Doctor of Clinical Psychology

 

APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2017/2018 INTAKE NOW OPEN

 

The School of Applied Psychology in partnership with the HSE is now recruiting students for the 3-year, level 10, Doctor of Clinical Psychology starting in September 2017.  Application is through the Postgraduate Application Centre  (PAC code CKH99) with a strict closing date of 5pm on 16 February 2017.  Late applications will not be accepted.  CVs will not be considered and should not be uploaded. Please note that interviews, for those shortlisted, will be held on 28, 29 and 30 March 2017 in the School of Applied Psychology, North Mall Campus, UCC.

As a new programme, the Doctor of Clinical Psychology is collaborating with the Psychological Society of Ireland to fulfil accreditation requirements. An on-site visit is anticipated during the 2017 – 18 academic year

 

 

Selection of Supervisors:  

 

Please note that applicants are not required to select supervisors or submit research proposals with their applications.

 

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a full-time, three year postgraduate professional course in clinical psychology, designed to train psychologists to be eligible for appointment as Clinical Psychologists in the health services. The clinical psychology programme at University College Cork is the newest in Ireland. Whilst embracing the core training standards for the profession evident across all programmes, the Cork programme will grow a unique identity as outlined in Course Details.

The programme is delivered in partnership between the University and Health Services Executive (HSE), the University responsible for student education and the HSE responsible for provision and supervision of clinical placements. Students spend about 45% of their time in class learning, studying, and carrying out supervised research and about 55% on clinical placements. Each student is offered a specified purpose contract of employment for 3 years as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist with the HSE.

As placements can be located anywhere in Ireland, trainees must be available to travel to, and as required for, placement activities.  Application to the programme is considered acceptance by candidates that they are prepared to travel the required distances.

Please note: these arrangements are all subject to agreement with the HSE and to review in light of current and future national developments in the funding of clinical psychology training.

As well as completing placements and study in Adult Mental Health, Intellectual Disability and Autism, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and Elective areas, trainees also receive support for Personal and Professional Development, and an advanced training in clinical research leading to a thesis research portfolio.

 

 

The selection process for the D.Clin.Psych. is composed of two stages:

 

Stage 1: Minimum eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must have a first or upper second class honours degree. This can be either:

    a) An honours degree in Psychology which confers eligibility for graduate membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland.

    OR

    b)  An honours degree in another subject (2H1 or higher) together an accredited conversion qualification (2H1 or higher) which confers eligibility for graduate membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland.

 

  • Applicants who are not resident in the EU must have proof of eligibility to work in the EU and a statement of equivalence in psychology.

 

  • Applicants must have postgraduate experience within mental health, disability or related settings (includes voluntary experience). Applicants must submit short personal statements (two supplementary questions on the PAC application portal) that clearly indicates how their postgraduate education and/or work experience has prepared them to undertake clinical psychology training.

 

  • Applicants must name two referees, normally one academic and one clinical on their PAC application form. Referees will only be contacted directly by the school for a reference for those shortlisted. 

 

  • Minimum English language qualification requirements and options, for those whose first language is not English, are outlined on www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison.english

 

Stage 2: Selection process

As there are likely to be far more suitable applicants than places available, an interview shortlist will be prepared by university and HSE selection panel members. The shortlist will be based on ratings of the relevant competencies derived from evidence presented in applicants’ transcripts, application form and supplementary questions. The competencies include: academic ability; psychological knowledge and skills; research competencies; personal development in areas relevant to clinical psychology training; clinically relevant abilities and experience; interpersonal skills.

 

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a day-long assessment. This will involve two individual interviews related to academic – research and clinical – personal competencies and a group interview related to personal and interpersonal competencies.

 

Please note that the names of students who are selected for this programme will be submitted for Garda Vetting.

The programme embraces the reflective scientist-practitioner approach that characterises contemporary clinical psychology.  Students are taught to rigorously evaluate, synthesise and apply existing clinical research in professional practice and to generate new research knowledge from their practice.  The interplay between practice and reflection is embedded in the course structure and content. The UCC programme will include opportunities to train in new, third wave, therapies, an emphasis on developing the non-therapy competencies of leadership and organisational influence and opportunities to join research programmes with impact.

 

Over the three years, students spend about 45% of their time studying and carrying out supervised research. They learn about the key processes that a clinical psychologist engages in, e.g. assessment, formulation and intervention, which they apply in core areas Adult Mental Health, Intellectual Disability and Autism, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and in elective or specialist areas. They also learn advanced research methods and data analysis to support their clinical research which leads to a thesis research portfolio. This time studying is interwoven with the approximately 55% of time spent on clinical placements under the supervision of a registered Clinical Psychologist working in one of the clinical specialisms above.

 

Personal and professional development is promoted through all aspects of the programme and supported in supervision, tutoring and in specific teaching blocks.

 

Trainees must pass all modules to progress through the programme and, because of the structure of the programme and the reliance of practices in the health service for specific placements, opportunities for repeating failed placements are strictly limited.

 

In first year students undertake the following modules: Clinical Psychology Applied to Adults and Clinical Psychology Applied to Intellectual Disability and Autism I, both of which include taught elements and a placement; a taught module on Clinical Research Methods, Measurement and Data Analysis. They also start working on their research project and identifying, with support from an academic supervisor, a suitable topic for the major research project.  In the first year trainees will also undertake and report on a service related research project.  In line with the UCC Progress Review Policy for Research Students Policy, students will undergo a formal review of progress of research progress and other course components. Where progress is deemed unsatisfactory, students will have a follow-up review within three months of receiving a panel report.  A second unsatisfactory report will result in Programme Board considering the advisability of the student continuing on the programme.

 

In second year students undertake the Clinical Psychology Applied to Intellectual Disability and Autism II and Clinical Psychology Applied to Child and Adolescent, both taught and placement; a taught module on Clinical Research Methods, Measurement and Data Analysis 2.  Students will continue working on their research project and would be expected to have obtained ethical approval and relevant agency agreement to begin the process of data collection, and have made significant progress in data collection and analysis. A formal research proposal and a systematic literature review are also conducted in this year. As above, a formal Progress Review will also be undertaken at end of year 2.

 

In third year, students undertake two final modules, Elective Topic in Clinical Psychology and Advanced Placement in Clinical Psychology both of which include a taught element and placement.  They also complete and submit their research thesis portfolio which is examined by a viva voce.

Over the three years, students spend about 45% of their time studying and carrying out supervised research and about 55% of their time on supervised clinical placements. As placements can be located anywhere in Ireland, trainees must be available to travel to, and as required for, placement activities. Application to the programme is considered acceptance by candidates that they are prepared to travel the required distances. . The course is organised in specific blocks of lectures and study, followed by placements in that area of specialization. While on placement students have study time, and occasional academic days back at the university.

Modules are assessed in a number of ways including a critical literature review, clinical reports with varying foci, reflective practice assignments and placement evaluations of competence reports.  All work is assessed on a Pass/Fail basis. Progress on the major research project is an ongoing matter of discussion between students and supervisors and is formally assessed annually by means of a written submission documenting progress and a presentation of the research project. Assessment is by a Review Panel in line with University policy on PhD progress review. 

Students complete placement blocks in each of the following areas:  Adult Psychology, Child and Adolescent Psychology and Intellectual Disability and Autism.  In final year, students also complete an Advanced placement from a list of available options, e.g. Adult Primary Care, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Older Adults, Infant Mental Health, Prison/Forensic, Neuropsychology, Health Psychology, Mental Health Intellectual Disability, Early Intervention Psychology

This course has been developed to meet the high demand for Clinical Psychologists in the Munster area and beyond. Successful applicants are employed by the Health Services and Voluntary Organisations delivering health services as Trainee Clinical Psychologists for the three years of the course and will start on the first point of the scale (currently €32,185 - €34,729 - €37,652 - €39,525). 

 

In addition to the salary, the HSE will pay 60% towards the trainee’s annual doctoral fee (currently €8,700 in 2016/2017).  Trainees are liable to pay the remaining 40% (currently €5,800).

 

As a new programme the Doctor of Clinical Psychology is working with PSI to ensure accreditation. An on-site visit is anticipated during the 2017 – 18 academic year.

Dr. Chris McCusker

Programme Director

School of Applied Psychology, UCC

christopher.mccusker@ucc.ie

+ 353 (0)21 490 4602

Clinical psychologists provide a variety of services including assessment, therapy, and consultancy. They work primarily, but not exclusively in child and/or adult and learning disability services where emotional, behavioural, psychiatric or developmental difficulties are addressed.

 

Career opportunities exist for professionally qualified clinical psychologists in a variety of health, forensic and social care settings as well as in independent practice. Opportunities may also be found in educational services and institutions. Most D.Clin.Psych. graduates take up employment in the HSE but some are also employed within other agencies such as the charity sector and prison service.

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