MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology Bournemouth Uni

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
Post Reply
Roger Baker
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:41 pm

MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology Bournemouth Uni

Post by Roger Baker »

I am a clinical psychologist working in Dorset and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Bournemouth University. Along with Neuropsychologist, Simon Thompson, we have set up a new MSc in “Foundations of Clinical Psychology” as a stepping stone to getting into clinical psychology training courses, starting in October 2009 at Bournemouth University. We have constructed a course that draws on the expertise of clinical psychologists and therapists in the south to create what I think will be an interesting course. It means that there will be lectures/workshops from 40 different experts in their field, including Professors Sue Clarke (Personality Disorder), Michael Jacobs (Psychotherapy), Jonathan Cole (Phenomenology), John Hall (history of Clinical Psychology/former government adviser on clinical psychology, Simon Thompson (Dementia).

Originally I wanted to call the course “Understanding Psychological Disorders” but apparently it’s not correct university speak – but that is a major intention - to help students develop an in depth knowledge of different disorders from inside the patient experience, using case histories and autobiographies. We also want to provide a wide knowledge of different types of psychological therapy, a knowledge of how the NHS operates, research methodology and have organised two month placements in clinical settings.

There are several psychologists in Dorset who specialise in emotion based therapy, including emotional focussing (Prof Les Todres), ACT & CAT (Prof Sue Clarke) and myself with Emotional Processing ( Inevitably, the course has a greater emotion-based therapy approach than many clinically related courses.

Places are still available for the course.

Queries about the course: Simon Thompson (
General queries:, Tel: +44 (0)1202 524111,
Fax: +44 (0)1202 962736
Further information: ... DT&mode=ft
How to apply: ... index.html

You’ll get the quickest response if you send the application to the course secretary,

Roger Baker
Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dorset HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust
Professor of Clinical Psychology, Bournemouth University
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2340
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:00 pm

Post by maven »

Hi Roger,

It sounds like an interesting course with lots of good people on board. I just have two thoughts to put to you.

1) I'm a bit uncomfortable with the wording "as a stepping stone to getting into clinical psychology training courses" because this implies that getting onto a clinical training course will be a given, or at least significantly more likely, if people have completed your course. I'm not sure you can claim that, unless you have evidence that it is rated more favourably by clinical courses than other masters courses or routes to application.

2) I've been wondering for some time where the line falls between filling a market niche (by offering teaching that really will offer useful relevant skills that will not be covered in clinical training) and exploiting the excess of psychology graduates seeking places on the highly competitive clinical doctorate courses (by offering something they will buy to 'look better on paper' and enhance clinical applications, but that won't necessarily offer anything unique if they were to look back retrospectively after clinical training).

I would say, that I'd question these issues equally, if not more, with the other clinical applications MSc course that is done by distance learning....

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
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:19 pm

Post by finalhurdle »

I agree with Maven and am sometimes uncomfortable with the ways in which some courses are marketed as "stepping stones" to clinical training. I am about to qualify (hopefully) and there are many people on my course who do not have an Msc or PhD which did not deter their applications/clinical practice.

Furthermore, I think these courses thicken the dominate story that to get on training you must know everything there is to know about clin psychology. I think its extremely important to remember that clinical training provides trainees (remember its ok to get on the training course without knowing everything -lol) with adequate training.
User avatar
Posts: 1527
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: The other side of paradise

Post by Spatch »

Maybe folks are being a bit harsh? I always thought the phrase "stepping stone" implied something that assists someone to their destination, as opposed to a bridge or shortcut which indicates something more certain.

The phrase I hear again and again in various conferences is "...assistant psychology posts/PhDs are common stepping stones..." but no one takes the view that APs/ PhDs are onto a sure thing on getting onto training.

I don't know the content but from the description the advertised course seems to provide academic training and (brief) clinical experience, and as a further action to strengthen a clinical application it sounds better than an out and out theoretiucal MSc or an MSc that is weighted towards another area of psychology (like Health or Forensic). Sounds like a pretty good "stepping stone" to me
Post Reply