Leeds current trainees?

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

Leeds current trainees?

Postby anniecat » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:04 am

Hi there

I wonder if there are any Leeds current (or recently finished) trainees who wouldn't mind answering a few questions (feel free to PM if that feels more comfortable).

What is the pattern of teaching and study days on the programme? The most recent Alternative Handbook says first year study day half day on a Friday in year one - is that still the case?
In the university holidays does teaching on the course still take place? If not, are these given as study days or are they extra days on placement?
Would it be possible to attend placements without a car? Obviously I realise there are diverse placements but wondered what the overall picture is
What is take home monthly pay on AFC bottom of Band 6 with/without pension contribution? Obviously there may be variations according to people's tax code but rough idea would be helpful
I believe the Widening Access scheme has been discontinued for Clinical Psychology courses - has the Trust confirmed that?

I do have questions about the course itself but wanted to get clear about some of the practicalities first...

Many thanks in advance
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby Saf » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:57 pm

Oooh, will you be joining us? If so, congratulations :)

1. I'm a first year and we didn't have many study days before Christmas and then moved on to sort of most Mondays as study days. I think this will continue to be the case.

2. When the university is closed over summer, we'll be doing 4 days on placement and we will have 1 study day a week.

3. It is possible to attend placements without a car but do expect a long commute. Placements could be anywhere in West Yorkshire. The university (not the course) "strongly advices" everyone to live in West Yorkshire for courses that require frequent physical attendance, but some of us live further afield.

4. You can work out what your take home pay will be using the bottom of band 6 minus NI, student loans and pension (NHS pension will be 7.1%). Also depending on how much travel expenses you get reimbursed the take home pay tends to be different.

5. The discontinuation of the widening access scheme has not been confirmed.
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby ClaireEmma » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:15 pm

HI Anniecat,

The teaching and study time arrangements vary across the three years and there are some changes planned for next year. As far as I know it will look like this:

First year:
Mon-Wed placement
Thur-Fri teaching (over the course of the year you get the equivalent of half a day per week or 1 day per fortnight study, but it doesn't follow a strict pattern, we would often go for several weeks with no study and then get a full day for 2 weeks in a row for example).
Mid-July to end of September teaching ends, you go up to 4 days placement and get one study day every week.

Second year:
Monday study day
Tues-Thurs placement
Friday teaching
When teaching ends you continue to do 3 days placement and get x2 study per week.

Third year:
Thursday teaching
2 days placement and 2 study until thesis hand in (May), you agree which days with your supervisor.
After thesis hand in, you go up to 4 days on placement and still have a study day every week once teaching ends in July.

In terms of driving, there's no formal requirement to have a car. If you don't drive for health/disability reasons they will ensure you are put on a placement that is accessible. Otherwise, it's important to bear in mind that placements cover all of West Yorkshire plus Harrogate. In the more rural areas and some community placements where home visits and agile working are common, it would be a lot more difficult without a car. The course will keep in mind where you live if they can, but your competency needs always come first and the placements that get offered vary considerably from year to year. For example, there were only 2 or 3 adult placements in Leeds for my cohort in first year. Public transport in Leeds is quite good if you live near a train station, the bus system is quite unreliable though. Basically it's much easier to have a car if you can, but it's certainly not impossible to do it without, you will just probably end up with a longer commute and potentially more limited opportunities on placement.

The pay issue is complicated because of the widening access stuff, I don't know anything regarding what the arrangement is for future cohorts. Assuming the tax relief does not continue, that you opt in to the pension scheme and are repaying student loans, I reckon it is approximately 1600 per month and you move up a spine point each year. You can also claim back travel to and from placement so long as you live in West Yorkshire.

You didn't mention whether you were just doing some research or if you have a place, but congratulations if you are joining us in October!
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby ClaireEmma » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:19 pm

Oh someone beat me to it haha. I was typing on my phone and got distracted half way through!
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby cascina » Mon May 01, 2017 4:08 pm

Hi there

Thank you so much Anniecat for posting these questions as they were all on my mind. Thank you also to ClaireEmma and Saf for posting such full and helpful responses which totally mirror how nice everyone at the interview day was. As has already been said on another thread, the staff and current trainees did an amazing job.

Despite having left the interview content with having had such an unexpectedly pleasant experience (albeit kicking myself slightly for completely blanking out on one of the questions) I was absolutely stunned (and thrilled!) to be offered a place. I am still convinced it is a mistake and am half expecting the 'I'm terribly sorry we were in such a hurry to get the results out on Friday that we sent you the wrong one' email first thing tomorrow. However I have also at times been able to let 'this may be real' infiltrate my consciousness and allow myself to start to think about practicalities.

I am an older applicant and career changer and beginning training will mean quite a significant cut in salary (but unfortunately not outgoings!) for me. It is obviously something I have planned for and thought through carefully but I did make my financial calculations based on expecting the tax relief as mentioned in the Alternative Handbook. It is a little disappointing to learn that HMRC have changed their policy on Trainee CPs being part of the scheme. However, I am determined to find a way to make it work.

I am fortunate to have one - local - interview to go (which would make a whole heap more sense financially). However, I find myself in the bizarre position of almost wanting to not get in because I was so taken with the Leeds course and also really loved the feel of the city.

I really hope that I get to meet you all in October and thank you again so much for the questions and answers - they were a great help to me.
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby anniecat » Wed May 03, 2017 3:59 pm

Thanks so much Saf and ClaireEmma - really appreciate the answers. Congrats on the offer also Cascina - hope the info helps in your planning - maybe see you all in October
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby icebluesparkles » Wed May 10, 2017 7:33 am

Thanks for all helpful info from current Leeds trainees and the OP for questions. I have not applied this year but am trying to decide whether to apply for clinical next year or take a different career path which I have to make a decision on in the next couple of weeks.

Could anyone give me an idea of the length of teaching days/placements as I have small kids and am trying to figure out details? Also, while I know it is going to be an individual thing to some extent but on average how much evening/weekend work is required. Obviously I realise training is a demanding process which I am totally up for, but was just curious as to how much it will cut into family time.

Also, with first year placements - does everyone do both an adult and CAMHS placement?

Many thanks
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby ClaireEmma » Wed May 10, 2017 8:55 pm

Hi icebluesparkles,

Teaching days are 9.30-4.30 and placement days are 8 hours long, you can usually negotiate the hours with your supervisor, so I tend to do 8-4 or 8.30-4.30. In the first 2 years, each placement is just under 6 months. Half the cohort starts with an adult placement and half with a child placement, then you swap over. There's a wider range of placements available in second year and the focus is on getting both experience of working with older people and with different levels of cognitive ability, so this could be done in services such as LD, Older Adult, Neuro, Health and Forensic.

Regarding out of hours studying, it varies across the course and between trainees depending on how they like to work. I tend to have several weeks close to deadlines where I'm doing a fair bit at the weekend, but also have weeks at a time where I don't do any work at all, and using study days well helps to make this manageable.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby SarahCK » Fri May 19, 2017 2:09 pm

Hi guys,

I'm also seeking to get some information from current trainees!

I've been offered a place at Leeds, which would involve me moving, and also a place at a uni much closer to home. I'm trying to research the area to see if moving would be practical for me.

I just wondered if any of the current trainees had suggestions of the best areas to look (and the places to avoid)?

Any information would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Sarah
Last edited by SarahCK on Fri May 19, 2017 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leeds current trainees?

Postby SarahCK » Fri May 19, 2017 2:14 pm

cascina wrote:I am fortunate to have one - local - interview to go (which would make a whole heap more sense financially). However, I find myself in the bizarre position of almost wanting to not get in because I was so taken with the Leeds course and also really loved the feel of the city.


That's the exact position I was in after my Leeds offer! I've now been offered a place at my local uni and people have to keep reminding me that the decision is a "nice problem to have". I'm now weighing up how much I liked the Leeds course with how much financially better off I'd be staying put!
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