University of Birmingham

Centre for Applied Psychology (CAP) | School of Psychology | College of Life & Environmental Sciences

Course code:


Course length:

3 years (full-time)


You can email any enquiries after checking all 6 pages below, which cover most FAQs

Administration email:

[email protected]

About the programme

We use a competency-based model of training such that trainees complete five clinical practice placements in a range of settings in the West Midlands with coverage across the lifespan, including placements in child, adult, older adult and learning disabilities settings, services, and client groups

The programme equips trainees to deliver evidence-based and psychologically informed assessments, formulations, interventions, and evaluations, whilst also developing skills in systems thinking, reflective practice, critical self-reflection, leadership, and professional practice

A systems-thinking approach is central to our training, and we commit to provide an inclusive curriculum, such that our training is culturally informed and culturally sensitive

Our lifespan model of training includes: five clinical placements that cover each of the four core client groups (child, adult, older adult, and learning disability), with a final placement determined by either trainees’ competency gaps or specialist interest

The weekly job pattern is: 3 days placement, 1 day study, 1 day teaching

  • Year 1: 1 10-month Foundation placement
  • Year 2: 2 consecutive 5 month placements
  • Year 3: 2 consecutive 5 month placements or parallel placements

In year 3, trainees can put forward a preference for a specialist final placement to tailor their training experiences in the direction of their interests and future employment interests

Available specialist areas include: Addictions, Psychosis, Eating Disorders, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Forensic, Neuropsychology, Physical Health etc.

Reflective Practice Groups, across all three years, form a key part of the training experience

Our assessments include a range of written clinical practice reports and oral presentations, as well as a research-based report, a research proposal, and a reflective practice report 

We train critically reflective scientist-practitioners to implement evidence-based practice and to use systematic research/evaluation methodologies to generate practice-based evidence

Our innovative evidence synthesis programme, gives trainees skills in rigorous appraisal and synthesis (i.e., meta-analysis, meta-synthesis, and meta-ethnography) and we actively support research projects (developed with local services/psychologists) evaluating new/novel/innovative interventions as well as studies exploring experiences of under-represented or marginalised groups

The research thesis includes a literature review (systematic or meta) and an empirical research study, and a ‘Press Release’ which is a summary document written in lay or accessible language.

The course provides an opportunity for a subgroup of trainees to follow a CBT accreditation pathway during the Doctorate course. These trainees will achieve level 2 BABCP (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies) Minimum Training Standards, providing them with all the requirements to apply for BABCP Practitioner Accreditation on completion of the Doctorate course. Trainees will be selected for this pathway based on interest and previous experience. The Birmingham Programme has not yet received Level 2 Accreditation status for this pathway but will be applying for it in 2024 and is confident that this will be achieved.

Last updated:

14th July 2023