Careers in Clinical Psychology

If you want to get into Clinical Psychology, then you’ll definitely want to read this post from Seyran Khalilli, Postgraduate Student in Psychosis Studies, and Marketing Assistant at King’s Careers & Employability. And we’ve got an Information Evening coming up if you’re interested in finding out about the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

If you’re interested in a career in clinical psychology, you are probably facing a meltdown when thinking about the application process and the competitive journey towards getting accepted onto the three-year DClin Psychology course. However, it is three years full of excitement, knowledge and hard work, so what’s not to like? If your future aspirations are to help people as a psychologist and to work clinically, we can reassure you that there are different pathways for you to gain relevant experience and build a successful application.

One thing we know for sure is that taking the correct pathways towards the programme is what matters. Even one small experience in a clinical work setting, or writing an academic paper as a research assistant can raise your chances!

So what’s the procedure, you ask? We will narrow it down to an easy template for you to get a better view of the broad opportunities.

  • The Application Process:  The DClin Psychology course at King’s College London is one of our most prominent and popular courses. There is a wealth of useful information on the programme’s website and in the guidance on the Clearing House Website.
  • There are two different routes available to apply for the DClinPsy Programme – the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology for Home/EU Fees Status and the King’s College London applications portal for overseas fees status.
  • The applications are accepted between September-December each year for entry in October the following year for Home/EU students. While for overseas candidates, applications are accepted between September and February each year for admission in October of that same year.

If you missed the application deadline, unfortunately you will have to wait to apply again until the following year. In the meantime, you should consider getting relevant work experience.

….so what can I do while at King’s?

King’s holds postgraduate research Open Evenings along with other events for prospective applicants to meet course staff and students. If you are interested in attending one of these, please see the IoPPN’s events calendar for announcements. The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme also holds bi-annual information evenings which are advertised on this calendar.

Entry requirements

When you’re assessed, the selection panel will be looking for candidates with experience, ideally those with at least a year’s worth of full-time equivalent clinical experience, so they can be confident you’ll be able to meet the clinical demands of the Programme.

The experience can be within a clinical or research setting and be either paid or voluntary, so as long as it’s relevant to the field of clinical psychology you are good to go! So what’s considered relevant? Generally, they’re looking for:

  • Supervision by a clinical psychologist
  • Familiarity with clinical populations and settings
  • Substantive (voluntary) position (preferably within a statutory setting, e.g. Local Authority Mental Health Volunteer)
  • Face to face contact with service users in a mental health service (e.g. graduate primary care worker, nursing or healthcare assistant)
  • Applying/disseminating research

You’ll also need Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). Normally candidates are also required to have a minimum 2.1 degree in psychology or different disciplines, where the candidate has achieved GBC with the BPS via a conversion diploma.

…and some final advice

Book an appointment with a specialist IoPPN Careers Consultant. They can guide you and make sure you keep an eye out for training and experience opportunities, either in person at Denmark Hill on Tuesdays or over the phone on Wednesdays. You can also get any applications or CVs reviewed by our Application Advisors, who are based in the WEC library twice a week.

For general advice on how to get into the Psychology Conversion course and the different specialisation areas of Psychology, you can also visit the British Psychology Association website and their interactive Careers Flowchart for further information on training in different fields of psychology. In addition, do check out Leeds clearing house. Finally, be proactive! Do start connecting with Universities that provide this programme to see what they offer.