Teaching is a key part of the Programme and is organised into modules to provide a coherent framework and developmental progression, whilst also supporting the development of the HCPC Standards of Proficiency and BPS Standards for Accreditation.

Teaching is organised in order to prepare trainees for clinical placements and research assignments. There are 4 over-arching areas of teaching:

Evidence and Values Based Practice

Trainees will learn the fundamentals of clinical psychology practice in these Modules, developing an understanding of theoretical and evidence bases to inform clinical practice.   Core competencies will be taught and a number of models will be introduced.  Trainees will gain knowledge of the psychological needs of a range of client groups related to: mental health and physical health presentations, presentations of infancy, childhood, youth, adulthood, older adulthood, those with physical and intellectual disability and specialist clinical presentations, including forensic.  As Trainees progress through training, teaching will address how to work with individuals with increasingly complex presentations, applying over-arching competencies and using multi-modal interventions. 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Systemic Therapy and Neuropsychology

A wide range of assessment, formulation and therapeutic approaches are taught with substantive teaching focussing on the development of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Systemic and Neuropsychological competencies, with the CBT Modules being led by BABCP accredited therapists. 

Leadership and Consultancy

Whilst developing core therapy skills is an important aspect of training, the role of the clinical psychologist involves more than this.  To reflect core psychological skills, and to encompass the broad role of the clinical psychologist within the evolving the NHS, the Programme includes teaching on leadership, consultation, supervision and service development skills.


The Research Modules are designed to take trainees through all aspects of the process of conducting doctoral level research from: planning, design of protocols, methodologies, to analysis and writing-up over three years.  It provides trainees with an understanding of both qualitative and quantitative applied research methods and how to apply research skills in clinical settings.


The degree of ClinPsyD is awarded after three years on the basis of satisfactory completion of the research thesis portfolio, written assignments, clinical presentations and clinical practice reports.  These include a case report, an open-book statistics test and the thesis proposal (Year 1); a report of the service related project (Year 2); and a second case report and the Thesis portfolio (Year 3).  All work, other than the Thesis, is assessed on a pass / fail basis with marks accorded to each piece of examinable work.  Trainees are provided with learning objectives for each assignment
In each year there are two sets of ratings of clinical work on placements and an annual oral presentation of clinical work (one of which is replaced by a recorded process report).  During the third year of the Programme each trainee has an oral examination conducted by an external examiner and an internal examiner on their research thesis (viva).  
We have also introduced formative assessment as part of the Programme to promote reflective practice and clinical skills development in the form of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). These occur prior to placements in years one and two to identify individual learning objectives to be addressed on clinical placements.  Formative research assessments including research presentations and service related project proposals are designed to facilitate the development of research skills.

All components of the assessment scheme must be passed separately. 

Teaching Delivery

The teaching programme includes a mixture of didactic lectures and practice-based workshops which draw on trainees' clinical and research experience.  It also makes use of teaching in small groups that meet together for clinical case conceptualisation and formulation skills, organisational, contextual and ethical issues.  Teaching is carried out by Programme staff and local experts, primarily clinical psychologists working in the NHS, with contributions from Experts by Experience.