UCL or Sheffield?

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
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clinpsymember
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UCL or Sheffield?

Post by clinpsymember » Thu May 03, 2018 8:01 pm

I've somehow found myself in the incredibly fortunate position of having two offers for the doctorate, and am now struggling to decide. I feel super lucky to have a choice, and want to make sure I make the right one! I know a few people who's done the UCL course, but none at Sheffield, which makes it hard to get an accurate idea.

If anyone has any insight into either course, particularly around quality/format of teaching, research options, 'feel' of the course etc, that would be super helpful! My current thoughts are that I would prefer to live in Sheffield, but it's less likely my partner could join me there, so I am very torn.

Thanks so much for any advice! :)

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maven
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by maven » Thu May 03, 2018 10:05 pm

I've heard only positive things about both of them. I guess there is practical stuff about course size (18 vs 42), cost of living and whether you want to spend the next three years in London with its great density and diversity of people. Some people would love being at the heart of the capital, with all of its cultural opportunities, and not be bothered by the traffic and expense, others might prefer a smaller, greener, more down-to-earth city where the rent takes up a much smaller proportion of salary, but the distance to placements can be longer. Only you will know which would suit you, and then it sounds like you've got your relationship to consider also.
Maven.

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conoro27
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by conoro27 » Fri May 04, 2018 10:18 pm

Hey clinpsymember.

First of all, congrats on getting two offers! You are in a very fortunate position indeed - so well done on the hard work.

I was torn between UCL and Exeter. My gut just told me Exeter after my experience of the two interviews. I just got a better vibe. Maybe it's because I'm sick of London (I've lived here all my life). So I guess I don't know how to explain this in any other way... Just go with that gut feeling. Where do you feel most comfortable? As psychologists, we tend to go for the practical and logical decision, but I'd just say listen to what your body tells you.

Luckily, my hand was forced (for the better in my case) and I didn't have to make the decision in the end. But my partner told me my heart was in Exeter anyway. And I'd be inclined to agree.

I hope that helps, somewhat?!

clinpsymember
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by clinpsymember » Tue May 08, 2018 11:09 pm

Thanks so much maven and conoro27! Really appreciate the replies :) I do think I am leaning more towards Sheffield at the moment, as I would like to get out of London too. I have only heard good things about UCL from people I know who's done/doing their course, and it seems to be very well regarded, so I suppose I'm worried I'd be giving up a very good opportunity. It would be amazing to hear from someone at Sheffield, as I know less about that. From what I understand, they focus more on cognitive analytic therapy, which I was concerned seems less used? I have mainly done CBT so far however, and am very keen to learn something new :)

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firegal
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by firegal » Wed May 09, 2018 10:47 am

clinpsymember wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:09 pm
From what I understand, they focus more on cognitive analytic therapy, which I was concerned seems less used? I have mainly done CBT so far however, and am very keen to learn something new :)
Bear in mind that regardless of the course you have to finish as a competent practitioner in CBT and (at least) one other model, so wherever you go you will be doing CBT, and you will also be doing something else (probably multiple other things). Were you told at the interviews what your options for "the other model" might be at each course?

clinpsymember
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by clinpsymember » Wed May 09, 2018 11:16 am

Thanks so much for replying firegal :) Sorry, I probably did not make myself clear - I am aware a large part of both courses will be CBT and am prepared that some of this will be repetition for me as I will have just finished my high intensity CBT training before I start. I feel a bit silly for not asking more questions at the interviews now, but I didn't expect to be in a position where I would get to choose! So I didn't ask about the other models, I have just been reading on website and alternative handbook, which is how it seemed CAT would be the one main one alongside CBT at Sheffield, however I may be wrong. I wonder if I could call the department and ask more about this. I had the impression that perhaps UCL focused more on CBT than Sheffield, but from what you said, it seems all courses may be focusing the same on that? :) I really like CBT, so don't mind this, but just want to learn as much new things as possible too.

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firegal
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by firegal » Wed May 09, 2018 12:28 pm

I can't speak for either of the courses, but I know at Birmingham we have the option of 3 strands (behvaioural, systemic, or psychodynamic) and we opt for one (though we still attend teaching for all, we're essentially just nominating the one we'll be assessed on), and the other courses I interviewed for (Exeter and Herts) seemed to have similar systems with several models on offer.
What I'm meaning to say is, while I have no doubt that Sheffield may be very good at teaching CAT, hence the reputation for it, they probably have other models on offer too. It might be worth ringing the courses and asking about it :)

Beth1
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by Beth1 » Fri May 11, 2018 2:35 pm

clinpsymember wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 11:16 am
Thanks so much for replying firegal :) Sorry, I probably did not make myself clear - I am aware a large part of both courses will be CBT and am prepared that some of this will be repetition for me as I will have just finished my high intensity CBT training before I start. I feel a bit silly for not asking more questions at the interviews now, but I didn't expect to be in a position where I would get to choose! So I didn't ask about the other models, I have just been reading on website and alternative handbook, which is how it seemed CAT would be the one main one alongside CBT at Sheffield, however I may be wrong. I wonder if I could call the department and ask more about this. I had the impression that perhaps UCL focused more on CBT than Sheffield, but from what you said, it seems all courses may be focusing the same on that? :) I really like CBT, so don't mind this, but just want to learn as much new things as possible too.

Congratulations in your two offers. I've just qualified from Sheffield. While it's true that there are opportunities to do CAT at Sheffield, there are other therapies you can do as your +1. There are lots of choices for your specialist third year placement as well, so you'll be able to choose based on your +1. I hope that makes sense.

ClinPsyMemeber
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by ClinPsyMemeber » Mon May 14, 2018 12:19 pm

Wow! Well done! Both are amazing training programmes, with outstanding research standards (both are Russell groups universities), and with a strong evidence-based approach and empirical ethos. The main things I would bear in mind is the course size...do you like being in a smaller intimate group, or be part of a larger more dispersed cohort?
I know trainees from both courses and they loved them both!

clinpsymember
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Re: UCL or Sheffield?

Post by clinpsymember » Tue May 22, 2018 10:45 pm

Thanks so much all, super helpful!! I feel like I am likely to choose Sheffield at this point, but am waiting for my partner to hear back from a couple of jobs (not near Sheffield sadly!) before deciding completely. Thanks again!

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