Will my PhD benefit my journey to DClinPsy?

The place to ask about degree courses, conversion courses, masters, PhD or other qualifications. Discuss specific courses, their pros and cons, the content, the application process, different institutions, how to fund them, etc. Includes advice if you have a 2:2 and questions on transcripts
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CR2000
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Will my PhD benefit my journey to DClinPsy?

Post by CR2000 »

Hi all - I have a BSc and MSc in Psychology and I was lucky enough to be offered a PhD where I will be investigating mental load in different patients using EEG. It's a very clinical-based PhD which I know will definitely benefit me for the DClinPsy, however, it is technically a PhD in computing science as that is the department offering the PhD (it will involve some sort of machine learning/coding features which I will be taught when I begin).

Despite this, it will primarily be psychology based (with computing aspects). Does the fact that it is a PhD in computing science detract from the fact I will still be investigating psychology? Would this hinder my DClinPsy application in future, despite it being Psychology-based and clinically orientated?

Or does it not necessarily matter which department the PhD is being completed under, but rather the research completed within it?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I am very much looking forward to my PhD as I love research in psychology, but want to make sure the title won't hold me back.
alexh
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Re: Will my PhD benefit my journey to DClinPsy?

Post by alexh »

The title won't hold you back, and, assuming you complete it, it is perfect evidence of 'ability to study at doctoral level' which is a key point for selectors. I certainly meet a number of trainees who have completed PhDs prior.

It does seem a rather confused pathway though. Whilst it might fall in the realms of psychology in the broadest sense it seems to me to have very little relevance to clinical psychology! When you consider that one of the application questions is along the lines of 'how have your experiences to date prepared your for clinical training' how would you fit this work into your answer. What type of clinical psychologist do you anticipate being at the end of your two doctorates? It's hard to imagine how it the PhD would lead to an otherwise acceptable candidate being

Have you also applied for PhDs that more closely align with clinical work and mental health? If not, why not? Is it something you are excited about spending three years working on? Why wouldn't you go on to pursue that avenue further after? Is ti simply having any old PhD to smooth your path on to the clinical doctorate?
Our language is a necropolis of dead metaphors. Sarbin.
CR2000
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Re: Will my PhD benefit my journey to DClinPsy?

Post by CR2000 »

alexh wrote: Wed Jul 26, 2023 3:42 pm The title won't hold you back, and, assuming you complete it, it is perfect evidence of 'ability to study at doctoral level' which is a key point for selectors. I certainly meet a number of trainees who have completed PhDs prior.

It does seem a rather confused pathway though. Whilst it might fall in the realms of psychology in the broadest sense it seems to me to have very little relevance to clinical psychology! When you consider that one of the application questions is along the lines of 'how have your experiences to date prepared your for clinical training' how would you fit this work into your answer. What type of clinical psychologist do you anticipate being at the end of your two doctorates? It's hard to imagine how it the PhD would lead to an otherwise acceptable candidate being

Have you also applied for PhDs that more closely align with clinical work and mental health? If not, why not? Is it something you are excited about spending three years working on? Why wouldn't you go on to pursue that avenue further after? Is ti simply having any old PhD to smooth your path on to the clinical doctorate?
Thank you for your reply - I am confident with the PhD itself as it is very clinically relevant, albeit I didn't put most of its details in my initial post, but was mostly concerned about the impact of the department conducted in. Your feedback was incredibly helpful and is hugely appreciated
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miriam
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Re: Will my PhD benefit my journey to DClinPsy?

Post by miriam »

I'm not sure your ideas of "clinically relevant" are consistent with me either (as neither EEG nor "mental load" makes me think of clinical applications, and the computer science department make me wonder about the ethics of "patient" involvement, so I'd definitely want to check there is CP supervision), but I think a PhD really shows academic strength and gives an unrivalled opportunity to delve into a particular topic. For this reason I'd always say to follow your interest. So if this PhD is what lights your fire, even if it leads you no closer to CP (or maybe even at a tangent from it) it might still be the right choice for you.

That said, I'm co-supervising a funded PhD in the overlap between CP and machine learning that starts this september and has just gone out to advert - so there are some PhD options in this space that might be relevant.
Miriam

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Spatch
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Re: Will my PhD benefit my journey to DClinPsy?

Post by Spatch »

I did a very hard neurosciency PhD with a clinical population and it hugely benefited my journey to my DClinPsy. It helped for a few reasons beyond the clinical subject matter/clinical experience including it being evidence that I could actually plan, execute and complete a doctorate, research independently, publish and juggle with multiple competing demands. It also had a fairly profound effect on my confidence, presentation skills, my ability to think on my feet and answer difficult questions, which made a massive difference when it came to actual DClinPsy (and qualified) interviews.

As someone involved with the selection process, PhD candidates who are pushing a field forward always stood out to me from the mass of assistant psychologists and PWPs (who tended to blur into one another within the pile of applications). So if your research was breaking new ground into the boundaries of knowledge of something under researched yet was a massive clinical issue that would be quite attractive to many selectors- We do need those people in our discipline.
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