Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Department of Psychology
University of London
Programme Director: Professor Andrew MacLeod
This Programme, founded in 1997, is a three-year full-time programme that leads to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) awarded by the University of London. Individuals who complete the Programme are eligible to apply, on completion of programme requirements, for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as Clinical Psychologists. Completing the Programme does not automatically confer registration with HCPC. HCPC require evidence of health and character as well as completion of a relevant approved programme. For more information, please see the HCPC website.
The programme is an NHS London partnership between the Department of Psychology, and Clinical Psychologists in North London. It is one of three programmes in North London. The Programme, along with the other two programmes (UCL and UEL), draws its clinical placements from the entire North London area. These encompass a diverse range of locations and treatment modalities. Because of the presence of major clinics and teaching hospitals in North London, the placement pool includes cutting edge services and settings. The Programme has particular strengths in cognitive-behavioural and systemic teaching.
The programme has been accredited by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP) as a Level 2 programme. As a result of this we are able to offer an accreditation "pathway" for a proportion of trainees, which means that approximately 50% of trainees will likely meet all of the Minimum Training Standards stipulated by BABCP during their time on the programme by completing of some additional requirements. This typically involves the completion of some additional piece of academic work on top of the usual workload and would be contingent on supervised placement experience with BABCP-accredited therapists. Due to the availability of these placements across the region, which are shared with two other DClinPsy programmes, we are not able to guarantee these placements to all trainees who might be keen to be part of this "pathway". Candidates who are successful at interview and offered a place at RHUL will be contacted before the start of training to declare their level of interest in participating in the "pathway" to ensure that placements are allocated appropriately. As stated, unfortunately we are unlikely to be able to guarantee placements with suitably-accredited therapists for all trainees interested in pursuing the "pathway". Nevertheless, even those graduates who do not meet all the criteria during training will be eligible to apply for accreditation post-training by supplementing the training standards required in terms of clinical practice and supervision.
The Department has an international reputation for research and was ranked sixth out of 82 psychology departments in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Its tradition and strengths are in a number of clinically relevant areas (cognitive behavioural theory and therapy, neuropsychology, health and social psychology, vision, language and other basic science areas). This provides additional resources for trainees.
Training at Royal Holloway is underpinned by an ethos of public service, that is, we believe that the state (the NHS for the majority of our trainees), along with other providers, has an important part to play in the wellbeing of individuals and communities. We aim to equip trainees with the skills and knowledge to be effective practitioners within the NHS, or similar organisations, in their chosen areas of practice. The values enshrined in the NHS Constitution underpin the values of the Programme. We adhere to a belief that the quality of a person's experience is of supreme value and that actions that promote the quality of life for a person and reduce impediments to that quality of life are therefore of great value. Our work is based on the view that psychology has a role to play in facilitating wellbeing - helping people to live lives that are good for them - and that psychological knowledge can be applied and brought to bear on enhancing people's experience and in tackling some of the impediments to wellbeing and thereby reducing distress. A desire and commitment to make a difference to people's lives through the compassionate and systematic application of psychological knowledge is fundamental to training and practising as a clinical psychologist. We believe that this is a shared enterprise between psychologists and the users of psychological services, and that the rights and dignity and autonomy of all service users, whatever their social or personal characteristics, are paramount. In line with this view, we also believe that the benefits to be derived from the application of psychological knowledge to people's lives arise through a process of active collaboration, with both service-users and their families and with other professionals.
The Programme Team aims to facilitate the development of Clinical Psychologists for the NHS who:
The College is based in very attractive surroundings just outside the M25 to the west of London in Surrey. Access by public transport is good (College Bus during term-times or 15 minute walk to Egham Station, 40 minutes to Waterloo). The College also has a central London base, in Bedford Square, which is available for trainees and staff to use.
Approximately half of trainee time on the Programme is spent on placement in the North London region. Approximately one fifth of trainee time is spent at College. The remainder of time is for private study and research.
For 2022 entry we will be accepting applications for NHS places from candidates with a right to work in the UK. We will additionally be accepting applications for self-funded places from candidates who meet overseas fees status and who do not have the right to work in the UK. Please see the Funding section below for further details.
We are interested in graduate applicants with a good academic record and a minimum 2:1 degree in psychology. If NHS candidates have a 2:1 and not a 1st class degree, they will need to show additional evidence of academic attainment (e.g. a distinction at Master’s level, a PhD, excellent A level grades or a peer review publication).
We would like applicants for both NHS and self-funded places to have approximately a year or more of experience relevant to Clinical Psychology at the time of entry to the programme. This could be: (a) direct clinical or clinical research experience (which may be part of masters or doctoral research); (b) as an Assistant Psychologist, Research Assistant, Graduate Mental Health Worker, Support Worker, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner or any other role that involves significant client contact where the applicant is engaged in activities relevant to clinical psychology. Applicants with experience of other social, healthcare or research posts will also be considered.
Relevant clinical experience would normally be either paid or as part of a postgraduate degree. For NHS candidates, voluntary experience is only acceptable in the context of other non-voluntary clinical experience. Lack of any direct experience in the NHS may be a disadvantage.
At the time of application, the trainee's degree must satisfy the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). We do not consider applications from Undergraduate students.
Graduates with a first degree in a field other than Psychology must have completed a BPS approved Conversion programme prior to application or completed the BPS exam conferring GBC, and will be expected to meet the same experience requirements as other applicants.
The Programme does not accredit prior (experiential) learning.
Consistent with Royal Holloway equality and diversity policies, we positively welcome applicants from all sections of the community and are committed to ensure that all are treated fairly and with equality of opportunity without regard to race, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, age, marital or parental status, dependants, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political belief or social origins. We adhere to Royal Holloway Admissions policy and procedures. We use the equal opportunities data that you provide with your application during our selection process.
We welcome enquiries from applicants with disabilities to discuss the programme requirements and any adjustments that may be needed during the selection process or once on the programme. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, is a Disability Confident organisation (Level 1).
If English is not the first language of applicants and university qualifications were not taught and examined in English, evidence of ability in English language will be required. This should be a TOEFL or IELTS academic test if possible. If candidates require a visa to study in the UK we can only accept IETLS academic test scores. The minimum scores needed are: 88 for internet-based TOEFL (with 26 for writing), 570 for paper-based TOEFL or 6.5 for IELTS academic test (with 7 for writing).
Any questions about admissions to the Programme can be directed to Dr Michael Evangeli, Admissions Tutor.
Preliminary, paper-based selection is undertaken by Programme staff and regional psychologists. At this stage, attention is paid to the applicant's academic record, clinically relevant experience, and referee reports. These assessments are guided by a standard grading system. We anonymise applications at the short-listing stage.
For the 2021 entry, we interviewed 114 from 795 applicants for 50 NHS places, and 13 from 106 applicants for 3 self-funded places. Each interviewee for NHS places attended two remote interviews, focusing on clinical/research/academic, and service user/carer topics. The clinical/ research/academic interview was carried out by one member of the programme team and one Clinical Psychologist working in the region. The service user/carer interview was carried out by a Clinical Psychologist working in the region and a service user or carer. There was also an opportunity to meet current trainees and attend a presentation by Programme staff. Self-funded applicants are assessed against the same criteria as applicants for NHS places but attend one long interview.
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 which 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 about how we will use the data collected in the survey, for example, as part of our selection processes, for audit/research purposes to consider developments to selection processes in future years, or to create reports for external agencies such as Health Education England (which commissions many of the training programmes).
Definite offers of places, as well as reserve list notifications, are made shortly after the interview. For non UK or Ireland nationals, the offer of an NHS place is subject to proof of the right to work at the start of the programme. Offers are subject to the usual NHS Trust health and police clearance. Health checks include screening for TB and checks for chicken pox, rubella and measles. HIV and Hepatitis C tests are offered. Police clearance involves enhanced DBS checks. There is no charge to successful applicants for NHS places or self-funded places for these checks. Training as a clinical psychologist involves working with children and vulnerable adults. Throughout the selection process and the training programme we take stringent measures to ensure that the clients that trainees work with are kept safe.
We regret that we cannot pay interview travel expenses incurred by applicants.
Current NHS trainees are full-time employees of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and are subject to standard NHS employment conditions, and annual leave and other standard NHS entitlements apply. Please also see the most recent Job Description available on our website. Salary for current NHS trainees is based on the prevailing NHS Trainee scales (Band 6) plus an Inner London Allowance (currently £31,365 plus HCAS at £6,273). University fees are currently covered by NHS London. As is the case for all NHS employees, travel expenses are not paid to attend the main place of work, which in this case is Royal Holloway. Travel expenses are currently paid, at the usual employer's rate, to attend placement or for research purposes, if the cost of the journey exceeds the cost of the journey between the trainee's home and College. The employing Trust currently pays these e "out of pocket" or "top up" travel costs, that is, the amount extra that a trainee has to pay to travel to placement or for research as opposed to what they would be paying if they were attending College. These terms and conditions may be subject to change in the future.
We accept applications for self-funded candidates with overseas fees status meeting our entry criteria. The 2022-23 fees will be £27,600 per year. This fee may increase in subsequent years but any increase will be capped at 5% per annum for continuing students. For EU/EEA/Swiss candidates applying for self-funded places starting in September 2022, we will award an automatic 60% reduction on the difference between the international fee and the UK fee. In 2021/22, the UK fee is £16,008, whilst the 22/23 fee is yet to be confirmed (and may increase on 21/22). If it remains the same as the 21/22 UK fee, then the fee for EU/EEA/Swiss candidates would be £20,645. This reduction will apply for the duration of your course. There is not a salary attached to self-funder places, and living costs would need to be financed by the applicant.
Applications should be made via the Clearing House using Course Code 22 - X.
Self-funded international trainees will hold honorary NHS contracts and will receive the same annual leave entitlement as NHS trainees. Self-funded trainees are not eligible for travel expenses but are eligible for expenses associated with their major research project.
The Royal Holloway Clinical Doctorate follows an Adult Learner model in which trainees are encouraged to take increasing responsibility over the course of the programme for their own learning as the Programme progresses. As with all programmes, we aim to enable the trainee to cover the academic, clinical practice and research knowledge and skills that underpin and guide clinical practice. The Programme timetable includes formal teaching, tutorials, and clinical and academic seminars with clear blocks of time for independent study. Attendance is compulsory for all teaching, tutorials and seminars. After a one month full-time Induction Block in the first year, trainees will be expected to attend teaching for two days per week during the College Terms for Years 1 and 2 of the programme. Additional service familiarisation may also be required for those trainees not familiar with the NHS context. There is a further one week teaching block at the start of the second year. During the third year, teaching requirements are minimal to allow trainees to concentrate on their research projects. The Induction Block introduces the Programme, provides a background to the NHS and Psychology services, and introduces those clinical and other skills needed for placement. Thereafter, the Programme is geared to enabling trainees to cover areas relevant to the practice of Clinical Psychology. The core areas of theory, empirical research and clinical topics spanning the age and client groups are covered. The syllabus is continually evolving in the light of trainee feedback and professional requirements.
Attention is given to psychological measurement, research design and methodology. This is to ensure that trainees have the knowledge and skills necessary to approach the theory and research literature at a level expected of a postgraduate in psychology and in a manner that is helpful for clinical practice. As the completion of a substantial thesis is a major requirement for the award of the degree, trainees are encouraged to begin to develop research proposals by the end of the first year.
Clinical placements will normally be in North London. Placements are co-ordinated across three regional programmes and allocation of placements is made on the basis of trainee, professional and Programme requirements. Trainees have the opportunity to indicate areas of special interest when planning their third year placements. Most trainees commence training with a 12-month placement, with later placements of 6 or 12 months' duration. Trainees are informed of their first placement once they have started the programme. They are informed of subsequent placements as far in advance as it is practical to do so.
Each cohort has a clinical tutor to support and monitor trainees' progress. Within each placement (or twice in a year-long placement) a mid-placement visit is undertaken to monitor progress and resolve any difficulties. An individually allocated member of programme staff or an honorary Associate Clinical Tutor carries out this task. Quality supervision is seen as a major determinant of good training and we work together with the other Programmes to provide training to ensure that trainees have a good experience of supervision, and supervisors a good experience of trainees.
The Programme has had an active Service User and Carer Involvement Group (SUCIG) since 2007. The group includes two trainee representatives and meets four times per year in our central London base or remotely. At present, service users and carers contribute to various aspects of the training programme, including specific teaching sessions, selection and curriculum development. However, we are keen to develop this further and SUCIG plays an important role in generating and providing feedback on ideas for increasing involvement opportunities.
Different procedures assess various aspects of the Programme, as described below.
Clinical supervisors from placements are required to complete an assessment of the trainee's clinical competence at the end of each placement. Trainees are also required to submit four Reports of Clinical Activity over the three-year period of training, one of which is a reflective practice assessment.
Academic work is assessed by a combination of essays and examination methods. The Programme requires trainees to submit two essays, one in Year 1 and the other in Year 2, with the second essay being a review of the literature relevant to the Research Dissertation.
Formal examinations (two papers) are held at the end of the first year.
The Research Dissertation is the major research component to the Programme. It is submitted in June of the third year and examined in July. Trainees are encouraged to pursue a topic in an area of active research within the department. These can cover a wide range of mental health and health topics. The overall standard of the research will be expected to be commensurate with a PhD, but the dissertation will be considerably shorter.
A Service Related Research Project is completed on one of the placements. There is also a research design exercise at the end of the first year and a practical statistics assessment at the end of the second year.
There are a number of different procedures in place to ensure that trainees feel properly supported throughout their training.
Internally, the Programme provides support through a number of mechanisms. Trainees are allocated a "Buddy" from the year ahead, who provides advice and mentorship during the first year. Each year has a confidential Reflective Practice Group, with an external facilitator. Each trainee has a Personal Tutor assigned from the teaching staff who will meet with them over the three years. This allows for continuity of support and also provides the trainee with a resource for personal support, should the occasion or need arise. An Independent Personal Advisor from within North London is also available. Trainees can approach these individuals for confidential advice. Trainees are also able to access the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Scheme, which has been established jointly by the three North London Programmes. There is no formal mechanism for organising personal therapy for trainees. However, counselling services are available through the University or the relevant NHS Trust, and a list of private therapists who trainees may approach is provided by the Programme.
Any disclosure of disability is treated with sensitivity and within the bounds of our confidentiality policy. We liaise closely with the Royal Holloway Disabilities and Dyslexia Services Team and with the relevant NHS Trust to ensure that an assessment of need and subsequent reasonable adjustments are made for trainees with disabilities.
The Programme Team cover a broad range of clinical psychology specialities. The Core staff with day-to-day involvement with the Programme are:
Dr Katie Ashcroft - Lecturer and Academic Tutor
Dr Gary Brown - Senior Lecturer and Research Director
Dr Michael Evangeli - Reader and Admissions Tutor
Dr Alex Fowke - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Dr Jessica Kingston - Senior Lecturer and Research Tutor
Professor Dawn Langdon - Professor and Academic Director
Dr Olga Luzon - Senior Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Professor Andrew MacLeod - Professor and Programme Director
Dr Chris Marshall - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Professor Helen Pote - Professor and Clinical Director
Dr Kate Theodore - Senior Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Dr Jane Vosper - Lecturer and Clinical Tutor
Ms Jen Lutley - Senior Student and Programme Administration Officer
Mrs Michelle Watson - Clinical Secretary
Didem Cunningham - Student and Programme Administration Assistant