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The University of Southampton

PSYC6119 Foundations of Clinical Psychology Practice

Module Overview

This module provides an introduction to the profession of Clinical Psychology by introducing you to the core roles and responsibilities of a Clinical Psychologist. It comprises three related areas (1) the basic principles and skills underpinning professional practice as a Clinical Psychologist (2) ethical issues relating to that practice (3) core generic clinical skills. By doing this, the module provides the fundamental grounding for your first placement.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The overall aim of the module is to introduce you to the role of the Clinical Psychologist in a range of different settings and to highlight your key responsibilities. The specific aims are (1) to equip you with the requisite generic skills to perform that role effectively and (2) to provide you with an ethical framework to inform your practice.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate awareness of the key roles and responsibilities of a Clinical Psychologist, including key legislative frameworks
  • demonstrate the ability to respond to professional and ethical dilemmas in a flexible and appropriate way
  • demonstrate your knowledge of and had the opportunity to show skill in the practice of core generic clinical/therapy skills
  • demonstrate awareness of the reasons for and importance of your personal and professional development (and your development as reflective scientist practitioners) and have critically reflected on the interaction between these and on your practice.


The syllabus is organised around the following three areas: 1. Basic principles and skills underpinning professional practice as a clinical psychologist - History of Clinical Psychology & Core purpose and philosophy - Competencies model of training & preparation for placement - Core skills (e.g. note taking, report writing, electronic records systems) - Legal frameworks guiding Clinical Psychology practice 2. Ethical issues relating to clinical practice - Code of ethics and professional conduct - Frameworks guiding ethical practice - Practical ethical issues (e.g. confidentiality, risk, whistleblowing, safeguarding vulnerable adults / children) - Use of supervision 3. Core generic clinical skills. - Introduction to counselling skills - Risk assessment and management framework - Diagnostic frameworks - Social Constructionism - Personal and Professional development - Relapse and recovery

Special Features

Within this module teaching will be delivered by experienced clinicians and programme staff and where possible Service Users will be involved. The module will also involve a large degree of experiential/action learning in order to bring alive much of what the syllabus contains.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will involve teaching through lectures, experiential exercises (both group and individual), and written exercises. Most of the teaching will be delivered through a workshop format with a strong element of experiential/action learning and where possible input from service users.

Independent Study40
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Hall, J., Pilgrim, D. & Turpin, G. (2015). Clinical Psychology in Britain: Historical Perspectives.. 

Youngson, S. & Hughes, J. (2009). Personal Development and Clinical Psychology. 

Division of Clinical Psychological (2010). Clinical Psychology Leadership Development Framework.. 

British Psychological Society (2008). Generic professional practice guidelines. 

Hough, M (2014). Counselling skills and theory. 

British Psychological Society (2009). Code of ethics and conduct. 

Department of Health (2007). New ways of working for applied psychologists in health and social care. The end of the beginning: Summary report. 

Beinart, H., Kennedy, P. & Llewelyn, S. (2009). Clinical Psychology in Practice. 

Health and Care Professions Council (2015). Standards of proficiency - Practitioner psychologists. 

Barlow, D. H. (2011). Oxford Handbook of Clinical Psychology.. 

Division of Clinical Psychology (2010). The Core Purpose and Philosophy of the Profession. 

Health and Care Professions Council (2016). Guidance on conduct and ethics for students. 



Small Group Discussion


MethodPercentage contribution
Video Recorded Roleplay  (20 minutes) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

There will be no specific cost implications beyond the normal costs of your own stationary/resources. The key texts should be available from the University library and we also have electronic copies of the majority of the key documents and where possible electronic copies of other material.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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