Aims and objectives

In its Strategic Plan the University describes its mission as follows:

“We transform lives through the power of higher education. A leading international university, we undertake groundbreaking research and deliver a world-class student experience in a campus environment of outstanding natural beauty. “

The specific aims of the Clinical Psychology programme is to offer a high quality training programme that will produce clinical psychologists who will go on to work in the NHS and other public services and make a meaningful and strong contribution to users of the NHS, the services themselves and the clinical psychology profession in clinical, academic and research areas.

The DClinPsy is a three-year full-time programme that confers eligibility for registration as Practitioner Clinical Psychologists with the Health Professions Council, joining the British Psychological Society’s Register of Chartered Psychologists and to be full members of the Division of Clinical Psychology.

The programme will equip trainees to understand the way public services are developing in the UK and internationally, and the implications for how clinical psychologists will need to operate to have the greatest impact on the wellbeing of the people they serve. 

The trend in public services is that they will be increasingly delivered through a multi-provider market economy of care and we aim to develop skills to work in this context. 

While change has always been a feature of our welfare system, the coming years and decades are likely to be increasingly challenging. One of our key objectives is to develop a strong leadership identity in the trainees so that they can influence practice and strategic decisions where they work when qualified. Trainees will also need to be clear about how to operate ethically under these conditions and we will help trainees understand models of ethics so that they can develop an ethical identity as a clinical psychologist.  

The programme is intensive, combining as it does academic, clinical and research components, which place inevitable demands on the trainees time and key relationships. We recognise this is a major task, and endeavour to provide effective support.

Our intention is to train clinical psychologists who, at graduation:

  • Are fit for practice

  • Will make a contrubition to research and clinical practice in the new NHS

  • Are eligible to apply for registration with the Health Professions Council at the end of training. 

    Programme Values

    We are committed to:

  • Ethical and professional conduct as a scientist-practitioner

  • Interdisciplinary learning and interdisciplinary practice

  • The critical application of evidence-based practice

  • Seeking, respecting and responding to the views of people who use services, those with direct experience of psychological distress and carers in the organisation of teaching, training and research

  • The promotion of equal-opportunities principles. 

  • Continuously reviewing the curriculum to incorporate the changing needs of the settings in which clinical psychologists work, current scholarship, the evidence base and research.

  • Enabling learning rather than didactic teaching since teaching does not equal learning, and promoting life-long learning

  • Providing an inspiring, enjoyable, challenging and supportive learning environment recognising that clinical psychology trainees are adult learners, being aware of both the competences they have, and also their limits

  • Working with colleagues in the NHS and wider welfare system both as service providers and stakeholders.

  • Promoting the NHS Constitution and values ( of working together for patients, compassion, respect and dignity, improving lives, commitment to quality of care and everyone counts.

  • Developing trainees as future leaders in clinical psychology

    We value diversity and enabling trainees to identify and challenge inequalities that affect health and psychological well-being or limit access to services (e.g., arising from differences in cultural background, disability, ethnicity, gender or social class). 

    Programme Organisation

    The programme is organized within a life span model of developmental challenge. Broadly speaking this means that the programme begins in year one with teaching and placements concerning children and young people, moving to adults in year two, organizing the curriculum around the concepts ‘challenges’, ‘resources’ and ‘development’. While this provides the framework, trainees may gain competence and experience with different age groups and clinical specialties at different stages of the programme.

    Professional Standards

    The programme draws on a number of key standards:

    We recognise that a broad basis of theory contributes to our understanding of psychological well being, that theory is constantly developing, and the training provided reflects this approach. Within the programme we have three psychological therapy models with specific strands: Cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic and systemic, although training in other approaches is also delivered.

    We also recognise that clinical pscyhologists' psychological theories and psychological intervention can be at many levels (e.g., individual, family, group, organisation, agency, wider community, culture).

    We are committed to a reflective scientist-practitioner model; a model that enables clinical psychologists to use the existing evidence-base of psychological knowledge and research to understand and solve a broad range of complex and unpredicatable problems across a variety of specialised contexts.

    We acknowledge that trainees join our programme with differing strengths, abilities, level of expertise and career goals. We will make every effort to acknowledge and support this diversity throughout training and beyond.

    We acknowledge the critical importance of applied research, research rooted in practice, user involvement in research, service and programme evaluation, clinical audit and outcome evaluation.


  • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence