This course is now closed for applications for 2023 entry. Applications for 2024 entry will open in the Autumn 2023 via the Clearing House.
The University of Essex Doctorate in Clinical Psychology has been training people to become reflective and highly competent clinical psychologists since October 2005. The programme was developed in partnership with commissioners from the Health Education East of England, the University of Essex, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Trusts based in Essex.
You can apply for this course as an NHS-funded trainee (Home/EU fee status applicants only). To find out more about this, take a look at our 'Information for applicants' page.
The programme benefits from the input and support of clinicians based in South and North East Essex, particularly Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. Some input into psychodynamic teaching is also provided by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. The programme is housed in the vibrant academic and research community of the School of Health and Social Care, which has an excellent reputation for research and teaching in health and social care, and it is committed to inter-professional learning.
Some of the benefits of studying on our programme include:
- Our relatively small trainee cohorts offer trainees the opportunity to work closely with the programme team and with one another. Such close working relationships, combined with robust and holistic support systems for trainees' personal and professional development, provide an optimal training experience and foundation for trainees' career-long personal and professional development.
- The programme is particularly well integrated with local research and clinical networks. Clinicians working in the region contribute directly to the course through teaching, supervision (on placements and as field research supervisors) and other aspects of the programme. This close collaboration provides many opportunities for ensuring strong theory-practice integration.
- Trainees on this programme benefit from teaching input from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the possibility for some trainees to have a 3rd year placement there.
- The programme aims to develop the critical and reflective competencies of trainees. We provide learning opportunities for developing flexibility, leadership skills and reflective practice that are essential to meet the challenges faced by the profession of clinical psychology and by health services.
We place a priority on responding to trainees' feedback and on reviewing and updating the way in which training is delivered in order to remain responsive to current needs and developments at the forefront of clinical psychology.
Key values and principles that underpin our course include:
- We view training as a collaborative enterprise between stakeholders including trainees, clients, carers, NHS services and Trusts, local clinicians, and professional/regulatory bodies. The programme engages these stakeholders to remain responsive to local mental health needs.
- Trainees are adult learners and junior colleagues who contribute to the overall training programme and one another's training experience. The programme team places a premium on clear communication and consultation in decision-making, incorporating the views of trainees, service users and other stakeholders in the effective delivery of the training programme.
- The programme equips trainees to apply psychological knowledge and theory to research and practice in the service of reducing psychological distress and promoting and enhancing psychological wellbeing.
- Trainee clinical psychologists on our programme develop all competencies required of clinical psychologists by the HCPC and the BPS. We consider a competent clinical psychologist to be more than the sum of a number of competencies. Our reflective and integrative focus enables trainees to develop meta-competencies required for reflective, integrative, ethical, autonomous research and evidence-based practice.
- The programme does not focus on one model or approach, but instead draws on a number of different models and approaches including behavioural, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic, systemic and integrative approaches alongside developmental, socio-political, critical and other perspectives. The main therapeutic modalities are CBT, systemic and short term psychodynamic models.
- The programme is committed to recognising, accommodating and embracing diversity. This is reflected in the recruitment and selection of trainees and throughout the training, which emphasises the importance of developing cultural and diversity-related competence in research and clinical practice.
The School of Health and Social Care is proud to work closely with our Service User Reference Group (SURG). SURG is made up of service users, carers, and volunteers who generously share their first-hand experiences of health and social care. We work collaboratively with SURG to design our courses to ensure that we truly are putting the needs of patients and clients at the heart of what we do. SURG are involved as part of our course application processes and often form part of our interview panels. This helps us to be confident that we are selecting the right applicants for the course and their future careers. SURG members also support the delivery of our teaching sessions and research activity, which means you’ll benefit from an insight into their lived experiences of living with a diagnosis, health condition, or circumstance. You’ll find that not only does your clinical knowledge expand, but your empathy, compassion and ability to advocate develops also. You can find out more about SURG by reading their blog here.
As you may be aware, the UK government has now revoked legislation that requires all health and social care staff working in sites regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Whilst vaccination is not essential, we encourage our applicants and students to be fully vaccinated. Find out more about what this means for applicants to this course.