The University of Southampton
PsychologyPostgraduate study

Doctorate Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) (3 years)

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).

Introducing your course

Are you committed to being a ‘scientist-practitioner’ in order to deliver high quality services across a range of clinical settings and to further the field of clinical psychology? Our programme is firmly rooted in the core values of the NHS Constitution and has over 30 years' experience in clinical training in partnership with our local NHS Trusts and related organisations. Our graduates make a real difference to people's lives. The programme is full-time for three years and fulfils the standards of education and training required by the Health & Care Professions Council. It is also accredited by the British Psychology Society(BPS).



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 currently salaried employees of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust. Whilst it has been agreed that funding of tuition fees for the 2017 will continue, it is not yet clear whether Trainees will continue to be salaried. For further information please also see the Clearing House webpage on Funding:

View the programme specification document for this course

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.

Determining optimal treatments
Determining optimal treatments

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Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Intake: 15

Average applications per place: 26

Applicants 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:

  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).
  • Applicants must also hold, or be expected to attain, a 1st class honours or a 2:1. An applicant with a 2:2 would be considered if they have successfully completed a relevant higher degree, for example an academically demanding MSc. Unfortunately, to meet this criterion we would not accept a 2:2 and a postgraduate diploma. In regard to conversion courses, we similarly require a 2:1 grade.
  • Applicants must have at least one year’s (full time equivalent), experience of paid or voluntary work in clinical, community, or clinical/academic settings directly relevant to clinical psychology at the closing date for applying, and we do not specify a particular way in which this experience may be gained. Rather, we would suggest that a key point for applicants to consider is whether their experience has been sufficient to develop a good working knowledge of the role of the Clinical Psychologist within the NHS and sufficient clinical experience to be able to discuss in depth a clinical case in which a key therapeutic role has been held. Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet this criterion may be considered if they can demonstrate that they have gained equivalent experience whilst completing a PhD in a clinically relevant area.
  • We require evidence of competence in Statistics and Research methods as evidenced by a score/rating of 60% or equivalent on Undergraduate Transcripts, or the attainment of a postgraduate qualification in research/statistics, e.g. an MSc or diploma in research. Applicants who do not yet have an undergraduate transcript, or who have completed a conversion course without a detailed transcript, would need to provide formal evidence of statistical/research competence from their University. This could take the form of an academic referee commenting specifically upon these competences on the basis of exam results, or direct involvement in a research study.
  • If English is not an applicant's first language, they must be able to evidence a good standard of written and spoken English (100 for internet-based TOEFL, 250 for computer-based TOEFL, 600 for paper-based TOEFL or 7.0 for IELTS with no element below 6.5).
  • The application form must be well written and presented to a professional standard, as it is a key document in the application process.
  • International applicants must ensure that their degree gives them GBC, that they are ordinarily resident and entitled to work and reside in the UK without restriction. As noted above, they must also provide formal evidence of statistical/research competences.
  • Being ‘Fit to Practise’ is a requirement of all professions registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and is considered as part of the selection process (see also:
  • Please note that following a direction 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 full NHS bursaries. This legislation will mostly affect applicants from outside the EEA, but full details can be found at: NHS Bursaries, and there is an "eligibility calculator" at: Personal Eligibility Calculator.
  • Please also note that as the Programme is NHS funded, we are obliged to only recruit individuals who will remain in the UK NHS workforce after training.
  • We anticipate offering 15 places for the 2017 intake, and expect to shortlist 44 candidates.

The programme is fully committed to equal opportunities for all students and follows the principles set out in the University of Southampton's Equal Opportunities Policy Statement. All individuals are selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. We welcome applications from students with disabilities and have experience of making adjustments necessary for disabled students to complete the programme. However, please note that we do not currently invite applicants for interview on the basis of the "Two Ticks" (disability guaranteed interview), scheme.

Finally, it should be noted that the length of the programme cannot be reduced through the accreditation of prior learning or experience (AP(E)L).


There are two stages to our selection procedure:

Stage 1

Applications are screened to make sure they meet the minimum standards in research, statistics, and work experience. They are then rated using a competency based rating procedure based on the Trainee Clinical Psychologist person specification. The competencies cover four key areas: academic/research competence, clinical competence, reflective practice/resilience. Our selection team is managed by our Admissions Tutor and comprises members of the programme team, as well as local NHS Clinical Psychologists, who teach and/or supervise on the programme.

Stage 2

We invite short-listed applicants for two interviews (Clinical and Academic/Research), plus a clinically-relevant role-play.


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The curriculum is based on the standards of proficiency specified by the HCPC and the core competencies outlined by the BPS. The programme content is arranged in 24 modules which in total attract the 540 credit points required for Doctoral (D) level study in Higher Education. Each module has a separate credit rating which indicates the notional amount of study effort required through attendance at University teaching sessions, on related clinical placement activity or in independent study. The level of assessment is indicated by M (Master’s) or D (Doctoral), with D level implying that a higher level of original work, advanced scholarship, critical analysis and reflection will be expected. Doctoral trainees must demonstrate that they have acquired and understood the systematic knowledge base of the profession, and that they have developed relevant skills to carry out research which will generate relevant new knowledge.

The programme is organised over three full time years and trainees are expected to complete all elements. There is no alternate exit award. In terms of student effort the three years each include 180 credit points (1800 hours). The structure of the programme is as follows:

There are thirteen modules in Year 1:

Module name Module Co-ordinator

Foundations of Clinical Psychology Practice -  Margo Ononaiye
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy -  Lusia Stopa
Systemic Theory and Practice 1 - Kate Willoughby
Neuropsychology - Alison Gold
Adapting Clinical Work for Different Populations - Therese Allan
Evidence-Based Practice - Matt Garner and Tessa Maguire
Practitioner Training Placement 1 - Alison Gold
Practitioner Training Placement 2 - Alison Gold
ARM: Qualitative Methods - Felicity Bishop
ARM: Group Comparisons - Catherine Brignell
ARM: Correlational Methods - Sarah Kirby
ARM: Designing Research - Catherine Brignell
Small Scale Research Project - Catherine Brignell and Tessa Maguire

There are six modules in Year 2:

Module name Module Co-ordinator

Systemic Theory and Practice 2 - Kate Willoughby
Child and Adolescence - Jessica Selman / Angharad Rudkin
Clinical Practice in relation to People with Learning Disabilities - Emma Hines
Practitioner Training Placement 3 - Alison Gold
Practitioner Training Placement 4 - Alison Gold
Dissertation Proposal and Thesis - Matt Garner
Small Scale Research Project - Catherine Brignell and Tessa Maguire

There are five modules in Year 3:

Module name Module Co-ordinator

Practitioner Training Placement 5 - Alison Gold
Professional Development and Leadership - Nick Maguire
Specialist Skills - Margo Ononaiye
Dissertation Proposal and Thesis - Matt Garner
Transdiagnostic Processes - Lusia Stopa

Each module is assessed by at least one summative assignment. The programme uses a variety of assessment methods including (but not limited to) written and oral case reports, practical demonstration of clinical skills, written research reports, peer review of a journal article, administration of a WAIS, and group and individual presentations of clinical material.

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).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name. DEFAULT

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved Calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Casts tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Same modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional readinq materials for the module.
EquipmentIT - Computer Discs: Some assignments may include live recordings (audio or video) and students may have to purchase suitable means of submitting (e.g. Cds or data sticks). In the case of patient material, the student will be required to purchase encrypted data sticks.
EquipmentIT - Software Licences: Specialist software is available on public workstations or via the VPN when off site, see
EquipmentIT - Hardware: Public workstations are available, but iPads, laptops etc, can be purchased as the students wishes.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays, projects, dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: https://
PlacementsIncluding Study Abroad Programmes - Accommodation and Travel Costs: Trainees undertake placements in all three years of the programme. Please see the placement handbook for details of what casts are covered
PlacementsDisclosure and Barring Certificates or Clearance: The employing NHS Trust organises and pays for DBS checks.
Conference expenses Accommodation and Travel: Should students wish to attend conferences, it is expected that they would pay for this themselves
PlacementsDigital Recorder: You may be required to purchase a digital recorder or similar in order to record therapy sessions. In some cases these may be available for loan within the placement.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

Shackleton Building

Highfield Campus, Shackleton Building (B44)

This is the School of Psychology's main base. It is also known as Buil...Find out more

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