IoPPN - King’s College London

Department of Psychology | School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience | King’s College London

Course code:


Course length:

3 years (full-time)


You can email any enquiries after checking all 6 pages below plus the links to our website, twitter and padlet pages, which cover most FAQs

Administration email:

[email protected]
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Entry requirements

Who can apply

We are unable to consider:

  • Applicants still completing their undergraduate or conversion degrees
  • Applicants without GBC status 
  • Applicants with a 2.2 or lower grade at undergraduate level 
  • Applicants who have started training on an NHS-funded training programme after the 1st April 2022 (please see here for further information) until 2 years after the award for the training is recommended by a qualifying examination board.
  • Applicants who do not meet the King’s College London Postgraduate English language requirements at Band B 
  • Applicants without the equivalent of at least twelve months’ full time equivalent (FTE) relevant experience in a clinical or clinically relevant research capacity at the time of their application

Please also see the section on clinical and research experience for further information on this aspect of the shortlisting process.

For applicants with home fees status, the Programme only accepts applications via Clearing House.

International applicants must apply via

All applicants applying via Clearing House for this Programme must also have: 

  • Home Fees Status. Please note that in order to qualify for ‘home fees’ status, applicants usually must have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the full three year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course (1st October 2024). Please see UKCISA guidance for further information
  • The right to work without restriction for the duration of the three-year training programme (until 30th September 2027) – applicants with visa restrictions (e.g. student visas) will not normally be eligible.

No exceptions will be made to the above – if you do not meet our basic entry criteria, please do not apply.


All applicants must have:

  • GBC confirmed at the time of application
  • 2:1 or 1st class level degree in Psychology, recognised by the BPS for GBC
  • or have a recognised "conversion" degree, with a 2:1 or 1st class level in both your undergraduate degree and your conversion degree.

Applicants should include full grade or pass mark details for all school leaving and beyond qualifications (e.g. A level, other equivalent qualifications – including vocational). Grades relating to any non-UK qualifications must be in a format that will allow conversion to a UK equivalent. Candidates unsure of their equivalency should still list all qualifications and original grades in their application for assessment. Failure to list all qualifications and final grades will reduce your chances of a successful application.

Due to the high number of applications we receive each year, competition for places is fierce. Applications can be enhanced by evidence of a postgraduate qualification relevant to clinical psychology, however this is not a prerequisite for a successful application.

A full transcript should be submitted as evidence of a BPS accredited qualification, and further postgraduate qualfiications, along with proof of GBC status. If submitting a transcript in another language, the candidate must also provide an English translated copy.


Clinical and Research Experience 

Minimum requirement of twelve months full time equivalent (FTE) relevant experience in a clinical or clinically relevant research capacity at the time of application. The length of experience can be gained in a number of roles but should equate to twelve months in total when adding up the FTE months of relevant experience within your application. 

Due to the high number of applications, please note the following: 

  • Experience gained during an undergraduate placement or voluntary work undertaken before degree completion will not be regarded as sufficient on its own.
  • It is recommended that candidates have spent a minimum of 6 months in one of their roles 
  • Whilst there is not a formal FTE requirement on the amount of research experience, it is highly unlikely that candidates without such experience will be successful in their application.

It is important that any such experience acquired is described in detail in the application. Experience can be gained in any type of environment, whether within the NHS, another healthcare body or in private practice and be either paid or voluntary, as long as it is relevant to the field of clinical psychology.

Please see the information below regarding roles and responsibilities that are considered relevant experience.

Positions for relevant experience include Assistant or Research Psychologists. Other roles are also considered as long as they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Supervision by a clinical psychologist (or equivalent mental health practitioner)
  • Familiarity with clinical populations and settings
  • Substantive (voluntary) position (preferably within a statutory setting, e.g. Local Authority Mental Health volunteer)
  • Face-to-face contact with service users (e.g. graduate primary care worker, nursing or healthcare assistant).
  • Applying/disseminating research that has involved service-user facing interactions

Due to difficulties gaining suitable experience since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, remote work that meets one or more of the criteria above will also be considered.

Please note that the following types of roles, whilst valued for development, would not count towards the criteria of six months FTE of relevant clinical experience or employment.

  • Carer
  • Mentor
  • Helpline volunteer (e.g. Samaritans)
  • Befriender
  • Special Education Needs Assistant
  • Teacher, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Lecturer, Trainer
  • Clinical experience limited to general healthcare (e.g. general practitioner, nurse)

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is a research degree programme and incorporates a substantial research component, which results in the submission of a thesis for examination at doctoral degree level. Applicants must have experience of conducting and disseminating research following their undergraduate degree, alongside a sound understanding of basic research methods.

Whilst there is not a formal FTE requirement on the amount of research experience, due to the high application ratio for places on the Programme,  research experience gained during an undergraduate degree will not be regarded as sufficient on its own.

Research experience can be gained in an academic environment , in a research role, or in a clinical setting, such as a service review/audit.

Other examples of work that would be considered relevant research experience are as follows:

  • Project development
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Writing up and/or presenting results
  • Publications
  • Post-Graduate level research
  • Doctoral Level Research

Academic publications are valued, but not essential, and should be described in the application. Academic publications must have been accepted for publication by peer-reviewed journals to be considered during the selection process. Please note that publications listed may be verified during the short-listing process.

References / Statements of suitability

  • All applicants must have one academic referee and one clinical experience referee. Applicants without two completed references will not be considered.
  • The Programme encourages applicants to carefully consider their referees as to their suitability to provide the information requested in the Clearing House "Suitability Statement" forms, templates of which can be accessed in the "Suitabilit Statements" (references) section of the Clearing House website
  • Academic referees should be able to comment on an applicant's academic ability and preferably have direct experience of their academic work or research experience (references are accepted from supervisors related to post qualification employment).
  • The clinical experience referee should be able to comment on an applicant's suitability for training as a clinical psychologist. Ideally this reference would be from a clinical psychologist (or equivalent mental health practitioner) and recent. If this is not possible, the rationale for the selection of that particular referee should be detailed in the application. At the very least, the clinical experience referee must be a mental health professional who has supervised a candidate's work in a clinical or research environment.
  • Please note that a referee who has had little contact with you is unlikely to be able to write a reference of sufficient quality and depth. A referee who supervised you years ago may not be able to comment on your development and standard of your work at the time of the application. Similarly, a referee who has supervised you in your most recent employment for 3 months or less may not be able to comment as well as others who have worked with you for longer periods of time.
  • Applicants should request for their references to be anonymised (e.g. "they"). 

The following references will not be considered as appropriate and will lead to an unsuccessful application if provided: 

  • References written by family members  
  • References by people who have not supervised you in a clinical or academic environment
  • References not provided in the Clearing House format (please note that a number of healthcare organisations have a policy of providing standardised references for all employees and will not provide personal references; please check this before you apply).
  • As part of the pre-contract process, all Candidates who are offered and accept a place will be required to provide reference details for the past 3 years of employment. This is separate from the Clearing House application process

Documents required

Your application must include:

  • A document confirming your GBC status.
  • An academic transcript for your undergraduate psychology degree.
  • Or if your undergraduate degree was not in psychology, an academic transcript for your conversion course.
  • And a copy of all postgraduate transcripts.

Advice for your application

It is important for applicants to demonstrate clinical competence, reflective practice and a realistic understanding of the profession – including its diverse role within the NHS. Candidates are also encouraged to demonstrate awareness of culture, equality, diversity & inclusion. 

We consider our research focus as a strength of the Programme and therefore it is strongly recommended candidates demonstrate evidence of research experience at the application stage.

International applicants

The Programme accepts applications from international fees status applicants via the King’s College London application portal.

Applications made via Clearing House by those with international fees status will not be accepted. 

Last updated:

30th August 2023