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To aid those interested in applying to the Oxford Doctoral Course training programme, we have developed an Eligibility Checklist to help applicants. Please see below. Elsewhere on the website you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, our Essential and Desirable criteria for applying, and our Academic Scoring criteria. 


Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology - Eligibility Checklist for 2020 Entry

1. Have you achieved one of these qualifications? 

  • A 1st class or 2.1 undergraduate degree in Psychology 
  • An undergraduate degree in another subject, with a Masters level conversion course in Psychology with a Distinction or Merit grade. 


               YES                                                                               NO

Proceed to Question 3.                                                 Proceed to Question 2. 



2. Are you currently in the final year of your undergraduate psychology degree?


                 YES                                                                               NO

Any offer of a place will be conditional                              You are not currently eligible for 

      upon achieving a 2:1 or higher.                                         this training programme.



3. Have you undertaken clinically relevant work experience? 

  • This may include work as an Assistant Psychologist, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) worker, Research Assistant, certain Healthcare Assistant / Support Worker posts). Experience could also be in the context of a degree placement or research post. Please visit the Clearing House: Relevant Experience site to check your eligibility


                 YES                                                                               NO

Proceed to Question 4.                                         You are not currently eligible for 

                                                                                       this training programme.



4. Do you have two appropriate references (reflecting different aspects of your experience i.e. one related to work and one academic)?  


            YES                                                                               NO

Proceed to Question 5.                                         You are not currently eligible for 

                                                                                     this training programme.



5. Are you eligible for Home Fees status? 


               YES                                                                               NO

Proceed to Question 6.                                         You are not currently eligible for 

                                                                                      this training programme.



6. Do you have the right to work in the UK? 


             YES                                                                               NO

Proceed to Question 7.                                         You are not currently eligible for 

                                                                                      this training programme.



7. If English is not your first language, do you have either of the following? 


             YES                                                                               NO

Proceed to Question 8.                                     You will need to complete an IELTS test,   

                                                                           Scoring at higher level (7.5), before     

                                                                             applying to the training programme.



8. Do you have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the British Psychological Society (BPS)? 


              YES                                                                               NO

Proceed to Question 9.                                     You will need to apply for membership before        

                                                                                 applying to this training programme.



9. Will this be the only degree course you are due to be registered on from September 2020?

  • If appointed, candidates should not simultaneously be registered for any other degree course (e.g. Ph.D.). 


                 YES                                                                               NO

You are eligible to apply for the                           You may be required to withdraw from any

   Oxford training programme                              other programme in order to take up a place  

                                                                                 on the Oxford training programme 


Please note: All applicants are required to submit copies of their academic transcripts / qualifications as part of the application process. This includes Higher education e.g. A-level or equivalent. 

Higher education certificates should be submitted directly to the course at:


Degree transcripts should be submitted with your application to the Clearing House.

Clinical Placements

Trainees on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology undertake clinical placements within clinical services in our partner organizations across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (see locations of clinical placements in last academic year).

Clinical placements enable trainees to develop a comprehensive portfolio of clinical skills, so that by the end of training they should be well prepared to start working in an NHS clinical service.  Trainees will normally complete four mandatory placements over the first two years of the course (in adult mental health; older people’s services; children, young people and families; and people with intellectual disabilities). In the third year, trainees would normally complete a year-long placement; the Programme is currently considering introducing the option of enabling either one or two elective placements in the third year to further increase training opportunities. The Oxford Programme has a wide range of exciting elective options, some of which are in national specialist services. An important aim of third year placements is to equip trainees with additional skills such as leadership, consultancy, supervision and effective team-working to meet the needs of the modern NHS.  All placements are approximately 5½ months in duration, with the possible exception of electives in the third year where there is more flexibility. Trainees will normally spend between 60 and 70 days on each placement. 

The assignment of placements is primarily based on training needs and aspirations and these are regularly reviewed from pre-training through to completion of the Programme. Over the course of training, trainees may express preferences for the opportunity to develop particular clinical competencies or work in specific service contexts.  These preferences are considered by the trainee’s course tutor alongside their individual training needs and the availability of supervision. Trainees may be assigned placements in any of the services within the geographical area covered by the Programme. A valid driving license and access to a car are strongly recommended.  

Placements are fully integrated with the academic programme  A wide range of support is available within and out with the Programme for each trainee, including a course tutor who oversees all aspects of their experience, including placements, academic learning and research projects. At regular intervals, there are scheduled individual discussions with the trainee’s course tutor about progress and learning needs.  To help facilitate the effective development of clinical and professional competence, trainees normally keep the same course tutor throughout their training.

Placements are carefully monitored and supported by course tutors, who visit once at the mid-point of each placement and more often if helpful.  Trainees normally receive a minimum of 1 hour formal individual clinical supervision from their placement supervisor(s) each week whilst on placement in addition to less formal supervision and support. A range of learning opportunities are incorporated into placements including opportunities to observe placement supervisors and other accredited psychological therapists conduct clinical work, and also be observed in a structured way including receive feedback through direct assessments of clinical competence.

Wherever possible on placements, trainees are encouraged to work with staff from other professions and with service users and carers.  The Programme is committed to co-production i.e. health care professionals and service users working in partnership to develop services and conduct research. Placement feedback is 360 degree and incorporates feedback from other professional staff and service users and carers.

The Programme is currently pursuing secondary accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and Association of Family Therapy.

Academic programme

The academic programme is carried out over three terms in each year of the Course.


Training begins with a four-week induction block, to provide trainees with the core professional knowledge and clinical assessment skills needed to commence their first placement. The subsequent two years of taught content is aligned with the order of our clinical placements, that is working age adults and older adults in year 1 and then child & adolescent/intellectual disabilities (in either order) in year 2. During these two years, trainees will become competent practitioners, both in cognitive behavioural therapy and systemic practice, and gain awareness of a number of other modalities. Trainees will also develop competence in neuropsychological assessment and working with the psychological issues associated with health problems. Throughout training, the topics of culture and diversity, professional/ethical issues and leadership will be interwoven into the curriculum.

There is an emphasis on training clinical psychologists who are confident in their research skills, and will seek to engage in research whatever their work setting when qualified. Research training begins in the first term of year 1 to ensure trainees have sufficient time and skills to successfully complete three research projects (a main research project, a service improvement project and a systematic review of the literature).

The third year curriculum covers specialist areas of clinical activity and professional issues to coincide with the elective clinical placements which are taken up in this year.

The Course aims to encourage creative self-directed learning and where possible the academic programme provides workshops, seminars and interactive sessions, rather than formal lectures. Teaching is delivered by Course staff, clinical supervisors working in the three counties, and external lecturers. Trainees have access to world class libraries in Oxford, including the Bodleian.

Research training at the Institute aims to provide trainees with a positive learning experience that will develop their research skills to a high level and increase their confidence in their ability to conduct research in clinical settings.  Research is emphasised as an integral part of clinical practice.During the three year course, trainees develop their knowledge and understanding of research designs and methods, statistics, computing and qualitative data analysis. They grow in their competence to plan, conduct, write up and present their own original clinical research as well as critique research across all domains.

Initially these skills are explored through the development of a Service Related Project (SRP) jointly with their supervisor on clinical placement. This gives the trainee first-hand experience of how research skills can contribute to service development in a typically multi-disciplinary context.These skills are then further refined as the trainees identify a topic for their Research Dissertation. This is a substantial piece of work that must reach doctoral level in conceptualisation, design and execution and investigate a topic which is of clinical relevance. The Research Dissertation has two components: Paper A forming a literature review and Paper B a report of an empirical investigation.

Many novel and influential projects have been developed at the Institute, and many trainees have pursued careers in clinical research on graduation.


Taught syllabus: Teaching takes place across all three years of the Course. Quantitative and qualitative designs and methods are taught, together with statistics and computing skills. Specific sessions are provided on research ethics and to familiarise trainees with the University and Course rules and regulations on the assessed research work. Teaching also aims to help trainees plan and organise their research work.


Service related project: This is normally conducted before beginning work on the Dissertation, typically on the first clinical placement. It is supervised by the placement supervisor with the support of the trainee’s research tutor. Together with their supervisor, trainees are encouraged to consult national and local audit plans in order to select a suitable topic, bearing in mind the needs of the service. Projects require local audit committee approval.


Dissertation: This is a major piece of research work. It must be original, with human participants, and relevant to the practice of clinical psychology. It is written as two journal style papers, consisting of a review and an empirical paper. Planning begins before the summer of year 1, and it is handed in in mid-July, with a viva voce in early September. Projects require NHS or University ethical committee approval, as appropriate. The Course Research Sub-Committee must approve the proposed project before it can proceed to ethics.


Examples of recent dissertation titles/topics:

  • A qualitative investigation of the experiences of young people with low mood who attend CAMHS
  • The impact of social anxiety on cognitive processes and safety behaviours when using Facebook
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, and the cognitive model, in women with in patient admission for anorexia nervosa
  • Neurofeedback and positive reappraisal: a novel method of regulating emotion in adolescents
  • Emotional distress, hot-spots and imagery, in the relatives of intensive care patients

Trainee Support & Personal and Professional Development


Trainee support

The Course provides a range of support systems that trainees can use flexibly depending on their individual needs and preferences.  Each trainee is allocated a Course Tutor who will support the trainee throughout the 3 years of training.  The course tutor is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the training experience for that trainee, including personal and professional development, progress with research projects, academic learning and coordinating and monitoring clinical placement experience. Course tutors act as delegated line managers for trainees and conduct annual appraisals and regular review and goal-planning sessions.

Course tutors are supported in relation to clinical placements by clinical tutors who source suitable placements, allocate placements based on trainee needs and aspirations, audit placements and induct and support supervisors in relation to Programme expectations. The Programme also offers a wide range of support and training options for local supervisors to support wider therapy and supervisory skill development.

Research Tutors develop the research components of the Programme including related teaching, and research proposal approval and assessment processes. Individual support for each of the 3 main research projects (critical literature review, service improvement project and main research project) is provided by a supervisory team including both regional and programme staff.

Each year group is also supported by a Cohort tutor who progresses with that cohort through the 3 years of training.  The cohort tutor will check in with the cohort regularly, offer support with group-related issues and facilitate two-way communication between the cohort as a whole and the Programme team.

Academic Tutors also meet regularly with trainees to discuss academic and general Course related issues.

Personal and professional development is facilitated through supporting reflective practice in a variety of ways, including professional reflection seminars, trainee led reflection sessions, and six-monthly confidential appraisal meetings with the course tutor.  There is a “Buddy” system where each new trainee is offered support from a trainee in the year above. There is also a Personal Tutor system; all trainees on commencing the Programme are allocated a Personal Tutor, from a list of local clinical psychologists, for confidential mentoring.

In addition to the usual NHS options, further support is available through Oxford Health Human Resources Department and the University Counselling service for trainees who need additional support.

 FAQs, Essential and Desirable Criteria, and Academic Scoring


The Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology is part of the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training and Research. It has over 30 years' history of excellence in training people to become effective Clinical Psychologists. Trainees benefit from having access to some of the best clinical and academic resources in the country via the University of Oxford, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and other agencies and Trusts providing health and social care. All trainees are affiliated with Harris Manchester College which is a small friendly college for students aged over 21. Successful completion of the three-year full-time course leads to the qualification of Doctor of Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych) from the University of Oxford which confers eligibility to apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council and to apply for Chartered status with the British Psychological Society.

The Course supports trainees in the process of becoming highly competent and flexible scientist-practitioners, who are confident in their ability to meet a range of needs in health and social care contexts. This is achieved through a research-led academic and skills training programme; high quality placements in a broad range of specialty areas; and excellent research support and supervision. The philosophy of the Course stems from the reflective scientist-practitioner model, and the Course is committed to drawing on a range of empirically supported and grounded theoretical orientations including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies and Systemic (Family) Therapy. Graduates from the Course will be equipped to practice at a high level of research and clinical competence, and within an empirically grounded reflective and ethical framework which will provide a foundation for further learning and development

The Oxford Course frequently updates the way in which training is delivered. These changes reflect our commitment to remain at the cutting edge of clinical psychology training and to fully meet the requirements for approval by the Health & Care Professions Council. We are currently working towards accreditation of the programme with the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) and the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) - Level 2. We take pride in the overwhelmingly positive feedback from current and past trainees and have an excellent track record in listening and responding to trainee input in all areas of Course policy and procedure. The Course also has an active Partners in Experience Advisory Group which advises on all key areas of the Course.


Frequently Asked Questions from Potential Candidates  


  • How do I apply to the Oxford Course for Clinical Psychology training?
  • How do I find out if I am eligible to apply to the Oxford Course for Clinical Psychology training? 
  • Would the Oxford Course consider an applicant who was intending to fund themselves?
  • Is my undergraduate degree class important?
  • Can I apply if I am still in my final year of my undergraduate degree in psychology? 
  • Is there an upper or lower age limit for applicants to the Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology?
  • What do I do if I have a degree that does not confer Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) of the BPS and want to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology?
  • If I have a non-UK undergraduate degree, how is this assessed?
  • What kind of relevant experience would be helpful before applying?
  • How much would I earn as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist?
  • Where can I find more information?


How do I apply to the Oxford Course for Clinical Psychology training?

Please ensure you meet our entry requirements before applying. Please see our eligibility checklist, essential and desirable criteria, all listed on this website. 


All applications are online through the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology. You cannot apply directly to the Oxford Course. 


In 2019, applications can be made from September until 1.00pm (GMT) on Wednesday 27thNovember 2019 for courses starting in September 2020. 



How do I find out if I am eligible to apply to the Oxford Course for Clinical Psychology training? 

Details of our entry requirements, including essential criteria and desirable criteria, are available on our admissions page of our website. Please see our eligibility checklist.  


You must have the right to work in the UK, and be eligible for NHS funding for both tuition fee and salary support (standards are set by the bursary specifications) and Home Fee/EU status. Further information regarding these can be found on the Clearing House website. 



Would the Oxford Course consider an applicant who was intending to fund themselves?

No. The Oxford course is fully funded by the NHS. However, there are some courses who do take self-funding applicants.  Please check the Clearing House website for further details. 



Is my undergraduate degree class important?

Yes. Due to the academic demands of Clinical Psychology training, it is expected that you will have achieved a first (1st) or upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent). Please see our Essential Criteria information.


Candidates who obtained their first degree in a subject other than psychology and go on to successfully complete a relevant conversion course are welcome to apply. In this case, grades on conversion courses will be considered in place of those in a first degree, i.e. Merit as 2:1 and Distinction as 1st.  If a candidate achieves a Pass grade in their Masters conversion course then unfortunately that does not reach requirements for eligibility for training. If the Masters course attended provides a 'pass/fail' grade only, candidates are requested to note this on their application, and percentage scores will be taken into consideration. 


In all cases, applicants are required to provide transcripts / certificates of qualifications including grades as part of the application process. 



Can I apply if I am still in my final year of my undergraduate degree in psychology? 

You can apply, however any offer of a place would be conditional upon achieving a minimum of a 2:1 in your undergraduate psychology degree. You would also be required to meet all other essential criteria e.g. regarding clinical and research experience. 



Is there an upper or lower age limit for applicants to the Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology?

The lower age limit is determined by the need to have completed an undergraduate degree and gained relevant experience. There is no upper age limit and older applicants are welcome to apply. Age is a protected characteristic within the 2010 Equality Act so no course should discriminate on the basis of age. In Oxford, we are keen to encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply and welcome such applications. 



What do I do if I have a degree that does not confer Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) of the BPS and want to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology?

This could apply if your Psychology degree does not meet the requirements for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC). In this case you should apply for GBC yourself. If you have a degree in a subject other than Psychology you will need to take a BPS accredited conversion course. These are normally one year full time or two years part time. There is a list of accredited conversion courses on the BPS website.



If I have a non-UK undergraduate degree, how is this assessed?

If you have obtained your degree from outside the UK or Republic of Ireland, you will need to find out whether it meets the requirements for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). It is essential to have GBC for Clinical Psychology training, as it shows courses that your undergraduate degree contained a broad range of psychological knowledge. The BPS will automatically check whether your degree course meets the requirements for GBC if you apply to become a member. Please also note that we require evidence of English proficiency (Level 7.5 or above on the International Language Testing System IELTS - Academic).  Minimum standards for all courses are stated on the Clearing House website.



What kind of relevant experience would be helpful before applying?

There are many ways of gaining relevant experience. We are looking for evidence that you would work well with people presenting with a wide range of different psychological needs, and that you could work with people of different backgrounds and life experiences. The Oxford Course is also looking for people who can work well in teams and people who can understand and operate within complex systems such as the NHS. An understanding of the specific role of Clinical Psychology is valuable. This understanding is important not only because it prepares you well for Clinical Psychology training, but also because it will help you to be sure that Clinical Psychology is the right career for you.


Examples of relevant work experience may include: Assistant Psychologist, Research Assistant, IAPT psychological wellbeing practitioner and some areas of Nursing and Social Work.



How much would I earn as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist?

Trainee Clinical Psychologists are appointed at the starting point of Band 6 of the Agenda for Change pay scales.



Where can I find more information?

British Psychological Society (BPS):

Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology:


Dr Matthew Knight 

Academic and Admissions Tutor

September, 2019







You must hold either: 

  • 1st class or 2:1 in an undergraduate psychology degree, or
  • An undergraduate degree in another subject, with a Masters level conversion course (merit or distinction).

We will not accept any other qualifications or class of degree different to these.

Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Candidates from non-GBC accredited courses need to apply themselves for membership on the basis of GBC.

Clinical experience

There is no required amount, but you must have some relevant experience.

Two Satisfactory References

One reference MUST be academic and the other a relevant experience reference.

Personal Qualities and Values Consistent with the NHS Constitution

You must demonstrate that you can give the highest standards of professional care. You must demonstrate a commitment to evidence-based practice and to the values in the NHS constitution. 

The Right to Work in the UK

Health Education Thames Valley commissions the course and provides trainees with financial support. You must ensure before applying that you are eligible for NHS funding for both tuition fee and salary support (standards are set by the bursary specifications) and Home Fee/EU status. We do not currently offer any self-funded places.

An Adequate Level Of English (if this is not your first language)

Candidates will need to provide evidence of English language proficiency at the higher level required by the University of Oxford,  See


Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of study.






Appropriate Research Experience

This must be in addition to an undergraduate project. We are looking for candidates who show a continuing commitment to improving the quality of health care and contributing to the evidence base of the profession. Suitable experience would include an MSc, PhD or other relevant research, service audit or evaluation. Research experience can occur in the context of an undergraduate placement year.

Developing/coordinating research and applying for ethics approval will be rated more highly than data collection/entry.

Appropriate Work Experience

We give credit for the amount and range of experience gained, and are particularly interested in what candidates have made of the experience they have had, in particular how it has shaped their career aspirations and made them a stronger candidate for clinical psychology training. 


Appropriate clinical experience can include that gained within the context of a research role that involves work with people who present with psychological needs. 


We give credit for authorship of publications in peer-reviewed journals.  We also give credit for other forms of dissemination such as oral and poster presentations at national conferences and contribution to substantive health service publications.

Additional Skills and Competencies

We value a range of additional activities, skills and training (such as postgraduate certificate level training and counselling courses). Valued indirect skills include: 


  • leadership skills
  • teaching qualifications
  • community involvement projects
  • drama skills
  • competency in different languages
  • publishing
  • media experience








A-Level or equivalent


A maximum of 3 A-levels or equivalent are considered

Maximum total A-level score = 20


A or A*

6 points


2 additional point allocated for 3 As or A*s



4 points


2 points

D or below

1 point

Undergraduate Psychology Degree


First class



10 points


Conversion Course (MSc) 


Scored in place of undergraduate psychology degree








10 points



Other Postgraduate Qualifications



Candidates will only be allocated points for their highest qualification in this category



Distinction at Masters


PhD beyond 2 years


Completed PhD



5 points


5 points


10 points

Maximum Total Academic Score = 40 points


The Oxford Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the British Psychological Society.


The programme underwent a reaccreditation visit in June 2017 and received unconditional accreditation for a further 6 years. The full accreditation report can be accessed here.


BPS accredited




Oxford Health NHS FT


Job Title:                                  Trainee Clinical Psychologist

Band:                                       6

Responsible to:                       Allocated Course team members and clinical placement supervisors

Responsible for:                      N/A


Accountable to:                      Centre Director, Oxford Centre for Psychological Health with devolved line management undertaken by Course team members (see organisational chart)


Place of work:                          Base:  Isis Education Centre, Warneford Hospital Oxford, Placement locations across the Oxford Health NHS Region.

Hours:                                     1 WTE.  3-year fixed term contract.

 Author:                                    Admissions Tutor, OxICPTR

Creation Date:                         21/06/2019

Last Updated:                          04/07/2019

Document Ref:                        TCP1

Version:                                   1.1


  • JOB PURPOSETo undertake a structured programme of learning including personal study, academic work, research, placement learning and assessment leading to the award of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DclinPsych).
  •  To undertake specialised psychological assessments, treatments and other types of clinical intervention with individual clients, carers, families and groups of clients; staff training; research and development activity.
  •  To work independently on a day-to-day basis. This work will be supervised and reviewed at regular intervals, in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council and British Psychological Society guidelines; supervision will normally be offered by a qualified clinical psychologist (although other qualified healthcare professionals may also contribute).
  •  Employment is contingent on being registered as a student on the DclinPsych Course.


Key Dimensions of Post

  •  To work within a broad range of health and social care settings alongside other professions and agencies including within multi-disciplinary teams and specialised clinical settings.
  •  To carry out complex psychological assessments sensitively and independently with a broad range of client groups including individual psychometric testing sessions
  •  To formulate the nature, causes and maintaining factors of highly distressing psychological difficulties and presentations informed by a broad range of potentially conflicting clinical, theoretical and conceptual models, the empirical, experimental and clinical literature base and the results of assessment. To communicate such formulations professionally, sensitively and diplomatically, frequently in an emotive atmosphere, to clients, relatives, carers and other healthcare professionals relevant to the case.
  •  To plan and implement individualised, formulation-driven psychological interventions, or programmes empathically, sensitively and independently, with a broad range of client groups, carers (including relatives), families, and groups of clients, and to evaluate the impact of such interventions.
  •  To plan and deliver group sessions for clients or their carers.
  •  To provide advice and support for carers and other professionals.
  •  To network and consult with relevant external agencies such as social services, independent and voluntary sector, to facilitate and enable intervention at multiple levels.
  •  To plan and provide formal and informal training to other psychologists, other professionals, and carers, including the presentation of complex and sometimes contentious psychological and research material.
  •  To carry out formal and informal research and development activities designed to inform service development as major features of the work, culminating in the award of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To disseminate research findings from own Doctorate, including journal publication and conference presentation.
  •  To place special emphasis on personal and professional development activity such as weekly clinical supervision, shadowing, joint working, personal study and reflection. To work independently on a day-to-day basis, with work managed and goals agreed and reviewed at intervals.
  •  To attend formal teaching and training sessions provided by the Course and to complete assessment and evaluation procedures as required by the Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology.
  •  To bring to bear a greater level of knowledge, training and experience on clinical activity than the assistant psychologist.
  •  To travel to placements across a large geographical area and visiting a range of settings on placement, including home visits – ability to drive is desirable.
  •  Most face to face clinical work is sedentary.

 Communication and Working Relationships


Trainees will develop working relationships with their Course Tutor and the wider Course team. The Course Tutor supports personal development and oversees academic, clinical and research development The Course Tutor is generally allocated at the commencement of training and remains constant throughout training. In addition, trainees will develop circumscribed supervisory relationships with a number of service-based clinical supervisors and research supervisors who each hold responsibility for supervision of specific aspects of their clinical and/or research work.

 Most Challenging Part of the Job

 Throughout their clinical psychology training trainees will need to develop accurate self-awareness about their current knowledge and skills and use this information to determine their own learning needs. The generic nature of training is such that trainees will address these issues in multiple organisational and professional contexts and in respect of several client groups.  The capacity to manage academic, research and clinical demands whilst developing as a reflective practitioner is a challenging aspect of the role.  The post holder will be required to comply with policies and procedures issued by and on behalf of the employing and placement Trusts and the regulations and requirements of the University.



  •  To undertake structured interviews, psychological assessments (including complex psychometric tests) and observations of individuals and groups.
  •  To assist in the development of psychological formulations of clinical problems and the development and delivery of care plans, which include psychological treatment and/or management of clients’ problems.
  •  To determine appropriate psychological intervention, taking into account a range of potentially conflicting clinical information and dynamics.
  •  To carry out psychological and psychometric tests, accurately and to develop interview and observation skills, to assess needs and eligibility for services.
  •  To design, implement and modify as appropriate, bespoke psychological interventions with clients, carers, families, and groups.
  •  To communicate confidential and personal information concerning ability level and psychological needs, obtained through assessments and interventions, to referring agents and to the client themselves, who may have limited understanding and difficulties with acceptance, and where appropriate to relatives and carers.
  •  To provide advice and clinically based supervision to carers about care and management of clients’ problems.
  •  To assist in the coordination and running of therapeutic groups.
  •  To provide emotional support for clients, their carers and families.
  •  To keep appropriate records of work and inform referrers and relevant others through letters or reports.
  •  To work as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
  •  To follow a person-focused and evidence-based approach.
  •  To work in partnership with service users
  •  To work in accordance with National NHS and placement providers’ policies and regulations, as well as those of relevant professional and regulatory bodies.
  •  To work in a variety of settings including the client’s own home, in-patient, residential and day centre facilities.
  •  To work in a highly emotive atmosphere, frequently encountering highly distressing problems and circumstances and must maintain a high degree of professionalism at all times.
  •  To work in situations where there are barriers to acceptance and possible exposure to aggression.
  •  To receive regular clinical supervision in accordance with BPS guidelines and criteria, University procedures and Health and Care Professions Council requirements.To complete observations of supervisors’ clinical practice and to have own practice observed including direct assessment of clinical competence

 Clinical Supervision, Teaching and Training

  •  In conjunction with supervisors and Course tutors, to plan and prioritise own workload, research, and individual and group sessions.
  •  To plan and deliver formal training sessions on psychological aspects of health care to groups of relatives, care staff and other professional staff.
  •  To provide practical training and supervision to care staff with respect to planned interventions.
  •  To assist with providing specialist training to other psychologists, trainees and assistants as appropriate.
  •   To demonstrate own duties to other graduate psychologists if required.

 Research and Development

  •  To plan, monitor and evaluate own work, using clinical outcomes assessments, small-scale research methodology and statistical procedures.
  •  To plan and undertake a portfolio-style research dissertation the individual elements of which will be approved by Course staff
  •  To prioritise expenditure from a small research budget.
  •  To develop an advanced knowledge base and practical skill in the design, implementation and statistical analysis of a wide variety of types of research. This must include quantitative or mixed methodology, single case experimental design and skills in the critical appraisal of research evidence and could also include qualitative, small N and group comparison studies.
  •  To plan and undertake clinical audits or service evaluations, using appropriate methodology and statistical procedures as appropriate, as agreed with the clinical supervisor(s).
  •  To plan and undertake practice-based research using or developing validated questionnaires, as required.
  •  To enhance own knowledge of clinical psychology, specific client groups and types of psychological difficulty through reading, literature searches and personal study.
  •  To comply with the requirements of research governance and evidence-based practice.


  •  To maintain appropriate records of own work, in line with NHS and Social Care policies and professional guidelines.
  •  To maintain relevant administrative systems of own work, in line with relevant guidelines.
  •  To submit statistical information, activity and quality data of own work as required by the Course, regional, national bodies or NHS.
  •  To word process material relevant to the Doctoral programme (such as essays, case studies, service improvement projects, clinical audits and the main research projects), using  suitable word processing and spreadsheet software.
  •  To use information technology as appropriate, within direct clinical work, research and treatment interventions.
  •  To undertake clerical functions requiring some familiarity with applied psychology, including literature searches, developing and maintaining training packs, information leaflets, inputting data and other tasks necessary for the efficient running of the service and/or training needs.
  •  To undertake computerized literature searches using major clinical databases such as PsychInfo, Medline and Cochrane, to inform routine clinical work and as preparation for the design of major doctoral research and smaller scale placement-based projects.
  •  To develop competence in advanced statistical software (such as SPSS) for the analysis of clinical research and research data. 

 Human Resources/Professional

  •  To follow the advice and policies of the placement provider, including knowledge, awareness of, and compliance with the legal framework relevant to the placement and client group.
  •  To be familiar with and abide by confidentiality and information handling and storage guidelines of the placement provider, employing Trust and University.
  •  To participate in regular appraisals with the Course Tutor and identify experience, skills, aspirations and areas for development through the use of a structured self-assessment
  •  To cooperate in the use of rooms, books, tests and other equipment needed to carry out duties.
  •  To attend and participate in administrative and service planning meetings as determined by the clinical supervisor(s).
  •  To undertake any other duties as requested by the Course Team, such as participation in trainee and staff selection procedures, or service on Course and national committees.
  •  To participate in evaluation and monitoring of the Course and associated placements as required by the health service commissioners, the University, the QAA, Health and Care Professions Council and the BPS.
  •  To practice and conduct self in accordance with the British Psychological Society, Health and Care Professions Council and University codes of ethics and conduct.


 A trainee will have been admitted by the Medical Sciences Board of the University of Oxford as a student for the Degree of Doctor in Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych.), having been recommended for admission by the Directorate of the Oxford Course.  Once admitted, the student will be bound by the Examination Decrees and Regulations of the University of Oxford as they apply to students for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.


Continued participation in the Training Course is dependent in all components of the Course: clinical, academic, research and personal professional development.  Trainees will not be allowed to proceed to the second part of the Course until they have satisfied all the requirements of the Doctorate Regulations as assessed at the Mid-Course Review


Trainees may fail the Oxford Course through failing to meet the required levels of academic, clinical or research competence or through infringement of the Doctorate Regulations. Course failure automatically results in termination of contract of employment with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and removal from the Register of the University of Oxford.












All staff are required to work in accordance with their professional group’s code of conduct (e.g. NMC, GMC, DoH Code of Conduct for Senior Managers).


This job description is intended as a basic guide to the scope and responsibilities of the post and is not exhaustive.  It will be subject to regular review and amendment as necessary in consultation with the post holder.


In addition to undertaking the duties as outlined above, the post-holder will be expected to fully adhere to the following:


Personal Development

  • To actively participate in an annual performance review (appraisal) and the development and implementation of a personal development plan.
  • To take responsibility for their own professional development ensuring professional standards are maintained and statutory and mandatory training is in date.
  • To attend any training as requested.


Code of Conduct

  • To adhere to the Professional Code of Conduct relating to your profession (if applicable).
  • To uphold the principles and values set out in the NHS Code of Conduct for Managers.
  • To support the organisation in developing an effective work/life balance for employees that meets the needs of the organisation.
  • To ensure that the health and wellbeing of patients is at the centre of all activities and that all staff engage and communicate with patients as appropriate.
  • To always promote quality and safety of patients, visitors and staff thus enabling the Trust to meet its regulation requirements (Care Quality Commission Registration – Regulations and Outcomes) that relate most directly to patients and also strive for continuous quality improvement.


Equal Opportunities/Diversity

  • To observe Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Equal Opportunities Policy providing equality of treatment and opportunity to employees, service users and service providers irrespective of sex, sexuality, age, marital status, ethnic origin or disability.


Health & Safety

  • To take responsibility for the health & safety of themselves and other persons who may be affected by their omissions or actions at work.
  • To promote the Trust’s Health and Safety Policy and ensure matters are managed in accordance with it.
  • To co-operate with the Trust to ensure that statutory and departmental regulations are adhered to.
  • Report accidents, incidents and near misses, implementing corrective action where necessary.


Infection Control

  • To comply with Trust policies for infection control and hand hygiene such as hand hygiene, decontamination Policy, uniform and workwear code and standard precautions Policy to reduce the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).
  • Employees with clinical responsibilities must incorporate into their clinical activities up to date evidence that supports safe infection control practices and procedures, such as the use of aseptic techniques and the safe disposal of sharps.


Confidentiality and Data Security

  • To comply fully with the duties and responsibilities outlined the the Trust’s Information Governance Policy.
  • To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, NHS Confidentiality guidelines (eg. Caldicott, GMC) and any code of practice on Confidentiality and Data Protection as accepted by the Trust.  Departmental codes of practice and procedures for confidentiality are available from the head of department.
  • To ensure that all information collected, stored and used is done so in compliance with the above Act and any relevant Trust Policy.
  • To preserve the confidentiality of any information regarding patients, staff records in your area (in connection with their employment) and the Trust business.  This obligation shall continue in perpetuity.
  • To raise any matters of concern with your Manager/Director



  • To recognise that promoting the welfare and safeguarding children, young people and adults is everyone’s business and access training and supervision as appropriate to the role.
  • To support the organisation in ensuring service users are protected from abuse or the risk of abuse and their human rights are respected and upheld.
  • To ensure concerns are responded to appropriately in line with the Trust’s Safeguarding Adults Policy and the Child Protection Policy and interagency safeguarding procedures.
  • To comply with recruitment and other checks as requested by the organisation including undertaking an Enhanced Disclosure via the Criminal Records Bureau.



  • To be aware of and work in line with all Trust policies and procedures.
  • To carry out any other tasks as reasonably directed.




Band:  6





Criteria for Selection

Essential Requirements

Desirable Requirements




Specialist knowledge of clinical psychology acquired through relevant prior experience, undergraduate teaching and/or supervised clinical practice, and the potential to build upon and extend such knowledge through training.


Knowledge of basic statistical procedures employed within the field of psychology (including multivariate data analysis)


A foundation of undergraduate-level knowledge of research design and methodology




Qualifications –


First degree in Psychology, or an equivalent qualification, which confers eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society.


Evidence from undergraduate and any postgraduate study of a capacity to undertake study at a Doctoral level, as indicated by an upper-second degree or its equivalent


Effective communication skills, both orally and in written format.


Evidence of potential to communicate complex, technical and clinically sensitive information to individuals with whom clinical psychologists usually work. This includes both psychologists and fellow professionals, as well as individual clients and their relatives/ carers.


Evidence of potential to tailor communication in a manner which is congruent with the needs of the recipient, including the needs of clients with a range of emotional difficulties, or who have difficulty in communicating or understanding


Evidence of potential to exercise both appropriate assertion and diplomacy according to the particular situation, with professional colleagues, carers, relatives, and clients with a range of challenging emotional difficulties (including hostility).


Evidence of potential for good presentation and teaching skills suited to both formal and informal settings


Evidence of potential to formulate and articulate sound judgements based on analysis and interpretation of a range of complex information in clinical work, drawing both on clinical observation and on relevant theoretical models.



Masters or PhD in a subject relevant to the study of Clinical Psychology


Relevant post-graduate certificate level training and counselling courses.


Additional skills such as leadership, teaching, community involvement, drama, competency in languages other than English, publishing, media experience


Evidence of dissemination through authorship of peer-reviewed journal articles, also conference presentations, posters and health service publications




Further Training or Job Related

Aptitude and Skills

Capacity to frequently sit in constrained positions for client assessments, group and individual therapy and counselling sessions and clinical supervision


Familiarity with computer use which may include word processing, spreadsheets, database programmes, publisher and PowerPoint.


Evidence of organisational potential which enables planning of own workload in relation both to clinical work (e.g. organise appointments with staff and clients, plan client sessions), as well as academic work (e.g. teaching and research activities).


Evidence of a potential for flexibility in planning: specifically, a capacity to monitor, evaluate and adjust plans accordingly over time.




Experience of paid or voluntary work in a clinical, community or clinical-academic setting exposing the person to client groups and service settings directly relevant to clinical psychology.  This experience can be gained in a range of contexts; including NHS or University settings, the voluntary sector or organisations affiliated to the NHS. It follows that a variety of pre-training roles would be relevant, including (but not restricted to) Assistant Psychologist, Research Assistant, Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Practitioner, Nursing Assistant, and Healthcare Assistant.


Evidence that this experience (as above) engenders realistic expectations of the demands and nature of Clinical Psychology training


Evidence that this experience (as above) has developed an awareness of the contexts in which Clinical Psychology services are usually delivered.


Evidence that this experience includes building and sustaining relationships with service users in relevant organisational contexts


Evidence of learning from supervision of clinical practice


Evidence of undertaking research beyond undergraduate level


Evidence of a continuing commitment to research


Experience of developing/coordinating research


Experience of applying for ethics approval, of particular value through the NHS Integrated Research Approval System


Personal Qualities

Evidence of a commitment to NHS values


Evidence of ability to form empathic relations with a wide range of clients in a variety of settings


Evidence of an ability to form good and respectful professional working relationships with a wide range of professional colleagues


Evidence of a capacity to reflect constructively on all aspects of own performance (academic, clinical and professional)


Evidence of a capacity to reflect realistically on their own strengths and weaknesses


Evidence of receptiveness to academic feedback and clinical supervision, and to apply ideas and knowledge gained from this feedback to current and novel contexts


Capacity for frequent extended periods of intense concentration in a range of clinical contexts (e.g. individual/ group therapy, clinical assessments/ interviews, clinical supervision)  which require active participation which takes account of dynamic processes, and where planning of appropriate responses to these dynamic processes is required


Potential  to work effectively under pressure, including working directly with staff and clients who may be highly distressed, analyse data where there may be frequent interruptions, prioritise work, operate a waiting list, meet short deadlines and an unpredictable work pattern which requires regular revision of plans.


Ability to function well in the context of unexpected or uncertain outcome, or in the absence of guidelines or in novel situations, and to contain anxiety and distress on behalf of others, including other staff within the organisation.


Ability, with appropriate support, to undertake psychological assessment, and therapy in an emotionally demanding environment, with frequent exposure to highly distressing or highly emotional circumstances, including situations where sexual abuse, family violence and breakdown, mental illness or terminal ill health, may be the focus of psychological intervention.





Contractual Requirements or other requirements

Ability and willingness to travel across the training region 


Successful health clearance, Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and evidence of English language proficiency 


Current driving licence and car/ motorcycle owner


Evidence of potential ability to work as a lone worker in circumstances where there may be exposure to severe distress, verbal or physical aggression.


Evidence of potential ability to work effectively whilst exposed to unpleasant working conditions including frequent exposure to verbal aggression and occasional exposure to physical aggression.