Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

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
sammo12
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by sammo12 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:10 pm

Plymouth
Exeter
South Wales
Bath


First time applying. They say you don't need Assistant Psychologist experience to get onto a course but that is obviously nonsense. The universities might not have AP experience as a requirement but if 100+ applicants applying to the same uni as you have all held AP posts then what chance do you have at even gaining an interview?

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sweetpea
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by sweetpea » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:35 pm

sammo12 wrote:They say you don't need Assistant Psychologist experience to get onto a course but that is obviously nonsense. The universities might not have AP experience as a requirement but if 100+ applicants applying to the same uni as you have all held AP posts then what chance do you have at even gaining an interview?
^ I truly feel for you with how demoralising this process can be, but I definitely know several trainees who didn’t hold AP or RA posts prior to gaining their place. Try not to give up hope.

icebluesparkles
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by icebluesparkles » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:46 pm

sammo12 wrote:Plymouth
Exeter
South Wales
Bath


First time applying. They say you don't need Assistant Psychologist experience to get onto a course but that is obviously nonsense. The universities might not have AP experience as a requirement but if 100+ applicants applying to the same uni as you have all held AP posts then what chance do you have at even gaining an interview?

Not to derail the thread... I was offered four interviews last year, three this year and I have never been an AP or RA. There is hope!

Ran
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So what does it take to get onto training then?

Post by Ran » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:28 pm

hawke wrote: While I'm obviously very pleased to get 2 interviews, Bath was my first choice and I'm gutted not to get an interview there, when I came so close to getting a place last year. I also declared a disability this year, and the Clearing House says they offer interviews to applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria (which I do) and the academic cut off score (which with straight A's, a 1st and a Masters, I would have thought I would).
It certainly does feel like you either need assistant psych experience or a PhD to even be considered by some universities these days. Both of which involve spending your 20s in very low paid work, and massively favour people who are able to move around to get the positions. Despite the good news, I must admit this process has left me feeling quite cynical about access to the profession.
Maybe this issue needs a thread of its own (sorry if this post is irrelevant, please delete if it is) but I do feel the stakes are getting higher when it comes to applications. There is no doubt AP, RA, MSc and PhDs do make your application stronger if you have expressed what you have learned in the right way. For example I heard 9 of the 21 trainees who got on to the KCL course last year had PhD qualifications. But equally there will be people from other professions who apply and can bring transferable skills to their applications who stand a good chance too.

Sure, that does favour people from certain backgrounds but I guess that's an issue much wider in society as opposed to one specifically for applying for training.

Lancelot
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by Lancelot » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:12 pm

sammo12 wrote:Plymouth
Exeter
South Wales
Bath




First time applying. They say you don't need Assistant Psychologist experience to get onto a course but that is obviously nonsense. The universities might not have AP experience as a requirement but if 100+ applicants applying to the same uni as you have all held AP posts then what chance do you have at even gaining an interview?
You may be disappointed but I do not think it is helpful to make unsubstantiated claims about the need for assistant psychologist experience to secure a place on courses (or interviews). Take, for example, selection tests where if you have relevant minimum requirement (lack of AP post is not screened out) you can proceed to the test - then interview if you perform well.

stratfmg
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by stratfmg » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:35 pm

Hi everyone,
I have (finally!) received feedback from Coventry and Warwick and they have advised that I need 'more evidence of personal development through clinical experience'...Can anyone enlighten me as to what this means and how I can achieve it please? I thought I was quite a reflective person! Thank you!:)

olive
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by olive » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:03 pm

stratfmg wrote:Hi everyone,
I have (finally!) received feedback from Coventry and Warwick and they have advised that I need 'more evidence of personal development through clinical experience'...Can anyone enlighten me as to what this means and how I can achieve it please? I thought I was quite a reflective person! Thank you!:)
Hi,
I would be thinking they mean mentioning things like self-awareness, your own values and coping resources, resilience and advanced communication skills (like assertiveness, confidence in presenting).
Hope that helps x

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maven
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by maven » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:30 pm

I've split some of these discussions out of the main progress thread as they are interesting but off topic.
I have (finally!) received feedback from Coventry and Warwick and they have advised that I need 'more evidence of personal development through clinical experience'...Can anyone enlighten me as to what this means and how I can achieve it please? I thought I was quite a reflective person! Thank you!:)
That might just mean you need more substantial experience, or my psychological experience, and/or showing that you have made progress in terms of what psychological roles and thinking you are capable of taking on in the role since you started gaining experience. For example, have you progressed from administering assessments or making observations or gathering data to considering what they mean in the context of a wider assessment or service? Or have you used supervision to overcome a particular challenge? Or have you started to formulate more, or be more aware of the service and wider sociopolitical context that your role is within, or the breadth of ways that psychological knowledge and skills can be applied?
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

hawke
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by hawke » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:02 pm

stratfmg wrote:Hi everyone,
I have (finally!) received feedback from Coventry and Warwick and they have advised that I need 'more evidence of personal development through clinical experience'...Can anyone enlighten me as to what this means and how I can achieve it please? I thought I was quite a reflective person! Thank you!:)
My feedback from Coventry was:

Other (please specify): On the right track

Such a frustrating process!

hawke
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Re: So what does it take to get onto training then?

Post by hawke » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:17 pm

Ran wrote:Maybe this issue needs a thread of its own (sorry if this post is irrelevant, please delete if it is) but I do feel the stakes are getting higher when it comes to applications. There is no doubt AP, RA, MSc and PhDs do make your application stronger if you have expressed what you have learned in the right way. For example I heard 9 of the 21 trainees who got on to the KCL course last year had PhD qualifications. But equally there will be people from other professions who apply and can bring transferable skills to their applications who stand a good chance too.

Sure, that does favour people from certain backgrounds but I guess that's an issue much wider in society as opposed to one specifically for applying for training.
The PhD thing is incredibly frustrating. I applied to Bath under the double tick scheme as I have a disability - the clearing house says I am guaranteed an interview as long as I meet the minimum academic shortlisting score. With last year's criteria, I scored 45/50. This year they have changed it, and I would only score 35/50, as they have downgraded conversion courses and upgraded PhD scores (although both are still worth less than A Level results). So the only way I can even be considered by Bath for an interview in future (assuming the standard of applications stays the same) is to fund another Masters or a do a PhD.

My 'the world should be fair' rules for living are being severely challenged by this process!

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Spatch
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by Spatch » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:57 pm

There is something inherently difficult about providing meaningful feedback on the basis of forms, even if the selector had infinite time, patience and insight (which they don't).

Always remember, at this stage it's often more about how well a form has been written and how it stands out from the pack than the person behind it. This is by it's nature frustrating because none of us know how we stack against the person coming after or before us, which is why we get fairly vague, hard to implement feedback like "On the right track" or "Be more reflective". It may be that you are perfectly reasonable as a prospect but it's just not standing out from the pack for some reason that day, and there is no real way to get that across adequately and for someone to do something meaningful about that (-short of assassinating the competition, which I would strongly discourage anyone from doing).

It's natural to want to get something concrete we can take action about- so we can read more/take on a new post/do a qualification and tick off the box, which gives us more agency and the illusion of control, but the process has never really been about that. If it was something that was concrete and actionable, everyone would do it. It's more about gaining distinction and distance from others, which makes it more like writing a classic novel or putting together a winning dance rather than fixing a car to make it road worthy.

I know it's hard to hold in mind as application is such a exposing process, but at this stage it is never personal. I have worked alongside people who consider me a valued colleague, friend or have written me glowing references, who I worked out must have been involved in rejected me at some point early on in the training application cycle. This is the tyranny of crappy numbers, if you were on the reviewing side you could easily end up rejecting your own best friend or the next Sigmund Freud.
he PhD thing is incredibly frustrating. I applied to Bath under the double tick scheme as I have a disability - the clearing house says I am guaranteed an interview as long as I meet the minimum academic shortlisting score. With last year's criteria, I scored 45/50. This year they have changed it, and I would only score 35/50, as they have downgraded conversion courses and upgraded PhD scores (although both are still worth less than A Level results). So the only way I can even be considered by Bath for an interview in future (assuming the standard of applications stays the same) is to fund another Masters or a do a PhD.

My 'the world should be fair' rules for living are being severely challenged by this process!
Maybe it's not necessarily fair, but equally unfair on everyone in different ways. There are plenty who rail against the double tick scheme as "unfair" in its own way. There could be people who felt that it was unfair that a conversion course was ranked more favourably than a PhD in previous years, etc etc. However, what it suggests is that Bath (and other courses who continually change criteria) are participating in a dynamic process where they continually gain more of an understanding of what makes a trainee get through the system efficiently and changing their criteria accordingly. This is not necessarily the same as is this a fair and level playing field for all -which would probably look like a lottery, that neither courses nor applicants seems to want.
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Ran
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by Ran » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:55 pm

Spatch wrote:There is something inherently difficult about providing meaningful feedback on the basis of forms, even if the selector had infinite time, patience and insight (which they don't).

Always remember, at this stage it's often more about how well a form has been written and how it stands out from the pack than the person behind it. This is by it's nature frustrating because none of us know how we stack against the person coming after or before us, which is why we get fairly vague, hard to implement feedback like "On the right track" or "Be more reflective". It may be that you are perfectly reasonable as a prospect but it's just not standing out from the pack for some reason that day, and there is no real way to get that across adequately and for someone to do something meaningful about that (-short of assassinating the competition, which I would strongly discourage anyone from doing).

It's natural to want to get something concrete we can take action about- so we can read more/take on a new post/do a qualification and tick off the box, which gives us more agency and the illusion of control, but the process has never really been about that. If it was something that was concrete and actionable, everyone would do it. It's more about gaining distinction and distance from others, which makes it more like writing a classic novel or putting together a winning dance rather than fixing a car to make it road worthy.
I agree with this. I got feedback from Coventry last year and to be honest I'd rather they didn't do this feedback thing. It made me focus on reflecting on an area of my skills/knowledge that I was very strong in but just didn't express on the my application in the right way.

Luckily I found other areas I needed to improve in and I'm grateful to have worked on those in the past year. The straight-up rejections (with no feedback) I got from Essex & UEL this year got me thinking a lot more about areas to work on.

amylcw
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by amylcw » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:44 pm

In response to the first post about having to have an AP post, I don't think it is necessary, and obviously some people manage to get on without having an AP or an RA post, so it can't be mandatory. But, having been a support worker with a clinical group and an Assistant Psychologist outside of the NHS, I can definitely say that I didn't have a full appreciation of what the job role entails. After working as an AP within the NHS now for a year and a half, I know that I have a much better understanding of how the NHS works, as well as how clinical psychology functions within it.

It is absolutely a numbers game, and so much is just down to luck, which makes it so demoralising. And I think everyone here knows how hard they'd work and how much they deserve to get on and how capable they are, but it just means that everyone is so capable, and so it is so hard for those of us who haven't had those lucky breaks.

Almost everyone I know has had 4 straight rejections their first time applying, just keep improving yourself, keep applying, keep learning and you'll get there. This is a horrible process, but if it is what you want to do, don't give up!

ChristinaG
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by ChristinaG » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:11 pm

sammo12 wrote:Plymouth
Exeter
South Wales
Bath


First time applying. They say you don't need Assistant Psychologist experience to get onto a course but that is obviously nonsense. The universities might not have AP experience as a requirement but if 100+ applicants applying to the same uni as you have all held AP posts then what chance do you have at even gaining an interview?
I haven’t got AP experience - I am a qualified mental health nurse - I have 2 interviews this year but I have also applied 4 times. It’s a strange process! Good luck in the future


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Jojoore18
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Re: 2018 Doctorate Application Progress thread

Post by Jojoore18 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:54 pm

I know 2 people who are current RHUL trainees and neither of them have any AP experience.

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