DClinPsy Psychology

Applications are now closed for Autumn 2019 entry. For those wishing to apply to start in Autumn 2020, applicants apply through Clearing House from September 2019.

The Course

The Trent (Universities of Lincoln and Nottingham) Programme is a multi-agency collaboration between Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Universities of Lincoln and Nottingham.

Applicants can apply for Autumn 2020 entry through Clearing House from September 2019: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/start.html.

This programme is designed to develop the confidence required to perform as highly effective individual clinicians and in the leadership and consultancy roles expected of the clinical psychologist of the future.

The Trent Programme is designed to train people from diverse backgrounds to become resourceful clinicians capable of drawing on a broad range of psychological models and theories, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), to inform their practice as HCPC registered and BPS Chartered Clinical Psychologists.

The programme aims to develop the strengths of both scientist-practitioner and reflective-practitioner stances, skills in a variety of assessment, formulation and intervention techniques, confidence in using research methods to answer clinical questions, organisational and service evaluation skills, and awareness of priority groups within the NHS.

The Trent Programme is a three-year full-time programme. It is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and leads to a professional qualification in Clinical Psychology (Doctor of Clinical Psychology - DClinPsy).

The overall purpose and philosophy of the programme is designed to meet the changing clinical, organisational and training needs of the NHS through:

  • Provision of high quality training in Clinical Psychology, which upon completion leads to the award of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and chartership with the British Psychological Society.
  • Advancement of critical, scholarly, evidence-based approaches to the theory and practice of Clinical Psychology, which can make a significant contribution to the profession.
  • Promotion of professional practice that is sensitive to differences arising from gender, class, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and other cultural concerns and is delivered from a theoretically informed ethical stance.

The course begins with a focus on working with individuals, progresses to working with groups and families, and finally focuses on working at the societal level with systems and organisations. The programme is complemented by the opportunity to develop research skills and an emphasis on taking an evidence-based approach to clinical practice.

In accordance with the current Health and Care Professions Council Standards for Education and Training and with current British Psychological Society accreditation criteria, the teaching programme is based on HCPC Standards of Proficiency and BPS core competences. The academic programme has been designed to mirror the planned acquisition of competences on placements.

Year 1

During the first year of the course the emphasis is on acquiring basic clinical skills and practising them in one-to-one settings. These basic clinical skills are taught in the Professional Skills module in Semester 1, delivered primarily at The University of Lincoln.

Trainees also start the first research module: Research Design and Ethics. Trainees have a year-long two-part Foundation Placement in their Home Trust during the first year. The first part of the placement focuses on assessment and formulation, the second on intervention and evaluation. Clinical placement work is introduced in the first semester and gives trainees the opportunity to practise the skills they have had the chance to develop at the university, to work with longer term cases and to become familiar with how a clinical psychology service operates.

During the second semester the Individual Client Interventions module is taught at the University of Nottingham on a day release basis, alongside the second research module in which trainees produce a systematic literature review. Throughout most of the programme trainees have one day per week for private study and during certain parts of the programme also have a day per week for research.

Year 2

The aim of Year 2 is for trainees to consolidate previous skills and to begin to develop competences with people with disabilities, children and adolescents, and older adults, during two core placements of six months each in a clinical area different from the Foundation Placement. These placement experiences are supported by two academic modules: Integration and Specialist Options, which emphasises EBP alternatives to CBT in Semester 1; and Life-span Development in Semester 2. During year 2 trainees also work towards completion of a research portfolios for submission early in Year 3.

Year 3

During Year 3 the focus of the programme moves towards developing skills for working with small groups and families and then on to working with systems and at an organisational level. The teaching and orientation of the placements reflects this shift. There are two taught modules: Families, Groups and Indirect Work (taught at Lincoln during Semester 1), and Systems and Organisations (taught at Nottingham during Semester 2). In the third year Trainees undertake two more placements and may have the opportunity to choose one of these placements in a specialised area. It may also be possible for trainees to have a choice in their final placement but the main purpose of the placement is to ensure that any client groups, areas of work, Standards of Proficiency and competences not addressed by the previous placements, but required by the HCPC and the BPS, have been achieved.

Contact and Independent Study

On placement:

  • 1.5 hours per week formal supervision and 1.5 hours informal contact with your supervisor.
  • A minimum of 3 meetings per placement with a Clinical Tutor (more if required).


  • A 13 week intense block of teaching at start of course, and thereafter teaching one day per week for most of the first 6 months of the academic year.
  • There is also a minimum of two contacts per semester with your Personal Tutor (one individual and one group). There is the possibility of more than this if required.


  • A minimum of 10 meetings per year with the Research Tutors. More meetings are available depending on individual student needs.

Independent Study:

Typically one per week is expected, but there are also blocks of study days expected around the thesis and other submissions. The amount of independent study required will vary depending on the individual needs of each student.

B - Research Module (Core)
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B - Research Module (Core)

In this module students follow up the research proposal submitted in ERA by (for example) liaising with local services, gathering data, and where appropriate, gathering data to be written up for their research portfolio submitted in BRP.

This module also provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in applying their research skills to evaluating their own effectiveness on placement and/or some aspect of a local service, or other small-scale research query related to clinical psychology.

Students are also expected to learn to collect and scrutinise data appropriate to their enquiry, analyse the data using suitable quantitative and/or qualitative methods, discuss their findings in a scholarly style, reflect on their research experience in a structured format, and condense their research into brief reports.

B - Research Portfolio (Core)
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B - Research Portfolio (Core)

This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to conduct and report on a doctoral level research project which makes an original contribution to knowledge in the field of clinical psychology.

Students are expected to learn to scrutinise data appropriate to their enquiry, analyse the data using suitable quantitative and/or qualitative methods, discuss and present their findings in a scholarly style, reflect on their research experience in a structured format, and condense their research into an academic paper intended for submission to a named peer-reviewed journal. Trainees also develop broader dissemination skills and are required to create a conference style poster.

Early Research Assessments (Core)
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Early Research Assessments (Core)

This module aims to lay the foundation for the research component of the programme by introducing students to: the most influential study designs used in clinical psychology, theoretical and practical aspects of systematically searching relevant literature to answer specific clinical and research questions, and conducting applied research in healthcare settings.

In the first part of the module, students develop a defensible plan for a doctoral-level research project, acquire the skill of writing formal research proposals for university and/or NHS ethics committees (taking due account of the principles of ethical research and the requirements of the HCPC, BPS and other bodies as appropriate) and develop their literature searching and synthesis skills.

In the second part of the module, students further their research project by undertaking a systematic review of the literature in their chosen area of interest. Successful completion is designed to result in a publication-ready paper which becomes a component of the final research project portfolio (BRP).

This module is the first step students take toward the completion of their research project portfolio and submission-ready journal papers.

Families, Groups and Indirect Work (Core)
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Families, Groups and Indirect Work (Core)

This module changes focus from the individual to the individual within a couple, family or other small group system and aims to introduce students to the theoretical foundations of working with larger modules, such as families, couples and groups.

Students have the opportunity to consider the nature of problems for which multi-person interventions are most appropriate. The module progresses to the application of clinical psychology theory and practice with the aim of developing the skills of assessing, formulating and intervening indirectly through third parties such as other family members, care staff, and multi-disciplinary teams.

Foundation Placement A (Core)
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Foundation Placement A (Core)

This module is designed to establish the transferable skill of forging close theory-practice links and developing the core competences of assessment, formulation, communication in a professional applied setting.

By observing clinical assessment, formulation, intervention and evaluation students have the chance to develop an understanding of the breadth of work in clinical psychology and the structure of the services in which it is delivered. Before proceeding to individual client interventions, students are expected to develop competence in basic clinical psychology assessment and formulation strategies, mainly from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) perspective through practice, feedback and supervision.

Foundation Placement B (Core)
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Foundation Placement B (Core)

This module is designed to consolidate the transferable skill of forging close theory-practice links and adding the core competence of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) intervention to those of assessment, formulation and communication. The module is closely linked to Foundation Placement A and would normally occur in the same service with the same coordinating supervisors and typically with some of the same clients. The emphasis shifts from assessment and formulation to applying their results to individual client interventions.

Individual Client Interventions (Core)
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Individual Client Interventions (Core)

This module is designed to provides students with the theoretical foundations to understand the phenomenology of problems commonly referred to clinical psychology services. In this module students develop the key skills for planning and delivering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) interventions with individual clients, based specifically on models of engagement and change of CBT and other psychological Evidence-Based Practice models.

Integration and Specialist Options (Core)
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Integration and Specialist Options (Core)

This module looks to build on the skills and knowledge, acquired through previous modules concerning working with people as a clinical psychologist and aims to prepare students for developing specialist interests in their third year of training.

Students will have the chance to develop an understanding of why people change or fail to change in response to intervention. The programme will offer students a choice of contemporary evidence based theoretical models. Students are expected to compare and contrast these with mainstream Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in order to develop a synthesis which they can apply critically in an integrative or trans-theoretical framework to work with complex clients.

Lifespan Development (Core)
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Lifespan Development (Core)

This module introduces a developmental perspective that tracks an individual across the lifespan, taking account of the diversity of different developmental trajectories, and looks to consolidate knowledge and skills acquired in previous modules by framing these within the evolving challenges faced by individuals as they progress from birth to old age. The module is designed to complement the adult focus of PRS and ICI by emphasising common clinical problem presentations of infants, children, adolescents and older adults.

Professional Skills (Core)
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Professional Skills (Core)

This module is designed to introduce students to the theoretical foundations and key skills that will be needed for the first clinical placement. There is a particular emphasis on establishing an understanding of, and competences in, assessing and formulating clinical casework from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) perspective and introducing students to alternative Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) models.

Second Year Placements (Core)
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Second Year Placements (Core)

The focus of this module is the development of skills and applying clinical psychology expertise across the human life span and spectrum of diversity, thereby complementing the taught Lifespan Development module.

During second year placements trainees normally work in two different service settings and have the chance to extend the knowledge and competences acquired in the Foundation Placement modules through work with services dedicated to different age groups, clients with divergent developmental pathways and those with disabilities. In addition, students can develop competences in relation to people who present with more complex clinical problems and/or circumstances where greater consideration has to be given to intervening with couples, families, groups and indirectly through others.

This module aims to provide students with opportunities to work in the NHS and in other complex organisations, such as schools, social services, residential care and institutions to develop proficient knowledge of specialised interventions for targeted client groups.

Systems and Organisations (Core)
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Systems and Organisations (Core)

This module is designed to build on skills and knowledge acquired through previous modules, about individuals, groups and families and competencies in indirect intervention. Students have the the chance to develop a sophisticated framework to understand systems and organisations, and the skills needed to influence them. The emphasis in this module is on the organisational contexts within which clinical psychologists work, particularly in the NHS, but also in local authority, education, forensic and third sector agencies.

Third Year Placements (Core)
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Third Year Placements (Core)

This module looks to complement the taught Integration and Specialist Options module in the second year with an emphasis on acquiring skill in an evidence-based approach other than generic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The aim is for students to select a specialist area in which to further their skills, knowledge, and experience.

Students on this placement have the chance to develop expertise either in a specialised approach and/or a new area, or with a specialised client group or service setting that they intend to work with once qualified. In addition, this module aims to ensure that students have acquired all the skills and competences needed to complete the requirements for registration with the HPC and eligibility to be a Chartered Clinical Psychologist.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

The programme makes particular use of practice-based learning and associated assessments during the first and third years. Trainees are assessed using a combination of assessed role-play interviews and presentations as well as written exercises. The programme also uses case studies, essays, oral presentations and vivas to assess trainee progress.

Assessment Feedback

First Submissions

For anything other than the thesis, we aim wherever possible to return marks and feedback on the Friday morning following six weeks post submission. If delayed, feedback will be returned the following Friday.

Extensions & Resubmissions

For any submission where a trainee has not handed in as timetabled, for example as a result of an extension, and for all resubmissions, normal turnaround time cannot be guaranteed.

Trainees will receive assignment feedback via email consisting of a provisional grade, detailed formative feedback (containing the comments of at least two markers) and a summary statement.

Selection Procedure

The purpose of selection is to find the best candidates both for the academic programme and for a training contract with an NHS employer. All offers of a place on the course are dependent on satisfactory criminal record and health checks.


Application forms and references will be rated and ranked by a shortlisting panel, comprised of programme staff and clinicians from our partner Trusts, who assess applications for evidence of academic ability, relevant experience, motivation, aptitude, and suitability for training, related to the person specification and/or selection criteria. A proportion of the highest ranking candidates from this process will then be invited to attend a pre-selection written screening exercise.

Pre-selection Written Screening Exercise

The pre-selection written screening exercise is a computer-based task that aims to assess writing ability, communication skills, and broader critical thinking. Those candidates who achieved the highest rankings at shortlisting and who score above a predetermined threshold for this written exercise will be invited to attend the final selection interviews.

Selection Interviews

Interview panels consider personal, professional, clinical and academic abilities. Each panel will rate candidates on scales related to the person specification, entry requirements etc. During selection candidates are asked if they have a strong preference for a 'Home' Trust, but this information is not used in rating the candidates.

Ranking the Candidates

Candidates' scores from all interviews and the pre-selection written exercise will be combined and the candidates placed in rank order. The successful candidates will be those who attain the highest ranked scores overall.

Allocating Candidates a Contract

The highest ranked candidates will be offered a place on the programme and a training contract with a particular 'Home' Trust consistent with any stated 'strong preferences'. All training contracts are the same irrespective of the employing Trust and all candidates will be enrolled at both universities. However, trainees employed by Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust will be registered for the degree of DClinPsy with the University of Lincoln and undertake their foundation placement in Lincolnshire. Trainees employed by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust or Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust will be registered with the University of Nottingham and undertake their foundation placements in Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire respectively.

In a situation where there are more expressed 'strong preferences' for one of the geographical areas than there are training contracts available, the highest ranked candidates will have their preferences met first and other candidates will be allocated to the remaining geographical area. Thus, although a candidate's preferences will be taken into account, all applicants must be willing to be employed by and undertake foundation placements with any one of the three NHS Trusts and to be registered with either university.

Reserve List

A number of less highly ranked candidates will be placed on a reserve list. Any remaining vacant programme places/training contracts will be filled by working down the reserve list in order, regardless of any stated location preferences.


Feedback will only be given to candidates selected for interview and only on completion of the selection process.

Selection Procedure

Our selection procedure involves exercises and interviews assessing your academic ability, clinical acumen, personal awareness, reflective qualities, written analytic skills and interpersonal competence and confidence.

Over the course of your busy selection day we give you the opportunity to demonstrate your particular strengths and to tell us about your experience in a supportive yet challenging environment. We make sure that during the day you have many opportunities to socialise and share experiences with other candidates, to meet current trainees and staff, and to enjoy plenty of space to take time out and gather your thoughts.

Trainee Experience

You start your training at Trent with a concentrated block of teaching, during which you can assess your baseline competences on a range of dimensions. We also aim to provide detailed and constructive formative feedback from tutors and colleagues, and you have the opportunity to develop your own learning plan.

As you progress on the programme you have increasing opportunities to reflect on your personal trajectory as a psychologist in training and discover your special talents and interests. Central to your professional development is our practice based learning approach to both teaching and assessment.

Practice-Based Learning

One of the defining characteristics of being a Clinical Psychologist is the constant requirement to integrate the theoretical knowledge base and scientific methods of psychology with sound practical competences within a professional and ethical framework. To help with this challenge, we have designed the learning experience to be practice based from the very start.

When you join the Trent Programme you will become a member of a learning group of four trainees collaborating to analyse and solve a range of problems that reflect clinical realities. Working with a group you have the chance to tackle issues arising within individual, group and systemic interventions using a variety of strategies and techniques. As part of this experience you will have the opportunity to consolidate your teamwork skills, enhance your understanding of group dynamics and reflect on your functioning in groups. Practice-based exercises are the core of the intensive initial teaching block and aim to give you the confidence and skills to enjoy and make best use of the learning opportunities on the Foundation Placement.

Foundation Placements

Our year-long Foundation Placements aim to help you feel part of a team, establish a secure base, identify with a service, develop effective working relationships and work with longer-term cases. On the Trent Programme, Foundation Placements are usually in Adult Mental Health Services with an emphasis on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based formulations and interventions; however, other Evidence Based Practice models are introduced to encourage you to make critical comparisons and develop expertise in your preferred approaches.

Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Models

As BPS-accredited training, the Trent Programme offers experience in CBT and other EBP models. During the first semester of the second year, we offer flexible options which allow you to study complementary and alternative EBP approaches. During the third year you will have the opportunity to consolidate your special interest through the choice of the third year specialist placement.

Research Pathways

Our research pathway is designed to increase your confidence by building up your research project through a number of stages, each of which attracts detailed formative feedback and contributes to your final research portfolio, which may provide you with two potentially publishable papers in the process. You will be asked to think about your thesis topic before the start of the programme, and you are provided with a list of potential topics to choose from. It is also expected that you will have finished your thesis by the end of the first semester of your third year of training.

Trainee Support

The course operates two schemes to support trainees: a buddy scheme and a mentor scheme. The buddy scheme aims to pair up first year trainees with trainees already on the course to provide informal support and to help build relationships between different year groups. The mentor scheme looks to enable trainees to make contact with a qualified clinical psychologist in the Trent region for support throughout the training.Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
School of Psychology
College of Social Science
University of Lincoln
Ground Floor, Bridge House
Brayford Pool

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology
University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building, B Floor
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road

Co-Director (Academic and Research): Dr Thomas Schröder
Co-Director (Trainee Management and Practice Learning): Dr Mark Gresswell

General enquiries should be directed to the Course Administrators:

Lincoln Campus:
Andrea Tanner
Telephone: +44 (0)1522 886029

Nottingham Campus:
Sheila Templer
Telephone: +44 (0)115 846 6646

This programme currently only accepts trainees who are funded through NHS training commissions. Funding updates can be found on the Clearing House funding page: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/funding.html

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/postgraduateprogrammes/feesandfunding/].

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

First or upper second class honours degree in psychology recognised by the BPS as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and a minimum of one year’s relevant experience. Candidates with a 2:2 degree may be considered if they also have a Master’s.

Candidates should have previous supervised practical experience relevant to clinical training which demonstrates that they have the personal and intellectual resources, including writing skills, to pursue a challenging and demanding postgraduate training course.

Postgraduate research experience can be an advantage. The capacity to be critical and analytical, to work in a self-motivated independent way and to set personal priorities is essential; innovative and entrepreneurial potential is highly desirable. Candidates should have a long-standing interest in clinical psychology and a strong understanding and commitment to the positive and unique contribution psychologists can make to the NHS.

Excellent interpersonal skills at a level appropriate for dealing with people in distress and the ability to collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines are expected. Candidates should note that with the Clearing House application the Relevant Experience Reference must be from your current employer.

The programme covers a large geographical area and teaching is provided at both universities, so a current driving licence or other means of being independently mobile is essential. Trainees should expect to travel for at least 2 and a half hours per day (between both universities and from base to placement).

Trainees whose first language is not English will be required to have a recognised English language qualification achieved no more than two years prior to admission:

  • A British Council IELTS overall minimum score of 7.5 with no element below 7.0, achieved no more than 2 years prior to admission.
  • Pearson Test of English Academic 73 (minimum 67).
  • CELE pre-sessional course final assessment of “Pass with High Distinction”

The selection procedure operates within the equal opportunities policies of the two Universities and the NHS partners, and no applicant will be discriminated against on grounds of race, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation. Groups currently under-represented in clinical psychology are encouraged to apply, including individuals from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

The programme currently only accepts trainees who are funded through NHS training commissions and successful candidates will be employed by one of the three partner Trusts listed above. All applicants are subject to the same selection process and criteria regardless of which NHS Trust employs them.

Please note:

The only entry to the programme is through Clearing House application and subsequent selection procedure. All trainees must undertake the full programme. APL or APEL does not apply.

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may also be supported in their learning by other students.

DClin Psychology Mark Gresswell

Mark Gresswell

Programme Leader

Contact: mgresswell@lincoln.ac.uk

Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to develop the confidence to perform as a highly effective individual clinician, and in the leadership and consultancy roles expected of the clinical psychologists of the future.


The Sarah Swift Building is the home of the Schools of Health and Social Care and Psychology. The building houses specialist teaching and research spaces for both Schools, as well as general teaching and learning facilities for the wider University

The University has invested more than £300 million in its buildings and facilities. Further plans to invest in additional facilities, along with the refurbishment of existing buildings across our campus, are underway. Based on the picturesque Brayford Pool marina, everything you need is either on campus or a short walk away.

Students can study and research in the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides more than 250,000 printed books and approximately 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.