Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course provides professional training in clinical psychology for those entering the profession. The course provides trainees with a broad range of psychological expertise based on academic knowledge, research and clinical skills.
The core purpose of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course is to provide professional clinical psychology training for those entering the profession. The programme promotes the development of the core competencies of the profession (assessment, formulation, intervention and evaluation) which can be applied to different settings and client groups and at different levels of the health care system.
Our programme embraces the reflective scientist-practitioner ethos of clinical psychology practice. Trainees are taught to rigorously appreciate, evaluate and apply psychological and professional practice knowledge to promote psychological well-being and alleviate psychological distress. In addition, the programme promotes critically self-reflective practice and, through their own research endeavours, trainees are enabled to contribute to, as well as utilise, evidenced-based and published literature in the field of clinical psychology.
Why study for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Queen's University Belfast?
- For over 50 years we have provided exceptional clinical psychology training at Queen’s University Belfast. Over the years the programme has developed and grown and we have been able to increase training numbers, with annual intake increasing from 15 places in 2019/20 to 19 places in 2020/21. The clinical psychology profession in Northern Ireland is a welcoming, innovative and supportive community, which consistently seeks to achieve excellence in clinical psychology practice and research. We are proud of the fact that the majority of the NHS clinical psychology workforce in Northern Ireland trained at Queen’s University Belfast.
- Over the course of five clinical placements trainees will be under the close supervision of a qualified clinical psychologist and supported to develop and refine their clinical skills. Trainees get to work clinically with children, adults, and older adults, and they will gain experience of working with a variety of presenting problems seen on placement (e.g., anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, psychosis, brain injury, and intellectual disability).
- Essential clinical psychology topics are taught on the programme, including, paediatric psychology, neuropsychology, psychological therapies, and in-depth teaching on how to assess, formulate and treat presentations seen in clinical settings.
- Over the course of three years trainees are supported to develop doctoral level research skills. Trainees are required to carry out a large-scale research project on a topic relevant to clinical psychology. Research supervision is provided by academics and Clinical Psychologists working at Queen’s University Belfast and clinicians working in the health service.
- We work closely with managers of Clinical Psychology Services across the five health and social care Trusts in Northern Ireland where clinical psychology trainees are on placement, and we have close links with the Northern Ireland branch of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) and the Association of Clinical Psychologists (ACP-UK).
- This is a three-year approved and accredited programme with funded training places.
The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Queen's University Belfast is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists and courses in the UK. This means that those who qualify from our programme can practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The programme is also accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Successful completion of the programme confers the right to apply for Chartered Membership of the BPS and full membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP), and full membership of the Association of Clinical Psychologists (ACP-UK).
The programme is a joint enterprise with Queen’s University Belfast and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland (HSCNI), with Trainees funded by the Department of Health.
Trainees are fully funded and have trainee contracts with the Health and Social Care Business Services Organisation (BSO). There is an expectation that Trainees will remain in employment within HSC, if so required, for a period of at least two years following successful completion of the course.