South Wales

Affiliated with Cardiff University
School of Psychology

Course code:


Course length:

3 years (full-time)


029 2087 0582

Administration email:

[email protected]

Social media:


South Wales logo

Training with us

Programme Ethos and Values

At the South Wales Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme we believe that clinical psychology training isn’t simply about developing clinical psychologists equipped to work in modern health and social care systems.

We recognise that delivering this training is an opportunity to contribute to the wider society, our healthcare systems, to education, the environment and our local communities. We hope to instil this ethos in our trainees by developing reflective, compassionate and community-minded practitioners.

Our values are based on relationships, equity and compassion:

  • Relationships: We strive to build relationships built on respect, partnership and shared goals with our trainees, service users and carers, local services and clinicians, the communities we work within and our wider stakeholders.
  • Equity: We embrace equality and representation, with the aim of being accessible to all and valuing equal representation in all aspects of training. We acknowledge there is always more to do.
  • Compassion: We encourage and promote a compassionate training culture, where we strive to be sincere, honest, and fair and to act with integrity.

Programme Emphasis

The South Wales Clinical Doctoral Programme provides training that encompasses a wide range of perspectives and approaches applicable to providing therapeutic intervention across the lifespan. The training provided is embedded and applicable to NHS services in Wales and other parts of the UK.

The programme has a compassionate charter and places emphases on providing:

  • A commitment to fostering compassion within clinical psychology practice, self-care, and leadership.
  • A commitment to engendering a culture of anti-racist practice, whereby trainees become aware of their own bias and are capable of challenging prejudice.
  • A commitment to partnership working that fosters the inclusion of service users and carers in all aspects of training and subsequent practice.
  • An emphasis on learning with and from other healthcare professionals.

The programme provides clinical psychology training of the highest standard that meets the requirements of the Welsh Government along with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Training adheres to the devolved Welsh Government frameworks for health and social care policy, whilst also providing an understanding of UK-wide healthcare policies. Competency development is focused on ensuring that trainees develop skills in keeping with the evidence-base.

The aim is to produce trainees who combine a strong foundation in service values and the core principles and approaches of psychology with an evaluative, reflective, and critical approach.

Service User and Carer Involvement

The programme has been previously commended for its partnership working with Service Users and Carers.  Service Users and Carers are integral to all aspects of our programme, through selection, recruitment, teaching/training, research and programme development and delivery.

Our programme has an established Psychology Service User and Carer Committee and we employ a service user consultant as part of the programme team. Service users and carers sit on all programme committees to provide advice and guidance.

Post-graduate Student life and support

Trainees are registered as postgraduate research (PGR) students over the course of the three-year full-time programme and form part of the wider postgraduate community, providing access to seminars and social events hosted by the School of Psychology and by the programme itself.

Cardiff University has a dedicated Graduate Centre providing year-round, centrally located social and study facilities. Trainees are provided with access to personal computing facilities so as to support both remote working and recording of clinical activity for use in supervision and assessment.

Support for trainees

The programme team is committed to supporting trainee personal and professional development and a range of systems are in place to facilitate this. These include:

  • An appraisal tutor to monitor and support competence development throughout training.
  • The offer of a professional mentor who is a clinical psychologist independent of the programme team and not involved in assessment. Mentors provide an opportunity for trainees to reflect on their experience of training and to consider personal professional issues.
  • A buddy system whereby more experienced trainees support trainees new to the programme.
  • Cardiff and Vale UHB Employee Wellbeing and Occupational Health Services.
  • Cardiff University student counselling and disability support service.
  • Regular trainee meetings. Trainee involvement in the programme is highly valued and trainees have representation on programme sub-committees.
  • Regular reflective practice groups throughout training.
  • Each year group also has at least twice yearly “year group meetings”. This is an opportunity for trainees to provide feedback to the programme around strengths, limitations, and areas for improvement in different areas of the training programme.

Background to Clinical Psychology Training in South Wales

The South Wales Doctoral programme in Clinical Psychology was founded in 1975 and enjoys strong links with health and social care services across west, east, south, and mid Wales.

  • Our programme is commissioned by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and ultimately by the Welsh Government (Llywodraeth Cymru).
  • Our programme is a partnership between Cardiff University and Health Boards in south, mid, and west Wales.
  • Our programme is housed within the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. One of the largest psychology departments in the UK, the school offers outstanding opportunities for postgraduate study and research. The school is ranked 7th in the Complete University Guide 2022.

Last updated:

29th April 2024