University of East London

Professional Psychology | School of Psychology

Course code:


Course length:

3 years (full-time)


020 8223 4174

Administration email:

[email protected]
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Entry requirements

Who can apply?

The programme is an intensive combination of academic learning and assessment, clinical practice on placement, and research training.  Applicants should be sure that they can commit to a challenging 3-year period of work and study, which may be emotionally demanding as well as rewarding.

Please read carefully our UEL Trainee Person Specification (UELTPS) for 2024 intake (available on our website) for details of the essential and desirable criteria for selection.  The essential criteria are applied strictly, and all applicants must meet the essential criteria set out in the UELTPS at the time of application.

Applications are not accepted from students who have yet to attain graduate basis for chartered membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society.

Applicants are not accepted from students who have started training on an NHS-funded psychological professions training after the 1st April 2022 

Academic Requirements

Applicants must be acceptable to the university as doctoral-level (postgraduate) research students.

Applicants must have a bachelors honours (undergraduate) degree in psychology or equivalent field that has conferred graduate basis for chartered membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society; or a bachelors honours degree in another subject plus a conversion qualification in psychology (e.g., PGDip or MSc) that taken together have conferred GBC.

The undergraduate degree (as above, or degree in another subject plus conversion qualification in psychology) must be with either first class honours or upper-second class honours (2:1) with overall attainment of 60% or greater.

We do not consider applications where it is not clear from the transcript, module results, or by other means, what was the overall level of attainment.

The undergraduate degree and any subsequent qualifications relevant to the application must either:

  1. have been taught and examined in English; or
  2. where any qualification relevant to the application was studied in a language other than English, the candidate must have demonstrated proficiency in English to International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) level 7 or above, with no subcomponent below 6.5, and undertaken within the last two years.

Where a qualification or transcript is from a non-UK institution, the Admissions Tutors will determine whether the qualification is at or exceeds the required standard.

Applicants must have research experience as a postgraduate, either postgraduate level training (e.g., PhD); or conducting applied or service-related research in clinical settings. Applicants must have knowledge of data analysis procedures employed within the field of psychology including multivariate statistical and qualitative approaches.

Applicants must have excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills, suited to both formal and informal settings.

The programme employs pre-interview assessment procedures to evaluate applicants' research knowledge, critical thinking skills, reasoning, and capacity for making judgments in complex situations. Applicants must achieve scores on these procedures that place them in approximately the upper 50th percentile of the cohort of applicants.


Applicants must demonstrate appropriate commitment and realistic appreciation of what training and practice involve.

Accordingly, applicants must have at least 12 months whole time equivalent (WTE, 1800 hours or more) of paid employment in a post of direct relevance to clinical psychology practice, in the NHS or a related setting, either:

  1. undertaking direct or indirect clinical work (e.g., assistant psychologist, clinical associate psychologist, community psychologist);  or
  2. conducting research in the clinical applications of psychology (e.g., as research assistant, research psychologist, PhD studentship).

Relevant posts and settings mean those which give applicants a strong awareness of, and experience in, the practice of clinical psychology and supervision in the UK NHS or related settings.

Unpaid posts (honorary, intern or voluntary contracts) do not count towards the 12-month minimum required.

Applicants must demonstrate:

  • The commitment and ability to build and sustain empathic relationships with diverse service users, carers, patient participants and/or stakeholders in relevant contexts.
  • Engagement with and commitment to the values of the NHS Constitution which are: Respect & Dignity, Commitment to Quality of Care, Compassion, Improving Lives, Working Together for Patients and Everyone counts.
  • Familiarity with current working practices in NHS and related statutory service-settings in the UK and the contexts in which clinical psychology services are delivered.

Please see our UELTPS for further details of the essential and desirable criteria for selection, including personal and professional qualities and competences.

References / Statements of suitability

Applicants must have the commitment and ability to undertake advanced study, research, and clinical practice at the professional doctorate level. Accordingly, one clinical and one academic reference must be provided, and together confirm excellent academic, research and clinical skills and the potential to succeed on the programme.

References must be from a person who knows the applicant well and can provide for the programme genuine information on the qualifications, experiences, and statuses relevant to the application.

Some healthcare organisations have a policy of providing only standardised references for all employees and will not provide personal references.  We do not accept these references.

References must be provided through the Clearing House system: we do not accept letters of recommendation, employment only references, or references provided in any other format.  We deselect applicants without appropriate references. Applicants should ensure that their referees will complete the online Clearing House reference form.

Documents required

Applicants must supply at the time of application all supporting documents relevant to the application (a list can found on the Overview page and further details are provided below).

Applicants with a conversion diploma/MSc must provide a PDF of the transcript of their first bachelors/undergraduate honours degree, demonstrating a 2:1 class of degree or above.

Applicants who have qualifications, that they rely upon in their application, in a language other than English must provide a PDF of a certified translation of the certificate(s) and the transcript(s).

Applicants who have qualifications, that they rely upon in their application, that was taught or examined in a language other than English, must provide a PDF of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) certificate at level 7 or above, with no subcomponent below 6.5, and undertaken within the last two years.

Advice for your application

As a general principle in selection, it is for the applicant to demonstrate their eligibility, suitability, and preparedness for the programme, in their application form and supporting documents.

Where it is not clear from the application or document what is the status claimed or level of achievement, the application will be deselected.

International applicants

Applications are only accepted from candidates who are entitled to work full-time in the UK for the duration of the programme (three years) and are eligible for Home Fees status with the university.

Applicants must have full UK residency, which includes EU Settlement Scheme settled or pre-settled status, and not require a work permit.

To be considered for entry to the course in September 2024, applicants must normally have been resident in the UK from 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2024 for a purpose that is not wholly or mainly related to receiving full-time education during any part of this three-year period.

There are no self-funded places on the programme.

Last updated:

7th September 2023