Guidelines for the Professional Issues Essay


This essay, which is timetabled for submission in the third year, offers you the opportunity to explore in depth an area of importance in the development and practice of the profession of clinical psychology. For example, you may wish to consider ethical dilemmas in clinical practice such as power issues, the contribution past, present and future of clinical psychology to inter-professional work and/or to the NHS or Department of Health current priorities, the impact on clinical practice of prescribing rights for clinical psychologists and so on.

You should consider in the planning stages whether or not you wish to write the essay as a paper for publication in an appropriate journal. Such a decision will be supported and encouraged.

The following are some guidelines for the professional issues essay:

  1. The essay should be no more than 4000 words in length. See Guidelines on Written Assessments for details of word count rules.
  2. The essay should be well structured to include an introduction, which identifies the key issues to be addressed in the essay and provides the reader with a guide for the arguments, which will follow.
  3. The main arguments of the essay should be ordered logically and an emphasis should be placed on a clear and critical analysis rather than an exhaustive review of the relevant literature.
  4. The essay should be brought to a close with a well-argued conclusion supported by evidence and outlining the implications for clinical psychology practice and the profession.

It is recommended that before submission the essay be exchanged with a peer for peer review and feedback. You may also discuss your proposed essay with your tutor and with the convenors for the Reflective Organisational Practice seminar series.

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