School of Health and Social Care

Applying for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Information for applicants

Our Doctorate in Clinical Psychology has a strong local identity given its partnership with Essex-based NHS trusts, as well as a special link with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London. Essex- and Tavistock-based clinical psychologists make a significant contribution to the teaching, research, placement and other operational activities of the programme.

At this time, we are only able to accept applications for those wishing to be an NHS-funded trainee (Home/EU fee status applicants only).

Before you apply, make sure you read our hints and tips below to ensure you give yourself the best chance of being successful.

Please note that the closing date for applications for 2022 entry was 17 November 2021.  The details below are for the autumn 2022 entry, and will be updated in September 2022 for 2023 entry.

Information for NHS-funded trainees (2022 entry)

Please note that the closing date for applications for 2022 entry was 17 November 2021.  The details below are for the autumn 2022 entry, and will be updated in September 2022 for 2023 entry.

A number of NHS-funded training places are commissioned each year and in 2021,  we were delighted to receive 31 NHS funded places.  It is not currently known how many funded places will be available for 2022 entry.

Current NHS-funded trainees:

  • are full-time NHS employees on a fixed term three-year contract, paid on Band 6 of the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales.  Please see the Trainee Clinical Psychologist job description.

  • have standard NHS holiday allowances and other benefits as detailed in the AfC Handbook, and their University fees are currently paid directly by the NHS.

  • can claim for travel expenses incurred travelling to placement from either their home or their base (University of Essex) whichever is the shorter journey. Journeys are currently reimbursed by national mileage rules at the Agenda for Change Standard rate, which vary according to the type of vehicle used, or at the cost of public transport.

The University and North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (NEP; the employing NHS Trust) offer equal opportunities with regard to age, race, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Selection processes conform to the principles associated with the Disability Confident Employer scheme and we endeavour to interview all applicants under this scheme who demonstrate essential criteria (as per the person specification) at short listing.

Applications for NHS-funded places must be through the designated Clearing House. Please note you must have home fee status.

Information for self-funded places (entry 2022)

Please note that we have closed to self-funded applicants for 2022 entry.

We invite self-funding International and Home/EU applicants to apply for self-funded places. You need to meet the same entry criteria detailed above and will undergo the same rigorous selection procedures as applicants to NHS-funded places to ensure that the standards of excellence for which our clinical psychology trainees are renowned.

In order to apply for self-funded training places, you may either have Overseas fee status or be eligible for Home/EU-based tuition fees.

Applications for self-funded places must be through the designated Clearing House.

What does it mean to be a self-funded trainee?

Self-funded trainees are those who are not salaried employees within the NHS.

As a self-funded trainee you will need to meet the same entry criteria as NHS-funded trainees and will undergo the same rigorous selection procedures to ensure that we maintain the standards of excellence for which our clinical psychology students are renowned. All teaching and placement elements of the programme are the same for both NHS and self-funded students.

Can international students apply?

International fee status applicants can apply for self-funded places on our Doctorate of Clinical Psychology. Check out the visa requirements for international applicants here.

How do I apply?

Applications for self-funded places are made directly to theClearing House.  Please note that applications for 2022 entry are not closed, and applications for 2023 will open in the autumn of 2022.

Please note you must provide the relevant documentation and fulfil our entry criteria.

What supporting documents do I need to provide?

Further information about supporting documents is available on the Clearing House.

All applicants: hints, tips and FAQs

What should I do if my undergraduate result was a low 2.1 or below?

We recommend you undertake a Masters by research (not a taught Masters) or a PhD. You should aim to achieve 65% or higher in your Masters.

How do I advise of any extenuating circumstances relating to my undergraduate result?

In the first instance, pop this information on your application form. If you feel that this is not adequate, you may contact the Course Administrator, who will arrange for your circumstances to be discussed with a member of the course team.

Is Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL) available?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer APEL for this course.

I have worked full-time in my post for one year, is this enough experience?  What clinical work experience do you consider to be relevant?  Can you you help me find relevant work experience?

Yes, we ask applicants to have at least one year’s full-time (or equivalent) work experience at the time of application. Experience can be paid or voluntary, full- or part-time (equivalent to one year’s full-time experience).

Each separate job or post making up this one year’s experience should be a minimum of 6 months full time equivalent. This is the minimum requirement and applicants with more than one year’s experience and in different clinical settings will rate higher at shortlisting.

All experience, whether paid or voluntary, working in a clinical or caring setting with service users is relevant. Experience of working with a clinical psychologist is beneficial, but we realise that this is difficult to obtain. Working in a multi-disciplinary team with, or getting supervision from, a clinical psychologist will also be considered valuable experience. We feel that it is important for you to have knowledge the role to fully understand the training that you are to undertake and have first hand experience of this if possible.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer assistance in finding work experience.

What research experience do I need?

In addition to the experience you would have gained completing your undergraduate dissertation, we value any additional research experience in a field relevant to clinical psychology, particularly if it deals directly with service users. This does not have to be within a research assistant post.

Research experience counts towards the work experience entry requirements and if you can demonstrate both research and clinical experience this will be to your advantage. You can also strengthen your application by getting your research published.

Do I need experience of the UK National Health Service (NHS)?

It is not necessary to have worked in the UK NHS, nor in any other government-funded health care setting. You will need to demonstrate some knowledge of how the NHS works in the UK and the role of a clinical psychologist within it.

I am currently an IAPT worker, will I be considered for the course?

We will consider IAPT (or any other NHS-trained professionals).

Do I have to be living in the UK/EU to apply?

For NHS-funded places, you don't need to be living in the UK at the time of applying, however you need to be eligible for home-based tuition fees (i.e. a permanent resident of the UK/EU).

For self-funded places, you may have either Home/EU or overseas fee status.

If I am offered a place, will I need to live in Essex?

Since teaching and placements are in Essex, we encourage successful applicants to relocate to Essex to avoid long daily travel times to and from teaching and placements.

Do I need a driving licence?

You will need to have the ability to travel within the region whilst on placement. We strongly recommend that you have a UK or international driving licence and use of a vehicle as placement locations are varied and some require you to go out into the community.

How many days a week will I be at University?

Trainees are generally at the University for teaching on Mondays and Tuesdays (although this is subject to change). In the main, teaching coincides with the University’s term structure, but it tends to extend a week or two into the summer break and there are occasions outside of this when there will be compulsory teaching sessions.

In addition, at the beginning of each academic year, there is a teaching block when trainees will be at the University full-time. Teaching blocks are scheduled for four weeks for first year trainees and two weeks for second and third year trainees.

Where are the placements based?

Placements are generally within a 40 mile radius of the University. There may be occasions when placements are further away than this.

Are there opportunities for placements at the Tavistock Clinic?

Trainees are eligible to apply for a third year specialist placement at the Tavistock Clinic. Those who apply are interviewed and will be in competition with other trainees. The programmes has three placements with the Tavistock which trainees can access if they are selected during the interview process.

Get in touch
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme Administrator
Telephone: +44(0)1206 873910