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]
Logo for King's College London

Training with us

a) Personal and Professional Development

Throughout the training programme, trainees are encouraged to synthesise and reflect on different aspect of their learning and work as part of their professional development and integration of their personal and professional aspects.  Key contributors to this process are the use of clinical supervision, discussions in teaching workshops, meetings with personal tutors and appraisers, and reflections in their logbook and clinical assessments.  

Clinical placement supervisors provide support by monitoring and guiding the trainee's clinical work and fostering the development of professional awareness and practice.

The teaching programme over the three years is designed to promote reflection on personal development and clinical practice by covering professional issues, ethics and diversity. The importance of self-directed learning through critical reading of relevant literature is fostered through small group tutorials and seminars. Reflective practice sessions are scheduled in the timetable. They include sessions with focus on the experience of working with different client groups e.g., child, older adults as well as reflective groups that are dedicated for black, Asian and mixed heritage trainees and sessions to explore whiteness. 

All trainees are given broad-based training reflecting the Programme's key concepts of the scientist-practitioner and evidence-based practice. However, the Programme recognises the value of trainees developing their own interests within clinical psychology, and to this end, the two third year placements are specailist. The programme benefits from access to a wide range of potential research supervisors, and most trainees can carry out their Main Research Projects in an area that particularly appeals to them.

Monitoring of trainees' personal and professional development is carried out primarily through the Competency assessment process completed at mid and end of placement by placement supervisors which is monitored by the trainees’ Clinical Tutor. Personal and professional development is also reviewed in the annual appraisals.

The leadership stream of the curriculum supports trainees in developing leadership knowledge and skills across the three years of training. The leadership workshops provide understanding of leadership, opportunities for exploration of themselves as leaders and opportunities to apply leadership knowledge and skills to develop NHS services in project based learning.

The programme offers all second-year trainees the opportunity to attend an externally led 8-week mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) course. Establishing greater awareness through mindfulness can be a key underpinning of self-reflective practice.

b) Support Systems

The Programme has a number of support systems in place to help ensure that trainees are well supported and to create a stimulating and rewarding environment for trainees to develop personally and professionally during their training.

  • Before joining the Programme, each new trainee is contacted by their ‘buddy’ (one of the current first year trainees) to facilitate their transition onto the Programme.
  • Trainees will be line managed by a Clinical Director on the Programme
  • Each trainee is allocated a personal support tutor and mentor – a qualified clinical  psychologist available for confidential advice and support who is available to meet at least once per term throughout training. The personal support tutor, where possible, is matched to trainee career interests to allow for mentoring alongside pastoral support. 
  • Each trainee is also allocated a clinical tutor who will visit them on placement throughout the three years to maximise continuity, support and development.
  • Each trainee is allocated a research tutor from the Programme team to support them with any questions or concerns about any aspect of their research
  • Each trainee is allocated an appraiser from within the Programme team to support progression across all aspects of the Programme.
  • Reflective practice groups and themed reflective case discussions run throughout training, which provide an opportunity for trainees to reflect on training and the impact of clinical work.
  • Dedicated reflective spaces are offered to trainees from racially and ethnically minoritised backgrounds.  These spaces aim to offer support in a safe environment.
  • Trainees’ identifying as White will be invited to attend a dedicated reflective space to consider the impact of their identity in training.
  • A support group is available for trainees with childcare responsibilities, which includes drop-in meetings with clinical tutors. 
  • Orientation meetings are scheduled in the timetable to facilitate transition into the following year of study. At the end of the final year there is an exit meeting to allow trainees to reflect with the Programme Team about their experiences of the training programme.
  • Trainees with disability support needs can book a confidential appointment with a Disability Adviser at King’s College London Disability Support. This will help and provides recommendations of support strategies to ensure we can best support you throughout your training experience.

c) Wellbeing & Student Services

As a course, we care about the psychological well-being of our trainees and aim to ensure we can best support trainees who may be experiencing difficulties or have additional support needs. We recognise that whilst training you are likely to experience periods of increased stress given the various pressures that need to be managed across different components of the course, as well as any additional stressors including physical and mental health concerns, or other personal factors that may impact on well-being.  

We have a number of sources of support available to our trainees as well as resources and signposting of services. 

  • The Student Services Department of King’s College London is the College’s single point of access for all enquiries related to King’s services that cover: Information; Advice, Health; Wellbeing and Sport. This includes offers counselling, welfare and medical services.
  • Counselling and Occupational Health support is also available through the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
  • All students at King’s College London have access to the King’s Careers & Employability Service
  • Further resources and additional support are available, which trainees are signposted to whilst on the Programme

We value diversity and working closely with those who have lived experience of mental health difficulties. We want to promote an atmosphere of openness, acceptance and compassion. 
In addition to other personalized feedback systems, the trainees are offered the opportunity twice yearly to complete an anonymized survey monitoring well-being and any experience of discrimination. This provides another safe medium for trainees to express their experiences and the course to regularly reflect on the availability of processes to support trainees with these issues.   

d) Feedback and Involvement

The Programme philosophy is based on the reflective scientist-practitioner model and trainees are expected to engage actively in all aspects of the training programme, whether in lectures, on placements or conducting their own research.  The feedback process is ongoing and reciprocal: lecturers and supervisors report on trainees’ progress and professionalism, but it is equally important for the Programme to hear trainees’ comments on their experiences. 

As key stakeholders on the Programme, trainees help to shape the Programme's development and evolution through representation and participation in the majority of the Programme committees – these are the: Training Programme Committee, Practice Placement Sub-Committee, Curriculum Sub-Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee. The cohort representative roles for each committee provide valuable professional development experiences in relating to a wide range of stake-holders and contributing to quality assurance processes. 
There are also a number of opportunities for trainees to begin working as partners and leaders whilst training via involvement in working parties and groups focused on priorities within clinical psychology training.  This includes a Service User and Carer Steering Group which looks at ways to improve expert by experience involvement across the Programme, and an Increasing Access Committee, which started with the aim to support aspiring psychologist groups looking to access clinical psychology training to advance to the next stages in their development (e.g. from support worker to assistant psychologist) and includes outreach activities including presentations to schools.

Trainees provide feedback on practice placements in three ways:

  1. Trainees currently provide seen feedback to their supervisors at the mid and end points of their practice placements.  The feedback consists of completing ratings of all applicable aspects of their practice placements and supervision on a three-point scale. Trainees provide additional information on any categories that have been identified as not meeting expectations and give general overall comments on the practice placement.  These feedback forms are scrutinised by the clinical tutor(s) for each cohort during the mid-placement review process and at the conclusion of each practice placement. The end of placement ratings are also analysed and reviewed to provide an overview of all of the placement feedback for audit and reporting purposes.  Trainees also meet individually with their clinical tutor during the mid-placement review.  
  2. Each cohort provides collective feedback on their experiences of supervision at the end of the academic year. They are asked to highlight helpful practices in the context of clinical supervision and to generate recommendations for the enhancement of supervision.  This feedback is incorporated into the annual supervisor training and disseminated to supervisors and Trust psychology staff through a range of mechanisms.
  3. Two representatives from each trainee cohort attends the Practice Placement Sub-Committee in order to contribute to the overall delivery of clinical placements and to provide additional feedback.

For the curriculum trainees give feedback in two primary ways. 

  1. First, anonymous feedback surveys are collected following all teaching sessions including tutorials, lectures, seminars and workshops. 
  2. Second, each year group gives collective feedback on each teaching block. This involves trainee groups meeting and reflecting on each stream of the teaching programme, and completing a feedback form. Two representatives from each cohort attends the curriculum sub-committee meeting to present a summary of this feedback. Additional opportunities for trainees to provide feedback on the curriculum and assessment procedures are also available as part of their mid-placement reviews and annual appraisal meetings.

For research, at regular intervals during the three years trainees are asked to complete and submit a Research Progress Report (RPR) to help them and the Programme team keep track of progress on their research work.  This offers trainees the opportunity to raise any queries or concerns in relation to specific areas of their research.  

e) Facilities & Resources

As a student at King’s College London, trainees are entitled to use any of the university’s campus libraries. The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) and Weston Education Centre (WEC) libraries on the Denmark Hill campus hold the largest psychiatric collection of resources in Western Europe with more than 3000 print journal titles, over 250 of which are current subscriptions. They also provide access to several thousand electronic journals and over 42,000 books/multimedia items. E-journals can be accessed from a KCL managed computer or offsite using a KCL username and password.  Trainees also have access to a wide and comprehensive range of databases to consult literature and conduct literature reviews. KCL library offers access to 27 bibliographic databases including CINAHL, OVID, EMBASE, PsychInfo, Elsevier health and OVID books. Access to these databases allows consulting and downloading full text articles. 

Trainees have access to dedicated research rooms and laboratories for conducting face to face assessment and therapy sessions. Trainees have also access to the following research equipment and facilities: EEG lab, TMS lab, biological motion equipment including motion capture devices, Virtual reality lab including a variety of headsets and dedicated technical support, software for programming and delivering experimental psychology tasks such as Millisecond. Platforms for mobile phone app building and experience sampling (e.g. Metricwire, Expiwell). For more specialist research, trainees are also able to access the wider IoPPN facilities and King’s Health Partners for research not specific to psychology.

Alongside access to King’s College London student & SLaM staff facilities, including library services, there is a dedicated common room on campus specifically for DClinPsy Trainees which offers access to NHS and student computers, personal lockers, telephone, free printing services and other resources.

The programme has a large number of psychological tests, instruments and forms which can be loaned out to trainees for their clinical or research work.

Trainees are able to access various software packages on and off campus for free to support their learning. Available software includes: Assistive Software, Bibliographic (e.g. Endnote; Zotero); Collaboration, Database & Development Tools, Mathematical and Medical and Statistical packages (e.g. GPower, Maple, Millisecond Inquisit, SPSS, Meta Analysis, NVivo, SigmaPlot).

If trainees research projects require statistical software packages not provided by the College, they are able to purchase these using the agreed funding for their project-  alongside any further training required for their use if not provided within the Research Assessment & Methodology teaching stream. Similarly, they can use the budget for access to or development of web based applications or use digital platforms for the evaluation or delivery of psychological interventions. The programme is fortunate to have dedicated statistician time from the Biostatistics Department to support trainees research, which can be accessed via an online booking system for stats support. 

All trainees on the Programme are provided with laptops, mobile phones, Microsoft E3 licenses (for secure cloud storage) and VPNs by the host trust (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust) for their clinical work.

f) Experts by Experience

Long-standing partnerships with Experts by Experience (EBE) networks within our local NHS Trusts and Kings College London ensure service users and carers are key stakeholders in our endeavour to train empathic, ethical, clinicians and leaders, responsive to the needs of local communities. Involvement occurs in staff recruitment, trainee selection, teaching and learning, trainee clinical assessments, research and a new trainee mentoring scheme. 


The following commendations were made about the Programme from our most recent Accreditation Visits:


"There is a vast extent of research activities, resources and support available to all trainees on the programme. Trainees have the option to pursue research in their own areas of interest, and this is positively encouraged"

"The cohesiveness and responsiveness of the programme team to communicate with all stakeholders including trainees, clinical supervisors, service users and commissioners. The programme team proactively provide excellent communication channels with all the different stakeholders involved in the programme."


“The panel were impressed by the level of involvement by experts by experience across the course, and by the emphasis placed on culture, diversity and inclusion.”

“The course is based in a centre of excellence for CBT and is able to offer students a comparatively high level of resources, including highly specialist CBT teaching and clinical experiences.“


“The panel’s view was that the course was well organised with a strong emphasis on the development and sustaining of a systemic perspective at this level of training’

Trainee Quotes

“The IoPPN offer a huge range of placements, including ones in national and specialist services, which are hard to find in some other parts of the UK. The specialist services and world-renown supervisors were one of the things that attracted me most to the course. There are frequent opportunities for reflective practice while on the course, and trainees are encouraged to take ownership of these sessions after a while. This results in rich, supportive, and incredibly useful reflective practice”.

“Training at the IoPPN provides unparalleled access to diverse clinical services and client groups, opportunities to work with and learn from experts in their field, and support to conduct high-quality research with translational impact for our clients. I have felt well supported during training by the wider programme team, with opportunities tailored to both my training needs and professional interests.”

"I have no regrets about choosing to train at the IoPPN. The course provides excellent opportunities to learn from leaders in their field, to undertake placements with a diverse population with many national and specialist services, and is incredibly well organised and supportive in developing us from trainees to qualified Clinical Psychologists ready to enter the workforce.”

Last updated:

25th April 2024