Doctorate in Clinical Practice (DClinPrac)

Studies in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy



Students complete a number of academic assignments which are intended to support the development of their ideas and thinking about clinical practice and research, as well link these. Below is some information about the assignments that need to be completed:

1. Publishable Paper Assignment (Module PSYD056) (6,000 words) (60%)

The assignment is designed to enable members to write papers to peers - review publication standard. Students don't have to either submit their paper or have it published: only demonstrate that it reaches this standard, but many do. 

2. SSRP – Small Scale Research Project (Module PSYD052)(5,000 word) (80%)

This assignment is intended as an introduction to basic data gathering, analysis and interpretation and conclusions presentation. Usually students use some aspect of their existing practice or place of work and undertake a small study of this, qualitative or quantitative providing the opportunity to think about different kinds of methodologies, research questions and the kinds of understandings that they are capable of generating.

3. Poster & Presentation (Module PSYD052) (20%)

Increasingly poster presentations are used at conferences to give a concise, easily understood overview of a piece of research, its methodology and findings. As part of the SSRP students design and produce a poster which presents their study and outcome to be discussed by fellow programme members and staff.

4. Reflective Journal (Module PSYD052) (Formative)

Programme members are encouraged to reflect upon their clinical and research practice, for example, the way that they use their therapeutic approach to illuminate the process of research and how their subjective experiences can affect their approach to objective study. In a journal they gather together their ideas and consolidate their reflections upon this.

5. Major Research Proposal (Module PSYD051) (6,000 words) (100%)

Sometimes students join the programme with clear ideas about what they want to research and how they will go about it. More often they do not. The programme is designed to introduce psychotherapists to a range of research approaches on a variety of relevant subjects; students become ‘research literate’ and acquire the ability to understand and critically evaluate the main approaches to research, quantitative and qualitative. Over time it is intended that this should lead to the formulation of an idea for the student’s major research project. At the end of the first twenty months, students complete a Major Research Proposal, which outlines their research question and the means by which they will investigate this, including such matters as obtaining necessary subjects and obtaining ethics approvals. Areas of possible research may include quantitative and qualitative approaches, outcome and efficacy studies, neuro-scientific investigations and developmental studies.

6. Major Research Proposal Appraisal (PSYD055) (3,000 words) (30%)

Part of the ethos of the programme is to develop a peer supported approach to clinical practice and research. With this assignment, programme members use each other's major research project proposals, as objects of critical appraisal. there are a number of meetings of the ‘ research group’ given over to this and towards the end of this period students write a report on the research proposal of one of their colleagues and a copy of this report is provided to the student who is the author of the proposal.

7. Problem Based Individual Presentation & Report (Module PSYD054)(4,000 words) (formative & 40%)

As a group programme members work together to study in depth one or other of the published, psycho-dynamically/psychoanalytically informed treatment models. Examples here might be Kernberg’s ‘Transference –based’ treatment model, Fonagy and Bateman’s ‘Mentalization’- based treatment model or Lemma’s ‘Dynamic Interpersonal Treatment’ model. The approach studied by the group is selected by the group.

The group considers a treatment model in depth and critically evaluate the research and evidence base that underpins it. The aim of this part of the programme is to enable students to learn to draw upon relevant theory, research and evidence bases to develop their understanding of the model, the appropriateness of the therapeutic modality for particular patient groups and the likely outcome of the therapy so that these factors can be critically appraised and used to demonstrate an understanding of the limitations and uses of particular approaches and demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the research evidence upon which they are based. Students also address ethical matters arising from both research and treatment modalities.

8. Major Clinical Research Project (Module PSYD51) (50,000 words) (100%)

Prior to embarking upon their Major Research Project, programme members are linked with a minimum of two research supervisors who have been identified according to the subject matter and methodology that the student chooses for his or her work.

A major task of the supervision will be to think about what the research will be and how it will be undertaken. Students meet regularly with their supervisors to discuss and develop their thinking and work. The learning sets also continue and as already noted these peer groups are an important resource for students to draw on.

On completion of all of the other assignments successfully, there is a formal review of students’ progress following which permission to proceed with the major research project is given. Students may at this point leave the programme if for any reason it is not appropriate for them to proceed and in this circumstance a Masters Degree in Clinical Practice is awarded.

By far the vast majority of students proceed, however, and over the next period they undertake and then write up their project. Usually this takes a further eighteen months, so making the duration of the programme for most people three and a half years but in any case, the project must be submitted within six years.

Finally students present their project in a Viva Voce and in support of this they are given constructive, qualitative feedback in support of this.