University of Exeter

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences | School of Psychology

Course code:


Course length:

3 years (full-time)


01392 725762

Administration email:

[email protected]

Social media:


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Selection procedure

The Programme seeks to select trainees who have the capacity to complete a highly demanding professional doctorate level training programme. Our expectation is that during training and after graduation, Exeter trainees will maintain and advance the standards of the Profession, providing excellent services within the NHS and other health and social care settings.

We therefore want to attract and select trainees who have the required competencies, as well as being able to demonstrate that their values and behaviours align with the values of the NHS Constitution.


This year we are trailing the use of psychometric testing in selection:

  • The testing window will be 7-14 February 2024
  • If you do not receive an email on 7 February inviting you to complete the assessment please email [email protected]

After the initial minimum criteria screen, all applicants will be sent some psychometric tests to complete. These tests have been thoroughly checked to ensure that they can be used with diverse and international populations. We are trailing whether we use the results of these tests as a next screen, so we will be carefully checking whether any diversity in our applications is lost by using them. This diversity includes racialised identities, socio-economic status, disability, “non-traditional” routes to DClinPsy, etc. We will be checking every application to ensure that this does not happen. If we are confident that it does not, then we will use these tests as a screen. Please note, these psychometric tests are not intelligence tests but are based on values.

The next stage is short-listing and we ensure that there is diversity within our short-listing pairs. The top 84 candidates will be put through to interview. We apply positive action by checking the short-listing scores of all those from a UK ethnic minority and those who meet minimum interview criteria will be put through to interview. Please note that the minimum interview criteria is not the same as our minimum entry criteria – we do not disclose what the minimum interview criteria is in order to remove any chance that people might tailor their applications to meet it. Candidates and panels do not know whether those they are interviewing came from the initial short-listing phase or from positive action. Because the positive action interviews are “additional” interviews, you can be assured that no-one has “missed out” of an interview at Exeter because we do this work. We do not do any positive action at interview, as the evidence base is clear that bias happens at short-listing and not at interview.

If you would like to make use of our positive action processes you will need to provide consent for your Equal Opportunities data to be shared with the course at the time of application.

In line with our commitment to fairness and equality, names will be removed from applications throughout short-listing and personnel involved in short-listing will be diverse in terms of gender, racial identity, sexuality and social class.

The data you provide in your application is used in the following areas:

  • for processing your application and for the selection processes we use as a programme;
  • for audit, research and service enhancement, which may include making anonymised data public;
  • for producing and reporting monitoring statistics, which may include making anonymised data public.

Please note that when making anonymised data public, this will always be reporting data as a group and never for individuals.


Our interview process is under review. Please check our website at the time of application for the most up-to-date details on this.

Candidates will be required to take part in an interview that will give them the opportunity to demonstrate the required competencies and values required for entry into the programme.

We are committed to Interview panels that will have at least one member who is from a minority group which may be visible (e.g. racial identity) or not visible (e.g. sexual identity).

We intend the interview process to be respectful, constructive and supportive, and all candidates will be given a clear brief about what to expect when they are invited for interview.

All those invited to interview will be allocated a buddy who is a current trainee at Exeter; candidates are encouraged to discuss with the buddy what it is like to train at Exeter and live in the South West. For our candidates from racially minoritised groups, we also run a discussion group with our current trainees from racially minoritised groups about what it is like to live and study in the South West.

Feedback from a current Trainee:

“My interview with Exeter was a really welcoming experience. The panel were so supportive and encouraging. I felt like I could be myself while showing them what I know and am capable of.”


Due to the high numbers of applicants, the Programme does not give feedback to applicants who are not interviewed. Feedback on interview performance is given to all those interviewed as a conversation with the programme staff member that was on the panel.

Fitness to practise

Fitness to practise is a requirement of all professions registered with the Health & Care Professions Council.

All offers of a place on a course are dependent on satisfactory criminal record and health checks.

Training as a clinical psychologist involves working with children and vulnerable adults. Safeguarding is therefore taken very seriously and the highest standards of behaviour are expected from clinical psychology trainees. Throughout the selection process and the training programme we will take stringent measures to ensure that the clients that trainees work with are kept safe.

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language, and your degree was not taught and examined in English, we require you to provide evidence that you meet the HCPC standard. The English language ability requirement for entry to the programme is a score of at least 7.0 with no elements below 6.5 on International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet Based Test (IBT) with a minimum score of 100/120 (Health & Care Professions Council Standard of Proficiency).

Applicants who have completed a full degree in the UK or in a majority English-speaking country are not required to submit evidence of English language proficiency if you have:
Completed it no more than two years before the intended start of the programme.

The degree certificate is successfully verified with the issuing body on receipt. Any applicant found to have submitted a fraudulent score will have their application withdrawn.

Canadian nationals are exempt from English language requirements but non-Canadian nationals who have studied in Canada are required to meet standard English language requirements due to Home Office policy.

Equal opportunities

The benefits of diversity within profession are well understood, and the Exeter Programme is committed to proactively improving equality, diversity and inclusion both within the training community and the wider profession.

Our selection procedures are designed to be fair and informed by current thinking on widening participation, thereby enabling the Exeter Programme to select the strongest candidates. We welcome applicants from diverse cultural and personal contexts, mature applicants with extensive life experience, and applicants with disabilities. Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of racialised identity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief.

We undertake continuous audit and review of our selection processes in partnership with the University legal department and relevant stakeholders, to maintain best practice in this area.

Candidates with disabilities are welcome to contact us to discuss the programme's capacity to meet their training needs. If you need support during any stage of the selection process, please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected] and we will work with you to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you are given a fair opportunity to show your potential.

Feedback from a current Trainee:

“The university regularly incorporate anti-racist principles into the interview and application process and are trying to encourage diversity amongst the trainee cohorts. Whilst there is no easy answer as to how to achieve this, Exeter are really working hard to find ways to train a more diverse workforce within clinical psychology”

Contextual admissions 

Our programme is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all those with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply.

This is based on evidence that contextualising individuals' achievements using additional information about their educational, social and economic background can lead to fairer and more inclusive selection processes. This information could help us to recognise individuals with strong potential for success at doctoral level and within the profession, who otherwise might not have been identified. 

We are reviewing our Contextual Admissions processes for 2024 in partnership with the University legal department and relevant stakeholders, to ensure best practice in this area.  Please see our website for the most up to date information on this.

If you would like us to take Contextual Information into consideration with your application, you will need to complete the Clearing House Contextual Questionnaire and consent for this to be shared with us, at the time of application. 

Last updated:

26th October 2023