The basics about applying for the clinical doctorate

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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The basics about applying for the clinical doctorate

Post by miriam » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:18 pm

So, lets start at the very beginning:
This is the wiki - the FAQ of clinpsy, which will tell you all about the route to training, what CPs do, and 200+ other useful guides for someone starting out in the career nicely indexed for your perusal.
This section tells you about the website and forum. The announcements pinned at the top are all the key stuff like how to search, what the rules are, how to get the best out of the place, who the moderators are, etc etc.

You can look at the forum content by browsing, searching or seeing what is new. The fastest way is to click 'quick links'' at the top left, in the grey bar, and then click 'new posts' to see what has been added since you last logged in. Click 'your posts' in the same menu to see what you have written, and click on each to see what has been added in reply. The little box with an arrow after the person's name in the 'last post' column will take you to the end of the thread, or the orange box with an arrow before the name of a topic (which only appears if there is content you haven't read) takes you to the first thing that was added since you last read that thread.

So assuming you can find your way around this place, here are some starting points about applying for clinical training:

The doctoral courses get nearly 4000 applicants for just shy of 600 places (see the clearing house information), whilst around 25,000 people per year graduate in psychology or convert to gain GBC. This means that people who get on the doctoral training courses typically have loads of experience and skills (see our thread full of mini-biogs of successful applicants). You can also see our polls about time after gaining GBC and numbers of applications before being successful which are in the top of the appropriate forum section. People don't tend to get on straight from their degree or conversion unless they have loads of prior experience, and GBC is required at the application stage (as clearly stated on the clearing house website section on Entry Requirements: Academic qualifications). The course is funded by the NHS, so you need to know about the role of a clinical psychologist in the UK, and about the way mental health and psychological services are delivered in the NHS and to gain a funded training place you need to have the right to live and work in the UK.

That said, there is no one recipe for a successful application, each trainee has taken their own path. It isn't a tick box list of qualifications and experiences that you must accumulate. A successful application is as much about how you reflect on what you've gained from your experiences as it is what your experiences actually are. Don't be put off by people who post on here with huge lists of experience, as the internet is a place where anyone can claim anything, and their experience might not be as impressive as it first appears, or it might be that their personality, social skills or means of managing their anxiety are the barrier.

Clinical Psychology is a hugely competitive training path, so go into it with your eyes open and bear in mind there are no guarantees of progression. Try to make the most of each step, and reappraise often whether you are still learning, developing and enjoying your experiences or whether it is time for plan b. Don't put your life on hold trying to be what you think other people might want, follow your heart (with a bit of common sense from your head) and finally, enjoy your journey, don't waste it by looking at the horizon all the time.

This site is here to guide and inform you along the way. If you don't know how things work on the site or something about the profession or career path, just ask. But if you want the best response, ask nicely and be polite to those who respond :)

See my blog at

Pearson Clinical Assessment publishes a wide range of assessments to support psychology professionals including the Gold Standard Wechsler range. To view our range please visit:
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