Teaching & curriculum

The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops. The programme structure normally follows the scheme described below, although more individualised training plans may become necessary for some.

Teaching is usually interactive and can involve use of role-play, video practice, and other discussion activities as well as more didactic elements. Most of the clinically-related teaching is undertaken by practising clinical psychologists who are experts in their field. Other teaching is delivered by programme tutors as appropriate, and research teaching is delivered by programme staff lecturers.

Teaching at Lancaster is usually one day a week (except for in induction weeks and in the first few months of third year teaching). The majority of teaching takes place on the main campus. Trainees also normally receive around one day per week for personal study time.
There is a one-month induction of ‘full-time’ teaching at the beginning of the programme. Over the following two years of training we try to always match the content of clinically-related teaching to the nature of the trainees' current clinical placement. As a result, ‘blocks’ of teaching take place over successive six-month periods that mostly relate to working with: children and families; adult with mental health problems; older adults and health psychology, and people with learning disabilities. Research teaching is also co-ordinated over the three years to fit with the assessed research work that trainees are engaged in at that point in the programme.

Teaching is also organised by nine thematic ‘strands’ to help trainees develop specific competencies and knowledge in a developmental fashion across the three years. The strands include:

  • Assignment preparation
  • Clinical skills
  • Critical & contextual psychology
  • Relating theory to practice
  • Personal development & reflection
  • Physical Health & Cognitive Development
  • Professional issues
  • Quality Assurance
  • Research

A brief description of the strands can be accessed: here

An example of a teaching timetable can be accessed: here

In addition to the teaching provided by the programme, some funds are made available to enable trainees to attend external programmes and workshops.

With the sole exception of mandatory NHS trust training, all of the teaching on the programme is designed specifically for clinical psychology trainees. The programme does not include any inter-professional teaching sessions. However, as Lancaster University now has pre-registration training programmes for both medical students and social workers, this is something we may consider in the future.