School of Psychology

MSc Clinical Psychology

The MSc Clinical Psychology offers masters-level clinical training that will provide you with the practical experience and knowledge you need to fast-track your future career in clinical practice. You will acquire an advanced understanding of clinical practice and research with a hands-on approach to learning, with the training of key clinical skills embedded in all elements of this course.

This includes the acquisition of competencies and understanding of group and family work, the cognitive behavior approach, and interventions to encourage behavior change. Working alongside doctoral trainees, extensive access to service users will provide you with a secure foundation for clinical practice, or preparation for doctoral training in clinical psychology.

Careers with this subject

The programme is designed to provide the clinical training, experience, and skills that place graduates at a competitive advantage in the career pathways to professional clinical practice. Providing insight and instruction of NHS service delivery and clinical practice, graduates are provided with a secure foundation for clinical practice and research, and privileged preparation and perspective on further training opportunities. This has meant that many of our graduates successfully progress onto doctoral training in clinical psychology, or secure clinical roles in the NHS or third-sector organisations.

Key features

  • Learn through experience: activities that teach key clinical skills are embedded throughout the programme, allowing you to put your new knowledge directly into practice.
  • Obtain accreditation for clinical skills and competencies, with the option to study part-time alongside clinical practice.
  • Extensive access to service users provide a competitive advantage for the acquisition of real-world skills and experience.
  • Gain insights on further training by working alongside trainees and tutors on our clinical doctoral training programme (DClinPsy).

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • With the supervision and guidance of clinicians and clinical researchers, you will acquire specialist skills and knowledge that will prepare you for your clinical career pathway, with a focus on training related to the core concepts and techniques of clinical psychology.

    Core modules
    • PSYC750 Personal and Professional Development

      This module will enhance students¿ awareness of the transferable skills they possess, focus thinking about future employment, spur reflection on recent learning, and promote the effective use of feedback to enhance academic performance.

    • PSYC751 Asking Psychological Questions: Epistemology and Strategy for Formulating Psychological research

      This module explores what it means to ask psychological questions, what good research questions look like, the philosophical foundations of scientific enquiry, and how good research questions shape how we produce new knowledge. Practical exercises guide students to identify, critique and refine their own research questions.

    • PSYC752 Advanced Research Design for Psychology

      This module challenges students to engage with advanced concepts in psychological research design, and to critically evaluate current practices in quantitative research. Practical exercises guide students to operationalise their own research questions within a quantitative framework.

    • PSYC753 Data Fluency: Processing, Visualising and Analysing Data for Reproducible Research

      Become fluent with numerical and textual data. Learn practical skills to summarise, visualise, and communicate insights from quantitative data; become familiar with software for working with large datasets; and best practices for reproducibility and transparency in psychological science.

    • PSYC754 Advanced Techniques for Psychological Research

      Advanced coverage of foundational techniques and introductions to specialist techniques for collecting and analyzing psychological data.

    • PSYC755 Advanced Interpretative Methods

      Advanced treatment of interpretative and discursive techniques in psychology, extending students¿ knowledge beyond basic thematic analyses and introducing interpretative phenomenological analysis, narrative analysis, discourse analysis and conversation analysis.

    • PSYC757 Success in Science

      Science is a collaborative, social activity. This module explores psychological evidence and practical strategies that will help students make an impact in academic and professional life.

    • PSYC774 Supporting Behaviour Change

      What makes a psychologically based intervention effective? This module covers a range of contemporary interventions for clinical psychological and behavioural problems, focusing on a critical analysis of the psychological mechanisms underlying interventions and explores how laboratory research can be translated into new interventions.

    • PSYC783 Applied Clinical Research

      Conducting research with service users in clinical settings poses a unique set of challenges. This module supports students to tackle a small-scale clinical research project and to analyse and report results.

    • PSYC791 Foundations of Clinical Psychology

      This module provides foundational knowledge in the theory and practice of clinical psychology, and the social, cultural and legal context in which mental health professions operate.

    • PSYC792 Understanding Clinical Interventions: Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Systemic Family Therapy

      This module introduces students to fundamental principles and techniques of the cognitive behavioural approach, and contemporary developments which address individual psychological difficulties within a biopsychosocial framework. Students will be introduced to the importance of understanding individual difficulties within the systemic context of relationship dynamics, family, communities, and wider society, including the impact of social inequalities on mental health outcomes. Core clinical skills, are introduced, including listening, building a therapeutic alliance, communication, group-work, techniques for working with families, collaborative working, and monitoring change.

    • PSYC793 Core Competencies for Clinical Practice in Psychology

      This module introduces students to core competencies in clinical practice. Practical and experiential learning help students develop these competencies, and reflective activities aid students in the process of taking control of their own professional development ¿ identifying strengths, weaknesses and formulating a plan for treatment.

    Optional modules
    • PSYC756 Communicating Psychological Research

      This module teaches students to communicate their research, both in writing and orally by introducing the skills required to write journal articles, present conference papers and posters, review journal articles and write grant applications.

    • PSYC771 Issues in Cognitive and Brain Science

      This module focuses on how cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience approaches and techniques can be combined to provide convergent evidence for understanding the mind.

    • PSYC772 Issues in Behaviour Change

      This module covers contemporary issues in behaviour change, focusing on a topical problem behaviours and the theoretical and ethical issues of behaviour change that they raise. Based on this, students will examine and seek to change their own behaviour.

    • PSYC773 The Brain and its Disorders

      This module teaches students advanced functional neuroanatomy by studying the biological, psychological and social aspects of various common neurological disorders. This module will cover congenital/ developmental as well as acquired neurology.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Clinical Psychology programme specification 6481

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Most students will hold an honours degree, usually a 2:1 or higher. There is no requirement that the degree is in psychology, and the programme is open to medical and other professionals who wish to update or augment their knowledge and skills in applied clinical psychology. Applicants that can also demonstrate their ability to thrive on this programme through current or previous professional experience will also be taken into consideration. Please note that this programme does not confer graduate basis for recognition by the British Psychological Society, applicants seeking this recognition should apply to our MSc Psychology programme.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required, with a normal minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency of 6.5. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed £8,000
International To be confirmed £14,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed £450
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

From September 2018, the University applies a discretionary alumni reward where alumnus meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • a 20 per cent discount on home/EU tuition fees
  • or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.

PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward.

For further details, and contact information, please review our alumni discount policy.

Funding opportunities

A range of studentships, fee waivers and other funding for psychology students is also available for both UK/EU and international students.

Postgraduate international scholarships from the School of Psychology

International students who have met the conditions of their University of Plymouth offer of study will be eligible to receive the School of Psychology Postgraduate Platinum Scholarship to help towards the cost of tuition fees. You may also be eligible to apply for the University's Postgraduate Taught International Academic Excellence Scholarship.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

How to apply

Within your online application please attach a copy of your current CV in the section entitled ‘work experience’, outlining your academic progress and/or work experience.

In addition, within the section ‘personal statement/proposal’ please type or attach a reflective report of no more than 1000 words that includes the following details:

  • Your personal experiences and reflections on mental health.
  • Demonstration of your potential to adhere to the NHS’ values, and to acquire the skills and aptitudes of a professional psychologist.
  • Your reflections on what you consider to be the opportunities and challenges of undertaking further study in the field of mental health and clinically related psychology.
  • Reflections on your own resilience and preparedness for a challenging course.
  • Your experiences of working, volunteering or research in fields related to mental health (if this applies; it is not a requirement that you have this experience to access the programme).

Please also note that if your application is approved, your place will be provisional on the results of an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) statement.