University of East Anglia

Norwich Medical School | Faculty of Medicine and Health 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]

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Selection procedure

We pride ourselves on having a straightforward, fair and robust approach to shortlisting and interviewing. We are not looking to ‘catch out’ candidates. We assess against criteria that directly relate to the role of a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. Some of the key things that we consider in both our shortlisting and interviewing process (more fully outlined in the Person Specification) include:

  • demonstrating a good understanding of research design principles;
  • the ability to develop a research proposal;
  • the ability to demonstrate basic clinical skills, and the potential to develop more advanced clinical skills;
  • the ability to link theory and practice, and to demonstrate potential for development of core psychological skills including hypothesis testing and formulation;
  • the capacity to reflect on one's own experience and to learn from it;
  • personal and professional qualities consistent with NHS values and standards, including particularly demonstrating values of inclusion and respecting diversity and individual difference.


Each form is considered and rated independently by two experienced Clinical Psychologists, one representing UEA and one representing local NHS services.

For 2023 entry, the shortlisting process was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, all forms were checked for key eligibility criteria (for instance GBC, right to work, and language requirements). Scoring of the applicant’s academic achievements was also conducted at this stage. Further, references (Suitability  Statements) were subject to a preliminary check and review. 

In the second phase, the form was reviewed with identifiable information and academic achievements removed. This element of the review included scoring of the quality of clinical and research experience, the quality of the application and the extent to which the candidate expressed realistic expectations of training. The Academic and Relevant Experience references Suitability Statements were also reviewed and scored at this stage. Applicants are ranked in order of total scores and interviews offered based on ranking.

Our guidance to shortlisters emphasises the importance of considering readiness to train in a broad sense and consider where possible a candidate’s opportunity to obtain relevant experience.

Please note that each year we remove a number of candidates for not meeting key essential criteria. Two of the most common reasons are missing references and not providing appropriate transcripts for relevant degrees.

Applicants who are not offered an interview are provided with information about the shortlisting criteria and a list of common reasons for an applicant not being offered an interview.  These can be used to evaluate their own application. Unfortunately, due to the numbers of applications we receive, we are unable to offer individual feedback following shortlisting.


Since 2022, the programme has adopted a model of having a single admissions interview covering both clinical and academic/research areas. In 2023, this combined interview was therefore 75 minutes in length.

The interview panel will include a member of the Programme team, a Clinical Psychologist working in local NHS services, and a Service User/Carer Representative. Interviews are conducted using a standard set of questions and scenarios to aid consistency.

For our 2023 entry we adopted an online interview and we will revert to face to face interviews, at UEA, for the 2024 admissions window.

We arrange for opportunities for applicants to speak with existing trainees prior to the interview. We encourage all applicants to take up this opportunity.

Our interview will include questions that will help us understand if you are suitably prepared and have the potential to successfully complete clinical training, considering the various elements of the role. Amongst other questions, you can expect the interview to include a brief role-play addressing a specific clinical situation. You can also expect the interview to include a critical analysis of a research abstract. You will be sent various materials to read and guided through all the interview materials by the panel. You will be given time to read these materials within the interview.

We ask that all applicants respect the integrity of the interview process by not sharing interview materials or questions with other prospective candidates after their interview.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding gained in their undergraduate psychology degree and have a good working knowledge of clinical psychology in the NHS. As well as the criteria outlined above for both shortlisting and the interviews, applicants should note that consideration is also given to any Fitness to Practice or Professionalism issues that arise during the shortlisting or the interviews process in relation to entry on to the Programme.

Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail shortly after the interviews. Unsuccessful applicants from the interviews will also be notified at this time. Some candidates may be offered a place on a reserve list, and we will then contact you directly if a place subsequently becomes available. Please note that we do not advise candidates of their position on the reserve list.

Following the interviews, successful applicants will also be offered the opportunity to attend an “In person informal event” at UEA, in order to meet staff and trainees and visit the University.

Candidates who are not successful in their interview will be offered the opportunity for a brief phone call with a member of the interview panel to offer feedback. In this case, we will contact you with instructions about this.

Finally, please note that we review and revise our admissions process each year. Therefore, all aspects of this process may be subject to change in future. Information provided about our processes in previous years is for reference only. If you are invited to interview, we will write to you including information about what to expect on the day. However, please remember that we will not change our overall ethos of providing a fair interview process that aims to ‘get the best’ out of all candidates.  

Equal opportunities

We firmly believe that to address the needs of the NHS in the long term, our workforce of Clinical Psychologists needs to develop in diversity, representing more effectively the populations and groups that we serve. We welcome applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds and seek to promote and support diversity across the wider programme and department. Whilst on training, we have a number of ways of supporting people from diverse backgrounds and are seeking to build these further.

Here is the university’s EDI policy

In recent years, we have worked hard to develop and improve our approach to shortlisting and interviewing such that we seek to understand and mitigate against bias, consider and respond to equality of opportunity (in particular in gaining appropriate experience), and ensure our shortlisting and interview criteria are relevant and clearly evidenced.

Contextual admissions

For the first time in 2022, recognising the need to ensure that our process supports and accounts for merit of application and the potential for disadvantage, we adopted a process of contextual shortlisting for funded candidates, in line with wider national developments. In 2022, the level of adjustment was very small, reflecting that we applied this process for the first time. Following further review and evaluation, we refined and adjusted this process for 2023, and intend to broadly replicate this process for 2024.  Our approach to this is informed by evidence and national data.

Applicants with disabilities

We do not adopt Disability Confident. Wherever possible, appropriate accommodations are made at interview for those with a declared disability.  Please inform us at the earliest opportunity if this is the case.

For successful trainees, the university has a broad range of support available. More information about these processes can be found here and here

Last updated:

18th June 2024