University of Sheffield

Clinical and Applied Psychology Unit | Faculty of Science

Course code:


Course length:

3 years (full-time)


0114 222 6570

Administration email:

[email protected]
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Selection procedure

Please download our short-listing criteria from our website and review them for further details.


Applications are rated by twomembers of the selection committee according to a set of criteria covering academic, clinical, research, and interpersonal skills and experience. The criteria are based on the trainee job description and person specification. We review the academic and experience references as part of our short-listing process; please take care to choose referees who can adequately comment on your academic and clinical readiness for training.

All applications are rated against our criteria. We normally interview three applicants for every place on the programme. Applicants who apply under the Disability Confident system and who meet the minimum criteria (a score of 6 or above from each short-lister) on our short-listing criteria will be offered an interview see Disability Confident section below for more information).

All other applications are ranked and those with the highest number of points on our short-listing criteria are invited for interview. We will form a reserve interview list of up to 30 candidates. If any alterations are made to this process these will be made clear on our programme webpages.

Applications which are incomplete, i.e. lack the relevant references or degree transcripts, will not be entered into our short-listing process. It is your responsibility to provide the Clearing House with all the relevant information to support your application.


After successful short-listing, candidates are invited to attend the University. The interview day has three components:

1. Group Task:

You will be asked to engage in a group task with other candidates. Members of the selection panel observe the task. We are interested in competencies relating to interpersonal communication; relationship skills, and reflective skills in this task. Further information about the group task will be provided when candidates are invited to interview.

2. Interview:

You will have an individual interview with a panel usually made up of programme team academic and clinical staff, a local NHS placement supervisor and an expert by experience. The focus of the interview is on knowledge of research and relevant clinical knowledge. You will be sent a task a week in advance and you will present this ‘prepared answer’ at the beginning of the interview. You will also be asked to engage in a short clinically-oriented role-play.

We are interested in your readiness for training; your understanding of the role of clinical psychology in the NHS; and your ability to think on your feet, and consider issues from a psychologically informed perspective in your responses to the questions.

Normal University adjustments for disability are offered to candidates who can provide evidence of need. We appreciate that this may include quite sensitive information. If you have any concerns about providing this you can discuss it with a member of the admissions team. Any information provided as evidence is separate from the interview process and is not shared with the interviewing team.

In line with clinical psychology as a reflective profession we engage in ongoing review of our procedures, and potential candidates should therefore check for updates on our website relating to the 2023 process for both short-listing and interviewing before the deadline for applications. The process above describes our intentions for online interviews; adaptations will be made if the process is in-person.

Offers of a training place

Offers are subject to candidates satisfying Enhanced Disclosure & Barring (DBS) checks; Occupational Health screening procedures; Human Resources requirements; and providing agreement to the sharing of information between the University and the NHS as part of the training process. Entering the profession of clinical psychology involves adhering to appropriate standards of professional behaviour. Offers are also subject to the requirement of signature of an Entry Agreement, which clearly articulates these responsibilities. The University of Sheffield is committed to ensuring that all candidates for professional training programmes are fully appraised of such requirements, prior to application for any course. A copy of this agreement is provided to candidates for information with any offer of interview and is also available on the Programme website.

Feedback Policy

Due to the large numbers of applicants to the Programme, the anonymisation of applications, and the administrative load of the admissions process, we are unable to offer feedback on the short-listing process. However, if you attend for interview we aim to provide telephone feedback sessions following the completion of the interview process. These feedback appointments are available to candidates who have not been successful in the interviews.

Equal opportunities

The programme operates an equal opportunities policy and no applicant will be discriminated against on grounds of any of the protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as belonging to groups that are currently underrepresented in clinical psychology.

The programme reserves the right to use Positive Action where appropriate within the provisions of the Equality Act (2010).  Such action is permitted in order to address the underrepresentation of applicants with specific protected characteristics within the profession.

Contextual admissions

Our programme continues to monitor the available data in order to establish an appropriate evidence base for contextual recruitment processes. 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.

The Clearing House circulates a survey to collect Contextual Admissions data separately from the application form. The Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology have agreed the questions in this survey, which have evidence for improving the inclusivity and equity of recruitment processes. Completion of this survey is optional, however if you are able to answer any of the questions which provide some additional background about you, and you are happy to provide this to us via the Clearing House, then we would encourage you to do so.

We will also use the data for audit/research purposes to consider developments to selection processes in future years; and to create reports for external agencies such as NHS England (which commissions many of the training programmes); etc.

Disability Confident / Applicants with disabilities

  • In line with the Equality Act 2010 and our achievement of Disability Confident status, we welcome applications from people with disabilities and encourage people to consider indicating this as part of their application.
  • Applicants who indicate that they want to be considered under the provisions of the Disability Confident scheme, who meet the entry criteria above and score 6 or higher, as rated by each member of the shortlisting panel, on our shortlisting criteria, will be offered an interview.

Please check our programme website, and in particular our frequently asked questions section.

Last updated:

11th September 2023