Clinical Psychology

How to apply

All applications for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology are processed by the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology.

Please ensure you have read the entrance requirements for this course and are confident of meeting the criteria before applying.

Application procedure

All necessary information to do with applications, including how and when to apply, references, interview dates etc can be found within the Clearing House website.

Clearing House

Applications for entry in September 2022 have now closed. Please see Clearing House for application dates for entry in September 2023.

Selection procedure

The selection and appointment procedure reflects the close involvement of the NHS Boards, and their wish to encourage recruitment into the profession in their localities.  Please read the Applicant Guidance for people applying to our programme here:

Stage one

Firstly, all applications are screened to ensure they meet requirements relating to degree class, work permit status and GBC. It is your responsibility to ensure that your references and other supporting documents are submitted to the Clearing House according to their deadlines. Candidates with incomplete applications, including those missing references, will NOT be offered interview places.

Applicants who have not been placed on the shortlist and who will not pass on to the second stage of selection are informed by the end of February that they have been unsuccessful.

Stage two

At the second stage, short-listed applicants are contacted, and asked to rank order the training models and the NHS Boards in which training posts are located. We will also ask candidates to provide short written answers to several questions and to complete an online Situational Judgment Task which is designed to assess capacity to make sound judgements in complex situations.

The questions will be sent by email to short-listed candidates in early February with a period of about a week for responses to be provided electronically. Candidates should therefore ensure that they have regular access to the email address that they provided on their Clearing House form at that time.

FAILURE TO COMPLETE THE INFORMATION/TASKS REQUIRED BY THE DEADLINE, WILL RESULT IN THE APPLICATION BEING REJECTED AND THUS NOT PROGRESSING FURTHER IN OUR SELECTION PROCESS. 

We also intend to ask applicants for information about socio-economic status in the email sent out in early February to applicants who go forward to the second stage of selection.  It is not mandatory to provide this information and the information will not be used in any way to inform selection for entry in September 2022.  The information collected will be used for the purpose of modelling the effect of potential indicators should we adopt a contextual admissions process in future selection rounds.

Representatives from NHS Boards and the University then use the entry requirements to invite a number of applicants for interview. Candidates' references will be checked at this stage and must be of a satisfactory standard to allow progression to interview. Candidates should note that there are essential criteria at stage one and at stage two and all have a minimum level that candidates must meet. In addition to the guidance regarding references on the Clearing House website, the Experience reference should be written by an employer, line manager or supervisor rather than a peer or colleague. The reference should be from the candidate's current or most recent employer, otherwise candidates should explain their choice of referee in the Personal Statements section of their application. Candidates should note that further references may be sought later in the selection process.

Candidates who have been unsuccessful at stage two will be notified by the end of March and will be informed as to which element of the selection process led to their application being unsuccessful.

Stage three

Following this procedure, about 100 candidates are invited for the third stage, the interviews; and a number of candidates will be offered a place on the reserve list for interviews.

All candidates invited to interview will be asked to complete a General Mental Ability (GMA) Test. There are a number of programmes who use the same online GMA test (eg Manchester and Lancaster). If you have applied to one or more of these other programmes, you will only be asked to do the tests once and your results will be shared with the programmes you have applied to. In recent years our measure of academic ability has been based on performance on the degree(s) that GBC was based upon. We recognise that there are a number of limitations in doing this and we are therefore investigating the use of an online general mental ability task as an alternative way of assessing academic strength. For this year, this will be a pilot only and will not form part of our Selection process. We will use the results to model the potential for this to form part of our selection process in future years and, in particular, any potential adverse impacts. Further information will be sent out by email.

The interviews will be carried out remotely by Microsoft Teams in 2022. There will be a single interview panel with a combined Academic / Research and Clinical / Professional focus.  In addition we plan to have an online version of the Interpersonal Role-play Task.  Further information will be given when candidates are invited to interview.

The panels interviewing each applicant normally consist of representatives from the Programme Academic staff, the Clinical Practice staff and a representative from one of the NHS Boards in which the candidate has expressed an interest.

Following the interviews, each NHS Board offers places to the appropriate number of applicants, who will be employed by that Board for the duration of the programme. By the end of May/beginning of June candidates will receive an offer of a place on the programme, a place on the reserve list, or will be informed that they have been unsuccessful. As the Clinical Psychology Training Programme is aligned with the Clearing House application system and must conform with the selection policies and procedures of the NHS, aspects of the standard University of Edinburgh admissions’ policies and procedures are superseded by those designed for the programme.

All offers of places are subject to meeting standard pre-employment checks including Right to Work criteria, satisfactory references and PVG checks and NHS (Scotland) Health screening.

Feedback after stage three

Candidates can request feedback on the interview process by contacting the Administrative Assistant to the Clinical Tutor Team (clinical.tutor.admin@ed.ac.uk). Following the final confirmation of places on the programme, interview feedback will be prepared for candidates who have requested this. Due to the high number of requests for this information, the programme does not give individualised feedback by phone, in common with other training programmes. Each candidate will receive information about the component in the interview process in which they performed most strongly, as well as the component in which they performed least strongly. For the latter component, there will be a short description of what was being assessed by the panel to help guide discussions with current supervisors.

The letter will also give an indication of where the candidate was placed in the interview process; specifically (a) where on the reserve list for places they were ranked or (b) that they were below the cut off for consideration of a reserve list place or (c) that they had been excluded on one or more components in the interview process.