This chapter of the handbook will describe the academic components of the DClinPsy Programme including an outline of the curriculum and timetable for your three years of training. Consistent with the programme’s commitment to a model of lifelong and self-directed learning, and its PGR status, the academic component will require an active learning style, such that formal teaching is but one part of the contribution to learning.

We hope that you will find the academic curriculum stimulating and challenging, sometimes enjoyable and sometimes, by its very nature, frustrating. The knowledge base of the profession is continually expanding and we cannot hope to teach you all that you need to know as competent, qualified clinical psychologists and even if we did there is no guarantee that you would learn it!

An important emphasis, therefore, will be upon learning how to be an effective learner rather than simply being exposed to vast amounts of knowledge. Another important aspect of the academic curriculum is that it is designed to take account of the needs of practitioners in the modern NHS, specifically the requirement for practitioners to be collaborative and effective team workers. Consequently the academic curriculum is designed to facilitate your development as collaborative learners working with peers to achieve goals and tasks. We hope to equip you with the critical skills, knowledge and experience to embark on a career of development in clinical psychology.  We also acknowledge the central and vital position of clinical placements in your learning process and will endeavour throughout the academic module to promote the development of theory-practice links wherever possible. We also recognise the central importance of research in the scientist-practitioner model, and aim to foster the most effective links between the academic, research and clinical components of your training.