Choosing a course by location

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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Choosing a course by location

Post by lingua_franca » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:06 pm

Did any of the trainees or qualified CPs here pick their course based on location rather than ethos? I'd always imagined that if I went for the doctorate I'd be applying based on the course's therapeutic orientation, etc., but it looks as though that may no longer be possible. Although my partner's job is quite flexible and there is a lot of scope for freelance work, I don't think it's fair to ask him to keep moving with me from pillar to post. He's already moved once to be in the city where my research fellowship is based. We like it here and we want to buy a house. Even if he weren't in the picture, I'm at a point where I want to put down some roots now.

I have one friend who chose her course based on convenient location rather than on ethos, and she really regrets it. She didn't enjoy her training, although she loves her qualified job. I was just wondering if anyone had applied based on location alone and had a fulfilling experience. I want it to be something I enjoy and not just something I have to get through.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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Re: Choosing a course by location

Post by Geishawife » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:45 pm

I chose based on location (didn't want to live away from hubby who was deep in his own PhD at the time so couldn't relocate) andI LOVED my training. Even though the course ethos didn't always exactly chime with mine, I saw that as an opportunity to explore my approach to work and actively sought different takes on things when on placement. As a result, I feel I got a really broad based training with exposure to many different clinical perspectives and I felt a more "rounded" clinician on qualifying (I hope that makes sense!). I wouldn't change the direction I took for anything.
Last edited by Geishawife on Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Choosing a course by location

Post by hawke » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:04 pm

I would consider your values - for me, my personal life comes before my work life, so I never considered applying too far away. Having roots is a tie, but life is so much more rewarding for me when I'm close to my friends, partner and a city I love. Many (most?) trainees find training is a bit of a let down, simply because expectations are built up so high over so many years. I don't think any course can live up to the hype, no matter how much you like its ethos on paper!

I have ended up studying about 80 miles away from home. I live near the course during the week, and usually get a 3-4 day weekend at home thanks to study days. Others on my course commute in daily from quite far away,. Both options, of course, involve additional cost and/or time sacrifices, but I just wanted to highlight that settling down and some distance can be managed.

My course is apparently quite a light workload compared to some others - so although my local university would have meant I could live at home full-time and start building professional networks in my home town, I think my quality of life might have been lower overall.

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