Clinical Associate in Psychology (Adult Mental Health) apprenticeship programme MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The course aims to train psychology graduates to become skilled professional Clinical Associates in Psychology (CAP), working within Adult Mental Health. This Master's programme provides the formal apprenticeship training required as part of the student's employment within the NHS. Students on this programme qualify as Clinical Associates in Psychologyist.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
See Fees Note
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
See Fees Note
18 months
Programme starts
January 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct – 15 Dec 2023

Applications closed

For January 2024 entry, please use this link to apply

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in Psychology from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

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.

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.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

About this degree

The teaching and training will focus on the knowledge and clinical competencies required to work as a Clinical Associate in Psychology with adults with mental health problems in inpatient and community mental health services. The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide high quality, evidence-based psychological support within the community, with formulations derived from rigorous psychological measurement and assessment tools to work with populations from different backgrounds, cultures and contexts. 

Who this course is for

Applicants will be nominated by their NHS employer and are required to show evidence of ability to study successfully at postgraduate level. Applicants will need to hold a minimum of a second class (2:2) Bachelor's degree in Psychology that is accredited by the BPS and confers Graduate Basis for Chartership. Applicants will need to hold level 2 qualifications in English and Maths (GCSE Grade C minimum/equivalent). If applicants do not have level 2 qualifications in English and Maths, they will need to complete these qualifications as part of their apprenticeship.

Unfortunately, this programme is not open to international students. As this is an apprenticeship programme international, students would need to meet the following requirements: A non-EEA citizen is eligible for funding if they have permission from the UK government to live in the UK (not for educational purposes) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.

What this course will give you

The UCL programme is run and taught by experienced practitioners in the field, and therefore a balance is achieved between the teaching of the theoretical knowledge needed and the practical skills necessary in training as a Clinical Associate in Psychology.

Students will be in employment in the NHS and receive practical experience in a relevant service alongside this formal training needed in order to become a qualified Clinical Associate in Psychologyist.

The foundation of your career

The Clinical Associate in Psychology is a new occupation within the NHS. The course will train students to work in adult mental health settings.  The occupation addresses an unmet need in mental health provision as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan and Community Mental Health Framework. The training is provided in partnership with NHS Trusts, who are committed to supporting the long term development of the CAPs role.


The Master's programme is the formal apprenticeship training required as part of the student's employment as a Clinical Associate in Psychology who upon successful completion of the programme will move to being qualified CAPs. It is anticipated that apprentices will stay in these positions after completing the programme, working as a qualified CAP.

For further details, please visit the NHS Careers website.

Options for career development include progression to working as a qualified CAP. Other options include moving into related fields such as teaching, social work and clinical psychology.


We have a team of experienced tutors on board who provide individualised and focused career guidance to each apprentice. They provide personalised advice, action plans, and follow-ups. We have a whole module which focuses on skills relevant to developing themselves as practitioners and develop the skills to progress as Clinical Associates in Psychology. We hold a yearly conference bringing together NHS services, employing CAPs, qualified CAPs and apprentices, which serves as an excellent networking opportunity. In addition, on site (NHS based) support is provided for career progression within the NHS.


This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and meets the society’s standards for applied psychology training for Associate Psychologists. Graduates who are society members and have undertaken accredited Clinical Associate in Psychology (CAP) training are eligible to apply for entry on to the society’s Wider Psychological Workforce Register.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will include both university and service based supervisory practice. At UCL, you will be taught via lectures, practical workshops, and clinical seminars. Students will also have access to Moodle resources, tools, forums and activities, and undertake independent study. In your NHS organisation you will complete practice-based learning tasks assigned by UCL and undertake clinical work supervised by local doctoral clinical psychologists.

Assessments will be conducted in a number of ways: group and individual presentations, case studies, essays, objective structured clinical examination and dissertation. 

You will have an End Point Assessment (EPA) which is an formal practical assessment of a students' performance against the Apprenticeship Standard ensuring they meet the requirements to complete the apprenticeship.

Teaching will take place on Wednesdays and Fridays with teaching taking place from 10am to 5pm. Approximately 50% of the time will be spent in lectures, 25% in workshops, 15% in clinical seminars, and the remainder in independent study.

Tripartite Reviews take place once a term between the apprentice, employer and UCL staff to help manage progress of the apprenticeship and review development of knowledge and skills required for the role.


This programme is 18 months long with a January start date. Your time will be split your time between academic and work-based learning. You, and will be employed by an NHS Trust throughout, gaining a higher level qualification from the University while earning a wage, and getting real on-the-job experience as a Clinical Associate Psychologist. You will spend 80% of your time learning skills on-the-job and for the remaining 20% you will be undertaking off-the-job training with UCL. The 20% off-the-job element is measured over the whole period of your apprenticeship and academic course as opposed to a traditional term-time/academic year. You should therefore expect to be undertaking off-the-job activities even when not attending the university.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Clinical Associate in Psychology (Adult Mental Health) apprenticeship programme.


Students are employed by and complete their apprenticeship with their participating NHS Trust. 


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) See Fees Note
Tuition fees (2024/25) See Fees Note

Fees are funded by the NHS

Additional costs

There are no additional costs on this programme. 

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

Tuition fees on this programme are fully funded by the NHS.

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

Upon being offered and accepting an apprenticeship position by an NHS trust, you will need to apply via Portico for the course and accept an offer of a place to study at UCL. Apprenticeship opportunities in the NHS can be found on the NHS Health Careers website.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.