Lancaster Course - help please!?

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Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby Syd2816 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:22 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to pick my 4 courses to apply to this year. I am limited to the north west due to family ties and like the look/feel of Lancaster as one of my options. However, I have heard from people that the course isn't very academic - with some managers that I have spoken to implying that they don't favor that course.I'm sure people on the Lancaster course completely disagree and will assure me that it is academic! I know I should ideally not listen to the dreaded rumor mill as I do like the feel of the course. I recently went to an open day and everyone seemed lovely and I liked the ethos. However, I don't want to 'sell myself short' in a way as it will have taken so much effort to get there, I wan't to ensure that I wouldn't find it more difficult getting a job afterwards.

Any advice/information would be much appreciated!
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby Geishawife » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:37 pm

All the courses have to meet very high academic standards - they are doctorate courses after all! - and no course is "less academic" than another. There are differences in how courses assess trainees, but all have the same rigorous academic standards. Take your own advice and don't listen to the rumour mill. No matter where you qualify, you will stand the same chance of employment.
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby RJParker » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:49 am

Don't believe the people who say all you do is make animal sculptures out of tin foil.
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby BenJMan » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:40 am

RJParker wrote:Don't believe the people who say all you do is make animal sculptures out of tin foil.


It certainly wasn't all we did.

On a serious note, each course structures itself differently and has different priorities, Lancaster is well known for it's reflective, applicable clinical skills stance over a more model driven, theoretical perspective (from say a course like Manchester, in my experience).

My experience as a trainee, and then qualified job applicant was that some, but not all, qualified psychologists saw some of these differences in trainees, but actually the narative was that each style has it's own benefits. Lancaster trainees were well known for being well rounded and able to apply their skills to a variety of situations. We didn't always have the same level of theoretical knowledge as others, but we excelled in other areas and learnt additional theory post qualification. That is probably more reflective of the assessment style at Lancaster than anything else. They don't have exams, therefore there is no cramming revision of Dobson's model of integrative p-value expressive meta-mechanics (or something..), but we learn in other ways.

My cohort, and others from Lancaster, have gone on to work in just about every field imaginable, with no restrictions or limitations. We also tend to do very well at interview because our skills are so transferable and we give good, reflective clinical examples to evidence our competency.

In short, Lancaster is an excellent course who turn out excellent trainees, no one can get EVERYTHING in 3 years, whatever you don't learn from any course, you learn later.

That said you will have to pick a power animal, make things out of pipe cleaners, and detail your journey through training in a reflective diary. It sort of depends how you like to learn :wink:
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people ~ Maya Angelou.
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby RJParker » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:36 pm

Let me apologise in advance but...

That's the things about tin foil, it makes you more reflective.
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby Alex » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:23 pm

It is very surprising that there is little concern in clinical psychology employment about what course you graduated from - once you have ticked the box of having a doctorate it is how you present yourself in interview. This is the same of undergraduate degrees, courses take little notice where you have completed it. I quite proud that as a profession we do not discriminate on 'elite vs non elite' institutions. Also, all doctorate are academic. Where-ever you go your thesis will be subjected to rigour.
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby Pink » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:00 pm

RJParker wrote:Let me apologise in advance but...

That's the things about tin foil, it makes you more reflective.


:lol: actually cried laughing :lol:
Kintsukuroi: 'to repair with gold'. the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby ebeck » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:15 pm

RJParker wrote:Let me apologise in advance but...

That's the things about tin foil, it makes you more reflective.



Ah, some light relief during application and revision hell. Thank you! :lol:
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby ScrabbleCat » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:26 pm

BenJMan wrote:
RJParker wrote:Don't believe the people who say all you do is make animal sculptures out of tin foil.


That said you will have to pick a power animal, make things out of pipe cleaners, and detail your journey through training in a reflective diary. It sort of depends how you like to learn :wink:


In MY day at Lancaster it was all collages about your future life goals and interpretative dance...how things have changed...

In all seriousness, I echo everything said about the reflective, eclectic practitioner model at Lancaster; it's served me well over the years and was a much better fit for me than some other courses would have been. Choice is down to personal preference - some people love exams, some love reflective essays. There's a course for everyone out there :)
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby Snowman » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:18 pm

I have heard quite the opposite - that north west psychologists and employers show preference for trainees who have come out of Lancaster. I am on the programme now and I can say it is very academic (maybe biased due to workload!).

You can pretty much find all the academic work in the Lancaster DClinPsy online handbook, but to break it down, our academic work looks a bit like this:

1st year
Assignment on professional issues in clinical psychology
A full systematic literature review, prepared to be submitted to a journal for publication
Placement case report (2 mini reports, 1 huge report) & recorded presentations, live examined
Recorded & examined role play of clinical skills
An independent service-related research project, submitting our proposal to ethics committees, recruitment of participants, analysis, write-up & publication

2nd year
Continue working on & hand in the 200 page service-related research project in Feb
Another assignment on professional issues in clinical psychology
Placement case report (2 mini reports, 1 huge report) & recorded presentations, live examined again
Begin thesis process straight away

3rd year
Pure thesis which is a combination of a systematic literature review, research project & reflective paper

We don't have any exams which is great for me (I could never learn through memory), but our workload from the moment the course kicks off is intense. I personally feel that as I have more time to research, consider & formulate my assignments, it encourages more long-term learning on my part and therefore makes our assignments more applicable and more transferable into real world situations. Placement and teaching goes on top of these too. We are encouraged to publish a lot of our work, present at local, national & world conferences, and Lancaster hosts in-house conferences where all stakeholders are invited to.

Generally, I do feel that Lancaster prepares trainees to become clinical psychologists who are curious, integrative and extremely reflective. I have also heard that we are well-rounded with practical experience of a range of therapeutic models (CBT, CAT, psychodynamic, SFBT, ACT, CFT, behavioural models, systemic family therapy, narrative therapy are all the models I've had experience of so far). So we are a bit of everything :) and at my turn to apply for qualified posts I wouldn't be worried about employers showing preference to trainees from other courses, because I know for sure that our value base and reflexive skills have been developed and strengthened since day 1 of training.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby Syd2816 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:25 am

Thanks so much for all of your responses! Really helpful! :D
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Re: Lancaster Course - help please!?

Postby WallyWoo » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:58 am

Saw this post and felt the urge to join this forum and reply. How can any 'doctoral' level BPS accredited course be not be 'academic'? Seems like a complete oxymoron to me :lol:
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