Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Discuss the content and style of the different clinical psychology doctoral training courses, the differences between them, placements, teaching, chat to other trainees and connect with other people who have places on the same course

Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby jenLB84 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:24 am

Hi all,
I'm going to apply to Plymouth and Exeter for the Clinical psychology doctorate starting next year. I am just finishing my BSc Psychology. Is anyone doing either of these courses and is anyone doing them while based in Cornwall? If I were to be successful I would either commute or we would move as a family (I have a husband and a 3 year old).
What are the courses like? where are the placements and how long do they last? Has anyone had to stay in a hotel for far away placements and did the course pay for this? Any other info is welcome. I'm also interested in what experience you had when you got onto the course. I have a total of 6 years supporting individuals with ASD, challenging behaviours and communication problems. For around 18 months of this I worked under a clinical psychologist and the behaviour team, supporting care teams to improve the way the supported individuals using Applied behaviouiral analysis and positive behaviour support. I have attended multidisaplimnay meetings, including safeguarding meetings, person centred planning meetings and best interests meetings. I also have 18 months experience supporting children with ASD 1:1 in mainstream settings. I am currently working for Mencap with individuals who have learning difficulties. I also worked alongside an SLT to develop communbication strategies in care homes. Do you think this would be enough, or would an actual AP position be required?

Thanks, Jen
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Re: Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby Alexander » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:26 pm

Another contributor to this site lives in Cornwall and has just accepted a place on the Exeter course. All the courses have placements, which are often geographically distal from the university. In Exeter's case (I can't speak for Plymouth) there are various placement locations (N Devon, S Devon, Exeter, North Somerset, E Dorset, W Dorset). If offered an interview you are asked to rank the placements according to your preference. If you are offered a place, they try to take account of your preferences and personal circumstances. Naturally, some will end up disappointed though. Also, if you are offered a place from the reserve, you will have to accept whatever placement is offered.

There are five Exeter placements: two in Year 1 (6 months each, I think), two in Year 2 (6 months each, I think) and one in Year 3. Read the Clearing House page for more details of the Exeter course philosophy. Briefly, it's quite CBT-orientated, though they also like psychodynamic (CAT) and systemic. To my impression, Exeter is relatively research focused. One of the three interviews is dedicated to research and is rigorous.

As to whether you have enough experience, who knows! It looks like you have lots of experience though.
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Re: Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby jenLB84 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:24 pm

Alexander,

Thank you for the reply, you have been very helpful. I'd love to hear from the student who is in Cornwall.
Thank you for the info about the placements and interviews, I'd love to get to the stage where I need to prepare for an interview!

Jen :D
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Re: Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby purpledot » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:11 pm

Hi Jen,

Have you heard about the Alternative Handbook? It contains responses from trainees on all of the courses and includes details such as length of placements, locations of placements, and if trainees have had to stay in B&Bs etc and can be really helpful in finding more info about the courses.

The link for the 2015 handbook is here:
http://shop.bps.org.uk/publications/the ... entry.html

I can't seem to find the link for the 2016 handbook on the BPS website - if anyone can find it, please can you post the link here?

Good luck with your applications - I interviewed at Plymouth this year and it seemed like a fantastic course :)
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Re: Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby endedupageek » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:57 pm

Hi Jen,
I'm about to start at Plymouth in September and I live in Exeter. The Plymouth placements are currently 2 in Exeter, 2 in South Devon, 4 in Plymouth and 5 in Cornwall, so you'd be quite likely to get a placement in Cornwall if that's what you wanted. Plymouth allocate their placement bases according to how they have ranked the candidates. So at interview, they don;t just offer you a place or not, they put everyone in ranked order. Then the first person on the list gets their first choice of training base, and so on through the list. Having said that, there is subsequently the opportunity to try and organise a swap with someone else if you're not happy.
Plymouth has a very strong focus on children and families, based on systemic therapy. It has much less of a focus on research and more of a values based ethos. They pride themselves on taking candidates from different backgrounds and are trying to prepare people to work in the NHS.

In terms of commuting, I'll be commuting to lectures from Exeter, but doing placements closer to home. You get travel expenses paid if your placement base is more than 25 miles from the university and also have the option of being put up overnight in bed and breakfast accommodation if there are more than 2 days of consecutive lectures.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby jenLB84 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:02 pm

All,

Thank you so much for the info. I have only heard about the alternative handbook after reading forums on here, I shall have a look.
The information about the Plymouth course is fantastic! Did you apply for Exeter too or just Plymouth?
I have a lot of experience with children and families as well as my ASD/behaviour experience, so it's encouraging to know that is their focus. What was the interview process like?

Many thanks
Jen
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Re: Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby endedupageek » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:02 am

Hi Jen,

I applied for Exeter and Plymouth - seemed silly not to apply to Exeter as I live there, but I knew they probably wouldn't be interested in me. The Exeter course has a strong research background and is very CBT focused and neither of those are areas of strength for me! Sure enough I didn't get an interview there.
I had a good experience of the Plymouth interview process. They interview about 45 people over 2 days. You have a clinical interview and an academic interview, both conducted by panels of staff and local clinical psychologists. They worked hard to keep the day as relaxed as possible, with a neverending supply of tea, coffee and biscuits, and current trainees on hand to talk to. I enjoyed the day :-).
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Re: Plymouth or/and Exeter or/and based in Cornwall

Postby liberty » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:24 pm

I just wanted to draw people's attention to being a bit more careful about repeating the rumors and gossip they hear about certain courses. Things are later repeated and taken for granted in my view.

As a recent Exeter DClinPsy graduate I wanted to make you aware that the course teaches CBT, the Psychodynamic and Systemic models as the main 3 and I never felt that CBT's or other strands superiority over others was promoted in any way. Also, it covers CAT quite extensively from year 1 now. It also covers some ACT and DBT as well as narrative approaches.

What is even more important, on placements we all worked with supervisors of varying interests and skills gained in a number of models, therefore some of us had opportunities to learn (in practice!) about models such as ISTDP, DIT and group analytic working just to name a few.

The research component takes a lot of time and effort and I am yet to find a course where this has been easier; In my experience Exeter has been a diverse training programme and the fact that there are opportunities to have 1-2 elective placements in the final year also promoted personal interests and areas of development.
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