Clinical Psychology Doctorate (ClinPsyD)

This programme comprises a combination of academic teaching, research and research training, and professional training during clinical placements.

You complete five placements in a range of health settings in the West Midlands. The programme will enable you to deliver psychology-based treatments by drawing upon a range of models, tailoring interventions to client needs within a range of service contexts.

Our staff have expertise across a range of specialisms, skills and models. Like all similar courses, we give special consideration to cognitive-behavioural approaches but we also equip trainees with knowledge and skills in systemic practice and in psychodynamic and behavioural approaches. In year two, you will be able to choose which of these approaches you wish to specialise in. We will also prepare you for the wider organisational demands of the NHS by providing opportunities for you to understand, appraise and develop your own leadership behaviours.

In the Centre for Applied Psychology, we are committed to involving experts by experience in all the different aspects relevant to our teaching and research. The Experts by Experience Steering Committee (EBESC) is a group that meets regularly to discuss, organise and support the work of experts by experience linked to the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme. We comprise members from various backgrounds, including local experts by experience who contribute to the course and staff from the Centre for Applied Psychology.

We contribute to our different courses in various ways:

  • Contributing to teaching, including training workshops
  • Reviewing, supporting, designing and contributing to research projects
  • Contributing to the course at a strategic level through feeding into course management committees
  • Involvement in the course admissions process

This programme comprises a combination of academic teaching, research and research training, and professional training during clinical placements. You complete five placements in a range of health settings in the West Midlands.

You will spend approximately 50% of your time in clinical practice, with the remainder divided between teaching, research and academic workshops. Workshops are delivered by experienced local clinicians and experts in the relevant clinical area. Time is scheduled for private study, academic assignments and research. Although there are some longer teaching blocks, a typical week consists of one day teaching, one day study and three days placement throughout the year. The programme is examined by continuous assessment, with students completing a series of assignments and projects over the three years.

Research, which is conducted in the second and third years of the programme, is written up for examination in the form of two papers for publication. The programme is organised on a collaborative basis with local NHS psychologists, and many local clinicians are involved in teaching.

The programme has a long and distinguished history, producing over 500 qualified Clinical Psychologists since 1967. It leads to a professional qualification in Clinical Psychology and eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. It is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers Chartered status with the BPS.

Our location in the West Midlands, which has a large and diverse population, means you will have access to a broad range of clinical placements and research opportunities. The course is also well integrated with clinical psychology services in the local area.

Birmingham is one of the major centres for clinical psychology training in the UK and most graduates take up posts in NHS departments. At present UK/EU trainees are hosted by a local NHS Trust and paid a salary. University fees are paid by the NHS.

This programme is subject to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise regulations, to which trainees are required to sign up. 

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Fees and funding

At present UK/EU trainees are hosted by a local NHS Trust and paid a salary. University fees are paid by the NHS. This model may change in the future but candidates should not be deterred from applying and should check the Clearing House for updates at:

The overseas self-funded fee for 2019 is yet to be confirmed, however for reference, 2018 entry was £23,500 per year.

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support via the Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan for the duration of their course. For more information visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

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Entry requirements

You must have at least a 2:1 degree or recognised equivalent at undergraduate level you will need to provide a certificate or transcript showing your degree level at the time of applying. We welcome applicants with higher degrees; these should ideally be in a clinically relevant area. We do not accept applicants with a 2:2 at undergraduate level, even if they have a Master's or PhD. Whilst people who have taken conversion courses are not at a disadvantage in our process, we do require their original degree to be 2:1 or above. 

Candidates must also have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society. For guidance on the kinds of experience considered to be relevant when applying for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate, please visit the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology’s website.

Selection Procedure

We operate our selection procedures in line with NHS Values Based Recruitment.

Our selection process is as follows:

  1. All applications are screened to ensure that candidates meet our minimum academic entry criteria (as described above).
  2. Applicants who meet our minimum academic criteria are short-listed according to information presented on the application form, including satisfactory references. 48 short-listed candidates are invited to attend the University of Birmingham for half a day (morning or afternoon), which includes a series of interviews and exercises. (Example of written exercise 2018 (PDF 64KB)). Experts by experience and local clinicians are involved in the interview process. After the final interview date, offers are made to the most suitable candidates subject to a satisfactory DBS disclosure and Health and Immunisation checks. Please note: the offer process at the University of Birmingham has several steps, and the final formal offer will be made by the University of Birmingham Admissions Team.

Please note: our selection processes have changed and we will not be running the written test in February 2019 as we have in previous years.

Work experience

Applicants must demonstrate that they have been engaged in work experience that allows them to understand the profession of clinical psychology, and to demonstrate skills that can be enhanced through training, that are relevant to the role. We require applicants to have completed at least one year's full-time clinically relevant experience (which can include placement experience from a clinically relevant Master's degree) at the time of applying. This experience could come from a variety of roles, including Assistant Psychology and research posts, and graduate roles within IAPT services. However, this is not an exhaustive list of potential relevant experience. Applicants need to demonstrate that they have been applying psychological principles in a clinical setting, preferably under the supervision of a psychologist, or have been engaged in research that is relevant to a clinical population (eg as a research assistant or as part of a 3-year PhD). The experience could be spread across more than one year but must equate to one year full-time as a minimum requirement. Candidates are required to describe this experience clearly on the application form. Candidates who have previously pursued relevant professional careers will be considered on an individual basis; however, all applicants must meet our minimum academic requirements and requirements for GBC (see above for details).

Please ensure when detailing Clinical Experience gained, that you are clear how many hours you worked per calendar week if this role is part time. In addition it is helpful to detail the tasks / role carried out and the profession of the person supervising or overseeing that work. This information could be within your supporting information or an uploaded CV.

Please note that for applications for the ClinPsyD, a research proposal and names of proposed research supervisors are not required, as research projects are developed during the first year of training in collaboration with staff and local clinicians.

International students

The ClinPsyD is only open to Psychology graduates who are registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS). If your qualifications are not from the UK or the Republic of Ireland, you will need to have them assessed by the British Psychological Society (BPS) to see if they can grant you Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). You must do this by applying for membership of the BPS for more information on this process and on Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

Standard English language requirements apply

For candidates whose first language is not English or whose first degree was not taught in English the minimum requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band. 

How to apply

For EU candidates (or those assessed as being ‘home for fees’) applications to the ClinPsyD for NHS funded places, should be made through the Clearing House in Clinical Psychology, (this process closes around the beginning of December each year).

The deadline for NHS applicants is 27 November 2019 at 1pm.

However, overseas self-funding applicants should apply directly to the University via the Apply Now button. If you have any queries you can contact us at (tel +44 121 414 5476) or Liz Kent (

The deadline for overseas applicants to apply is 15 May 2020.

Birmingham is one of the major centres for clinical psychology training in the UK and most graduates take up posts in NHS departments.

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