Welcome to our new first years who are joining us on the DClinPsy programme at the University of Exeter. On behalf of everyone associated with the DClinPsy Programme, I hope that you will enjoy your time training and learning with us and I sincerely hope it will be a rewarding, inspiring and enjoyable experience.

Everyone knows how competitive it is to get accepted onto clinical training and you deserve our praise and congratulations for getting this far. Now, however you are starting on a new phase of your professional career. Now is the time to reflect and review to consider what you expect of yourself over the next few years. Of course it must be to work hard, but hopefully it will also be to set realistic expectations and goals for yourself and to be kind to yourself and to others. Clinical Psychology can be such a force for social good and the privilege is in working with people at their most vulnerable times and to empower them to make changes. You will be part of people’s journeys at the same time as you are on your own journey. Savour this time as much as you can and appreciate it as best you can. The best is yet to be!


I would also like to welcome back our new second years and new third years. Thank you for all your efforts and hard work so far and I hope the coming year brings many opportunities to develop new skills and challenge old notions. I look forward to getting to know you all.


There is no doubt this is a time of some uncertainty for clinical psychology in a rapidly changing NHS but of course there are still many opportunities for us all to demonstrate the impact of psychology in the teams and the healthcare professionals we work alongside. At Exeter, we are responding to these challenges by a constant programme of improvements and enhancements to our curriculum and to ensure you are well prepared to make a difference wherever you work. At Exeter we are delighted to introduce a new masters level training for applied associate psychologists. We are sure this new workforce will make a difference in services and in mental health delivery. It may provide a new route for people to consider immediately after graduation from their psychology degree. We are pleased to develop this in partnership with Cornwall NHS trust. You are joining a centre (CEDAR: Clinical Education Development and Research) that is still growing and innovating. There is a really impressive portfolio of training being delivered in CEDAR and it is an exciting environment to be part of.


You have come to an excellent university, located in a beautiful part of the country, and you have joined a programme with over 30 years history of training clinical psychologists in the South West. The programme is based within the College of Life and Environmental Sciences – Psychology, emphasising our strong desire to deliver a research active training. There are equally strong links with the local NHS clinical departments ensuring access to a range of clinical training and research experiences.


As many of you will know I am new here myself and I am delighted to be here. I was previously the ClinPsyD Programme Director and Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology at UEA. I was very happy there and colleagues and I had created a very innovative and dynamic department. I was persuaded to come here because of the wealth of talent here and the enormous potential too. I am excited to be your new Programme Director and I am keen to hear from you all about your experience here at Exeter. I am ambitious to build further on what has been achieved and I am keen for us all to make the exceptional happen. Please feel free to pop into my office and say hi, my door is always open.


Have a great year.


Ken Laidlaw, PhD.

Professor of Clinical Psychology,

Programme Director DClinPsy at the University of Exeter.