Applied Clinical Psychology MSc

Applied Clinical Psychology MSc

School of Psychology


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year; Part-time: Two years.

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  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

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Why study this programme?

The MSc in Applied Clinical Psychology has been specifically designed to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in core theoretical, methodological, and empirical areas of clinical psychology. This programme is aimed at graduates who wish to strengthen their academic credentials in preparation for a career in clinical psychology and is taught by academics/research experts in their field, HCPC Registered Psychologists, clinicians across a wide range of specialities, and service users and/or carers. You will also have the opportunity to undertake and be assisted in finding a clinically relevant placement.


With one day of teaching (Tuesdays), delivery is designed to support those with full-time jobs or family commitments, and full-time (one year) and part-time (two years) study options are available.

Entry Requirements

Essential Criteria

You should have a minimum of an Upper Second class honours degree in psychology recognised by the British Psychological Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC: or an equivalent International professional body). The reason for restricting entry to those with GBC is that the course is intended as a gateway to a doctoral training programme in clinical psychology, for which GBC is required. If you have a Lower Second Class honours degree in Psychology you may be considered for a place on the course providing you can demonstrate strengths in both Research Methods and Statistics, and clinical psychology or related subject areas.

A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent qualifications.

Desirable Criteria

In addition to the minimum entry requirements, all applicants are considered on their own merits and our decision to accept you onto the course will be based on meeting the essential criteria and your suitability for the course, as determined by your responses to the following issues:

  1. Successful applicants should be able to demonstrate their interest in, and commitment to, a career in clinical psychology or a closely related field. In discussing this, you should communicate your suitability for this course, and what you are hoping to gain in the long-term from undertaking this MSc course.
  2. As a team we value our students, not just in terms of academic ability, but in terms of your personal qualities. Please tell us which one of your personal qualities you believe would make you suited to work as a Clinical Psychologist, and why.
  3. Your application should also try to evidence reflection on work experience that has some relevance to clinical psychology (e.g., any voluntary or paid work in healthcare settings, mental health charities, substance abuse or homeless charities, care homes, helplines such as the Samaritans), and/or reflections on any relevant research you have undertaken. You should reflect on and articulate any learning, insights and understanding gained from these experiences in relation to some aspect of clinical psychology, as well as what you have learned from your experiences about yourself (e.g., your own values, attitudes and beliefs).

For informal enquires please contact the Course Leader/Programme Director, Dr Kathryn Gardner:


You will also be required to supply two references (essential), the first of which has to be academic. The second can be either an academic or a relevant experience reference, but the latter is desirable. Relevant vocational experience can be either from paid or voluntary work and could have been gained in a range of contexts, but the referee should be ideally able to comment on your performance in a context or setting directly relevant to clinical psychology.

Application and review process

Applications are initially assessed based on meeting the essential and desirable criteria and upon the quality of references provided. The deadline for considering applications for 2017/18 entry is 12th February. If your application is successful at this first stage, you may either be offered a place on the course, or invited to a second stage of the selection process to further discuss your application during an interview the w/c 26th March or 2nd April.

Applications that are submitted after 12th February date will be considered only if places are available; if places are available, then any applicants successful at this first written stage will either be offered a place on the course, or invited to interview w/c 5th June to further discuss their application.

Programme at a Glance

  • Clinical Psychology across the Lifespan
  • Professional Issues and Practice in Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Skills
  • Specialist application of clinical psychology (includes Clinical Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology in Forensic and Health settings, and a placement opportunity)

    • Advanced Clinical Psychology Project
    • Clinical Research Design and Processes
    • Research Methods and Statistics for Clinical Psychologists

Postgraduate Advice Event

Find out more about Postgraduate courses at our Postgraduate Advice Event on 7 March 2018

Further Information

The MSc in Applied Clinical Psychology is intended for graduates who wish to strengthen their knowledge base, academic credentials and applied skills in core areas of clinical psychology. The course aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of

  • the theory and evidence that underpins the application of psychology to psychological distress/conditions across the lifespan;
  • core applied skills of the clinical psychologist, including communication, assessment, formulation and treatment;
  • professional issues and practice in clinical psychology;
  • key research methods and statistics used by clinical psychologists and their application to clinically relevant topics and settings;
  • the application of clinical psychology in health and forensic settings, or in specialist areas such as clinical neuropsychology.

Advanced research skills and competencies are developed further through a project supported by an experienced researcher within the programme team, where you will be given the opportunity to apply your skills to a relevant topic in clinical psychology.

The applied focus of the course places a key emphasis on supporting placement opportunities for our students; with staff assisting you in finding a suitable placement, and ensuring you work on a project that is relevant to clinical psychology (e.g., service evaluation)*. The course also targets your development of applied skills through embedding your core knowledge directly into clinical contexts within role play and case study review. A critical area in your skill development will be working on developing your competence in reflection and clinical communication, learning how to adapt your style for different client groups. You will also be encouraged to explore applied approaches in specialized areas such as neuropsychological assessment.

From the very beginning our course has embedded service user/carer perspectives from course development, through to delivery and assessment. This is supported by UCLan’s service user/carer team (Comensus), made up of individuals who use their own personal narratives from a wide range of psychological and neurological difficulties. They will support you in exploring your involvement in a range of services, and they will share their experiences with you in a safe, supportive environment.

Work experience

If you wish to undertake a placement you will be assisted in finding a clinically relevant placement. Placements may be in the private sector, third sector, or NHS. Examples include mental health and counselling services; or substance abuse, dementia and homeless charities. You will undertake a project that is relevant to clinical psychology (e.g., audit, service evaluation, or psychoeducational work) and the work will be agreed prior to the start of the placement. The placement module can also be undertaken by students already in employment in an appropriate setting (e.g., as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS).

Graduate careers

The course aims to foster the development of key skills that will facilitate further academic and vocational training and subsequent employment. Through the skills and knowledge developed during the course, you will strengthen your CV and applications for Assistant Psychologist posts within the NHS, or further competitive doctoral training in clinical psychology (DClinPsy, or ClinPsyD). This MSc course does not provide any guarantee that upon its completion you will be successful in securing these posts and is not BPS accredited. However, the course has been especially designed so that you acquire knowledge and skills in key areas of clinical psychology.

Progression routes

Doctoral training in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy, or ClinPsyD); PhD.

* Acceptance on this course cannot be taken as a guarantee of a placement.


How to Apply

You can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2018/19

Full-time: £6,500 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £3,250 per year for first 2 years (UK/EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

Details of the UK Government postgraduate loan scheme for students commencing a Masters Postgraduate programme for the 2017/18 academic year.

View further information

DBS Checks

This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.

Industry Links

Clinical and other HCPC Registered Psychologists alongside a broad range of clinicians will contribute to the delivery of this course; many of these work or have worked within the NHS, but we also have links with clinicians in private practice. This unique mix of professionals is reflected in the content of the course, where you will learn about the similarities and differences of working clinically within the NHS vs. private practice.

Learning Environment and Assessment

We aim to provide the best possible facilities for our students. The School is based in the multi-million pound purpose-built Darwin Building, which includes an extensive range of state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, including: a Brain Imaging Laboratory, Observational Suite equipped with one-way mirrors and video cameras; established Health Psychology Suite; and eye tracking equipment. The School has a thriving community of PhD and MSc students and has links with regional universities, NHS hospital trusts, schools and community groups.

The core theoretical basis of clinical psychology will be presented via lectures and supported seminars. Seminars or workshops are used to explore key issues from the curriculum, both to facilitate understanding and develop skills; you are encouraged to prepare material in advance of the sessions, to exchange information as part of a peer network, and to reflect upon their understanding. Independent study will also be incorporated, as well as research supervision to support the production of a high-quality research project that will contribute to the field of clinical psychology.

The course is assessed through 1 exam; 11 pieces of written, oral or practical coursework; and 1 advanced research dissertation

The taught component of the course will take place on a Tuesday to support students with full-time jobs or family commitments, and it may be completed over 1 year (full-time) or 2 or more years (part-time).