The Selection Event

  1. The selection event will take place on the 13th, 14th and 15th May 2014. Candidates will be informed of the date and time of their interview by the end of March, 2014. We plan to invite around 70 applicants to the selection event.
  2. We ask candidates to bring along contact details (name, telephone number and e-mail address) for two referees, one of whom should be their current or most recent employer. Referees will only be contacted if you are made a provisional offer of employment as a trainee clinical psychologist on the Lancaster Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. It is important for us to stress that we need to receive these references as quickly as possible after the provisional offer has been made. Please make sure potential referees are aware of this and double check that their contact details are correct.
  3. Applicants will be required to submit a completed Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form (the blank form is issued in advance), along with the supporting evidence at the selection event. This will be checked by the programme staff, and if you are offered a place on the programme, it will be processed. The expense of the DBS check is met by the programme. A second check may be required during training and this will be at the trainees' expense (around £44).


At the selection event, a presentation panel and an interview panel will offer an opportunity to demonstrate competence in oral communication skills, 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 a commitment to fairness and inclusivity. These competencies were established as important to success as a trainee clinical psychologist by a job analysis exercise in 2011. Ratings of all the competencies above will contribute equally to the candidate's score. The person specification may also be helpful to applicants.

Panel members

The panels for the two meetings during the selection event will consist of at least three people. They will normally comprise a current 2nd or 3rd year trainee, a member of the programme staff, a local clinical psychologist, and a member of our public involement group. Current trainees will be available throughout the day, providing an opportunity for questions, informal de-briefing and support. As part of our quality assurance processes there may be an observer present during your interview/presentation.


The presentation panel meeting comprises a prepared presentation and a problem solving task. The prepared presentation is on the subject of ‘how I developed the personal maturity and self awareness to prepare me for clinical psychology training’ and lasts 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of questions from the panel. The problem solving task is not prepared beforehand. The candidate is asked to read a paragraph describing a dilemma. They then prepare one acetate slide to describe their proposed solution and present this solution to the panel. This section takes a total of 15 minutes.

The interview panel comprises an interview and a clinical simulation. The interview requires the candidate to describe prior experiences and behaviour to demonstrate their competence. It lasts 25 minutes. The clinical simulation is based on the candidate's reactions to a short video of people struggling with a common issue. The video is shown in the interview room and the candidate is asked about their understanding of what is important to the people in the film clip and any personal reaction to them. This activity does not draw on clinical experience. It lasts a total of 15 minutes.

The activities at the selection event will include a short supervised mental ability test. More information on the format of this activity and example questions are available here. The results of this test will contribute to the candidate's overall score.

The results of the written task undertaken on 13th February will not be taken into account at this stage.

Examples of Activities

Example Problem Solving Task

You can download our example task here.

Example General Mental Ability Questions

You can find out more about the general mental ability test and get example questions on our explanatory page.

Example Film Clip

Video Player


Verbal feedback will be available to all interview candidates at a later date, to be arranged during the selection day.

DClinPsy Insight

The Lancaster Course look to recruit you as a person and allow you the freedom and space to develop into the type of clinical psychologist you want to be

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