KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology DClinPsy

Apply now


Welcome to the UK’s oldest Clinical Psychology training programme. The DClinPsy programme at King’s College London trains clinical psychologists who embody the scientist-practitioner ideal, and will progress to become leaders in the NHS. The programme is underpinned by a biopsychosocial framework and emphasises the integration of theory, research and practice in all aspects of training. The programme takes cognitive-behavioural therapy as its main therapeutic modality, and has particular strengths in family therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, neuropsychology and clinical health psychology. The Doctorate is Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) approved and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).


Key information

Duration 3 years FT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Department of Psychology Division of Psychology & Systems Sciences



Explore campuses

Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

Course detail


The three-year, full-time Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is based within the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). Trainees spend three days a week on supervised clinical practice placements and two days a week are dedicated to teaching, study and research.

Aims & Philosophy

To benefit service users, carers and wider society by training clinical psychologists who:

  • are skilled in evidence-based psychological assessment and intervention
  • produce applied research of the highest quality and impact
  • progress to become leaders within the NHS, clinical academia and beyond

The training programme values the reflective scientist-practitioner model as a basis for clinical psychology. There is a strong emphasis on integration of theory, research and practice in all aspects of the programme.

The biopsychosocial framework underpinning the Programme identifies biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of psychological difficulties and mental disorders across the lifespan. Our understanding of the framework is that it is linked to a continuum view of psychological difficulty. Thus, the programme seeks to understand these difficulties from an assumption of commonality of experience and human potential to support wellness and resilience.

The programme takes cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) as its main therapeutic modality, reflecting the world-leading research expertise within the IoPPN and its evidence base. Alongside CBT, there are also particular strengths in family therapy, neuropsychology, mindfulness and health psychology.

A further strength is the cohesive and comprehensive range of local and national specialist placement opportunities across three world-renowned NHS Trusts: South London and Maudsley, King’s College Hospital and Guy’s & St Thomas’ – known collectively as King’s Health Partners.

A final advantage is the vibrant and diverse communities within South East London; the programme values and positively promotes equality and diversity.

Additional Information

The programme meets the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) education and training standards – the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK, and has full accreditation from the British Psychological Society (BPS).

On successful completion of the programme trainees are awarded the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The award confers eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC to practise as a clinical psychologist in the UK, and graduates are able to apply for full membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology from the BPS.

Trainees are full-time professionals in the NHS, registered students at King's College London and key stakeholders whilst training. To facilitate good communication and focus on trainee issues, trainees participate in programme training committees and hold year group meetings with the programme director and other senior staff, helping to shape the programme’s development and evolution. Trainees also lead a number of working parties which inform programme development, including the Increasing Access Committee and Service User Involvement Working Party. As well as enhancing the quality of the programme through their feedback, these experiences provide opportunities to develop skills in leadership and systemic working.

The programme has a number of systems in place to ensure trainees feel supported, as well as to create a stimulating and rewarding environment for trainees to develop personally and professionally during their training:

  • Before joining the programme, each new trainee is contacted by their ‘buddy’ - one of the current first year trainees - to facilitate their transition onto the programme
  • Each trainee is allocated a personal support tutor – a qualified clinical psychologist available for confidential advice and support
  • Trainees are also allocated a clinical tutor who will visit them on placement throughout the three years to maximise continuity, support and development
  • Each trainee is assigned an appraiser from within the programme team to support progression across all aspects of training
  • Reflective practice groups and case discussions run throughout training, which provide an opportunity for trainees to reflect on the impact of training and clinical work

Additionally, the Student Services Department of King's College London offers counselling, welfare and medical services. These services can be accessed through the Compass Office based at the King’s College Denmark Hill campus.

Course study environment

The Doctorate is intensive, running for three years full-time. The programme consists of academic, clinical and research components, and trainees are required to pass in all areas. Most of the academic teaching, research supervision and clinical supervision are carried out by members of the Department of Psychology or clinical psychologists working within King's Health Partners.

Specialist contributions to academic teaching are also made by experts from several other departments within the IoPPN and by invited outside speakers. For departmental and Institute research interests visit the IoPPN webpages.

In each year, trainees spend three days per week on supervised clinical placements (Tuesdays to Thursdays, 9:00 – 17:00) with Mondays and Fridays dedicated to teaching and research. Trainees undertake six 6-month placements. The four ‘core’ areas of the programme are Adult and Child Mental Health, (year 1) and Older Adults and Intellectual Disability (year 2). The third year comprises two elective or specialist placements.

Attendance at all course components is mandatory, including during the induction period. The length of the programme cannot be reduced through the accreditation of prior learning or experience. All trainees are required to complete the full three years of the programme in order to qualify.

Whilst on the programme, all trainees take annual holiday entitlement within set time periods to fit in with teaching and placements.

Academic Curriculum

The content of the academic curriculum covers the broad topics of:

  • Adult mental health (including anxiety, depression & psychosis)
  • Psychology and psychiatry of childhood and adolescence
  • Neuropsychological theory and practice
  • Clinical psychology as applied to intellectual disability and neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Mental health of older adults
  • Clinical health psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Psychological therapy (with strong emphasis on CBT, family therapy and mindfulness-based therapies)
  • Research assessment and methodology
  • Professional, legal and ethical issues
  • Race, equality and diversity
  • Leadership

The curriculum is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, reflective practice meetings and small group tutorials. This range of approaches intends to fulfil different learner needs, and offers trainees opportunities to reflect critically on theoretical issues, their application to their clinical practice and research. Curriculum delivery reflects the sequence of practice placements to enhance theory-practice links, and builds core competencies in theory, practice and research development across the three years of training.


Clinical Practice Placements

Trainees undertake six 6-month placements over the three years of training:

Year 1: Adult Mental Health (one placement) and Child & Adolescent Mental Health (one placement)

Year 2: Mental Health of Older Adults (one placement) and Intellectual Disability (one placement). Trainees have the option to enrol on a placement based in Ireland during this year

Year 3: Elective or specialist placements (two placements)

Placements take place predominantly within King’s Health Partners, but there are a handful of non-NHS placements in the private and third sectors available. Placements are allocated on the basis of core competency needs for each year of study, although there may be some flexibility to consider with trainee preferences and to facilitate Service Evaluation Projects in the first year.



By May of the final year trainees submit a research thesis of between 25,000-55,000 words. The thesis is comprised of:

• Literature Review
• Empirical Project
• Service -Evaluation Project (Conducted in the first year)

Trainees are encouraged to start work on the research elements early on in the programme, and progress is assessed twice a year via the submission of Research Progress Reports. These reports allow the programme team to provide advice, feedback and support to trainees to ensure they stay on track. The reports also provide an opportunity for trainees to disclose any problems they are having to the programme team.

Supervision and Assessment

Trainees are allocated clinical placement supervisors and a clinical tutor who will visit them during their placements. The Service Evaluation Project and all Clinical Competences are assessed by their clinical supervisor(s), and trainees choose their own research supervisors for the Literature Review and Empirical Project.

Qualifying examinations are held in June of the first year to assess academic curriculum and theory-practice links. Clinical placements are assessed by clinical supervisors, and the research thesis is assessed at a viva examination by two external examiners in the summer of the third year.

Trainees are also required to pass three assessments of clinical competence to qualify from the Programme. These assess generic therapy skills, cognitive therapy and cognitive assessment competencies.

The failure of two placements, or of an examination resit, or resubmitted assessments of clinical competence or the viva examination, will constitute a Programme failure. No lesser exit award is available under the Programme

In addition to summative assessment, the Programme provides formative feedback and assessment in a variety of ways, including annual appraisals and trainee-led conferences which take place in all three years: in Years 1 and 2 trainees present themed talks on clinical practice, and in Year 3 findings from their research thesis. Trainees receive presentation skills training in the third year of study from an external specialist.

Head of group/division

Dr Katharine Rimes

Contact for information

Kayleigh Rawlings, Programme Coordinator
020 7848 0152



Important Information:

Before contacting the programme, please note we are unable to offer individual advice on how to create a successful application or advise on what route applicants should take. There are many different routes onto the Doctorate, therefore the pathway undertaken should be the applicant’s choice, based on their interests and career aims.

Contact email

Course website

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Clinical Psychology Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  
  • A minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in Psychology, or 2.1 or above in a different subject area alongside a BPS accredited conversion course which grants GBC (for more info see below).
  • Candidates without the required minimum degree class must provide evidence of a qualification at Doctoral level, such as a PhD. Although a postgraduate qualification, i.e. an MSc, is not mandatory, applications are enhanced by evidence of postgraduate study.

  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).  A list of accredited conversion courses which grant GBC can be found on the BPS website- https://www.bps.org.uk

    Please note: If a qualification was achieved outside of the UK please write the final grade in its original form, i.e. 3.4 GPA, 85%, 1.6 Abitur etc. We will then be able to convert the grade to the UK equivalent. 

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements. 
English Language requirements  Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.
Clinical work experience  

In addition, all applicants are expected to have the equivalent of at least six months of full-time relevant clinical experience, either paid or voluntary, and can be in one setting for the duration or multiple settings, whereby the hours worked total to six months. Experience must be gained before submitting the application. Research experience is also essential.

Appropriate experience includes one-to-one work with service users, offering therapy and interventions, working under the supervision of a qualified clinical psychologist and conducting and disseminating research. Please note part-time volunteer work during an undergraduate degree will not be sufficient on its own.


Important note:

Applications from current students still completing their undergraduate degree or conversion course at the time of application cannot be considered. All applicants must obtain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the British Psychological Society (BPS), and must provide evidence of the membership within their application.

We are unfortunately unable to give advice on which qualifications to study before applying to the Doctorate, such as Masters courses. We do not differentiate between courses or institutions, therefore as long as a course subject is relevant to psychology it would be deemed appropriate.

Additionally, if a job role includes the criteria listed above, the role would be taken into consideration within the application process.

Application procedure

There are two different routes to apply to the DClinPsy Programme for Home and international candidates. Home applicants are eligible to apply for an NHS funded place, and international applicants are able to apply for a self-funded place.

Applicants are expected to know their fee status before applying and to know the correct route of application. The programme cannot consider applications made via the wrong route of application.

Please note even if you are a UK citizen, residency criteria also need to be met to be eligible for an NHS funded place.

Please visit the KCL graduate funding database for details of possible avenues of funding that international students may be eligible to apply for.

If you are unsure about your fee status, please visit the UKCISA website for further advice: http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/

Please note, if you miss the application deadline, you will not be able to apply for entry until the following year.

Home Applicants

To qualify for a Home fees NHS funded place you must have both home fees status and the right to work without restriction for the full three years of the training Programme;

If you do not meet these criteria you would likely be considered an international applicant.

Home applicants apply through the Clearing House portal between September and November for entry to the programme the following year. Interviews are usually held in May. More information can be found on the Clearing House website.

International Applicants


Overseas applicants can apply for a self-funded place through the King’s College London application portal. The portal is open between October and March for entry to the programme in October. Instructions are provided within the portal on how to complete an application.

More information about the department, eligibility criteria and the application process can be found here.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified at the end of April. Interviews will be held during mid-May.



Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are required to submit supporting information as part of their application.

Home applicants

For Home applicants applying through Clearing House, please visit the Clearing House website for documentation requirements.

Please note all supporting documents must be uploaded to the Clearing House portal, we are unable to accept supporting information, such as additional transcripts, via email.

International applicants

International applicants will be asked to submit the following documents:

Clinical Psychology research checklist
Personal statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) 
Research Proposal No A research proposal is not required for your Doctorate application
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subject(s) studied and final grade obtained. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic and one clinical/work experience references are required
Other Yes A full CV (Resume) is needed as part of the application, as well as evidence of Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)


Course intake

Approx. 21 NHS funded places. A small number of places are available per year for self-funded/sponsored overseas students.

Application closing date

Home fee status applicants should refer to the Clearing House website for important dates, including their application deadline (this usually falls in November of each year). 

For applicants with Overseas (international) fee status, we recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible as we may need to request further information from you to assess your application. This is also important if your application is successful and you are required to meet any offer condition, and/or you need a Student Visa to study here at King’s.

The final application deadline for Overseas fee status is Friday 25 March 2022 for entry in October 2022.

Following the closing date above, all applications will be given equal consideration on their individual merits.

Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

International Foundation

Fees and funding

UK Tuition Fees 2021/22

Home applicants who meet the above entry requirements criteria are eligible for an NHS funded place and are not required to pay tuition fees.

International Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £30,200 per year


These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When an international applicant receives an offer for the course, they will be required to pay a £2,000 non-refundable deposit to secure their place. The deposit will be credited towards their total fee payment.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


King's College London logo

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.