Which Clinical Psychology Course? (Wiki under construction)

Read tips here about about how to apply for posts and courses, what to expect in inteviews, in how short-listing is done

Which Clinical Psychology Course? (Wiki under construction)

Postby Elsie » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:55 pm

This thread will be under development over the next few months.

We thought it would be useful to have a Wiki that covered things that Clinical Psychology doctorate applicants would want to know about different courses before they apply. So, if you have any useful info from an applicant/trainee perspective on each of these courses e.g. course orientations, what interview letters told you about the selection process (presentations, vignettes, research tasks etc), whether some are well-known for accepting folk from non-traditional routes/with 2:2s, or whether they have more scientific leanings, please PM me the info and I will add it to the Wiki.

Thanks
Elsie :D
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Birmingham
Birmingham course website
Birmingham course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 28 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 296 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:
The course teaches four different 'therapeutic stances'; CBT, Psychodynamic, Systemic and Behavioural though there are opportunities to learn other models and/or variants of these. It is expected that trainees are well versed in two of these by the end of training. One of which has to be CBT in order to fulfil BPS criteria.

What sort of applicants they take on:
A variety, about half of the cohort have a masters or higher degree. Most of the cohort have experience of being an assistant, but there are exceptions; including no clinical experience and experience gained in other fields such as PMHW and GMHW posts.

What is the format of teaching/study/placement on the course?
The first year begins with a six week teaching block. Then each week there is a study day (Monday), three placement days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and a teaching day (Friday). The first placement is ten weeks. Throughout the year there are a couple of full weeks of teaching. During the summer, and holidays, both Monday and Friday are study days. At the end of the first year there are two weeks for study (and an assignment to hand in after this).
The second year has a very similar format except that teaching is on a Monday and study is on a Friday. The placements are each 5 months long.
The final year is less specific as there is core teaching as well as optional study days that can be taken. There are options for the elective placement in this year to be taken abroad.


Additional info:
The interview day starts with the interviewees gathering together and being welcomed by one of the directors of the course. After a brief introduction from one of the course directors, the interviewees do a written exercise that is based on a research design case study. Then you go for lunch (take money as it's not paid for) with the other interviewees and 2 trainees. After lunch you are given a presentation on the course and it's city (it's quite nice at that point, as it can feel like they are selling the course to you rather than the other way round). Then, after a short break, you have three separate interviews (Academic/Research, Clinical and Personal Suitability/Professional Issues) with 2 people interviewing you. A service user is on the Personal Suitability interview.

There are refreshments available throughout the day and the staff and trainees do seem to make an effort to make you feel at ease. I must say that, although it's a looooong day and there is a lot of waiting around, it was one of the nicest interview experiences that I have had!


Thanks to llareggub and escapee for providing this info
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Coventry & Warwick
Coventry & Warwick course website
Coventry & Warwick course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 17 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 324 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
They have a full day (9-4) interview process. The order you have it in varies, but this year in the morning you had a clinical interview (roughly 45 minutes, two people on the panel), and an academic interview (10 minutes preparation beforehand, 35 minute interview, two people on the panel).

The clinical interview didn't seemed to ask any left-field questions, there were quite a few reflective style questions. There were also some questions about you as a person rather than your professional experience. The panel generally seemed keen to try and put you at your ease, and at the end of the interview they asked if there was anything they could have done better to make it easier for me!

You were given some information on a hypothetical research study before your academic interview, and asked to prepare answers to some questions on it, that you then discussed during the interview. The remainder of the interview was looking at your previous academic/research experience.

In the afternoon there was a written task, during which we watched a DVD of a therapy session and were asked to write our thoughts on what the therapist was experiencing during the session, and to make a formulation of the client's presentation.

After this there was a group task, with 4 other candidates, where you were given a list of topics and asked to pick 3 to discuss during the next 30 minutes. There were 3 people on the panel, including a service user/carer, and they didn't ask any questions, they just observed and made notes.

After the group task, we stayed in the same room and a current trainee came and led a mini-reflective group on how we'd found the day (this bit wasn't assessed and was really nice).

Throughout the day you had access to a 'base' room, where you could wait in between interviews - there was tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit available, and there were two current trainees who were great at helping you to feel more relaxed.


Thanks to Morningstar for this information.

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University of East Anglia (UEA)
East Anglia course website
East Anglia course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the UEA course

How many places they typically offer: 21 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 214 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:
CBT, Psychodynamic, CAT and Systemic Therapies

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
The course covers a large area and you are given a placement base; Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bury St Edmonds and Kings Lynn. You rank your preferences at the interview.
There were two interviews, a research and clinical interview. Before each interview you are given a vignette to prepare and you are asked questions about this in the interview. You are asked to bring along a 5 minute presentation about a piece of research that you would like to do for the research interview. In the clinical interview there is a short role play with one of the interviewers as a patient. In both interviews there is an emphasis on psychological theory and applying theory. The interviewers try the best they can to put you at ease and one person is common to both interviews. They ask a lot of questions to get the best from you.


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University of East London (UEL)
University of East London (UEL) course website
University of East London (UEL) course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 31 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 803 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

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University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh course website
Edinburgh course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 31(+6 extra places due to extra CAMHS funding) (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 363 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:
In 1st year the emphasis is on getting a good understanding of CBT and formulation. You also learn a little bit about psychodynamic theory. I think as you go on there are more oppurtunites to use different approaches. Depending on your placement area and the interests of your supervisor, you may also get exposed to different approaches. For example, in my first placement I used solution-focussed therapy as well as CBT as my supervisor was interested in SFBT.

Research interests of academic team:
Acceptance, quality of life, clinical health psychology, emotion regulation and attachment in severe and enduring mental health issues.

The course starts with a 6 week teaching block (including an induction) and then you go to your health board for your first 6 month placement, which is in either LD or AMH. Then you have another teaching block and go to the other placement.


Things change between the 5 year and 3 year course once you hit 2nd year. The 3-year trainees do 2 placements: Child, Adolescent and Families and Older Adult. The 5 year trainees depend on their individual learning plan. I am doing my work component 2.5 days a week and my Child, Adolescent and Families placement 2 days a week for the whole year. Throughout my 5 years I continue doing the work component 2.5 days a week apart from my thesis years when it is 2 days a week. I am doing my thesis over years 3 and 4 whilst also doing my 2 specialist placements. In year 5 I will do my Older Adult placement. The people in the 3 year course do their thesis and specialist placement(s) in year 3. People following the 4 year route follow the same model as 3 year trainees for the first two years, then complete the remainder of the course over the next two years alongside 2 days a week work component.

If you have any questions about the specialist training model offered at Edinburgh, h2eau is happy to try and answer these.

What sort of applicants they take on:
There seems to be a good mixture of people on the course. There are people from different backgrounds and the age range in my year goes from about 23 to late 30s/early 40s. Some people have come from recently graduating, a couple have PhDs and others have come from a more non-traditional route.

Additional info:
The interview as described by irishemma: The interview is as nice as an interview can be. Before you go in you sit with some current trainees and some staff. There are refreshments and sweets. People really do their best to make you feel at ease. The interview itself is one panel. It is a mixture of NHS staff from the health board you are being interviewed for and the university staff. There are no trick questions and it only lasts 20-30 minutes. It feels more like they are trying to know you than test what you have learned!

I am currently in the second year of the 5 year course and so far all my experiences have been positive. I have found the course staff and the staff in my health board to be incredibly supportive and helpful.


The interview, as described by steve79 (applicant for 2008 entry): The interview is approximately 20 minutes and is conducted on the Edinburgh campus. The building was historical and had period features. I was welcomed by a clinical supervisor who explained the process of the interview to me. He had drawn out the layout with character pics of the panel. There were drinks and food (and chocolates and sweets) available. We then had the opportunity to chat with current trainees. My interview was last in the day so I didnt get chance to speak with any other interviewees, but I think this may have been possible if you were earlier.

They take a photo of you, apparently this helps them when selecting.

I personally thought the actual interview was awful, not just the questions but the room, the massive table and 7 people on the panel. I think other interviewees for other areas even had more people on the panel! As I spoke I thought my voice echoed. There were 6 questions and they seemed rather vague to me. Several were on clinical issues, the researchy ones were very vague, there was one on the speciality you had rated top on your area choices, one on professional/NHS issues and one on pesonal things. The panel didnt prompt me for more nor did they ask questions from my answers, so I found it hard to judge that I was on the right track!

People did smile and I tried to focus my attention on the person asking me the question, however this was difficult. One of the panel were using a laptop! I came out the interview feeling dreadful but what was nice was that a clinical supervisor spent time with me post interview. I chatted to her about things, filled travel expense claim forms in and completed an evaluation form - plus have a cuppa and more chocs!

The people pre and post interview were nice and tried to make the experience better. I travelled over 4 hours each way on trains and I think that had a negative impact for me.

I can see that some people will excel better with a short interview like Edinburgh, but it certainly wasnt my preferred style.


Thanks to irishemma, steve79 and h2eau for providing this information.
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Essex (Tavistock)
Essex (Tavistock) course website
Essex (Tavistock) course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 10 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 255 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

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Exeter
Exeter course website
Exeter course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 25 (10 in the North region) (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 312 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:
CBT, psychodynamic and systemic; strength in mood disorders and clinical neuropsychology research; history of community psychology perspective.


What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
On arrival to the waiting area a trainee was allocated to you and they were there to help, and took you to and from your interviews. There were three parts to the interview day (I think these could have been in any order).
1. 10 minute presentation about a piece of research that you have completed. You are asked to prepare this before the interview on powerpoint.
2. Group discussion with about 4 fellow interviewees and service users (observed by carers and staff) 30-45 mins
3. Interview. This was informal and relaxed and the panel asked questions about clinical psychology, my form and my experience 30-45 mins

The course covers a very large area and is divided into placement bases, for example; Exeter, Bristol, Bath, North Somerset, Somerset, Swindon, Devon, West and East Dorset. (I imagine this will change when the Bath course begins.) They had a map up in the waiting room and they gave you information about how far it would be to travel to Exeter. At your interview you complete a form to give your preferences and if there are bases you wouldn’t consider. Some teaching takes place at a venue nearer to your placement base and the University provides accommodation for teaching blocks.


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Glasgow
Glasgow course website
Glasgow course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 20 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 252 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
When you arrive you wait in a room with several other applicants and some of the first year trainees. Everyone was really friendly, and although the trainees are there to answer any practical questions, they chat about anything really. They obviously appreciate how you are feeling, and they try hard to help everyone to relax. Tea/coffee/water is also provide.

Glasgow conduct two separate interviews, with different panels: a clinical and an academic/research interview. Both last 15-20 minutes, and are done consecutively, sometimes, but not always, with a short break in between. Someone will come to take you to the first interview, and a member of the panel introduces the panel (though they do have name cards in front of them). The interview can seem very short, and when it is over someone meets you outside and either takes you briefly back to the waiting room, or straight into the next interview.

The clinical interview has a panel of 4, and the academic/research 3. (I'm not certain who is on the panel, perhaps someone else can remember). The questions are pre-determined, and each member of the panel asks a question in turn, they are happy to repeat the question or offer further explanation, and seem prepared with prompt questions if you are really stuck. They were very friendly and encouraging.

Personally I felt a bit rushed through the interview process, not by the panel at all, but due to the short, sucessive interviews, the interviews starting late, and of course my own nerves. There are a set number of questions, so I think it would be worth making a concious effort to take as much time as you feel you need to get the most opportunity from each question and not allow yourself to feel rushed.

After the interviews there is some administration, followed by meeting the local NHS representatives, so it is worth being prepared for that, unlike me who didn't have anything to ask them, but they were very nice (though it's obviously not part of the interview).


Thanks to LauraW for providing this info.
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Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire course website
Hertfordshire course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Hertfordshire course

How many places they typically offer: 17 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 350 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
The interview process is a full day. On arrival you meet up in the coffee/waiting room with the other applicants, then the course administrators came to do a talk about the day and the course. A timetable was pinned to the wall about the schedule. There were three tasks for the day; we were split into two groups of 8 for a group task, followed by a written task (on a computer) and then an interview. A buffet lunch was provided and there were trainees there if you wanted to ask questions. After lunch the two groups from the morning swapped places (so the ones from the written task did the interview and vice-versa). 20 minutes before the interview you are given a clinical vignette. The interview was long (an hour) and covers questions about the vignette, about research and questions to find out about your personality and values. You are asked to provide a 250 word statement to describe yourself before the interview, which they also ask about.

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Hull-York Course
Hull-York course website

How many places they typically offer: 14 (in 2006)
How many applicants they usually have/What sort of applicants they take on:
Unclear, however they only select from applicants in the second year of the BSc psychology at Hull University, or the third year of the BSc psychology at York University, and certain third year options and some experience are mandatory.

Orientation of course:
A good grounding in CBT, with exposure to a range of other models, including systemic, CAT, psychodynamic, etc.

Additional info:
The Hull-York course is unique in the country for two reasons. Firstly it does not select from a national pool of applicants though the clearing house system. Secondly, some applicants go on immediately following their degree (from Hull) and the rest after one year as a GMHW (from York) meaning that there isn't the long slog (or the range of experience) after graduating. The aim is to allow people to qualify more quickly and have longer working lives, and to allow people to set up home and hopefully remain within East Yorkshire.

Thanks to Miriam for providing this information.
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Institute of Psychiatry (IoP - Kings College London)
Institute of Psychiatry (IoP - Kings College London) course website
Institute of Psychiatry (IoP - Kings College London) course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 20 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 791 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

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Lancaster
Lancaster course website
Lancaster course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Lancaster course

How many places they typically offer: 24 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 263 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

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Leeds
Leeds course website
Leeds course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Leeds course

How many places they typically offer: 17 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 449 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:
The Leeds course is highly influenced by the reflective scientist practitioner model and this is apparent in all areas of the course. Many view Leeds to be a "fluffy" and less academic option, however it does have a strong academic focus with high academic standards. The course provides a good grounding in CBT and Psychodynamic models, with teaching and placements also in CAT, psychoanalytic, systemic, IPT, Personal Constructs, and Interpersonal therapies. There is a strong focus on personal and professional development and trainees are encouraged to keep a reflective journal throughout training, second and third year trainees also attend a reflective group once a month.

The course starts with a four week teaching block and following this first years receive teaching on Monday (full day) and Friday Mornings with study time on Friday afternoon. First years do 4 days a week on placement over the summer when teaching has finished. In the first year trainees undertake placements in Child and Adult specialties and the teaching reflects this. During the second year teaching is conducted on Monday whilst Friday is allocated for personal study. Second year placements include two from Learning Disabilities, Older Adult, Health Psychology, Forensic, Neuropsychology, and Severe and Enduring Mental Illness. First and second years spend three days a week on placement, which are six months in duration and during the summer both years have two study days. Third years are able to choose thier own elective placements, including nationally and have teaching on Fridays.


What sort of applicants they take on:
The course values diversity and trainees vary in age and experience. In my cohort (at the start of the course) trainees ranged from 23 to 44 years of age. Trainees enter the course with a broad range of experience, and some having never been Assistant Psychologists or having gained NHS experience. The course does accept applications from people with 2.2s as long as they have undertaken an MSc course or equivalent.

Additional info:
The interview process as described by steve79 (applicant for 2008 entry): I felt that this was a lovely experience (as far as interviews go!). I arrived and was met by the course clinical director (Dave Green) who had a mnemonic technique to remember every interviewee (i was "tall black suit" lol). I arrived and there was 7 other interviewees, the course secretary, and 2 or 3 existing trainees. We were given a few sheets about the strucure of the course, the terms and conditions and what assessed work will be expected from trainees.

There was a wide variety of drinks (soft!) available, and biscuits and other snacks, but most people were too nervous to eat or drink anything. The trainees made us feel more relaxed and we were able to chat with other interviewees.

We had an informal talk from the programme leader (Stephen Morley) and he just told us a bit about the slight changes to the programme in 2008 and the aims for the future. Dave Green then informed us of the inteview process and said that we would be informed of the outcomes, the day after the last interview.
The format of the interview was in 2 parts
*a service user "presentation" which would last 5 minutes. The title that we were given was "How come I have applied for clinical training to become a clinical psychologist?". I would advise applicants not to over prepare for this, but to just get a general understanding of their journey and why they would like to be a CP. The 5 mins went really quick and the panel of 3 service users/carers, just listened and made a few notes. The thing to be mindful of in this bit is to try to be a good communicator and to ensure that you as a person comes across to the panel"

I think calling it a presentation is wrong and can be frightening for the interviewee. You cant have any notes or any delivery aids, its just a chat about reflecting on yourself and why you want to be a CP. Also, 5 mins is not set in stone, aywhere between 4 and 6 would probably be ok. Following your speech, each service user then asks you a question. 2 of the 3 questions were relevent to what I had said and it was nice to know that they had listened to me. I think in 2007 I was told that all the questions were irrelevent to your speech.

They asked me
*if i won the lottery would i still want to be a CP? (This had no relevence to my speech, but I think they were trying to determine how much I wanted the career)
*you've said that you work in LD with people with dementia. Can you tell us more about your role? (I spoke about my role and attempted to be client centred)
*what was it like working in a secure unit (again this was related to what id already told them)

I had my service user interview first, (which is what I wanted) but half of the interviewees had their psychologist interview first. The only downside for me about having the service user interview first was that I had a longer wait between interviews

The interviewees then went to their second interview once everyone had been back in the candidate waiting room (with the trainees and secretary) for at least 5-10 min.

My psychologist interview was behavioural in style (i.e. they asked questions from what I answered). There was 6 main questions, 2 academic/researchy, 2 clinical and 2 personal. My interview lasted about 45 minutes and the 3 psychologists on the panel really wanted me to be at ease. The questions did make me think on my feet but there was no odd ball questions or anything trying to trip me up. The usual preparation should adequately enable you to give decent answers.

Following the 2nd interview I returned to the interview waiting room. Most of the interviewees had gone (as I think my interview was slightly longer) but Dave Green walked with me out the building. The whole experience was ok and I was pleased with my performance.

They interviewed 48 people for 18 places over 6 sessions. People who lived closer to Leeds were given morning sessions and people living at a further distance were given afternoon sessions. On the Saturday I received a reserve place letter. They dont tell you your place but you can find out which third you are placed by emailing the secretary.

Academic assessment includes:-

Course assessment as described by nettyb:
First Year:
2x evidence based essays (5,000 words)
1 Systematic Case Study report (5,000 words)
2 x PBL presentations
2 x PBL reports (3,000 words)
2 x reflective case studies (1 at the end of each placement)

Second Year:
Thesis proposal
Thesis literature review (5,000 words)
Critical appraisal of thesis methodology (3,000 words)
Service Oriented Research Project (5,000 words & poster presentation)
1 x Professional issues essay (5,000 words)
1 x Research Panel
1 x Thesis upgrade viva
1 x Case presentation (in front of 1st and 2nd years)
2 x Reflective case studies (1 at the end of each placement)

Third Year:
40,000 word thesis
1 x Advanced issues essay (5,000 words)
1 x Case presentation (in front of course staff, and 1st and 2nd year trainees)
Viva
1 x Reflective case study (at the end of placement 5)

Staff research interests include Health Psychology, Therapy process, Supervision, Self Harm, Eating and Dieting, and Neuropsychology.


Thanks to nettyb and steve79 for providing this info.

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Leicester
Leicester course website
Leicester course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 15 (for 2011 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 204 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course: 'Competency based' rather than core placement based. Focus on cultural diversity. Four therapeutic models; CBT, psychodynamic, systemic and community. There is an agreement with local IAPT that our CBT training qualifies us to be High Intensity Workers; we attend extra workshops on specific CBT topics and get certificates for these.

What sort of applicants they take on: Seems to be quite a diverse range of backgrounds, including those outside their twenties, those with kids, those who've never worked for the NHS or had AP posts, and people who've come from IAPT

Additional info:
Leicester have a pre-interview computer selection task for most applicants who meet the minimum entry criteria. This takes place at the university. It was an hour long, and you arrived 10-15 minutes before the task started, and left when the task was finished. The top 48 are then invited to interview stage.

The Leicester interview was a full day (9-3ish) and was described on the interview letter as a "series of interactive tasks". This includes a group task, and interview, a role pay and a written exercise. All the interviewees meet up in the coffee/waiting room first thing, then the course administrators came to do a little talk about the day. A buffet lunch was provided (and was scrummy!) and provided a good opportunity to chat to current trainees and other prospective candidates. The administrative staff were very helpful - as were the trainees - and a timetable was pinned to the wall to let you know what was coming next. I found out the outcome the week after the interviews. Selectors were a mixture of course staff and local clinicians


Thanks to Sugarspun Sister & eponymous85 for providing this info.
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Liverpool
Liverpool course website
Liverpool course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 24 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 383 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

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Manchester
Manchester course website
Manchester course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 24 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 506(for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
The current course members who I sat with before the interview were friendly and open to be asked questions (or not asked them!), they tried to put me and the others waiting for interview at our ease and provided the opportunity to debrief after the interview if desired.

The interview was a mix of clinical and research questions/ vignettes. It lasted about half an hr. I didn't feel that the panel was trying to catch me out at all, they were friendly and reasonably encouraging given the formal setting; although, for me, it was a very nerve wracking experience. It was a panel interview with 4 people on the panel, including eminent staff members; a mix of clinical & research staff.


Thanks to anon07 for an update.


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Newcastle
Newcastle course website
Newcastle course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Newcastle course

How many places they typically offer: 15 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 249 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
Have to prepare a critical analysis of a paper (that they choose) to present during your academic interview for 5 mins, then field 5 mins of questions. The clinical interview has a role play with a service user as part of it. There is also a 'paper and pencil' task - but I don't know much about that.

Thanks to Shelley for providing this info.

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Oxford
Oxford course website
Oxford course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 20 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 592 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
"There are two components to the selection day:

1. Group task.
This falls into two parts: (a) practical work as a group with a variety of materials, and (b) group discussion. No preparation is needed for this part of the selection.
Skills looked for: interpersonal skills

2. Interview (35 minutes)

Candidates will be given some written material 15 minutes before the interview, which you will be asked about in the interview itself. The remainder of the interview will be taken up with questions on scientific, academic and professional aspects of clinical psychology and questions exploring personal suitability for a career in clinical psychology.

Skills looked for: Knowledge of the theory and practice of clinical psychology; knowledge and experience of service contexts; critical appraisal of academic and research work; interpersonal skills; and personal strengths relevant to a career in clinical psychology."


Thanks to joanner for providing this info.
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Plymouth
Plymouth course website
Plymouth course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Plymouth course

How many places they typically offer: 14 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 225 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
There are three panels: academic, clinical and reflective. The reflective interview will be the last interview for all candidates. Each interview will last for 25 minutes.

Academic panel:
This panel aims to asses a candidate's ability to master the academic and research demands encountered during clinical training and beyond.

You will be expected to briefly discuss a bit of research you have been involved in, relevant to contemporary academic psychology. This might be a final year project, or a piece of research you have conducted as an assistant clinical psychologist or research assistant. Your choice of research could include a service evaluation, psychotherapy process research, a clinical research project or a research which, although not directly clinically relevant, can be sene to have clinical implications. In addition, you should be prepared to discuss issues around contemporary theory guiding clinical practice and clinical research.


Clinical panel:
The panel aims to assess a candidate's knowledge and awareness of the profession of clinical psychology and their familiarity with the psychological aspects of 'caring' professions and relationships.

You will be asked to consider a brief case outline for five minutes before going into the clinical interview and then asked to discuss your thoughts about the case during the interview. We want to reassure candidates that we are not looking for knowledge, but rather to see how you think about the case. [Note: this was later replaced with the Ten Essential Shared Capabilities document].

Please come to the clinical panel prepared to describe some clinical work you have been involved in. This may have been direct work with clients or as part of clinical research. You may want to:

Describe the work you did
Describe the psychological theory/ies or model/s you drew on in this work
Reflect on the effectiveness of this work and any reflections or critique you may have of you role or the intervention/research
Reflect on what you enjoyed/were challenged by in this work and your learning from this.

You have approximately five minutes to outline this to the panel.


Reflective panel:
This will be the last of your three interviews and requires no formal preparation. The Plymouth programme adopts a reflective scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology practice and this interview particularly invites you to demonstrate an ability to be reflective and self-aware. These are qualities that we aim to develop during training. For example, you will be invited to comment on your two previous interviews, giving you the opportunity to reflect on how you thought these went. There will also be a chance to share more personal aspects of your attraction to, and understanding of, becoming a clinical psychologist. We do not in any way intend for this interview to be over-intrusive andd there will be no pressure on you to disclose any particular personal detail. However we hope to facilitate a more personal and individual discussion about you as a person as well as your interest in becoming a clinical psychologist. The interview aims to provide debriefing space and will be more informal, hopefully complementing the two relatively formal context of the first two interviews.

Thanks to joanner for providing this info.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Royal Holloway (University of London)
Royal Holloway (University of London) course website
Royal Holloway (University of London) course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 28 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 794 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:
Mixed, but with a particular focus on cognitive-behavioural and systemic approaches. Place value on research, particularly quantitative research and trainees are encouraged to be enthusiastic about research and publish their theses.

What sort of applicants they take on:
Not sure – I thought I would add though that I have no formal research experience, apart from bits in my AP post.

Additional info:
The interview style was very friendly, and relaxed. Current trainees are there to greet, and there is tea, coffee and water in a common room. There are two half hour interviews, one research and one clinical, with at least half an hour in between.

When you arrive, they give you an envelope with vignettes, and you then have half an hour (in a separate quiet room) before your first interview to read the vignette and make notes, which you can take in with you.


Research interview:
Two people on the panel – very friendly! Fairly straightforward questions, where you will need to be able to talk about some research that you have done, and also some that you have read and that has informed your practice. You need to be able to talk critically about this. Then you’re asked for your thoughts on the vignette, which was a research design question. At the end of the interview, they give you an opportunity to add anything that you like (opportunity to sell yourself!) and ask any questions, so its good to have something to hand to ask.

Clinical interview:
Again 2 people, but a different panel. Questions in a fairly reflective style (although nothing personal was asked) about what you have learned from your experience and would be bringing to the course. A couple of questions about current issues in the NHS – asking you to be able to think critically about these, in a “pros and cons” type of way. You need to have a fairly good idea about formulation, and if possible show how you have used formulation in your client work.

Then, they ask for your thoughts on the clinical vignette. There were two to choose from, one was a bipolar presentation and one a possible learning disability – you choose one to talk about. Again, at the end, an opportunity to add anything that you think is relevant and ask questions.

Overall, I thought the interview style was great. Really relaxed and no “curve ball” questions – if you prepare in a fairly standard way, you should be able to answer the questions asked of you.


Many thanks to Rainbow-rano for this information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Salomons (South Thames)
Salomons (South Thames) course website
Salomons (South Thames) course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Salomons course

How many places they typically offer: 40 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 347 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sheffield
Sheffield course website
Sheffield course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 18 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 352 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
Has a group task which looks at interpersonal skills and ability to reflect on your role within the group. It then has two interviews, one academic and one clinical.

Thanks to Shelley for providing this info.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shropshire & Staffordshire
Shropshire & Staffordshire course website
Shropshire & Staffordshire course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Staffs/Shropshire course

How many places they typically offer: 17 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 254 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Southampton
Southampton course website
Southampton course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 13 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 308 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
South Wales
South Wales course website
South Wales course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the South Wales course

How many places they typically offer: 10 (in 2010)
How many applicants they usually have: 237 (in 2010)

Number of people interviewed: 42 over 4 days

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
There was a written task before the interviews, which involved reading case vignette. We were asked to hand write a letter to the client, inviting him to an outpatient appointment to carry out an assessment. There were two interview panels, each with 4 people on it - a clinical/academic panel (which had a 3rd year trainee as the 4th person), and a professional issues/personal interview (which had a service user/client as the 4th person). The academic panel were given a copy of out letter, and we were asked a couple of questions in relation to it.

It's worth noting that the course covers a wide geographical area - South & Mid Wales, and that placements could be several hours away from the Cardiff teaching base. In cases where people are placed at a distance too far to reasonably commute, the course said they would assist with rent.


Thanks to Rachel* for the information.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Surrey
Surrey course website
Surrey course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for the Surrey course

How many places they typically offer: 34 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 437 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
I was met by a current trainee who showed me to where the base room was, and chatted to me until other candidates started showing up. When you're invited to interview, you're given either a morning or afternoon session - mine was in the morning. They interview quite a few people simultaneously, so the base room filled up quite quickly I found, but another couple of trainees arrived and answered any questions people had.

The course director came in and gave a small speech before the interviews started for the day, and seemed really genuine and lovely. The first interview I had was the 'situational judgement' interview. For this we were given two questions and 15 minutes to prepare answers to them, which we then took into the interview. There was a panel of two people, one of whom was a carer, and the interview lasted about 25 minutes. The interview was looking at how you would respond to the given clinical situation, and also at your awareness of carer issues. (The content of this interview probably changes from year to year, but I'm not sure!).

I then had my personal suitability interview (two people on the panel). Although there were a couple of scenario type questions looking at how you would respond in certain professional situations, the majority of the interview was very personal - they really want to find out about you as a person, and some of the questions were quite challenging. Although this interview was not what I was expecting at all, I felt that they had a good feel of what I was like by the end of it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Teesside
Teesside course website
Teesside course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 15 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 168 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
Has one academic and one clinical interview - you have to prepare a 10 min presentation of your undergraduate research project for the academic interview.

Thanks to Shelley for providing this info.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Trent (Universities of Lincoln & Nottingham)
Trent (Universities of Lincoln & Nottingham) course websites
Lincoln
Nottingham
Trent (Universities of Lincoln & Nottingham) course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 19 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 198 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:

What sort of applicants they take on:

Additional info:
The Trent interview lasts all day and can be really exhausting. There are three interviews, academic, clinical and personal. There are service users present on the personal panel. The clinical panel involves a short presentation about a formulation which you have about 10 mins to prepare. There is a group task just before lunch where there are typically 8-10 people in the group. Finally, there is a written research based task which I found to be ok.

There's a chance to meet current trainees and staff members over lunch and in general the team are fairly friendly, although I wouldn't have said that after the first time I was interviewed! (I've been interviewed 2 years running).

The selection process is tiring but it gives people the chance to show their strengths and feels a lot fairer than courses which just offer the one interview.


Thanks to ems for providing this info.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
University College London (UCL - North Thames)
University College London (UCL - North Thames) course website
University College London (UCL - North Thames) course entry on the Clearing House website
Shortlisting criteria for UCL course

How many places they typically offer: 42 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 1043 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation of course:
Mixed – they are a pluralistic course. Tony Roth the course director is a big name in psychoanalytic therapy. They have links to the Anna Freud centre. Evidenced based practice in psychodynamic work is also big here, as is work on developmental risk and resilience.

What sort of applicants they take on:
I can only give my opinion, but it seems that they value diversity in their applicants, quite often interviewing people from non-traditional backgrounds. I think that they value academic ability, due to the reputation of the uni and the interview style.

Additional info:
There is only one interview, which lasts for just under an hour. There are 3 people on each panel, and you find out who is on your panel on the day. There were numerous panels all interviewing at the same time, so when you arrive you are in a room with other people waiting to go in, and the people coming out from the slot before you.

There was a current trainee there to ask any questions, and tea, water and biscuits available.

The interview itself was pretty tricky and didn’t ask a lot of the standard questions. It felt like it had quite an academic focus, and you needed to know your basic theories inside out and be able to apply them. I felt that they were really wanting to test your knowledge and your ability to think on your feet. There was a clinical vignette given in the room, which you read in front of the panel (3 people) and then gave your thoughts on. It wasn’t a standard formulation vignette either.

Each member of the panel takes it in turns to ask questions. The questions were really looking at your ability to be able to apply theory to everyday (not just clinical) situations, and think critically. There was a research vignette where you were asked to critically evaluate the design of a study. Most of the questions took a “pros and cons” type format – ie “what are the pros and cons of service user involvement in the NHS”, and the interviewers (at least with me) probed for more information quite often.


Thanks to Rainbow-rano for providing this information.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
University of Wales, Bangor – North Wales
University of Wales, Bangor – North Wales course website
University of Wales, Bangor – North Wales course entry on the Clearing House website

How many places they typically offer: 8 (for 2010 entry)
How many applicants they usually have: 130 (for 2010 entry)

Orientation:
The Primary focus is on CBT. Under the BPS call for CP's to be competent in CBT plus one other evidenced based therapy the programme is now developing a 'third wave' teaching: focusing on DBT, ACT and MBCT. That said, there is a continuation of some of the relational models such as CAT and psychodynamic therapy.

What sort of applicants they take on:
A mix of people, the course demands a good academic record. Historically there have been many trainees that have had PhD's or masters before gaining a place on the course. In the 2006 and 2007 intakes there was nobody with a PhD.However, some of the 2010 intake have PhDs. The programme looks for a strong ability to reflect on your practice and make theory practice links. As well as working creatively and systemically.

Additional info:
[b]Interviews: 2 panels; clinical and academic (quite lovely). There is a presentation to do in the academic, and a case vignette in the clinical. There is also a computer task, an essay, I am lead to believe. Always staff and trainees around to chat with.

1st year:
~Adult and Older Adult placements.
~Meta Analysis
~1 assessed presentation
~ 1 essay
~2 Case reports
~Service related research project (or this can be done in the second year)

2nd year:
~Child and LD placements
~Service related research project (if not done in the first year)
~1professional issues assignment
~1 other assignment (sorry, am not clear)
~2 case reports
Last edited by Elsie on Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby miriam » Sat May 17, 2008 4:49 pm

I'm sure that people who are on courses, or who have read about courses they are applying for could help fill in some of these blanks!
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Postby Elsie » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:16 pm

Hi

To those who had interviews this year - please PM me if you have anything to add to the wiki above, in terms of orientation of a course, what the interview day was like, whether there is a pre-selection test, whether they only interview those with high 2:1s etc (no specific interview questions!). I will then update this wiki in depth over the course of the summer with any info that you guys send me :)

Thanks very much!

Elsie
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Postby Dr.Dot » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:55 am

More updates added, many thanks to the forum members that have provided this helpful information....anymore for anymore?
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Postby h2eau » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:58 pm

Just updated and I noticed that we still have no info. for a few courses, namely UEL, Essex, IOP, Lancs, Liverpool, Salomons and Shrops and Staffs.

If anyone has had interviews at or are current trainees on these courses and would like to add information, please do :)

Additions regarding courses where the information we have is sparse are also welcome.
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Postby Alexander » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:43 am

Would it be sensible to integrate the applicants per place info into this Wiki?
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Postby h2eau » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:43 pm

I just spent ages adding the number of applicants per place information for each insititution to this wiki, but it nudges the post over the character limit and cuts off the last part of it.

So, I think it makes sense to keep them separate, as long as there is a link on here (which you have kindly provided).
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Postby astra » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:53 am

Just a note about Leeds - first years do 4 days a week on placement over the summer when teaching has finished.
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Postby h2eau » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:54 pm

Just added that in but it nudged it over the character limit again and we've now lost the last bit of the information posted about the Bangor course.

Whoever provided this info, can you please pm Elsie or myself the part relating to 3rd year so we can reinstate this? I forgot to copy the whole post before I edited!
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Postby Alexander » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:53 pm

If you're currently hitting the character limit, do you think it would be a good idea to recreate the thread and split the information over two or three posts? That way we could add extra information like appicants per place and not have to skimp on details for the courses for which we currently have no/little information.

Creating a new thread and making a couple of *reserved* posts for later editing would allow for this.
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Postby h2eau » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:43 pm

@lex - that was my intention, this is just a short-term fix until someone gets chance to do this as it would take a wee bit of time!
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Postby miriam » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:32 pm

In the short term, we can just lose the entry on Bristol, as the course hasn't existed for a couple of years now, and the bath one yet to be up and running to have info to replace it...
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Postby Shell » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:27 pm

Hey,

I just thought I'd mention that I've been reading through this wiki, and I'm finding it really useful!

I haven't applied this year, but when I do apply for doctorate courses, I will be referring back to the Wiki to help me make my choices! :)

Thanks again,

Michelle
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Postby h2eau » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:30 pm

Thanks for the feedback Michelle :)

I'll work on updating this this week...
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Re: Which Clinical Psychology Course? (Wiki under constructi

Postby ClaireEmma » Sun May 17, 2015 6:43 pm

The Sheffield information is a little out of date now. There is a group task still where you are given a question to discuss and then you have to reflect on the task. There is also a 1 hour exam on basic maths and literacy and then one interview with clinical and research questions. My impression was that the course is quite eclectic in terms of the models taught and I know that CAT is quite a popular model in services in Sheffield.
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