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. The Programme is based on the main University of Manchester campus, and has dedicated teaching rooms, computer clusters, a common room/kitchen, and a secure area where lockers are available.
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 strong emphasis on research throughout the programme and students work alongside research programmes within the Division of Psychology and Mental Health.
The Programme extends over three calendar years with an annual intake of approximately 24 trainees. For the 2020 cohort this figure was increased to 30 in line with the additional commissions granted by Health Education England.
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. To qualify for a funded place, applicants must be eligible for Home Fees status.
We also have self-funded places for a limited number of international students with overseas fees status. Please see below for more details about self-funded places.
Following the UK’s formal departure from the European Union, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals are now classed as overseas applicants and are only able to apply for self-funded places on the course at the international fee rate.
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.
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.
A minimum 12 months of clinically relevant paid experience such as work in a healthcare setting or a background in clinical research involving direct contact with patients delivering assessments and/or treatments and/or service development work at the time of submitting an application is considered essential. Experience as a support worker alone is not considered sufficient. The Programme has a substantial research component and, prior to short-listing, candidates will be required to demonstrate clinical experience, competence and commitment to research.
The Programme accepts applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and applications from mature trainees are welcomed. Because of the composition of the local population, we are keen to encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds. No applicant will be discriminated against on the grounds of race, colour, creed, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Please note that the Programme does not participate in the Disability Confident (Double Tick) Scheme. The Programme will not access equal opportunities data during the selection process.
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 (subject to reasonable adjustments for disability). If offered an interview, they will be required to bring their photocard licence on the day; failure to bring a valid full driving licence to 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.
Enquiries regarding the Programme should be made to the Programme Administrator.
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 2020 entry are currently set at £30,500 per year. Please contact us for details of 2021 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 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.
All offers of a place on a Programme are dependent on satisfactory references, criminal record and health checks.
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 (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 not permitted to take annual leave on teaching days unless there are exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Programme or Clinical Director. We continuously monitor the way the programme is delivered to maximise the learning experience and respond to demands. For example, due to COVID-19 how the course is usually delivered may change.
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. Throughout the Programme the majority of teaching has an interactive, workshop-based format. Teaching is delivered mainly by practising 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 280 teaching sessions.
The Programme begins with a four-week induction, during which basic interviewing skills, assessment, formulation and intervention techniques are introduced. 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. 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 (eg cognitive therapy, psychodynamic interpersonal therapy, systemic and family therapy, clinical neuropsychology); specialist areas (eg 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. A wide range of supervisors is available and there is a wealth of clinical expertise within the geographical area. The first two years consist of four blocks of six-month clinical placements in the areas of adult, child, learning disability and older adults; in some cases, trainees will undertake a placement in physical health and/or neuropsychology service instead of working with older adults. The third year provides trainees with the opportunity to work in more specialist settings or re-visit clinical settings in which they wish to develop further. Current third year placements cover many different areas, including: health psychology, substance misuse, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive therapy, family therapy and psychotherapy. 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.
Trainees are visited at the mid-point and end of each placement by their Clinical Tutor who facilitates and reviews their clinical development.
During a clinical placement in either the first and 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 Division of Psychology and Mental Health within the School of Health Sciences, which includes 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 most recent of which was in 2017.
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 submitted in April of the third year and is examined orally in July. There are three main categories of outcome, ie 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.
Trainees are considered to be adult learners responsible for their own learning objectives, and at the same time, 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. 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, as well as monthly facilitated reflective practice groups. 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 and 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 acting Clinical Director
Dr Claire Fothergill - Clinical Tutor and joint acting 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 Austin Lockwood - E-Learning & IT Development Co-ordinator
Ms Megan Brown - Programme Administrator
Ms Tracey Hepburn - Programme Administrator
A large number of NHS clinical psychologists also play a major role in the organisation and teaching of the Programme.