Clinical Psychology DClinPsy

This Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is collaboratively funded through NHS Education for Scotland and the University of Glasgow. You will be employed by a local NHS (Scotland) Health Board for the duration of the programme.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • In common with most clinical psychology programmes, the cognitive behavioural approach to psychotherapy is dominant but there is also a substantial teaching input based upon other psychotherapeutic approaches.
  • The programme covers a wide geographical area, including Ayrshire and Arran, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Highland and Lanarkshire, and is varied in terms of rural, urban and inner city populations.
  • Psychologists in departments throughout this area are closely involved in the programme, including placement provision, teaching, research supervision and coordination of teaching modules.

Programme structure

The programme follows a modularised structure, which integrates academic teaching, clinical practice education and research training. This process underpins the commitment of the programme team to maximising the synergy between the clinical, academic and research components of training and reflects explicitly our commitment to an integrative educational process.

The programme consists of 16 compulsory courses.

Year 1

  • Foundations of clinical psychology
  • Foundations of clinical practice 1
  • Foundation of clinical practice 2
  • Foundation knowledge, understanding and skills
  • Service-based evaluation project 1.

Year 2

  • Child/family/adolescent theory and practice
  • Learning disability theory and practice
  • Research methods
  • Research practice
  • Advanced professional practice 1
  • Service-based evaluation project 2.

Year 3

  • Advanced practice 1
  • Advanced practice 2
  • Psychology and the law
  • Research practice 2: major research project
  • Advanced professional practice 2.

FAQs about Aligned Training Pathways

What is an aligned training pathway?

Aligned Training Pathways are an initiative developed by NHS-­-Education for Scotland (NES) to promote the recruitment of clinical psychologists to underserved areas of practice. Every year, a number of places on the Glasgow DClinPsy are “aligned” to specific areas of (e.g. Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Older Adults, Forensic).

Is this different to the standard DClinPsy?

No. Aligned Trainees complete the same degree as other candidates. There is no difference in the final qualification that is awarded and this is not considered a specialist training pathway. Instead, aligned training provides a structured opportunity for Trainees to have increased focus on an area of clinical psychology practice of interest to them.

What are the practical implications of opting into an aligned training pathway?

Alignment affects the choices that are made in relation to the discretionary parts of training such as the topic of research project work or the configuration of clinical placement experience. The nature and timing of these experiences will be determined by a combination of the trainee’s learning needs and local service delivery priorities. As an example, an aligned Trainee will typically complete their final specialist placement in a setting directly relevant to their area of alignment.. Trainees will also be expected to conduct at least part of their research training addressing a topic that is relevant to their alignment. This is contingent on a suitable research topic and access to appropriate supervision being available.

When do I have to decide whether I want to be considered for an aligned training place?

If you are shortlisted for interview you will be asked to complete a form indicating whether you want to be considered for an aligned training place.

Can I withdraw from an aligned training pathway or switch pathways once I have commenced the doctorate?

No. Aligned training places are specified at each intake and this alignment is taken into account when planning a Trainee’s entire training programme. However, the over-­-riding principle is that the Training pathway remains flexible enough to ensure that all Trainees acquire the skills and knowledge required to meet the requirements of the HCPC and BPS.

How does being an aligned trainee affect the teaching I receive?

There is no difference in the teaching delivered to aligned Trainees. All Trainees in each cohort attend classes and training workshops together.

How does being an aligned trainee affect my research options?

At least part of the research training for aligned Trainees should address a topic relevant to the aligned area of practice provided that suitable topics and supervisors are available. This can mean that either the service based evaluation project, systematic review, or major research project could be conducted addressing a topic relevant to the alignment area and/or using a research participant sample drawn from the alignment area.

How does being an aligned trainee affect my placement options?

All Trainees, whether aligned or not, have to acquire sufficient placement experience across a diverse range of populations, age groups, and settings in order to meet the standards of proficiency stipulated by the HCPC and professional bodies such as the BPS. Where there is some discretion over the choice of placement setting or clinical population, aligned Trainees will be linked to placement options that are related to their area of alignment. This can occur throughout the three years of the DClinPsy but is especially relevant to the configuration of specialist placement experience in the final year.

Where can I find out more information?

If you are an applicant to the Glasgow DClinPsy and are successful in gaining an intake interview, you are encouraged to ask questions about alignment when you attend the interview. You will be asked to confirm your alignment preference at the interview stage of the selection process. Trainees who have commenced the DClinPsy can find out more about alignment from the most recent version of the Programme Handbook or by asking the Programme team.


Career prospects

Clinical psychologists have a demanding role working with a wide range of clients, in a variety of health and social care settings, to reduce psychological distress and to enhance and promote psychological wellbeing. This programme produces fit-for-purpose NHS practitioners.

Entry requirements

You must have the British Psychological Society Graduate Basis for Chartering (GBC) and provide proof of this. This usually takes the form of a single or joint 2.1 or above Honours degree in Psychology; however, candidates who have gained GBC by other means will be considered. Additional practical clinical or research experience of working with children or adults with mental health problems or learning disabilities is an advantage. We do not consider applications from final-year undergraduates.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 8.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.5
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 110
    • Reading no less than 27
    • Listening no less than 27
    • Speaking no less than 24
    • Writing no less than 29
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 200 overall; no sub-test less than 191
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  200 overall; no sub-test less than 191
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 80; no sub-test less than 73

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Trainees are funded through NHS Education for Scotland (NES), which pays University fees, trainee salaries, and travel expenses related to teaching. Salaries will commence at Spine Point 21 on the Agenda for Change Band 6. Self-funded trainees will not be considered.

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

How to apply

All applications are processed by the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology, Fairbairn House, 71-75 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS2 9PL, tel: +44 (0)113 343 2737, fax: +44 (0)113 343 4840, email: All information on how to apply and the selection procedure can be found at: