Information for Applicants

Information for Applicants

This website contains extensive information about the structure of the programme including teaching, research and assessment. Please explore and have a look around. Our programme handbook is open for all to look at. You can also read about the programme in the BPS alternative handbook. Our selection process is reviewed each year and improvements are made based on our experience, evidence of good practice in selection, and participant feedback.

On this page

How to apply

All applications to the programme must be made through the Clearing House. It is expected that 24 trainees will be appointed to the 2015 intake.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must, at the time of application, be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society. Only those candidates who are eligible for GBC will be considered. If you are an Open University graduate and are awaiting confirmation of your GBC status at the time of application, please contact Dr Anna Daiches to discuss this further.

In line with our agenda of inclusivity, the programme does not have specific requirements for applicant's degree classification or work experience. Clearing house forms, specific work experience, and academic attainments are NOT used to assess your application to the programme, nor provided to interview panel members. The programme does not use the information applicants provide on Clearing House application forms except to check GBC status and obtain contact details. Please see the shortlisting procedure and selection procedure sections below for more information.

The programme does not consider the AP(E)L credit system or accept self-funded applicants.

International and EU Applicants

Non UK applicants including from inside the European Union must meet the same eligibility requirements as those specified on the NHS Bursary Scheme website (see FAQ item 3 "Am I eligible for an NHS bursary?" Personal Eligibility section for details of the residence criteria). A bursary is not actually required, as trainees are funded by being employed, but the employing NHS Trust uses the same residence criteria for Trainee Clinical Psychologist posts as it does for bursaries. Therefore candidates who have been successful during the selection process but who do not meet the residence criteria cannot be offered employment as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist by the Lancaster DClinPsy Programme. ALL candidates should check that they meet the criteria before making a clinical psychology application. The Lancaster DClinPsy programme does not accept self-funded applicants.

English Proficiency Requirements

The English Proficiency requirements for the programme is IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) from the British Council and the University of Cambridge 7.0 minimum or a TOEFL score of 93.

Shortlisting Procedure

Why are we using this shortlisting procedure?

All candidates with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and the minimum English language requirement will be invited to take part in our screening procedure. In 2015, our screening process will be an online general mental ability (GMA) test. This approach is widely used, for example by other healthcare professions with graduate entry training programmes, as it is a strong predictor of performance in complex or intellectually challenging jobs. The GMA test will have verbal and numerical reasoning elements.

Practising the shortlisting test

Practising the tests beforehand can help ensure that all applicants, regardless of background, can demonstrate their ability. Please visit to complete the practice tests - you only need to do the verbal and numerical tests for the Lancaster programme. SHL practice tests are only examples of the type of questions you will be given and do not indicate the difficulty level.

How the shortlisting works

Candidates will be invited to take the online GMA test at a time convenient to them between the 18th February and 9am on the 4th March 2015. Unfortunately it is not possible to reschedule the screening test due to any individual circumstances. However, the window to complete the test online will be at least one week long. Each test (numerical and verbal reasoning) will take approximately 30 minutes to complete (including time to read instructions etc). Exact time limits for each test are detailed within the system. The verbal reasoning test has 30 items. The numerical reasoning test has 18 items. Achieving a threshold score during screening is a minimum entry requirement. This will be a score in or above the 75th percentile for 2015. Those with the top 72 scores will be invited to a selection event at Lancaster University in May, 2015. We do not use a reserve list for the selection event. Please note that short form retesting of candidates is available to the programme at the selections event to verify scores and this is likely to form part of our process.

Support for individuals with a disability

Those who declare a disability and who reach the threshold score will be invited to the selection event even if their scores are not in the top 72. If you are an applicant with a disability, please contact Programme Administrator Katherine Thackeray as soon as possible who will advise you on the support we offer throughout the application process: / 01524 592970.

Selection Procedure

Candidates will be notified of the outcome of screening around mid-March 2015. All those moving on to the next stage of the selection process, including those declaring a disability and reaching a minimum standard, as described above, will be invited to a selection event at Lancaster University in May, 2015.

At the selection event, candidates will:

  1. Meet a panel of selectors for up to 65 minutes. During this meeting, candidates will:
    • Answer competency based interview questions
    • Read a short paragraph describing a dilemma, decide what action to take, and present this decision to the panel
    • Watch a video of actors role playing a challenging social situation and answer questions about it
    • Role play a challenging social situation with a panel member

    More information on these tasks with examples is available here. Panel members include programme staff, local clinical psychologists, members of Lancaster University Public Involvement Network (LUPIN) and current trainees. Competencies assessed in 2015 will be oral communication, self-awareness and openness to learning, personal maturity, warmth and empathy, resilience, professional skills, motivation and application, contextual awareness, problem solving and decision making and general mental ability. These competencies were identified as important to trainee clinical psychologists by a job analysis exercise in 2011. Panels also assess the candidates' sense of fairness and a commitment to inclusivity. They may assess other values. All competencies contribute equally to the candidate's score. The competencies assessed during the meeting and details of activities undertaken during the selection event can be found here.
  2. Take a screening verification test. In order to verify the result of your screening tests, a short form of both tests will be undertaken under supervision. These will take approximately 25-30 minutes in total.
  3. Provide personal details for an advanced DBS check. This is only used if the candidate accepts an offer of a place. Please contact the Admissions Tutor for advice, in advance of the screening test if you expect disclosures to be made during DBS checking.
Current trainees will be available throughout the day, providing an opportunity for questions, informal de-briefing and support. All candidates will be given a time and date to telephone for individual feedback on their performance from the Chair of their selection event panel.

All candidates are contacted by telephone to be told the provisional outcome of the selection process. The Lancaster University Postgraduate Studies Office sends formal notifications of the outcome of the interviews subject to an occupational health assessment, a DBS check and satisfactory references from the applicant's current employer. The references are required by our employing NHS Trust, on their own forms. We contact referees by email immediately after a verbal offer of a place is made. Applicants are required to note their current employer's contact details as part of the selections process prior to the selection event. A second referee is required by our employing Trust; usually a previous employer or any other nominated person. A formal offer of a place on the programme cannot be made until these are received and deemed satisfactory. See also our References FAQ.

If any procedure is changed during the process of selection, all short-listed candidates will be informed. Please note that travel expenses to the selection event are not reimbursed.


All trainees are employed by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust as trainee clinical psychologists on a three-year training contract on Band 6, starting on a salary of £25,783 (figures accurate in October, 2014). NHS Trust conditions of service apply. Placements may involve extensive travelling either as a result of the location of a practice placement or the nature of services provided (eg community-based services in rural areas). Likely weekly travel costs are up to £26 per week. The programme provides assistance with travel expenses. Applicants should note that Lancaster University is the formal programme base; trainees are not funded to travel to base, nor to placement or research locations that are a lesser distance than home to base. University fees are funded by NHS North West. The programme does not accept candidates on a self-funded basis.

Contacting the programme


+44 (0)1524 592970


+44 (0)1524 592981


Postal address

Clinical Psychology
Division of Health Research
C16 Furness Building, Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YG