We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. All applications are processed through a central clearing house for all 30 clinical psychology training courses across England, Wales and Scotland and is hosted by the University of Leeds. There is a lot of useful information about how to apply on the clearing house website and information about each of the individual courses it represents. See www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp Courses have one intake per year and candidates can apply from September to early December for entry the following September.
The Oxford Course is funded by the National Health Service (NHS) with the aim of training sufficient numbers to meet workforce needs. All of our trainees (currently 17 per year) become NHS employees when they start the course, so we are only able to accept applications from people who are eligible to work in the UK. The course is not a university PhD programme and trainees spend much of their time on placements across the counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
Detailed information on entry requirements is available on the clearing house website https://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/Clin20Oxford.html . We require all of our candidates to have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS). This means that the professional body for psychology in the UK has approved the undergraduate course or postgraduate conversion course completed by the candidate. Further information about this is available on the BPS website http://www.bps.org.uk/what-we-do/membership/graduate-member-mbpss/graduate-member-mbpss As clinical psychology training requires high levels of academic and research ability, we normally expect candidates to have achieved a high grade in their undergraduate degree. For British universities, this would mean a good 2.1 or first class honours degree. Clinical skills are also highly valued, so we expect candidates to have obtained at least one year of clinically relevant practical experience prior to starting the course. Working as a clinical psychologist requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, so we also require evidence of English language proficiency.
A range of skills, abilities and personal qualities are taken into account during the selection process, which are based on the person specification for a trainee clinical psychologist. This can be accessed via the following link [Person Specification]. Some understanding of the specific role of a clinical psychologist within the UK healthcare system is also helpful. Trainee clinical psychologists work with a wide range of clients, including vulnerable adults and children and are therefore subject to various checks before being accepted onto the course, including a criminal records check and occupational health clearance. The Course makes reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of trainees with disabilities.
Applications are initially processed by the clearing house before they are sent to individual courses. We receive over 600 applications per year, from which we expect to short-list 54 candidates for interview. Short-listing is carried out by course team members and experienced clinicians working in pairs. Each application is assessed according to specific criteria. These criteria are not available to candidates but are based on the person specification for a trainee clinical psychologist.
Applicants who are short-listed for interview spend half a day at the Isis Education Centre in Oxford, during which time they are observed participating in a group task and are given an individual interview. Both of these elements establish whether the candidate has the required competencies to work as a trainee clinical psychologist. These include academic, research and clinical competencies. The interview is conducted by a panel composed of Course staff and local supervisors. The group task additionally has a service user or carer as one of its panel members. During the selection days candidates have the opportunity to meet with current trainees. A video interview in which current trainees talk about their experiences of coming for interview can be found here.
Following completion of this process, candidates are either offered a place, placed on a reserve list or informed that they have not been successful.
It is expected that there will be 17 places in our 2018 intake. However, this is subject to confirmation from our commissioners.