Clinical Psychology


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 semesters, spaced through the years of training and interspersed with placements in linked areas.


One of the teaching innovations we are developing is distance participation. This uses eLearning, interactive discussion boards / chat rooms, self-directed study, locally organised small group work, and 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.



Trainees undertake two taught courses in each of the first two years of training. In the final year trainees attend Advanced Practice Seminars and complete work on their thesis.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Clinical Psychology 1 Clinical Psychology 2 Thesis
Research 1 Research 2 Advanced Practice Seminars


Teaching themes

The taught component of the programme is structured around several overarching psychological and practice themes that run through each of the years, balanced with the need for population specific teaching to orient trainees to and to prepare for clinical work on placements.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Fundamentals of Clinical Psychology Fundamentals of Clinical Psychology Professionalism and Practice
Professionalism and Practice Professionalism and Practice Thesis and Viva Preparation
Assessment and Measurement Applications with Older People Advanced Practice Seminars
Interventions Applications with Children and Families  
Applications with People with Intellectual Disabilities  Research 2  
Applications with Adults of Working Age    
Research 1    


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, people with intellectual disability, adults of working age and older adults.


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


Case conceptualisations

At the end of each of the first two years, trainees submit a case conceptualisation 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.