Structure of Teaching and Placements

This table gives a typical outline of the programme as it develops over the three years for each student. The programme structure normally follows this format, although more individualised training plans may become necessary for some trainees.

Clinical Placement: Self-directed study time Teaching 'blocks': From April of year one teaching takes place one day each week at University base. All Teaching belongs to both a 'block' which reflects the current placement and assessment activities the trainee is conducting at that point in the programme, and a thematic 'strand' that develops learning over the three years of training.
Sept - Oct Induction teaching programme
Oct - Mar Children and families
(3 days per week)
1 day per week Mostly aimed at working with children and families.
Apr - Sept Adult mental health
(3 days per week)
1 day per week Mostly aimed at working with adults with mental health problems
Oct - Mar Older adults, health psychology or neuropsychology
(3 days per week)
1 day per week Mostly aimed at working with older adults and within health psychology
Apr - Sep Learning disabilities
(3 days per week)
1 day per week Mostly aimed at working with adults with learning disabilities
Oct - Aug One long third year placement (3 days per week until May, 4 days per week thereafter) 1 day per week until May, then one day per fortnight. From October until thesis hand in there are 30 additional study days which trainees may take in a flexible manner as best suits their research needs. This needs to be discussed and agreed in advance with research and clinical tutors as well as third year placement supervisors. Mostly focused on advanced clinical skills and practice - one day per week through to May, then one day per fortnight
Teaching thematic 'strands': Teaching that forms part of each strand listed take place across the three years of training.
  • Assignment preparation
  • Clinical skills
  • Critical & contextual psychology
  • From theory to practice
  • Personal development & reflection
  • Physical aspects of psychology across the lifespan
  • Professional issues & context
  • Quality assurance
  • Research

Through the three-year training, trainees acquire core competencies that span the roles expected of a clinical psychologist. These not only relate to the ability to work individually and with other key professionals and carers, with clients across the life span, across client ability and in a range of clinical settings, but also include skills in leadership, consultancy and service development.

This competency acquisition is achieved through organising teaching so that it reflects the focus of trainee placements and assessed work activity at any given point of the programme. However, learning and teaching is also co-ordinated thematically in 'strands' to ensure a coherent developmental approach. More detail on the strands can be found in the document below.

The programme specifically enables students to develop academic and research competencies at a level commensurate with a doctoral level degree and related to those skills and abilities necessary to have the Standards of Proficiency (SoP) for a clinical psychologist as set out by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Within work during placements, as well as academic activity outside of placements, the programme fosters students' ability to appraise evidence critically and modify practice appropriately.

Brief description and key to strands of teaching