Clinical Psychology Doctorate

Study level: Postgraduate
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The Clinical Psychology Doctorate is a joint award between Coventry University and the University of Warwick. It aims to train clinical psychologists for work in the NHS and related settings, in accordance with the requirements of both the British Psychological Society's Committee on Training in Clinical Psychology and for registration as a clinical psychologist.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



3 years full-time

Course code


Start date

September 2024

Course overview

This 3-year full time course can lead to a professional qualification in Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych).

  • It aims to enable trainees to become reflective practitioners, placing great emphasis on personal and professional development.
  • The content of this programme encourages the creative use of psychological concepts and theories in order to solve problems in clinical settings, as well as a collaborative and cooperative group ethos.
  • The programme aims to provide students with the academic and research skills commensurate with doctoral status
  • On successful completion of the course, graduates are eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Practitioner Psychologist (Clinical Psychology). Please see the Accreditation section for further information.
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Rated Gold Overall

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 Student City in England (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2025

Why you should study this course

  • This is a 3-year full time course which upon successful completion leads to a professional qualification in Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych.). Upon successful completion, you should be eligible for registration with HCPC as a Practitioner Psychologist and have fulfilled the criteria and met the aims of the CTCP accreditation criteria for eligibility for Chartered status.
  • The course has been developed between Coventry University, the University of Warwick and NHS providers and was established in 1998. It has a long history of training effective clinical psychology practitioners who have become highly valued and respected members of the health and social care workforce.
  • The course is situated within the School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences at Coventry University and also embedded within the Department of Psychology (Faculty of Science) at the University of Warwick. This context provides a unique academic and practical environment for training clinical psychologists to work in the NHS and trainees additionally benefit from having access to the combined facilities of two universities.
  • Study time is divided between academic and research training at both Coventry and Warwick universities, and mandatory clinical placements in the NHS which are sourced for you by the university. During the second and third years of the course, you will complete a research thesis of publishable quality. The programme focuses mainly on evidence-based practice and critical evaluation of both psychological literature and clinical practice. The course places great emphasis on personal and professional development, enabling trainees to become reflective practitioners.
  • In each year of the course, you will spend between 41 and 43 weeks on placement. During each of those weeks, you will have either three or four placement days, equating to 125-130 placement days per year.
  • While we would like to give you all the information about your placements, the placement arrangements may vary per student. Please contact the course director for more information about going on a placement for this course.
  • Current trainees are full-time employees of the NHS and have annual leave and other benefits in line with the usual NHS entitlements. Fees for current trainees are funded by Health Education England.

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is accredited1/recognised by the following bodies:

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) , the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK. It is a legal requirement that anyone who wishes to practise using a title protected by the Health Professions Order 2001 (e.g. Practitioner Psychologist – Clinical Psychology) is on the HCPC Register.

British Psychological Society (BPS) - Accredited Clinical Psychology

British Psychological Society (BPS) - Accredited Clinical Psychology

The programme is also currently accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the University seeks to renew its accreditation each year. The Society is the professional body responsible for developing and supporting the discipline of psychology and disseminating psychological knowledge to the public and policy makers. Successful completion of the programme confers eligibility to apply for Chartered Membership of the BPS and full membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology, in addition to meeting the registration requirements of HCPC and qualification at Doctoral level.

What you'll study

The first-year teaching programme commences with a three or four-week induction block at the start of the academic year and aims to prepare you for your first clinical placement. The induction block comprises a substantial part of the module covering professional practice issues, as well as an introduction to the other four academic modules: Model Specific Therapies 1; Clinical Presentations 1: Adult and Older Adult; Clinical Neuropsychology and Severe and Enduring Mental Health Difficulties; and Research Methods in Clinical Psychology 1. Teaching on all five modules continues throughout the academic year and covers developing therapeutic relationships, formulation skills and an introduction to the main psychological models, and the adult lifespan. You will also cover basic ethical issues, e.g. consent and confidentiality, as well as statutory legal issues, and issues of personal safety.

All of the following modules are mandatory for the first year students.


The second year of the programme commences with a two-week teaching block in the university with a further block later in the year. The purpose of the first block is to provide you with an overview of the second year of the programme, launch the second-year modules and enable you, via workshops, to share with your fellow classmates and reflect upon your clinical experiences during the summer vacation. Preparation for the second-year placements is also considered to ensure you are introduced to some of the complexities of working with children and families and those with a learning disability. Teaching on professional practice issues, model specific therapies, clinical presentations (child and learning disabilities), specialist areas in clinical psychology (clinical health and forensic psychology) and research methods continues throughout the year.


By the commencement of year 3 you will have completed all academic modules with the exception of the Research Thesis and Specialist Workshops Module. During the final year of the programme, you are required to attend a minimum of 30 workshops (workshops are subject to availability and additional costs including travel costs may apply). The programme of third year workshops is arranged in collaboration with colleagues on the Birmingham course. Workshops are held at either the University of Birmingham or the University of Warwick. While some workshops are mandatory, you will have a choice over which remaining ones you attend. In addition, during the third year, you will submit a research thesis and complete two elective clinical placements.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

The academic programme is structured around the standard academic year of three terms (September to July). For each of these terms in the first year, you are normally scheduled two days a week in the university and three days on clinical placement. Outside of the academic sessions, students will spend three or four days a week on clinical placement with one or two days of each week allocated for private study.

Teaching contact hours

Contact hours vary depending on the module. Please see modules for more information.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group activities, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Clinical practice reports
  • Seminar presentations
  • Reflective placement summaries
  • Audio/visual recordings of role play exercises
  • Competency log and supervisor ratings
  • Clinical leadership portfolio
  • Service evaluation project
  • Research proposal
  • Research thesis

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

All candidates, at the time of application, must be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Candidates should normally have at least a 2:1 honours degree and be proficient in the use of English. Candidates with a 2:2 honours degree will only be considered if they have also completed a master's degree in a relevant subject. If English is not the candidate's first language, and they haven't studied at degree level in English, then proficiency will need to be demonstrated to the level of IELTS 7 or equivalent. Additionally, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have relevant clinical experience, an understanding of the NHS and a commitment to working in it. The programme is not able to offer any accreditation of prior experience or learning (APEL) routes. Candidates are normally required to hold a current driving licence and have their own transport. In line with other courses nationally, successful applicants will not be expected to be enrolled for other postgraduate studies when commencing clinical training.

Please refer to the full requirements in the disclaimer section5.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Please see for more details about entry requirements for international students.

People training on NHS places are employed by the NHS as Trainee Clinical Psychologists while they study. So to apply for an NHS place you need to have the right to work in the UK without restriction. A student visa is not enough for an NHS place on clinical psychology training.

If you are unsure of your status please:

Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK Health Education England funded - see information below Not available
International Clearing House funding per year Not available

Current students are full-time employees of the NHS and have annual leave and other benefits in line with the usual NHS entitlements. Salaries match the Clinical Psychologist Trainee Job Profile, which is Band 6, point 21, on the Agenda for Change pay scales. Fees for current trainees are funded by Health Education England (HEE).

Please note that HEE operates a 2-year psychological professions funding rule which means that once an individual has commenced an NHS-funded psychological professions training programme, a 2-year period will be required to pass from the expected complete date of that training before the funded individual would be eligible for further NHS funding to train in another psychological profession training (where this leads to a change of occupation). For further details please see HEE guidance.

Trainees are currently employed by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust for the duration of their training. It is expected that the trainees will conduct some of their core placements within Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, but not all, so for placements outside of this Trust, honorary contracts will be issued as necessary.

Candidates should check Clearing House Funding for funding updates.

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of the programme, you should be eligible for registration with HCPC as Practitioner Psychologists and have fulfilled the criteria and met the BPS Partnership and Accreditation Committee’s accreditation criteria for eligibility for Chartered status (BPS, 2017), and demonstrate the academic and research skills commensurate with doctoral status. In particular, you should have the skills, values and knowledge to:

  • Carry out high level psychological interventions in line with HCPC Standards of Proficiency (SOP) and CTCP criteria, evaluate their work and communicate effectively with clients, family members and carers, referrers and others, orally, electronically and in writing
  • Work effectively with clients, family members and carers from a diverse range of backgrounds, understanding and respecting the impact of difference and diversity upon their lives
  • Work effectively with systems relevant to clients, family members and carers including statutory, independent and third sector services, self-help and advocacy groups, user-led systems and other elements of the wider community
  • Work in a range of indirect ways including via consultancy, leadership and workforce development e.g. supervision, training, team formulation and service evaluation to improve psychological aspects of health and healthcare
  • Conduct research that enables the profession to develop its knowledge base and to monitor and improve the effectiveness of its work
  • Understand, apply and critically evaluate theoretical knowledge, as outlined in the CTCP accreditation criteria for training programmes in Clinical Psychology
  • Develop high-level skills in managing a personal learning agenda and self-care, and in critical reflection and self-awareness that enables transfer of knowledge and skill to new settings and problems.

There is currently great demand for clinical psychologists within the NHS. The majority of our graduates go on to take up positions in clinical practice.

Where our graduates work

Previous graduates have gone on to work in the NHS, social care, charity and third sector organisations.


How to apply

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