University of Plymouth

School of Psychology | Faculty of Health

Course code:


Course length:

3 years (full-time)


01752 586701

Administration email:

[email protected]
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About the programme

Overview of the programme

Academic and Research Modules:

Each stage of this programme begins with an extended teaching block comprising the content of these modules, the remaining teaching is then spread regularly throughout the year. Teaching is provided by the course team and clinical psychology and other specialist partners, along with service user from our Plymouth Consultative Group. 

Clinical Placements:

The rest of your time will be spent on clinical placements with teaching interspersed to complement the clinical experience you gain. Over the duration of the programme you will also undertake year-long placement periods. 

By the end of Stage 3 you will have consolidated your specialist skills as a clinical psychologist and prepared for future work in the health service.  

Academic Modules    

Stage 1 CPSY621

You will establish your knowledge in core course themes and philosophy, and learn about the psychological models associated with children, young people and families, and people with learning disabilities. You will also gain a foundation level qualification in systemic family therapy (independently accredited by the Association of Family Therapy). Assessment is by the group presentation of a Practice based Learning task based on clinical material.

Stage 2 CPSY624

You will learn about adults and older adults with emphasis placed on working with individuals. You will develop further critical thinking in the core course themes and core course philosophy underpinning clinical psychology. Assessment is through a Practice Based Learning Task based on clinical material.

Stage 3 CPSY627

You will develop further critical and reflexive thinking, analysis and synthesis within clinical psychology and prepare for commencing professional practice in the NHS. There will be a focus on current legislation and policy with regard to the role of clinical psychologists in the National Health Service. You will acquire competencies in supervision, consultation and leadership in line with current policy guidelines. Assessment is based on the Systematic Literature Review underpinning the major empirical research project.

Clinical Practice Modules

Stage 1 CPSY 620:

Core competencies in clinical practice and psychological therapy are developed through supervised clinical placements usually with children, young people and people with intellectual difficulties. Emphasis is on the key themes of establishing effective therapeutic relationships; inter-disciplinary team working; assessment and formulation; intervention and evaluation; communication; training and consultancy; professional practice; supervision and personal development. Assessment is through a clinical study focussing on the cognitive behavioural model and by supervisors’ reports on placement.

Stage 2 CPSY 623

You will consolidate the application of core psychological proficiencies usually in adult and older adult settings. Key themes are built upon from the first year and now include therapy models and organisational change. Learning is through supervised practice in adult services. The assessment is through a clinical study focussing on systemic work and integrative formulation and supervisors’ reports.

Stage 3 CPSY626:

The application of core psychological proficiencies at advanced level are consolidated. The key themes from the second year are developed. Learning is through supervised practice in a range of services. The assessment is through a clinical study focussing on organisational intervention and supervisors' reports.

Research Modules

Stage 1 CPSY622:

This module introduces research for clinical psychology, public and service-user involvement, practical aspects, considerations and rigour in research, introductions to quantitative (including statistical packages, and psychometrics), qualitative (including content and thematic analysis, narrative analysis, interpretive phenomenological analysis and discursive methods) and Indigenous research methods. Assessment is by the submission of a Critical Journal Review Essay and an Outline Service Evaluation Proposal.

Stage 2 CPSY625:

In this module, time and consideration is given to the conducting of service evaluations, and practical aspects of the research process (supervision in clinical psychology research, ethics and making applications to ethics committees, and conducting systematic literature reviews). These aspects should assist trainees in the further development and conducting of their major research projects. Assessment is by a Full Empirical Project Proposal and presentation of a Clinical Service Evaluation.

Stage 3 CPSY628:

In this module, full attention is placed on assisting trainees to complete and write up their major research projects, and to facilitate their submission and preparation for the examination of their portfolio of outputs (literature / systematic review, research article, and reflective statements). These aims are reflected in the architecture and focus of the taught sessions. We start with helping trainees to complete and write up literature / systematic reviews (which are to be submitted for assessment early in the module); then working with reflective statements; and then, in a special day-long event held in November, third year trainees will be asked to present their research work to the first year trainees. We then turn our full attention to the writing up and completion of the research article component. The portfolio of outputs is assessed via written submissions and viva voce examinations; in preparation for this, third year trainees will have the opportunity to undertake a 'mock viva' towards the end of this module (July). We complete this module with a final session on considering research into the future.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current trainees, or are expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Last updated:

29th April 2024