Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy DPsych

London, King's Cross (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families)

This four-year full-time, highly selective professional doctorate aims to develop the academic, clinical and research skills needed to practise as a professional Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, and will lead to the award of DPsych and professional membership of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP).

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£5,690
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£27,480
Duration
4 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have an upper second-class Honour's degree (or equivalent) and/or a Master's degree from a UK university in a relevant subject. There are a number of additional criteria, laid down by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP), which applicants must fulfil before they can apply to this doctoral clinical training. Please see the ACP website for further details.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

In year one, students receive direct teaching on research methodologies and the critical evaluation of research findings. They carry out a service-related research project within their clinical placement service and attend a series of lectures on evaluating clinical interventions. From the second year trainees will undertake a research project in an area relevant to the child psychotherapy profession, fully supported by a supervisor. This programme has been created with an emphasis on the practical research skills that will be needed by a modern practitioner and designed specifically to be completed within four full-time academic years. In this integrated programme research thinking will sit alongside the clinical programme so that graduates will become able to use research to inform their clinical practice.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

The programme combines working in a clinical setting, with lectures and seminars to support academic development and the opportunity to complete a doctoral level research project. Teaching is offered in a small-group setting and aims to provide a thorough understanding of normal child development, childhood psychopathology and psychotherapeutic techniques linked with direct experience of clinical work and conducting relevant research.

The programme is a collaboration between UCL, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and the Independent Psychoanalytic Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Association (IPCAPA) at the British Psychotherapy Foundation (bpf), alongside NHS training placement providers. The theoretical orientation of the training represents the thinking of the Independent School within the British Psychoanalytic movement. A Jungian pathway has been developed for those in Jungian analysis.

The foundation of your career

Employability

On completion of the Doctorate, applicants are eligible to work in the NHS or voluntary sector as child psychotherapists accredited by the Association of Child Psychotherapists. Some continue with academic and research work in parallel with this.

Networking

Teaching and learning

Academic Component
A continuous programme of theoretical seminars specific to each of the four years of the course is led by experienced child and adult psychotherapists. These cover theories of development, psychoanalytic thinking about the aetiology of psychological problems and how best to treat them, having regard to cultural and social diversity. The curriculum gives attention to knowledge of the evidence-base for the efficacy of psychological interventions and includes information on the impact of neuro-psychosocial factors on the psychological wellbeing of young people. There is a rolling programme of applied practice workshops, responding to current issues in NHS practice.

Clinical Course Component
Training placements are in NHS or voluntary sector settings, and the placement programme is planned to ensure exposure to a wide range of populations and contexts and to ensure experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams. Trainees are in their funded clinical placements for 70% of their week over the four years, learning and honing their skills guided by experienced clinicians within their service. In order to fulfill ACP requirements each trainee must complete a combination of intensive and non-intensive child cases. Each trainee sees three children in intensive psychotherapy, with individual weekly supervision for each case. Trainees are also required to see at least six children in non-intensive treatment, and to have experience of time-limited work, work with parents, diagnostic assessments and of consulting to other professionals who are working to promote children'¿s wellbeing.

The dissertation will be submitted at the end of the fourth year of study. A viva voce examination will normally be arranged within three months of submission of the dissertation.

Dissertation:

Volume 1: Case reports and Service-Related Research - 20,000 words

Volume 2: Research Dissertation ¿ 20,000 words

All trainees are required to be in personal psychoanalysis with an approved therapist, at least four times per week throughout their training.

Research areas and structure

Research environment

This 4-year full time, highly selective professional doctorate aims to develop the academic, clinical and research skills needed to practice as a professional Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, and will lead to the UCL award of DPsych and professional membership of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP). The UCL programme is delivered in collaboration with The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) and The Independent Psychoanalytic Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Association (IPCAPA) at the British Psychotherapy Foundation (bpf), alongside NHS training placement providers. The theoretical orientation of the training represents the thinking of the Independent School within the British Psychoanalytic movement.

As a Professional Doctorate, research is an integral and integrated component of this programme. In year one you will receive direct teaching on research methodologies and the critical evaluation of research findings. You will carry out an audit (service-related research project) within your clinical placement service and attend a series of lectures on evaluating clinical interventions. From the second year you will undertake a research project on an area relevant to the child psychotherapy profession, fully supported by a supervisor. This programme has been created with an emphasis on the practical research skills that will be needed by a modern practitioner and designed specifically to be completed within four full-time academic years.

Teaching takes various forms according to the year group: you will spend more time in research teaching in your first year, and then less over the following three years. The reason for this is to ensure that you develop the fundamental research skills that will inform both your clinical practice and your work on your empirical research project, which begins in the second year. During years two to four you will be expected to be involved in your research project outside these formal teaching sessions. You will be expected to work on your project at the Anna Freud Centre, at home or elsewhere. In some cases, it may be necessary to have additional meetings with your supervisor or other professionals involved in the study, however for the large part, independent study will be most common.

Full-time

The programme has clinical, academic and research components.

You will usually spend four days per week at a clinical placement, usually an NHS CAMHS service. We aim for you to work in the same service for the duration of your training. Here you will see, under supervision, a range of boys and girls of different ages, both in intensive and non-intensive treatment. You are also required to undertake generic, state of mind and psychotherapy assessments and to gain experience of work with parents and families. You also need to obtain experience in practicing other psychotherapeutic techniques, such as short term psychotherapy, brief work, mother-infant work, family work, group work and interagency and consultation work. You will often work alongside other members of the multi-disciplinary team.

Alongside this, you will have teaching days where you attend clinical and theoretical seminars, practice groups and workshops. The teaching aims to capture key issues in developing child psychotherapy practice in CAMHS, incorporating the ideas of service supervisors on crucial learning areas, ACP expectations, your views on your learning needs and interests, and the time-honoured programme of theory that marks us out as an Independent training.

In year one you will receive direct teaching on research methodologies and the critical evaluation of research findings. You will carry out an ‘audit’ within your clinical placement service and attend a series of lectures on evaluating clinical interventions. From the second year you will undertake a research project on an area relevant to the child psychotherapy profession, fully supported by a supervisor.

In terms of assessment, the programme consists of 11 modules, all of which must be passed in order to gain the award of Doctorate. Four modules are practicum modules that assess your clinical competence each year. You must pass these practicum components in order to progress to the next year. Assessment is via a placement review meeting at the end of each year, where your competence in a range of skills is discussed by the service supervisor and a member of the programme team. The decision is reviewed by the Training Advisory Group before a recommendation is made to the Exam Board.

Progression through the training is not dependent on passing these assessments but they will need to be passed by the end of the training in order for you to gain the qualification of Child Psychotherapist, accredited by the Association of Child Psychotherapists. It may be possible to meet the clinical requirements for accreditation with the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) without completing the academic components of the UCL programme: any student not completing the dissertation may gain accreditation by the ACP if the other components of the programme are passed. However, you will not be awarded the Doctorate title.

The theoretical orientation of the training represents the thinking of the Independent School within the British Psychoanalytic movement. A Jungian pathway has been developed for those in Jungian analysis.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Placement

The clinical training is funded and quality assured by Health Education England (HEE), via the Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs). A limited number of training posts are offered by the NHS, for which trainees can apply. The posts are four-year fixed term training contracts, usually based in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) team, and provide funding (including salary and contributions to training expenses), time for study and training as well as the opportunities to meet all the clinical requirements of the training. There are a number of posts across London and the South East of England.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £5,690
Tuition fees (2022/23) £27,480

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

The clinical training is funded and quality assured by Health Education England (HEE), via the Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs). A limited number of training posts are offered by the NHS, for which trainees can apply.

The posts are four-year fixed term training contracts, usually based in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) team, and provide funding (including salary and contributions to training expenses), time for study and training as well as the opportunities to meet all the clinical requirements of the training. There are a number of posts across London and the South East of England.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Those seriously interested in undertaking this doctorate are advised to make contact with the Training Co-ordinator -  to discuss their individual experience at an early stage.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021