How to apply
Please note that all applications for this course must be made through the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology (www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp).
All applications are anonymised in line with the policy of our employing NHS Trust H.R department. This removes all personal details including age and disability status.
Applications are rated by members of the selection committee according to a set of criteria covering academic, clinical and personal requirements, based on the trainee job description and person specification. (www.shef.ac.uk/clinicalpsychology/courses/doctor/apply.html). We review the academic and experience references as part of our short listing process.
Clinical experience and learning
Applicants should demonstrate that they have significant experience in working with client groups relevant to the practice of Clinical Psychology. They should demonstrate some understanding of the application of psychological theories and models to this work. Applicants should demonstrate a good understanding of the role of clinical psychologists in the current NHS. Stronger applications will provide evidence of direct experience of working with and supervision by a Clinical Psychologist. Applicants should demonstrate that they are able to reflect on their own personal and professional development and learning in relation to their experience.
Academic and research
Direct experience of conducting a research project either at an undergraduate level or in subsequent work is required. Stronger applications will have further post-graduate experience of research, either in a clinical or an academic setting. The academic referee should be chosen carefully to ensure that they are able to comment meaningfully on your academic aptitude and research competence.
The Selection Committee draws up a shortlist of those applicants who score above the threshold on our criteria. We interview approximately 64 candidates. In line with implementation of the Equality Act 2010 and our achievement of Double Tick status we welcome and encourage candidates to declare whether they have a disability on the application form. Applicants who have a disability and who score above threshold on our short-listing criteria will be offered an interview.
After successful short-listing, candidates are invited to attend the University for an interview day. The day includes an interview process, a group process and a task.
We are interested in selecting candidates who have the personal resilience and reflective capacity to be effective trainee clinicians; and the academic capacity to work effectively at a postgraduate level, and integrate theory and practice in their work.
The interview panel will normally be comprised of; an academic and a clinical course tutor; a service user and a local NHS Clinical Psychologist. The panel is interested in your knowledge, but also your ability to think on your feet, and use your knowledge and learning flexibly to address the questions asked. There may not be much time for you to share your experiences with the panel, rather the questions are designed to help the panel develop a sense of your, academic knowledge and competence, clinical knowledge and the personal qualities relevant to clinical practice.
The selection task
There is a formal written task, this is in two parts, each has equal weighting. The numeracy task will include questions to assess your skills in the basic numeracy and statistical knowledge necessary to engage in the work on the course. The written task aims to assess your ability to understand and synthesise material and present this understanding in a written format. Normal University adjustments for disability will be available to candidates who request this, and provide appropriate supporting evidence of need.
The Group task
You will be asked to take part in a group task. This will be observed by a panel, which includes course team staff, an NHS Supervisor and a third year trainee. We are interested in personal and interpersonal skills relevant to the practice of clinical psychology in terms of how candidates engage with the task as individuals and as a group.
We aim to make the day as comfortable and informative for you as possible. To this end we have current trainees who are not part of the assessment process on hand to answer your questions and help you to be in the right places at the right times. We provide quiet rooms should you need some space. We also provide refreshments and lunch in a space, which is separate from the interviewers and panel members so that you have the opportunity to ask questions and find out about the course as part of your time with us on the day.
You will also meet with some of the course team in an introduction to the day and have a chance to ask questions both then and during your interview. We are keen to foster an environment on the day, which encourages you to choose to come to us if we offer you a place.
Feedback from you
We will ask you to complete feedback forms on the day. These are important to us and have lead to us making changes to our selection processes in the past. You can submit these anonymously and your feedback is not seen by the interviewing panels and forms no part of our assessment of you.
Process updates and changes
In line with clinical psychology as a reflective profession we engage in ongoing review of our procedures and potential candidates should therefore check for updates relating to the 2012 process for both shortlisting and interviewing on this website before the deadline for applications.
Offers are subject to candidates satisfying enhanced C.R.B (Criminal Record Bureau) checks, Occupational Health Screening; and providing agreement to the sharing of information between the University and the NHS as part of the training process.
Occupational Health Screening
All prospective trainees are required to complete forms for Occupational Health and be available to meet with a member of the occupational health team for the employing Trust if this is requested by Occupational Health. They will review your health problems and advise whether you are fit enough to undertake the work of the course. They may discuss with you any adjustments, which may need to be made to support you during your training. With your consent they will send any recommendations to the Directors of Clinical Practice regarding any reasonable adjustments advised. Offers of a place are conditional on satisfactory Occupational Health clearance.
In the case of a long-term health condition, or a disability, a collaborative training plan would then be developed to ensure that adjustments are made to facilitate your ongoing training. You should be aware that the training is only offered as a full time course and any adjustments made would be to support you in fulfilling that commitment. You may find it helpful to look at ‘A disabled person’s guide to becoming a health professional’ available on The Health and Care Professions Council Website.
In addition, entering the profession of clinical psychology involves adhering to appropriate standards of professional behaviour. Offers are also subject to the requirement of signature of an Entry Agreement, which clearly articulates these responsibilities. The University of Sheffield is committed to ensuring that all candidates for professional training courses are fully informed of such requirements prior to application for any course. A copy of this is sent to candidates for information with any offer of interview and is also available on the course website.
Due to the large numbers of applicants to the course, the anonymisation of application forms, and the administrative load of the selection process, we are unable to offer feedback on the short-listing process. However, if you attend for interview we provide a number of telephone feedback sessions for unsuccessful candidates following the end of the interviews.