Doctorate Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) (3 yrs)

This three-year programme leading to a Clinical Psychology doctorate (DClinPsych), has been established for over 30 years at the University of Southampton. It involves a mix of taught and research activities. Trainees join a thriving academic group which also offers postgraduate qualifications in Health Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Cognitive Therapy. On successful completion (the length of the programme cannot be reduced through the accreditation of prior learning or experience (AP(E)L), they are eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to use the protected title 'Clinical Psychologist', and to apply to become a Chartered Psychologist (C Psychol), with the British Psychology Society (BPS).

Programme Overview

The overall aim of this doctorate in clinical psychology programme is to ensure that high quality clinical psychology services are made available to the public. The DClinPsych advocates the use of good case formulation and effective clinical methods with no adherence to a particular theoretical orientation. We value the concept of evidence-based practice; a large part of the teaching is cognitive-behavioural in orientation.  We also value the use of evidence-generating practice. Trainees will recognise the value of the research and clinical literatures in determining the optimal treatment for the individual client, but will also acknowledge the use of psychological theory in generating new ideas when the research and clinical literatures are insufficient.

The DClinPsych Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme is funded by the NHS, and students on this programme are also salaried employees of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust.

To Apply

Applications for this DClinPsych Clinical Psychology doctorate are made 'online' through The Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology, 15 Hyde Terrace, Leeds, LS2 9LT,

Closing date: Early December

Programme Structure

Given the philosophy of evidence-based and evidence-generating practice, this clinical psychology doctorate programme structure and content are designed with the aims of developing explicit theory-practice links. It is split between academic study, Clinical Experience, research and private study.

Further details, including support and welfare, and evaulation, are given in the DClinPsych programme eHandbook.

Some placements on the DClinPsych Clinical Psychology doctorate call for a large amount of travelling, and it is a great advantage if you possess your own means of transport. Placements are visited and monitored in line with accreditation guidelines. On average, placements are of three and a half days per week (outside of the teaching blocks).

Key facts

  • The programme at Southampton equips you with the knowledge and skills to work with clients across the lifespan, ranging from children to older adults, in a variety of settings and contexts.  Your research teaching will enable you to be a reflective-scientist practitioner, capable of adding to the development of Clinical Psychology knowledge and practice.

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process:

Intake: 13
Average applicants per place: 30

Applicants for this doctorate in clinical psychology programme are selected on the basis of their potential to train successfully as Clinical Psychologists. There are a number of criteria which must be met in order for an applicant to be considered. These are: BPS Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC); the ability to work and reside in the UK without restriction; if English is not their first language, applicants must be able to evidence a good standard of written and spoken English 7.0 for IELTS with no element below 6.5); applicants must hold, or be strongly expected to attain, a 1st class honours or a good 2:1; an applicant with a degree grade of 2:2 would be considered if they have successfully completed a relevant higher degree, for example an academically demanding masters.

We also require evidence of competence in Statistics and Research methods (currently a score/rating of 60% or equivalent as evidenced by Undergraduate Transcripts, or the attainment of a postgraduate qualification in research/statistics). If an applicant does not yet have an Undergraduate transcript, in order to be considered, they would need to provide formal evidence from their University. This could take the form of, for example, an academic referee commenting specifically upon these competences on the basis of exam results, or oversight of a research study. Applicants who have completed a higher degree (as noted above), are considered to have met our minimum standards for research and statistics. All offers are made subject to enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), checks conducted by the employing Trust.

Please note that following a request from our NHS Commissioners, we are now only able to offer a place on the Programme to applicants in line with the principles used for awarding NHS bursaries. This legislation will mostly effect applicants from outside the EEA, but full details can be found at: NHS Bursaries, and an 'eligibility calculator' can be found at: Personal Eligibility Calculator. Please also note that as the Programme is NHS funded, we wish to recruit individuals who will enter the UK NHS workforce after training.

We do not have a formal requirement regarding previous experience. However we are likely to only make offers to those applicants with substantial experience working in a field relevant to clinical psychology, demonstrating the links between psychological theory and clinical practice.

Applicants' personal and interpersonal skills along with clinical, academic, and research strengths are assessed through review of the application form, references, and at interview (see below). 

Shortlisting for interview is based on the DClinPsych application form and references, and is carried out by the programme team and local NHS clinical psychologists. It should be noted that although we are reviewing the adoption of the ‘Two Ticks’ scheme for disabled access to the programme, we do not currently invite applicants for interview on this basis. Shortlisted candidates are invited to a panel interview for final selection.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

Year 1 Includes seven Modules:
PSYC 6074 Adult Lifespan 1
PSYC 6075 Adult Lifespan 2
PSYC 8013 Practitioner Placement 1
PSYC 8014 Practitioner Placement 2
PSYC 6043 Applied Research Methods 1
PSYC 6044 Applied Research Methods 2
PSYC 8021 Small Scale Research Project

Year 2 Includes six modules:
PSYC 8010 Child and Adolescence
PSYC 8011 Learning Disability
PSYC 8015 Practitioner Placement 3 (Child and Adolescence)
PSYC 8016 Practitioner Placement 4 (Learning Disability)
PSYC 8008 Thesis Proposal
PSYC 8026 Thesis

Year 3 Includes three modules:
PSYC 8012 Advanced Skills
PSYC 8017 Practitioner Placement 5
PSYC 8026 Research Thesis

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Learning and teaching

Psychology, and the University of Southampton as a whole, have excellent research facilities. There are opportunities for MClinPsych Clinical Psychology doctorate students to conduct their research theses in conjunction with specialist academic staff, or in areas of special interest of other programme team members.

Career Opportunities

Other University of Southampton sites

Determining optimal treatments

Determining optimal treatments

Taught degrees

Psychology masters degrees from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the University of Southampton

Find out more


Find out more