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Clinical Psychology

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and accredited by the British Psychological Society.

The programme has strong links with Health and Social Care Services across Wales. The programme also enjoys an excellent relationship with the School of Psychology at Cardiff University where it is based, and receives valued support from its commissioners, the Welsh Government.

The programme is three years full-time and leads to the award of Doctor of Clinical Psychology validated by Cardiff University. Trainees are full-time employees of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) and registered postgraduate students of Cardiff University.

Programme aims

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.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time
Qualification DClinPsy
Full-time duration 3 years
Start dates September
Application deadline(s) 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.


Training is co-ordinated within a set of six modules over the three years:

  • Older Adult / Adult Mental Health (Year 1)
  • Children & Young People / Learning Disabilities (Year 2)
  • Elective (e.g. Forensic / Health) (Year 3)
  • A research module runs across the three years.

Programme staff

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.

Skills Acquired

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.

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.

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.

See our latest PhD studentships and projects and find out more about other funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

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.


Administrative contact(s)

The Student Services Office (DClinPsy)

Administrative contact


This course uses a non-standard application process.

Find out more

See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

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