Applying to the Programme
The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is a three-year full-time programme which is fully funded by the NHS. Trainees are registered postgraduate students in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and employed within Mersey Care NHS Trust.
ALL APPLICATIONS to the course must be made via the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology.
Open Days at Liverpool
The programme holds an 'Open Day' for prospective candidates in October each year. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Presentations given by the programme team at our recent Open Day event:
Successful Completion of the Programme
The programme leads to the award of the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology, conferring eligibility to apply for registration as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and for Chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Programme Location and Organisation
We are based in the University's Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, with programme administration through the Faculty's Institute of Life and Human Sciences. The Programme is housed in a modernised and refurbished late-Victorian building: accommodation consists of teaching rooms; offices for academic, clinical and administrative staff; and clinical interview rooms. Teaching rooms, based both here and in adjoining buildings, include computer terminals to provide trainees access to the University's IT system, numerous database facilities, software packages, and the internet. There is a range of other computer facilities linked to the University's computer network.
The University of Liverpool has two main libraries: the Sydney Jones Library (mainly for arts and social sciences) and the Harold Cohen Library, which holds the science, engineering, medical and related subject collections. A specialist subject librarian provides support for trainees on the D.Clin.Psych. programme.
The Department of Psychological Sciences was founded in 2013 to bring together all existing psychological, psychiatric and other behavioural disciplines within the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society. The Department has approximately 200 members of staff, which includes Chairs, academic staff and research staff comprising clinical, applied and experimental researchers conducting funded research in eight research groups, including: Addiction, Appetite and Obesity, Forensic and Investigative, Psychology of Healthcare, Language Development, Mental Health in Context, Perinatal, Infant and Child Mental Health, Perception (including Pain Research).
Academic, clinical and research staff on the D.Clin.Psych. programme have additional areas of research interest and activity, and all programme staff supervise clinical psychology trainees on their major research project.
Trainees are registered postgraduate research students PG(R) in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. All members of staff are committed to ensuring that theory and practice elements are fully integrated within a programme structure responsive to both academic and service developments. There is a Programme Training Committee consisting of representatives of appropriate bodies, with three sub-groups responsible for the clinical, academic, and research activities within the programme. Trainees and service users or carers are represented on all management groups.
A large number of NHS clinical psychologists in Merseyside and across the North-West region contribute to the delivery of the programme in some form - through direct teaching, clinical placement supervision, marking and feedback, research supervision, mentoring, or participation in intake/selection processes. Many have honorary university contracts in recognition of these contributions. There are links with many Special Interest Groups/regional DCP faculties and other post-qualification activities throughout the North West. Communication with these various sources of support is maintained through a number of channels, including committees, working groups, training events, seminars and the programme newsletter.
Training Objectives and Orientation
The essential aims of the programme are to equip trainees with a theoretical understanding of a wide range of clinical problems, models and approaches; together with essential clinical competencies and a variety of practical experiences as required by a Band 7 clinical psychologist, a junior lecturer in clinical psychology, or a clinical psychology research associate. There is also a focus on the professional aspects of the clinical psychologist's role, and on the acquisition of research and communication skills.
We consider an overall strength of clinical psychology as a profession to be its diversity reflected in the varied backgrounds, experiences, capacities and achievements of its members. We are therefore pleased to recruit people who have come to the profession through different routes, and throughout the programme we aim to foster the individual personal and professional qualities that shape each practitioner's future role in the profession. The Liverpool programme has a long history of valuing and incorporating a wide range of theoretical and clinical approaches, and encourages trainees to explore how these can be integrated effectively to meet the needs and choices of clients, who are themselves unique and diverse.
The overriding theme is the application of theoretical concepts to clinical problems on an evidential basis, within a problem-solving, reflective approach. In accordance with the BPS accreditation standards, the specific therapeutic competencies identified by the programme are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Systemic Therapy, and Neuropsychological Competencies. In addition to CBT, clinical teaching on other therapeutic approaches is also provided, which includes psychodynamic psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), narrative therapy (NT), and mindfulness. A strong emphasis is placed on the collaborative development of clinical case formulations, which are capable of informing subsequent interventions. Concern for empirically demonstrated effectiveness is emphasised alongside a broad conceptualisation of what constitutes evidence, and an appreciation of the complexity of understanding individuals' difficulties, together with their aspirations and achievements.
The programme is delivered within a strong values base that promotes a person-centred approach, defends service user and carers' human rights, and emphasises the development of autonomy. The programme’s values are entirely consistent with those enshrined in the NHS Constitution.
The "Liverpool Experts by Experience" (LExE) group is a strategic stakeholder group, acting as a "critical friend" to the Liverpool programme. The group aims to provide a framework for experts by experience (EbE) involvement across all aspects of programme delivery, including selection, teaching, clinical training, and research. The group, launched in 2014, supports networks between service users, carers and professionals, acknowledging that psychological distress and mental health issues have the potential to impact on everyone.