Our three-year Doctorate in Clinical Psychology training programme (full-time) is based in Hatfield at the University of Hertfordshire. It is a 20-minute train journey from Hatfield to Kings Cross Station, London and covers the rural and urban geographical areas of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex.
We are a relatively small programme, currently consisting of fifteen NHS training places and two self-funded places per cohort. This allows us to put our trainees at the heart of the course. We are a friendly and supportive staff team, which we feel is integral to creating a collaborative and collegiate learning environment. This is important for assisting trainees through what can be a challenging experience at times but also, we believe, in facilitating trainees to become unique and highly competent Clinical Psychologists, where personal values and social and cultural background can be integrated with professional development. Post qualification, our graduates go on to provide high quality services and leadership within the NHS.
Placements are planned across the three years to meet individual training needs and preferences, while preparing trainees for the needs of the NHS workforce. We have a variety of local specialist placements in terms of clinical group (such as paediatric, health, older adults, eating disorders, psychosis and neuropsychology) and therapeutic orientation (such as CBT, systemic, psychodynamic, and CAT).
We provide high quality teaching in terms of our content and methods. Regular course reviews take place between trainees and the course team. Trainees can participate in committees to shape the training course and continually improve all aspects of the course. We have developed innovative teaching methods to ensure learning is as stimulating, interactive and progressive as possible, such as problem-based learning (PBL) and using the university's high-tech simulation suites for simulation training (role plays) with actors playing the part of clients, families and helping professionals. We engage lecturers across disciplines where helpful, such as inviting a barrister to jointly run a lecture on presenting expert evidence in court. Our trainees have the opportunity to engage in training on organisational and systemic influence and leadership. There are opportunities to gain experience in these areas during the programme.
The programme utilises novel methods for learning:
We are keen to encourage applications from people with a wide range of backgrounds. We strongly believe that diversity of cultures, social and economic experiences and individual perspectives within a trainee cohort substantially benefit the learning environment for all trainees. Further, it is essential that as Clinical Psychologists we contribute to a cohesive and diverse workforce within the NHS and reflect the client groups we have a duty to serve.
In keeping with our values of putting trainees, diversity, the participation of service users and carers and the needs of the NHS at the forefront of our course, our overall programme philosophy is located within a social constructionist approach. This approach examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality. For instance, the term "depression" can be thought of as a medical diagnosis as well as a normal response to a detrimental social, cultural or economic environment. This critical position is the lens through which we present the core teaching as required for all UK doctorate Clinical Psychology courses. It enables a complex analysis of evidence-based practice, resulting in a drive towards higher standards within the profession of Clinical Psychology.
We are committed to the meaningful participation of service users and carers in all aspects of the course including teaching, research, staff recruitment and admissions. We have a service user and carer committee which meets quarterly and consults to the course team on these issues.
The course has a particular remit to train clinical psychologists to take up NHS positions. Clinical psychologists working in the region support the course, and many are working in collaboration with the Programme Team to provide placement supervision, research supervision, teaching and skills workshops.
The DClinPsy Trainees attend the University for their lectures, seminars and tutor support, but also spend approximately three days per week on their clinical placements.
For further information about the course specifically, please contact the Course Administrators Katie Simmans or Catriona Roy (email@example.com) or Tel +44 (0)1707 286322 +44 (0)1707 286322.
Unfortunately, due to the large volume of emails we receive with questions about the course, we are unable to respond individually to each inquiry from applicants. If you wish to seek advice and support relating to applications, or have questions about who to seek appropriate work experiences within clinical psychology, please refer to the links for further information detailed below. The Clearing House website or Alternative Handbook may provide some answers, or alternatively, please consider contacting the Pre-Qualification Group or Minorities in Clinical Training for further guidance and support.
The research team have their own Twitter account: @DClinPsyUH
We are based in the Health Research Building on the College Lane Campus. Where to find us
Clearing House: A website with further information on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, application forms and a FAQ relating to when and how to apply for a place on the course: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/Clin11Hertfordshire.html.
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. The Alternative Handbook can be found here: https://www.bps.org.uk/member-microsites/division-clinical-psychology/careers
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 and can be accessed via https://www.bps.org.uk/member-microsites/division-clinical-psychology/careers or emailed directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. More information about this group can be found at https://www1.bps.org.uk/networks-and-communities/member-microsite/division-clinical-psychology/minorities-clinical-training-group
The programme takes three years to complete and comprises academic, clinical and research training.
Formal teaching introduces trainees to a range of methods and issues arising in the conduct of clinical research. This includes research design, qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis, guidance in the use of statistics, and the process of planning and organising research projects.
Towards the end of the first year, trainees conduct a Small-Scale Service-Related Project while on placement (typically an audit or service evaluation). Work towards the Major Research Project begins early in the second year, when trainees are given information about research opportunities in the region.
Trainees are initially encouraged to develop ideas with the Research Tutor before identifying a suitable team of research supervisors. In the second and third years substantial blocks of time are set aside to complete the literature review for the main project, to collect and analyse data, to write up the dissertation, and to summarise the research in a format suitable for submission to a journal. Full supervision is provided at all of these stages.
Each academic year starts at the end of September or beginning of October with a four-week, full-time introductory block of teaching. This is followed by teaching all day on Thursdays and Fridays during term-time.
All academic teaching takes place at the College Lane Campus in Hatfield and attendance is mandatory. Two and a half days a week are spent on clinical placement (more outside term-time) and half a day each week is allocated to study time.
In the second and third year of training time is allocated on the timetable to complete a small scale service related and a major research project
Trainee development and personal support
The team recognises that the course is a demanding one, and aim to provide a supportive climate during training. Seeking support is viewed as a professionally responsible course of action. A range of structures and procedures have been put in place in order to provide trainees with adequate support.
Advice and support is provided to trainees from the Research, Academic and Clinical Tutors, and from their Personal Course Tutors, who meet regularly with trainees to address any concerns. In addition, each trainee is allocated a Personal Advisor. These are clinical psychologists whose roles are kept separate from any evaluative component, and who may provide support, guidance and advocacy.
New trainees are also allocated a "buddy" from the year above for peer support. Finally, each cohort participates in reflective group work with an independent facilitator, focusing on reflective learning and support. Time is provided within the academic timetable for this.
The University's Counselling Service is available to trainees; in addition, the course team will be able to advise trainees regarding accessing personal therapy.
The University of Hertfordshire (UH) is looking for candidates who can demonstrate academic excellence and the ability to apply psychological knowledge in clinical settings. The Clearing House provides a generic Trainee Job Description and Person Specification.
Additionally, we highly recommend that you look at the information about Fitness to Practise requirements provided on the Clearing House Application pages.
Please note the following information regarding university regulations on the completion of previous courses before enrolling for the DClinPsy. Once enrolled at UH the completion of previous courses can only be done with special permission from the University.
Self-funded applications can go through either the Clearing House or UH. The deadline for Clearing House has now passed but the UH deadline for 2019 applications and submitted references is 28th February 2019. Self-funded applications can apply via this form.
At the time of applying, minimum entry requirements at UH are as follows:
There are no Accreditation for Prior (Experiential) Learning (AP(E)L) concessions, exemptions or advanced progression to training prior to entry nor whilst on the course.
Offers of places will be conditional upon satisfactory Occupational Health clearance and criminal records checks and any other checks deemed necessary. We take the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children very seriously.
Successful completion of the training results in eligibility to apply for registration as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and for accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
For further information on the selection and shortlisting procedures, please see the Clearing House website (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/Clin11Hertfordshire.html).