be contacted by the Programme to request evidence of English language competency if this is not supplied as part of their application.
We are proud of the fact that Manchester is a very diverse city and are keen to encourage applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds. No applicant will be discriminated against on the grounds of race, colour, creed, disability, sex, gender identity, age or sexual orientation. Please note that the Programme does not participate in the "Double-Tick" Disability Scheme.
As a condition of entry to the Programme, applicants are required to provide formal written consent to participate as service users in practical and clinical teaching. The consent protocol is designed and implemented by the Programme and not the Health & Care Professions Council.
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, most of which are in Greater Manchester but also include Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cheshire. Trainees need to be aware that in applying for the programme they have accepted that they will have to travel required distances from their homes to the locations specified above. Travel within placements will also be expected. It is necessary that all applicants must possess a valid full driving licence and have regular access to their own transport to enable them to fulfil the requirements of placements (unless not driving constitutes a reasonable adjustment for someone with a disability). If offered an interview, candidates will be required to show their photocard licence on the day; failure to show a valid full driving licence at interview will result in the interview being withdrawn. Driving licences will also be used as documented photographic proof of identity. Candidates without a photocard licence must bring their paper driving licence (issued before 1998) and current passport.
We now offer places for a limited number of students from international countries with overseas fees status, who are seeking the ClinPsyD qualification. These individuals will be required to meet the same entry standards as other successful applicants. As these places are self-funded, we encourage candidates to investigate whether bursaries or other funding is available from their home government or other local agencies before applying. You will also need the means to support yourself financially through the three-year training programme as the time commitment required for training will not allow for employment. The fees for international students for 2021 entry are currently set at £32,500 per year. Please contact us for details of 2022 fees.
International applicants who do not meet the criteria for home fees status must apply through the Clearing House system using Course Code 17 - X.
Applicants who meet all the entry requirements will be invited to sit a GMA (General Mental Ability) test, which must be completed in order for them to be considered.
Short-listing of candidates is carried out by members of the Executive Training Programme Committee in conjunction with regional Clinical Psychologists. Interviews are held over four or five days. Each candidate attends for a single interview by a panel comprising staff from the ClinPsyD programme, NHS Clinical Psychologists nominated by the Executive Training Programme Committee and representatives of the Community Liaison Group. Interviews generally last around 30 minutes and are designed to evaluate candidates’ clinical, research, professional and interpersonal skills and knowledge. The interview process is continually being developed and there may be additions or alterations to the current process; further information will be provided as necessary if invited to interview. Candidates will have the opportunity to talk informally with current trainees about the Programme.
In line with the NHS Constitution, we expect all candidates, students and staff to put service users first, treat people with dignity and respect, be committed to quality of care and display compassion and non-discrimination at all times. We also expect candidates to show professionalism in their behaviour and appropriateness of appearance.
Applicants should note that whilst prior learning and clinical experience are taken into account at short-listing, the Programme does not give credit for prior learning as part of the doctoral degree.
Applicants should also be aware that, due to the nature of our selection procedure, we are unable to accept applications that do not have references submitted in the Clearing House format. Any applications received with references not in this format cannot be processed.
We are committed to promoting diversity in Clinical Psychology, so will apply principles of positive action in line with stated ethnicity and/or disability in cases where there are multiple candidates of equal merit, in accordance with the Equality Act (2010). If you wish to be considered for this then you need to provide consent for us to have full access to the information provided by you during the selection process in the Equal Opportunities Monitoring section of your application. Please note that we will only access equal opportunities data during the selection process in cases where there are multiple candidates of equal merit, and only for the purpose of establishing whether positive action can be applied.
All offers of a place on a Programme are dependent on satisfactory references, criminal record and health checks.
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 that 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 our training programme); etc.
It is the policy of the Manchester Programme not to give feedback to candidates who are unsuccessful in gaining an interview, as the number of applications received makes it impossible to do this. After interview, feedback is only given to candidates who are unsuccessful at this stage. We do not offer feedback to people who have been placed on the reserve list, as being placed on this list reflects adequate performance at interview and indicates our willingness to offer a place should one become available. We also do not provide any information on reserve list place or movements.
Current trainees (those funded by Health Education England) are full-time employees of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. They have annual leave and other benefits in line with usual NHS entitlements and are subject to the normal policies and procedures of the employing Trust. On entry to the programme all trainees commence on the first pay point of Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Travelling expenses are currently paid for travel to placement, and University fees are currently paid directly by the NHS.
Self-funded trainees will not be employees of the health service.
Attendance at formal teaching sessions, including the induction block and at placement is compulsory. Under circumstances such as illness or exceptional events, the Programme administrator and additionally the placement supervisor (where necessary) must be notified of non-attendance. In cases where the trainee is absent from teaching it is expected that s/he will make all necessary arrangements to assimilate the material that has been missed. Trainees are only permitted to take annual leave on four teaching days per academic year, at the discretion of their Academic Advisor and subject to certain limits specified in the Programme handbook.
We continuously monitor the way the programme is delivered to maximise the learning experience and respond to demands. For example, how the course is usually delivered has changed due to COVID-19 and this may continue.
The Academic Programme takes an adult learning approach. We are aware that many trainees bring substantial experience with them into training and we have designed the curriculum to build on and develop prior knowledge. Teaching is based on the blended learning approach, whereby in-person workshops focused on skills development are combined with complementary online teaching materials. In this way trainees experience both the interactivity of live teaching and the control and convenience associated with online study.
Teaching is delivered mainly by registered clinicians. In addition to teaching from clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and other professionals make significant contributions to the Programme. We have strong links with service users who both deliver teaching and, through our Community Liaison Group, input into the development of the curriculum. Feedback is obtained from trainees and lecturers for all teaching and plays a crucial role in the development of the Programme. Trainee feedback on teaching has been very positive for many years, typically averaging in the region of 4.4 out of 5 across more than 200 teaching sessions.
The Programme begins with a six-week induction. During this time, trainees are introduced to the overarching scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology, before learning about basic interviewing skills, assessment, formulation and intervention. At this early stage, the focus is on the development of cognitive-behavioural skills, so that trainees are prepared to start placement on the Programme CBT Clinic (see Clinical Experience section) by the end of the block.
Academic work (including formal instruction, study time and research time) takes place on two days per week during University term-time throughout Years 1 and 2, and in Term 1 of Year 3. In Years 1 and 2, trainees attend for in-person teaching on campus on one of these days, while the other is reserved for private study. Trainees are expected to use private study days to study online teaching materials connected to the in-person teaching sessions, and their other academic work.
Teaching is organised into a modular system and is provided by Programme staff, clinicians from the region and national experts. The teaching includes core clinical areas (encompassing common presentations and core clinical skills/issues in adult, child, older adult and learning disability services); therapeutic approaches (e.g. cognitive therapy, psychodynamic interpersonal therapy, systemic and family therapy, clinical neuropsychology); specialist areas (e.g. clinical psychology in health settings, forensic); research methods; and statistics. Teaching is organised around placements for the first two years, and is primarily skills based, with teaching in the third year being largely workshop and seminar based. Trainees have a Clinical Tutor and Academic Advisor to facilitate and review all aspects of progress throughout the three years. The incorporation of problem-based learning tasks enhances group dynamics and encourages discussion of complex issues within the year groups.
Clinical training is supervised by experienced clinical psychologists and other psychological practitioners. A wide range of supervisors are available and there is a wealth of clinical expertise within the geographical area. The first year consist of two blocks of six-month clinical placements in the areas of adult and child. Each trainee will also work one day per week for six months in the CBT clinic based in the department. The second year will consist of one 11-month placement in either a learning disability, older adults, physical health or neuropsychology service. The third year provides trainees with the opportunity to work in a range of clinical settings in order to develop more specialist skills and get experience of leadership and service development. Current third year placements cover many different areas, including: health psychology, substance misuse, public health, homeless team, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive therapy, family therapy, psychotherapy and a range of voluntary and independent sector organisations. Trainees are encouraged to undertake a single nine-month placement (four days per week) in Year 3 in order to gain a more realistic experience of post-qualification working, although two concurrent placements may also be considered. The choice of third year placement may be more limited in cases where core clinical competencies have not been demonstrated in Years 1 and 2. As part of placement activity in Year 3, trainees are required to complete a Service Related Project.
Trainee progress is reviewed at the mid-point and end of each placement by their Clinical Tutor who facilitates and monitors their clinical development. Trainees are expected to attend a minimum number of days on Clinical Placement in order to graduate.
During a clinical placement in either the first or second year trainees are required to carry out a clinical audit. Throughout all three years, trainees are required to undertake a substantial piece of original research (to doctoral level) of clinical relevance. This work is presented in the form of a bound thesis. Trainees are also expected to present findings from their large scale research project at our annual postgraduate research conference. To ensure high quality supervision, trainees must undertake research within the areas of expertise of members of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. There is particular local expertise in the areas of: psychosis; affective problems; child mental health; parenting interventions; behavioural medicine; functional ("medically unexplained") symptoms; dissociation; suicide; shame and self-harm; health psychology; cognitive behaviour therapy and psychodynamic interpersonal therapy. We offer a range of both qualitative and quantitative projects across clinical and non-clinical populations. All trainees have at least two academic supervisors for their project and a clinical field supervisor where necessary. Computing facilities and support are available to all trainees.
Our Programme was one of the first in the country to establish a Community Liaison Group (CLG) to advise on and contribute to training of clinical psychologists. The CLG comprises service users, carers and community members who advise on and participate in all aspects of Programme activities. We received commendations for the work of the CLG at our last two BPS accreditation visits.
The degree of ClinPsyD is awarded on the basis of the formal evaluation of:
Trainees must pass all three aspects of the evaluation procedure in order to be awarded the degree.
Trainees are rated by clinical supervisors for clinical knowledge and competence at the end of each placement. Failure to achieve satisfactory ratings on two placements will lead to discontinuation of training. In addition to placements, trainees submit, and must pass, a total of five pieces of work including three written case reports, a clinical audit and a Live Observation of clinical skills. They must also complete a Service Related Project as part of their third year placement. Please see our Programme Handbook for further information as changes are currently being implemented with regards to assessments.
There are examinations at the end of the teaching blocks in March and June of Year 1 and June of Year 2. Confirmation of registration is dependent upon passing these examinations. Assessed work may also be the subject of viva voce examination if this is deemed necessary by the Exam Board. The University regulations permit a candidate to re-sit failed examinations in August of the same year. Trainees must pass all examinations and pieces of work in order to complete the programme. Three pieces of work (of which one can be a placement) may be failed on first attempt. Training is discontinued if a trainee fails any piece of work on resubmission or fails four pieces of work on first attempt. Please see the Programme Handbook for further information as changes are currently being implemented with regards to assessments.
The research thesis is normally submitted in April of the third year and examined orally in July. There are three main categories of outcome, i.e. pass (with or without minor corrections), resubmit and fail. Resubmission requires a considerable revision of the work and may delay the award of the degree.
It is the Programme's policy to seek regular feedback from trainees on all aspects of the programme. Such feedback has played an important part in shaping the Programme in recent years. There is trainee representation on all Programme committees.
The Programme places considerable importance on trainee wellbeing and development. A number of formal and informal support systems are available to trainees.
Each trainee is allocated a Clinical Tutor and Academic Advisor for the duration of their training, who offer support on clinical and academic areas of the programme, as well as more individualised support. For students experiencing more significant psychological distress, clinical tutors can also signpost and support access to the student counselling and The University of Manchester specialist student mental health provision. We endorse the DCP position statement that people with lived experience of mental health difficulties are an asset to the profession and make a significant contribution to it. We will always respond compassionately to any trainee or staff member seeking support with distress and mental health difficulties
The programme has a trainee wellbeing lead, who is responsible for developing new initiatives to support trainees' wellbeing within the programme in line with NHS and national guidance. These include: a mentoring scheme for trainees from local qualified clinical psychologists and weekly wellbeing drop-in slots provided by the clinical tutor team. The programme also has an external Trainee Advocate, who is a qualified clinical psychologist independent of the programme management team, who undertakes an advocacy role on behalf of the trainees.
The Programme has a module dedicated to the personal and professional development of trainees. Regular reflective practice groups are timetabled throughout the programme where smaller numbers of trainees meet (facilitated by a member of the programme team in Year 1 and the first term of Year 2) which focus on personal and professional development. There is a "buddy" system so that new trainees will be contacted prior to training by a trainee already on the Programme. There are quarterly staff-student liaison meetings between trainees and senior programme staff to facilitate communication and trainee consultation
Programme staff are as follows:
Professor Gillian Haddock - Professor of Clinical Psychology and Head of Division of Psychology & Mental Health
Dr Richard J Brown - Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Programme Director
Professor Adrian Wells - Professor of Clinical & Experimental Psychopathology and Admissions Director
Dr Lara Bennett - Senior Clinical Tutor and joint Clinical Director
Dr Claire Fothergill - Senior Clinical Tutor and Joint Clinical Director
Dr Adam Danquah - Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Academic Director
Dr Daniel Pratt - Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Research Director
Dr Anja Wittkowski - Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
Prof Katherine Berry - Professor of Clinical Psychology
Prof Sandra Bucci - Professor of Clinical Psychology
Dr Sara Tai - Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
Dr Peter Taylor - Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
Ms Judith Moss - Senior Clinical Tutor
Dr James Lea - Clinical Tutor
Dr Louise Egan - Clinical Tutor
Dr Katie Reid - Clinical Tutor
Mr Tobyn Bell - Clinical Lecturer
Dr Lizzie Tyler - Clinical Tutor
Mr Austin Lockwood - E-Learning & IT Development Co-ordinator
Ms Megan Brown - Programme Administrator
Ms Tracey Hepburn - Programme Administrator
Ms Indre Miskunaite - Programme Secretary
A large number of NHS clinical psychologists also play a major role in the organisation and teaching of the Programme.
Please note: The information above is accurate at the time of writing but is subject to change. Any changes will follow and be communicated in line with University guidance.