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Doctorate in Clinical Psychology DClinPsy

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The three year full-time Health Care Professions Council approved and BPS accredited DClinPsy programme trains clinical psychologists who embody the scientist-practitioner ideal and will go on to become leaders in the NHS. Three days a week are spent on clinical placement and two days are for teaching and research. 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.


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



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Course detail


Welcome to the UK’s oldest Clinical Psychology training programme. The three year Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is based within the Department of Psychology. Trainees spend three days a week on supervised clinical practice placements and two days a week are for teaching, study and research.


To benefit patients, carers and wider society through training clinical psychologists who are skilled in evidence-based psychological assessment and intervention, who produce applied research of the highest quality and impact, and who will become leaders within the NHS.

Programme Philosophy & Aims
The three year 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 programme is underpinned by a biopsychosocial framework. This framework identifies biology, psychological and social factors that contribute across the lifespan to the development and maintenance of psychological difficulties and mental disorders, or conversely to wellness and resilience. Our understanding of this framework is that it is linked to a continuum view of psychological difficulty. Thus, the programme seeks to understand psychological difficulty from an assumption of commonality of experience and human potential.

The programme takes cognitive-behavioural therapy as its main therapeutic modality, reflecting the world-leading expertise within the department and wider Institute, and its evidence base. It also has particular strengths in family therapy, neuropsychology, mindfulness-based interventions, clinical health psychology, and the opportunities for research across the Institute are excellent. A further strength is the cohesive and comprehensive range of both 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 strength is the vibrant and diverse communities within South East London, and the programme values and positively promotes diversity.

Extra Programme Information
The programme meets the standards of education and training required by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) – the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK. The programme has full accreditation from the British Psychological Society (BPS) and graduates of the programme are able to apply for chartered membership and full membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology.

On successful completion of the programme, trainees are awarded a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) which confers eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a clinical psychologist in the UK.

Trainees are both full-time employees of the National Health Service, and registered students on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at King's College London. Trainees on the programme are key stakeholders, helping to shape its development and evolution through participation in training committees and feedback systems.

To facilitate good communication and focus on trainee issues, trainees are represented on key programme training committees and hold year group meetings with the programme director and other senior programme staff. As well as enhancing the quality of the programme, these experiences provide opportunities to develop skills in leadership and systemic working.

The programme has a number of support systems in place to ensure that trainees are well supported and 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, who is available to meet at least once per term throughout training.

  • Each trainee is also allocated a clinical tutor who will visit them on placement throughout the three years to maximise continuity, support and development.

  • Each trainee is allocated an appraiser from within the programme team to support progression across all aspects of the programme.

  • Reflective practice groups and case discussions run throughout training, which provide an opportunity for trainees to reflect on training and the impact of clinical work.

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 programme is intensive, running for 36 months full-time. The programme has 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 either by members of the Department of Psychology or clinical psychologists working within King's Health Partners (South London and Maudsley, King's College Hospital, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals).

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

In each year, trainees spend three days per week on supervised clinical practice (Tuesdays to Thursdays) 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 programme of training in order to qualify.

While 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
• Mental health of older adults
• Clinical health psychology
• Forensic psychology
• Psychological therapy (with strong emphasis on CBT, family therapy and mindfulness-based therapies)
• Research methods
• 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 is intended to fulfil the different learner needs and offer the trainee opportunities to reflect critically on theoretical issues and 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 developmentally across the three years.

Practice Placements
Trainees undertake six 6-month placements over the three years:

Year 1: Adult Mental Health (one placement) and Chjld & 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) – trainee’s choice with programme approval.

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

By May of the final year trainees submit a research thesis in two volumes, this is comprised of:

• Literature Review (about 10,000 words in publishable format)
• Empirical Project (about 10,000 words in publishable format)
• Service -Evaluation Project (9,000 words, usually conducted in the first or second year)
• Three Clinical Competency Assessments

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 progress 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 supervisors while on placement and a clinical tutor who will visit them on placement. The Service Evaluation Project and all Clinical Competences will have a clinical supervisor and trainees choose their own 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. Practice 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.

The failure of two placements, or of an examination resit or the Viva examination will constitute a programme failure. No lesser exit award is available under the programme.

Head of group/division

Professor Paul Chadwick

Contact for information

Kayleigh Rawlings, Programme Coordinator
020 7848 0152

Contact email


Course website


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Clinical Psychology Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  
  • A minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree in Psychology, or a different discipline where the candidate has achieved Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society via a conversion diploma.

  • Candidates without the required minimum degree class must provide evidence of a qualification at Doctoral level. All applications are enhanced by evidence of a postgraduate qualification.

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 one year of full time relevant clinical experience or employment, either paid or voluntary, before submitting their application. 

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 a first degree will be insufficient on its own.


Important note:

Applications from current undergraduates still completing their undergraduate degree or conversion programme at the time of application cannot be considered. All applicants to the Programme must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society.

Application procedure

There are two different routes available to apply for the DClinPsy Programme, Home/EU and international. To qualify for a Home/EU place you must:

  • Be a UK/EU national and

  • Have lived within the EU for three years prior to applying to the Programme, and your residence was not only for full-time education

  • You have Indefinite Leave to Remain status

 If you do not meet this criteria you would be considered an International applicant.

Home and EU applicants apply through the Clearing House website between September and December. Interviews are usually held in May.

Overseas applicants can apply for a self-funded place through the King’s College London application portal and are advised to contact the programme directly for further information. Overseas applicants who are successful in the first stage of shortlisting will be asked to fill in a supplementary form as part of their application.

More information about the department, eligibility criteria and the application process can be found on our webpages.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your appliations to be considered:

Clinical Psychology research checklist
Personal statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required.
Research Proposal No A research proposal is not required for your application to this programme.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. 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 reference are required for this programme.
Other Yes A full CV (Resume) is needed as part of the application along with evidence of Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society.


Course intake

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

Application closing date

The Clearing House deadline for Home/EU applications is usually the end of November. Please refer to their website for more information.

The deadline for international applications is 30th April 2019 for entry in October 2019. Prior to this date, all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

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.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2018/19

Home/EU applicants who meet the above entry requirements criteria are eligible for an NHS funded place. 

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Home/EU applicants who meet the above entry requirements criteria are eligible for an NHS funded place. 

International Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £30,300 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tutiton fees: £30,200 per year 

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

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


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a £2,000 non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your 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.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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