The course welcomes applications from interested international candidates. International candidates apply directly to the Clearing House. For details on the criteria for entry and application process, please visit the international DClinPsy website.
For details of the application process for home fee candidates, please see details below
The Clearing House application deadline is 1:00 pm (UK time) on 22nd November 2023.
Home Fee Status applicants
- Why apply to UCL?
- Core Purpose, Values and Philosophy of the Course
- Criteria for entry
- Trainee Job Descriptions
- Application process
Why apply to UCL?
The UCL Course is at the forefront of many of the national and local developments and innovations which impact on the profession, and many members of staff are closely involved in NHS planning at both national and local level. We aim to equip trainees with the knowledge and skills they need to become effective clinical practitioners in a rapidly changing NHS.
Our guiding principles are the integration of theory with practice, the encouragement of a capacity for independent thinking and reflection, and the fostering of trainees' personal and professional skills. Taken as a whole, teaching and clinical practice should promote the skills essential for the development of evidence-based practitioners.
The Course has an explicitly pluralistic ethos and exposes trainees to a variety of approaches. It also encourages practice that demonstrates an awareness of equal opportunities and a sensitivity to the multi-cultural contexts routinely encountered in clinical work in London.
The Course is designed and organised with the close involvement of clinicians and Special Interest Groups. A range of support systems are built into the programme, not only to help with the known stresses of training, but also in recognition of the personal and professional change that training promotes.
The Course encourages the development of personal qualities such as reflexivity, enthusiasm for learning, and valuing the importance of supervision. These qualities are essential in helping the individual to prepare, once qualified, for continuing professional development and a career as a practising clinical psychologist.
The core purpose of the training course is to produce clinical psychologists trained to a high standard in academic, clinical and research domains, enabling them to meet the standards described by the HCPC Standards of Education and Training and Standards of Proficiency and the accreditation criteria of the British Psychological Society for Chartered status, and to qualify them for work within the National Health Service (NHS).
The values of the Course are aligned with those set out in the following codes, all of which can be found on the Course website:
- The HCPC Standards of Conduct
- the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct
- UCL Student Disciplinary Code
- the NHS Constitution
The values embodied in these codes are reflected at all stages and in all domains of the programme - in its application processes, in the content and delivery of the teaching programme, in clinical placements and in the professional and personal support offered to trainees.
The NHS constitution sets out some core values which can be summarised as follows:
- putting clients first and involving everyone who is relevant to their care
- speaking up in the client's interests when things go wrong
- affording respect and dignity to clients, their families and fellow professionals, valuing them as individuals and respecting their aspirations and commitments
- offering resources to the benefit of the whole community and ensuring that people are not excluded or discriminated against
- offering high-quality, safe and effective care
- offering care that is compassionate and responsive to the needs of clients, their families and carers
- improving health and well-being and people's experience of the NHS
1. The Course has a pluralistic ethos: it aims to expose trainees to a variety of approaches within clinical psychology rather than just one. This is designed to ensure that trainees can respond flexibly to the demands that will be made of them in a rapidly changing NHS.
2. The Course aims to promote strong links between theory and practice and is organised to ensure that the clinical, academic and research components of training are well integrated. Reflecting this concern:
a) Diversity in teaching methods is encouraged, matching the method to the material to be taught.
b) Skills teaching is integrated within the academic programme, along with the use of experiential teaching methods.
c) Trainees are encouraged to adopt a hypothesis-testing approach to their work and to adopt a thoughtful and critical approach to the use of research evidence concerning the effectiveness of therapeutic techniques.
3. The Course endeavors to enable trainees to achieve high standards of clinical competence. To ensure high quality and relevance to the field, teaching is organised by a mixture of academic staff and clinical psychologist practitioners, many of whom have a national reputation in their fields.
4. The Course aims to promote good practice in teaching and research across a wide range of specialties, and to ensure that teaching of specialities with recruitment difficulties is of the highest quality.
5. The Course tries to ensure that trainees can practice effectively and equitably in the context of the diversity that characterises clinical populations in London. The promotion of equal opportunities in the selection of trainees and in teaching is an important feature of the Course philosophy, and a theme of the programme.
6. The Course aims to ensure that trainees develop a professional role that is both active and collegial, and hence a capacity to understand the roles and approaches of professional colleagues, and an ability to maintain good working relationships which promote the psychological well-being of clients.
7. The Course aims to foster an awareness of, and a responsiveness to, the needs of service users and carers, both through its teaching and by encouraging trainees routinely to consult with service users in order to understand their perspectives and needs.
8. As is consistent with the learner-led model of teaching appropriate for students at this level of training, the Course aims to be responsive to feedback at all levels of its organisation. The Course aims to ensure that its systems of assessment and evaluation of trainees also accord with best practice in this area and that trainees are involved in the assessment process.
9. The Course aims to foster an enthusiasm for learning and an openness to questioning, in teaching, in clinical practice and in research. Trainees are encouraged to follow up their interests and to develop personally over the three years of training.
10. The Course aims to make research an integral part of training by developing trainees' capacity actively to make use of available research, and equipping them with the skills to contribute to the evidence-base of the profession. The Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology has an internationally recognised research programme and trainees are encouraged to work with members of staff to maintain the same high standards for their own research
12. The Course aims to be responsive to its purchasers (Health Education North Central and East London) and to Clinical Psychology services in the London region who offer supervision to trainees and employment to graduates from the course.
13. It is widely recognised that clinical psychology training can be stressful and the course endeavours to ensure that good sources of support are available to trainees. As is consistent with the general course philosophy, no one approach is favoured, but rather a variety of systems (including access to personal therapy) are offered.
The standards set out above are those by which the Course wishes to be judged. The measure of our success is our capacity to enable trainees to develop personal and professional competences congruent with our aspirations, and to become effective practitioners who can apply their skills for the benefit of service users and carers and go on to shape clinical practice and research in the future.
Criteria for entry
The UCL Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is a 3-year full-time programme which entitles graduates to apply for registration as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council and as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
Candidates need to meet some basic academic criteria. After that, they also need to demonstrate (by gaining some relevant clinical experience) that they have some awareness of the roles undertaken by clinical psychologists, are familiar with the sorts of clients psychologists see, and have an idea of the contexts within which psychologists work. In addition, they need to show that they have the appropriate personal characteristics needed to work effectively with a wide range of potentially vulnerable individuals, and to contribute to the work of fellow professionals in the NHS or equivalent organisations.
All candidates need to have obtained a good pass in an undergraduate honours degree in Psychology. The degree needs to confer eligibility for Graduate Basis for Charted Membership (GBC: see below). Because training leads to a Doctoral degree it is important that candidates show us that they can undertake work at a Doctoral level. For this reason candidates must obtain a minimum of a good 2.1 pass in their undergraduate Psychology degree.
Candidates who have not achieved a good 2.1 may need to think carefully about whether it makes sense to pursue a training in Clinical Psychology, since it is unlikely that they will be offered a place on a Doctoral Course. However, we recognise that sometimes degrees under-represent someone's academic ability - for example, illness or major life-events may have meant that there were periods when it was hard to maintain a good standard of work. If this is the case applicants need to offer clear evidence of their academic capacity in their application. This evidence must be supported by an academic referee who has monitored the candidate's work and can clearly demonstrate that certain academic achievements results underestimate the applicant's academic abilities.
Candidates with a 2.2 will not usually be accepted on the course unless there is unequivocal evidence of subsequent academic achievement equivalent to a good 2.1. In practice this means obtaining a higher degree, but the type of degree needs to be thought about carefully. Some Masters degrees will not offer enough academic challenge, making it hard for an academic referee to make the unequivocal judgment about a student's ability that a course needs. The more academically demanding a course, the more likely it is that they will be able to do this.
Graduate basis for chartered membership
In order to be considered for a place on any training course in Clinical Psychology it is essential to have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)with the British Psychological Society (BPS), usually at the time of applying or certainly by the time shortlisting is completed (in February). Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership is the same as Graduate Basis for Registration: all that has changed is the name. So if you previously had GBR you will now have GBC. The usual way of obtaining this is by completing an undergraduate degree in Psychology, or by taking a qualifying exam or programme which confers eligibility.
Not all Psychology programmes confer eligibility for GBC. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to GBC you should check this with your programme staff or write to the BPS (St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7DR; Tel: 0116 254 9568; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ) for more details.
Relevant clinical experience
In order to have a realistic chance of being selected it is essential to gain some relevant clinical experience before applying to the course. There are several reasons for this. It gives applicants a chance to test out whether work in this field is for them - it is much better to discover this before making a major career commitment. It also means that courses know that candidates' applications are realistic, and gives them an idea of how applicants have responded to the clinical work they have undertaken. Many trainees find that they make good use of their pre-training experience during training, so it is not 'wasted' time.
We know that asking for relevant experience causes people to think twice about applying for Clinical Psychology course. It means that there is a gap between completing an undergraduate degree and starting training, with no guarantee of getting on a course. This presents a real challenge to many people, not least a financial one. There is also a risk - widely recognised by courses - that potential applicants feel themselves obliged to work for a number of years in the hope of gaining enough experience to be taken onto a course. We know that most people work for around 1-2 years before getting on a course, and in most cases this should be sufficient.
Being clear about what counts as experience is hard to specify, especially because suitable posts vary enormously. As above, and very broadly, candidates should look for experience which gives them:
. an idea of what clinical psychologists actually do
. some direct clinical contact with the sort of clients psychologists work with
. an idea of what work with clients actually entails
. a sense of the organisational context in which clinical psychology usually operates
One common route is to find work as an Assistant Psychologist. These posts are advertised in the BPS Bulletin (distributed monthly to all members of the BPS) and also (although less frequently) in other relevant publications - for example, the health section of papers such as The Guardian.
As assistant posts are in relatively short supply, it is important to emphasise that they are not the only route to gaining relevant experience. For this reason applicants should think broadly about the possible options open to them. For example, employment in a social work context or as a nursing assistant in a psychiatric unit, or as a worker in a MIND Day Centre would be extremely valuable; all would count as relevant experience. Another route is to take a post as a research assistant, though the research should usually offer at least some direct involvement in a clinical area. It is worth remembering that a very "academic" research post would not give candidates much of a sense of how the clinical world operates, or how they react to the sorts of clients seen in clinical contexts.
There is something of a myth that applicants need to build an extensive 'portfolio' of experience, with more than one client group, and with a mixture of research and clinical experience. Speaking at least for selectors at UCL, we are not looking for this. We are looking for people whose posts map onto the bullet-pointed criteria just above, and who can show (and reflect on) the benefits of this experience in the way they present themselves. Basically it is the quality of experience - and what the person makes of it - that is as important as the quantity of experience.
Part-time work is an acceptable way of gaining experience. However, there can be problems if the work is very part-time. While working (say) for 3 hours a week could give candidates some relevant experience, this is inevitably going to be rather limited. If your circumstances mean that this is all the experience that you are able to gain then it is important to be clear about why this is so, and to show how (despite its brevity) the experience has been used to good advantage.
Voluntary work in an appropriate area "counts" in the same way as paid work. It is the type of work being undertaken (rather than whether there is a salary) which determines its relevance.
Because of the shortage of posts a number of applicants take voluntary posts, and this can be one way of gaining entry to paid employment. Although these posts can offer high-quality experience, candidates should be careful not to accept inappropriate "terms and conditions". The Course is concerned that people should not place themselves in a position where their motivation to undertake training exposes them to exploitation. Despite their voluntary nature, these posts should offer supervision and support.
Gaining experience outside the NHS
As above, relevant posts can be found outside the NHS. However, it is a good idea to work (at least to some extent) in a context which gives you a general sense of the statutory healthcare system. For example, a MIND daycare centre, or a stand-alone unit for people with substance abuse services might operate outside, but have links to, the NHS. Clients would almost certainly have (or have had) contact with NHS provision, and there would be opportunities to learn (albeit indirectly) about the way in which the healthcare system operates.
English Language Proficiency Requirement
As per the UCL graduate admissions policy, command of the English language is considered essential. All applicants whose first language is not English must provide recent evidence that they have an adequate command of both spoken and written English. Candidates are required to achieve a minimum of 'good level' of English proficiency as specified by UCL. For more details of qualifications accepted and criteria for a 'good level' of English, please click here.
Home fee status
Because places offered through the Clearing House are NHS funded we can only consider applicants who meet home fee status. If in any doubt about your fee status, applicants should contact the UCL admissions office directly before making an application to the course. Further information can be found here.
All places on the course for home fee status trainees are funded by the NHS - this includes a salary and payment of academic fees. We do not accept home fee status trainees on a self-funding basis.
Currently trainees are paid on Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Travelling expenses are paid at the Whitley public transport rate. University fees are paid directly by the NHS. Trainees are full time employees of the health service and have annual leave and other benefits in line with usual NHS entitlements.
Trainee job descriptions
How to Apply
Making an Application - the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology
As is the case for all UK courses, applications for the UCL course are administered through a central clearing house. They provide a handbook giving details of all courses and deal with all applications. A hyperlink to the UCL handbook entry can be found below.
For an application form and information about other courses in the UK write to: The Clearing House, Fairbairn House, 71-75 Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9PH, e-mail them at: email@example.com, or visit their website: https://www.clearing-house.org.uk/
The deadline for receiving completed applications is usually in November each year, but applicants should confirm this.
Selection falls into several distinct phases: First, candidates' forms are screened and those which do not meet the basic entry criteria (e.g. the absence of GBC, no relevant experience, no home/ EU fees status) are excluded. Subsequently each candidate's form is rated in order to reach a decision about who to invite for interview. Selectors look for evidence of academic ability, and indicators of clinical aptitude (such as motivation, realism, appropriate preparation for training), and will pay particular attention to the candidates' personal statements.
We interview about 200 applicants for 85 home fees places. Each candidate attends for a half day; the interviews focus on academic, clinical and professional issues and service user issues. Interviews are designed to be challenging at the same time as giving applicants an opportunity to engage with the panel and show their best. Current trainees are available throughout the day to provide information about their experience of training. The course regrets that it cannot pay travelling expenses to those who attend for interview.
Equal opportunities: We aim to ensure that applicants will not be disadvantaged in selection because of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, disability or age. The Course is particularly keen to ensure that trainee cohorts reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the population of London. We wish to encourage applications from suitably qualified individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds and are continuously reviewing our selection procedures to ensure that they do not inadvertently discriminate against some groups during the selection process.
Frequently asked questions
We find that the majority of the queries we receive can be answered through the below listed information. We therefore ask that before getting in touch with us with your query, please do first review the below information. If after doing so, you still have questions, we would be more than happy to answer them if we can. If this is the case, please do then get in touch with us on our enquiries email address which is listed below. In the email please do:
In the title of the email put “[Your name] - Follow-up query having reviewed FAQ information” in the email set out to us your specific queries and we will do our best to answer them for you
Questions about how to apply
All applications to the DClinPsy are made via Clearing House. Details and dates for application can be found at: https://www.clearing-house.org.uk/applications
Deadlines are announced late summer and will appear on the application pages. They are usually mid to late November. Application deadlines are final. You can also find further details about our course on our Clearing House page and on this website: https://www.clearing-house.org.uk/courses/courses-z/north-thames-ucl
Questions about visa status
UCL has recently updated its information regarding fee status here that you can check: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding/pay-your-fees/fee-schedules/student-fee-status
If you still have any queries or uncertainties about your fee status after reviewing the above webpage, we suggest that you contact the UCL admissions team directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) as they would be best placed to advise regarding fee status.
Questions about Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS)
One of the essential entry criteria for our DClinPsy programme is for applicants to have GBC with the BPS. We are not able to answer questions about whether your degree course(s) would confer you GBC, or to support your applications for GBC. Please liaise with the BPS directly for any queries regarding GBC: https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership
Questions about academic requirements when I completed my course in another country
Please check this UCL page for information of grade equivalents for courses completed in other countries: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international/country-search
If English is a second language or your undergraduate degree was not taught in English, you would need to provide with your application evidence of language proficiency. Evidence of English language proficiency may take the form of the following:
An acceptable English language qualification or test result no more than three years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. The qualification or test result must be equivalent to an IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum score of 7.0 on sub-tests (what UCL classify as “Level 4”) A minimum of eighteen months' work experience conducted in English and conducted in the three years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. A successfully completed one-year taught graduate programme undertaken in English and undertaken no more than three years prior to the proposed date of enrolment
Please see the link below for more details on UCL’s policies on English language requirements:
Which conversion or Masters course shall I pick?
We are often asked which conversion or Masters course is ‘better’ to pick. Our main advice is to pick the course that best serves you, your particular context and learning hopes.
In terms of specific conversion courses, it seems important to decide what best works for you, for example, in terms of location, your experience or interest, course content/ethos and any personal needs. The only requirement would be that it is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which means you will be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the BPS, which is essential for minimum requirements for pursuing the doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The BPS has a search function for accredited courses, please see: https://portal.bps.org.uk/Accredited-Courses
Please also consider different ways to research the feel and content of the course, including the institutions themselves and the link section at the bottom of this section.
In terms of Master courses, please see our academic criteria listed in the section above to note that you do not need to have a Masters, assuming you have sufficiently demonstrated your academic ability in your undergraduate course. If you have not scored highly in your undergraduate course, please see the section below re scoring below a high 2:1. Some applicants choose to read a Masters to further their understanding in an area of interest; we look at each application on a case-by-case basis to build a picture of the different experiences you have and what you have learnt through these. We are not in a position of naming one institution or course over another; different institutions and courses offer different people valuable experiences at different points in their life. Instead, we invite you to reflect on what is needed to be demonstrated within an application and which course is the best fit with this, taken together with the rest of your experience and academic history. If you are linked in with someone who is a Clinical Psychologist they may be in a better placed to think with you about what you are hoping to gain from pursuing the masters, how this fits with Clinical Psychology and which course may be the best fit for you at this point in your career. Alternatively, you may simply wish to pick a course that you’re likely to enjoy the most, and therefore perhaps learn the most through too. In terms of the institution you choose, we acknowledge that there are many factors that influence why people choose the courses that they do, and we do not categorise people based on the institutions they studied at.
I have extenuating reasons for why I scored below a high 2.1, will I still be eligible to apply?
A helpful place to find the answers to this type of question is to review the above section on entry requirements, where there are full detail on the requirements for entry into our Clinical Psychology Doctorate including the academic requirements. Overall, we look for people who have demonstrated that they can perform at a high academic level, so that we can be certain that the applicant will be able to manage the academic demands of a doctoral level course. We are keen to take seriously the range of reasons that can affect someone’s academic attainment, at the same time as ensuring we are confident someone is at a point where they could manage the demands of the course. We look carefully at everyone’s application. Please note:
- For candidates who did not achieve a high 2:1 due to mitigating circumstances, we would consider these applicants but advise that candidates make clear in their application the mitigating circumstances (you can use the final question of the application form for this) and ask their academic referee to explicitly comment on this and their overall academic ability in light of their performance.
- Candidates who did not achieve a high 2:1 in their undergraduate degree but subsequently go on to achieve at a high 2:1 or above (i.e., a high merit or a distinction) on a postgraduate or conversion course will be considered. You must still provide the transcript from your undergraduate course but may wish to choose an academic referee from your postgraduate or conversion course who is able to comment on your academic ability within the context of your performance on postgraduate study and how this is more representative of your academic ability than your undergraduate performance.
We will use your academic transcript to gain evidence of your overall degree grade, so please do ensure to include transcripts from any degree courses you have completed.
My degree transcript does not provide a final overall percentage
If at all possible, we ask that applicants whose transcripts do not provide an overall percentage, get confirmation from their university about what their percentage would have been for their degree. This can either be a letter from the department or email correspondence with the department / registry.
If your university does not provide the percentage but they give you instructions of how to calculate your overall percentage yourself, please do this and include your overall percentage on your application form. You should then upload the correspondence detailing the instructions of how to calculate the percentage with your application to explain how you have calculated your percentage.
We understand that some universities are not able to provide confirmation of what your overall percentage grade was for your university degree or instructions on how to do so. Please be assured that we will still consider your application if this is the case. If your university does not provide you with the percentage or instructions of how to calculate your percentage, please do simply upload the correspondence you had with your university confirming they are not able to provide the overall percentage for you or instructions of how to do so. Alongside this please do upload your transcript(s) for us to review. We would also suggest that you ask your academic reference to comment on your overall performance in your studies and whether your final degree was equivalent of a high 2:1.
If you achieved a 1st on your degree, we would not require a letter confirming the overall percentage for your degree.
Questions about A/AS Levels, Highers and equivalent school qualifications
We are often asked whether grades achieved at A-Level (or equivalent) are taken into account when selecting applicants for interview.
While we do consider A-Levels or equivalent qualifications as part of the overall picture of academic suitability for the doctorate, we do not consider these to be as relevant an indicator of academic ability as University-level study. When assessing academic suitability, assessors will give greater consideration to achievement at degree level, together with the academic reference.
However, if you are concerned that your performance at A-Level was not indicative of your academic ability, we would advise that you may use the final section of the application form to highlight any reasons for this (“If there are any other factors and/or any further context that are relevant in assessing your application please give details here”). For example if there were extenuating circumstances that impacted on your attainment at A-Level, you could provide some details to contextualize the grades that you provided on your form and we will take this into consideration when reviewing your application.
Questions about quality and quantity of clinical experience: including ‘do I have enough experience’, ‘does this type of experience count’ and ‘where do I get experience from’.
Once again, we would refer to the above sections which detail our requirements for entry to our course including the relevant experience requirements. We do hope that this offers clarity around the value of clinical experience prior to training – not only for your own learning and confidence that this is the field you wish to commit to, as well as to develop relevant skills and understandings ahead of training, and also to highlight that experience can come in many forms.
Please also note within this that it is not a pre-requisite that you have to serve a long “apprenticeship” before entering training. In brief, what an individual learns through experience, as you may imagine, is very dependent on various factors and so it is not a case of X amount of time in a certain role equates to particular learning outcomes. Indeed, we find that those who are successful at gaining a place on our course have a wide range of type of experience as well as amount of experience. On average though, we find that most successful applicants have at least 2 years relevant experience at the point of applying to the course.
One aspect we would invite you to consider is whether your experience has allowed you to develop a solid understanding of what Clinical Psychologists actually do, and what they do not do. Through your application, we are keen for you to demonstrate your understanding of the roles that clinical psychologists have within healthcare and therefore gaining experience that offers you this is what is most important. We find that it helps if the applicant has had a reasonable amount of direct contact with clinical psychologists. While this is not a pre-requisite for applying to the course, applicants, who have not had the opportunity to work with clinical psychologists, find it much more difficult to demonstrate the level of understanding we expect. This exposure to clinical psychology practice in the NHS can be acquired in different ways and does not mean that you must have had an assistant psychologist post prior to applying.
We are also interested in how you write about and reflect upon your experiences: this is one of the reasons why, unfortunately, we cannot answer in a straightforward way the question we often get of ‘Will my experience be enough?’. We would also strongly recommend looking at some of the links in the final section at the end of this email given how common these sorts of dilemmas are, and how much helpful information is available more broadly to those hoping to enter the profession.
Questions about Health Education England (HEE) funding for psychological professions training programmes
HEE guidance about future funding for training in psychological professions was most recently updated in July 2022. This update clarified that there would be no retrospective application of rule changes to those starting a training programme by 31st March 2022. Following these exemptions, we understand that anyone who has completed one of the affected programmes listed on the website (link below) will not be eligible for further HEE funding for 2 years following completion of the award. We will continue to update this section as further information becomes available.
Please see the HEE website for further information: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/mental-health/psychological-professions/funding-psychological-professions-training-programmes.
HEE have also provided a FAQ document, available here:
Our course starts in the final week of September. If you would like to know the exact start date for next year, please do contact us in a follow-up email and we will be able to confirm this for you. If you have any individual queries about a course that you have completed and the above mentioned 2 year rule, please contact HEE directly.
Choosing who to ask for your reference
It can feel difficult to know who is best to choose for your academic and relevant experience reference. The key principle that we would suggest you keep in mind is to choose someone for each reference that knows you well enough to be able to directly comment on your abilities (whether this be your academic abilities or your clinical abilities). We are most interested in hearing about their perspectives on this, and therefore if you choose someone that is not able to do this, they might only be able to provide very brief / global comments which are less helpful. If possible, it is also helpful to seek references from individuals that are aware of the requirements and demands of the DClinPsy programme, as they will then be better placed to comment on your suitability for training. This does not mean that you need to have a reference from a clinical psychologist. We would not consider references from peers / friends to be suitable.
Although many applicants are in their 20s, the age range of trainees is quite broad. At UCL we have a good number of trainees who are not in their 20s. We recognise that more mature 'older' applicants - especially those who are switching careers - may find it more difficult to find the time to gain experience and undertake relevant academic study. As above, the course does not expect candidates to present a long portfolio of clinical experience - quality is just as important (if not more so) than quantity. Demonstrating a capacity to show how learning from experience has taken place takes candidates a long way. Where candidates are looking to make a major career change they should demonstrate the rationale for their decision in their application.
Everyone working in the NHS must have a health check before they take up their post. This is to ensure that they are physically and psychologically capable of doing the job, and that they do not present a risk to the vulnerable people they will be working with. Health checks are carried out on all new entrants by the Occupational Health department of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. Their assessment is based on a health questionnaire and an interview with an occupational health adviser.
People with disabilities
UCL has a policy of supporting individuals with disabilities, and its Disability Equality Scheme (www.ucl.ac.uk/disability) aims to promote equality of opportunity and positive attitudes towards individuals with disabilities.
Under the umbrella of UCL's Disability Services Support there are a number of services offering support for students: The Disability Centre, The Dyslexia Assessment and Support Centre, and the Student Enabling Information Technology Suite. Detailed information about these services and the range of support available for students with disabilities is available on the UCL website: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/support-and-wellbeing/support-disabled-students
The Course aims to work collaboratively with trainees with disabilities to ensure that they can carry out their work or studies successfully and to reduce potential barriers to a positive training experience. Wherever possible we seek to make appropriate adaptations for people with disabilities and try to make sure that clinical placements have the facilities appropriate to each individual's needs.
Access to the right sort of information is an important first step in making (and supporting) an application. For this reason applicants with a disability should feel free to contact the Senior Admissions Tutor to discuss the nature of their impairment or disability (whether the condition is permanent, temporary or fluctuating) as early as possible in the application process.
If we make an offer of a place, we will not usually defer entry to a subsequent year, however we would consider deferral requests in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
We have tried to provide a comprehensive overview of the UCL application criteria and procedure on these web pages. Hopefully this will have answered your questions and queries; if you have read through the information and still have queries then please contact our admissions team, following the instructions set out at the start of this section. You should note that contacting us does not confer any advantage in our selection process.
Many of the questions and dilemmas we receive can sometimes be better answered by more informal conversations with fellow aspiring clinical psychologists, and drawing from the wisdoms that you all have. There are often assistant psychology and aspiring psychologist forums, live events and online spaces so we would suggest an internet search to see what is available and feels relevant for you e.g. a local or national group, or perhaps a group attached to an NHS Trust, voluntary organization or university. Groups often are aware of a range of useful and current resources, including online blogs and interesting people to follow in social media. Below are a list of useful links to some of these groups as well as some others that may help to answer any further questions you have about our course or the DClinPsy more generally:
- The Clearing House: the website through which you apply to the DClinPsy which also has further information on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and all the course centers that offer it: https://www.clearing-house.org.uk/applications
- The Alternative Handbook: This is a publication from the Pre-Qualification Group of the Division of Clinical Psychology (BPS). This is an annual survey of trainees from across the country that seeks to get feedback on course content, processes, supports and trainee experiences. The publication is free and released annually. The publication is released in the September of each year, before application forms are released: https://shop.bps.org.uk/the-alternative-handbook-2022-a-trainee%E2%80%99s-guide-to-postgraduate-clinical-psychology-courses
- The Pre-Qualification Group (PQG) of the Division of Clinical Psychology: The PQG support individuals seeking a career in clinical psychology, offer events and advocate for its members at an organisational level nationally. They offer lots of resources, supports and advice for aspiring psychologists: https://www.bps.org.uk/node/1105
- The Valued voices mentoring scheme: A joint initiative of the six London-area DClinPsy courses, this scheme is open to Black, Asian, MENA and Mixed aspiring clinical psychologists in the London area. All mentees attend an evening reflective workshop, run by current DClinPsy trainees, and are then matched with 1:1 trainee and/or qualified clinical psychologist mentors. To register your interest in the scheme, please email email@example.com
- The Minorities in Clinical Training group (PQG, DCP): The Minorities Group specifically support and advocate on behalf of aspiring psychologists who identify with a minority group: https://www.bps.org.uk/member-networks/division-clinical-psychology/equality-diversity-inclusion-anti-racism
Please also consider looking at:
- Division of Clinical Psychology in the British Psychological Society: https://www.bps.org.uk/member-microsites/division-clinical-psychology
- British Psychological Society general information on becoming a psychologist (including links to all different career routes in psychology): https://www.bps.org.uk/public/become-psychologist
- British Psychological Society page on becoming a Clinical Psychologist: Find your career in psychology - The British Psychological Society (bps.org.uk)
- British Psychological society Pre-qualification group podcast: https://twitter.com/gettoclinical
- Keynote on Access, Inclusion and Anti-Racism in clinical psychology By Dr Kat Alcock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsDFPCNr4Lc
- Seeing is Believing: The Changing Face of Clinical Psychology YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaXekgUmYema-0huj5iUcYA
- The NHS careers page, which gives information about different careers in psychology which might help you thinking about whether clinical psychology is the specific role you are wanting to pursue: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/psychological-professions
- In2gr8 mental health: is a centre for valuing, destigmatising and supporting lived experience of mental health difficulties in mental health professionals: https://www.in2gr8mentalhealth.com/