The three-year doctorate programme will provide you with the necessary competencies and experiences to register as a Clinical Psychologist with the UK Health and Care Professions Council.
Clinical Psychologists provide support and intervention to people experiencing psychological difficulties in a wide range of contexts, including NHS psychological and physical health services, as well as within wider community and third sector settings. Clinical psychologists work with individuals, families, teams, and services to improve psychological care and wellbeing and seek to do so in a way that respects difference and diversity.
On this programme, you will be both a full-time salaried NHS employee currently of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB) and a postgraduate research student at Cardiff University. You will experience working within a range of health and social care settings across south, mid and west Wales, and can expect to work collaboratively with service users, carers, and other professionals. Emphasis is placed on preparing trainees to work within multi-professional contexts, and to be confident in taking on leadership roles. Emphasis is also placed on developing resilience and self-care.
During the first two years you will usually be placed in one of health boards linked with the programme. Trainees typically have the opportunity to specialise in the third year and may carry out placements anywhere in South Wales and on occasion in other regions or countries.
The programme was founded in 1975; it is well-established and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). It also has additional accreditations at level one from the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) and foundation level accreditation from the Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT).
The programme is intended for graduates with a degree in Psychology (or equivalent) and who are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society. Successful completion of the programme confers eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and Chartered Clinical Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society.
- Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
- Approved by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- Foundation level approval from the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT)
- Level one accreditation from the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
|Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
|Mode of study
|The application deadline is in the autumn each year and applications are made via the central Clearing House for Clinical Psychology programmes.
Emphasis is placed on the development of trainee competence through the implementation of collaborative individualised training plans. The programme is generic in nature and underpinned by a lifespan developmental approach. About half of the programme time is spent on clinical placement with the rest divided between academic course work, research and personal study. Building upon a firm foundation of training delivered within core clinical specialties and populations, trainees are able to develop their skills in elective placements.
- Year 1: focus on developing competence in working directly with clients including professional and ethical practice, awareness of social, cultural and developmental context, building relationships, the clinical cycle and developing skill in direct therapeutic work. Clinical experience is primarily in older adult / adult mental health services though other placements may be offered.
- Year 2: builds on year 1 and has a focus on developing competence in working indirectly including working with carers, professional teams, and statutory services, systemic practice, positive behaviour support. Clinical experience is primarily with children & young people / learning disabilities though other placements may be offered.
- Year 3: builds on years 1 and 2 and has a focus on organisational working, leadership, applications of clinical psychology and wider therapeutic approaches. This year includes the opportunity to address outstanding clinical experience and/ or take an elective placement.
- A research module runs across the three years.
The programme’s staffing comprises of clinical-academic staff and administrators. Clinical-academic staffs undertake clinical work within Health and Social Care Services and hold honorary positions with Cardiff University.
The programme has a strong commitment to enabling trainees to develop the skills and perspectives required to work within health and social care services in the UK, but there is a special emphasis on services within Wales.
Particular themes within the programme are CBT (there are parallel programmes in CBT in the School) systemic therapies, service user and carer involvement research.
The programme is research active and supports and expects trainees to conduct impactful and publishable research.
Successful completion of the programme confers eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and Chartered Clinical Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society.
Most people qualifying from the programme gain employment with Welsh NHS services. However, there are other opportunities available for qualified Clinical Psychologists in a range of health and social care settings and in further education institutions.
UK government postgraduate doctoral loans
Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans
Trainees are employed by Cardiff and Vale UHB as Band 6 Trainee Clinical Psychologists. Training contracts are for a period of three years and are offered on the strict understanding that candidates will submit themselves for assessments linked to the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and maintain their registration for the Doctorate. The programme has no self-funding places. University fees are paid by the Welsh Government.
Funding is available for temporary accommodation on clinical placements deemed to be non-commutable. Financial support is available for attendance at approved courses and conferences and/or personal therapy up to an individual limit.
Students from the UK
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
Students from the rest of the world (international)
Applications have to be submitted through the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology, where more guidance can be found.
Applications are not made via the normal Cardiff University application procedure.
Applications from Disabled Candidates
The programme welcomes applications from disabled candidates and since 2010 has demonstrated its commitment to employing disabled people through the use of the Department of Work and Pensions Jobcentre Plus ‘positive about disabled people’ symbol (2 ticks).
Having recently reviewed the use of the 2 ticks symbol with the DWP Jobcentre Plus, the programme has been advised that as appointments are to paid training posts and not paid jobs, the symbol does not apply. As a result, from the 2015 intake, the programme will be demonstrating its commitment to employing disabled people by offering ten additional interview places to the highest scoring candidates at shortlisting who have indicated that they have a disability on the application form and meet minimum entry requirements but have not otherwise been shortlisted.
All entrants must have graduate basis for chartered membership of the BPS. Relevant experience of paid or voluntary work in a clinical, community or clinical-academic setting with client groups and service settings directly relevant to clinical psychology is also an essential requirement. As NHS Wales employees, entrants must have the right to work in the UK.
For full details on entry requirements and the application procedure for the programme, please see the programme's clearing house entry.
English language requirements
IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.
The Student Services Office (DClinPsy)