Clinical Psychology DClinPsychol (Professional Doctorate), Ph. D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #41 ,
An applied training programme which entitles graduates to apply for registration as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health Professions Council and as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.


The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Edinburgh is offered 3 years full time or as a 4-5 years flexible training programme covering advanced academic work, clinical skills training, a research thesis and supervised clinical practice placements.

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh is one of the longest established programmes in the UK, having first started in 1959. It offers a wide range of teaching and clinical placements with trainees being attached to one of eleven possible health boards throughout Scotland.

The Core Philosophy of the Programme is that trainees should be highly competent practitioners using psychological interventions across a variety of settings. Teaching and supervision is provided in a range of approaches with a range of client groups.


The Programme is a partnership between the University, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and a number of NHS Boards in Scotland. Trainees are all employed by NES via NHS Boards as Trainee Clinical Psychologists on full-time contracts for the duration of their training as well as being registered as postgraduate students with the University.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme is taught in blocks spaced throughout the years of training, and interspersed with supervised NHS placements in linked areas.

Teaching is structured in six blocks* rather than terms, spaced through the years of training and interspersed with placements in linked areas. One of the innovations we are developing is to use video conference technology to enable distance participation for a proportion of our teaching. This will reduce travel disruption for trainees in NHS Boards that are further from Edinburgh and enable us to offer input from lecturers based in these Boards.


  1. Clinical Psychology I: Adult mental health, continuing care, Learning disability, health psychology

  2. Clinical Psychology II: Children, adolescence and families, Neurosciences and neuropsychology, older adults

  3. Advanced Practice: includes health psychology, substance abuse, forensic issues, specialised therapies, update on adult mental health, other specialist topics

All trainees complete Clinical Psychology I (and linked placements) in year one. There is also a week of teaching on Health Beliefs and Behaviour in the second half of year one. Thereafter, each trainee’s individual training and development plan determines the order of teaching.

Clinical placements

In the six placements, which are whenever possible synchronised with academic teaching, the trainee learns to deal with problems across the life span, including children, adults of working age and older adults.

Clinical placements cover a wide range of work in psychiatric, general, learning disability and rehabilitation hospitals, in primary care settings and in the community. Over 250 clinical supervisors throughout Scotland contribute to the course.

Case conceptualisations

At the end of each of the first two years, trainees submit a case report of no more than 6,000 words each for examination. The case conceptualisations combine a pragmatic literature review and an outline of the theoretical and conceptual context of the case as well as the clinical case report.


Two research assignments are submitted for examination during training, one research proposal and one small scale research project, usually based on a service evaluation or service audit, that facilitate the development of research competencies in preparation for the larger thesis project.

The thesis offers trainees the opportunity to engage in a significant piece of service related research, supported by both an academic and a clinical supervisor.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 7

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

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  • Minimum required score: 100

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Applicants must have eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS at the time of applying. We will therefore not consider candidates still pursuing their undergraduate degree at the time of applying. If you are completing a qualification in autumn 2015 and will get the results by the end of January 2016 see the information above for Open University students as the same process will apply. Applicants should hold at least a 2.1 honours degree in psychology. Applicants who have taken conversion courses that confer GBC must have received a 2.1 in their first undergraduate degree (regardless of whether this was a psychology degree) and will then be viewed as equivalent to applicants whose original degree confers GBC. Strong candidates will have evidence of other academic achievements, for example, completion of a higher degree, research experience, publications or conference presentations. Candidates should be able to relate their experience of research to practice.

Relevant Experience

Relevant experience which allows the applicant to apply psychological principles in practice is essential. Experience of applying and/or disseminating research is desirable. Previous working contact with, and supervision by, a clinical psychologist is an advantage, but other relevant work (eg nursing, support work, experience in relevant voluntary organisations) will be considered. Experience working on a clinically focused research project would also be seen as relevant, particularly if it involved direct client contact. A good range and amount of relevant experience is an advantage, however, it is more important to demonstrate an ability to reflect how this relates to clinical training and to the role of the clinical psychologist. Candidates will be expected to have a sound knowledge of psychological principles/models and be able to reflect on the application of these to human behaviour in general, their experience to date and future roles as a clinical psychologist.

Tuition Fee


Trainees are funded through NHS Education for Scotland (NES), which pays fees, trainee salaries, and travel expenses.

Salaries will be determined according to Agenda for Change bandings, the outcomes of which are expected to be agreed and in place by the start of the academic year.

No self-funded places are currently available.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.