NORTH WALES - University of Wales_ Bangor

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Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)
School of Psychology
Bangor University
LL57 2DG
Telephone: 01248 382205          Fax: 01248 383718

Admissions Tutor: Carolien Lamers, e-mail:

This three year Doctoral Programme is a collaborative venture between the
North Wales NHS Trusts and Bangor University. The Programme was the first to
establish the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the UK leading the way for other
Programmes. Health Service clinical psychologists have close working links with
the University School of Psychology, and the North Wales NHS Trusts currently
have numerous joint clinical psychology posts with the University. There are at
present about 70 qualified clinical psychologists working in North Wales covering
work in adult mental health, older adults, learning disabilities, child and
adolescent clinical psychology, forensic psychology, neuropsychology and health

The academic base of the Programme is in Bangor and the trainees have
dedicated teaching rooms in the newly commissioned School of Psychology
building overlooking the city of Bangor. The School of Psychology's research
excellence is widely recognised, as indicated by its current Research Assessment
Exercise rating of 5*, and is one of the most vibrant and friendly research
communities.     The School has particular strengths in clinical and health
psychology, cognitive neuropsychology, applied behaviour analysis, learning and
developmental psychology. One of the distinctive aspects of the North Wales
Programme is its close integration into a mainstream academic psychology
department, that is highly rated for both research and teaching. The School
received an Excellent rating in the latest Teaching Quality Assessment exercise
and during an internal Quality Audit of the School of Psychology, North Wales
Clinical Psychology Programme was recently commended for both its teaching
and pastoral care of trainees. The Programme has recently been accredited by
the BPS for the next 5 years.

Exciting opportunities have also been created with the restructuring of the
University into six colleges with Psychology, Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Studies, the School of Radiography, School of Sports Health and Exercise
Sciences and the Institute of Medical and Social Care Research joining to form
the College of Health and Behavioural Sciences. This brings existing Schools
with an interest in health together creating an environment for shared research
strategies and health related training activities in terms of professional learning.

Programme Philosophy
The Programme recognises that clinical psychology is a caring profession with a
number of distinctive features.        Chief among these are the close


interdependence between practice and research, and the systematic application
of psychological models, theories and evidence to the needs of clients and the
development of Services. The main aim of the Programme is to meet the needs
of the NHS for Chartered Clinical Psychologists who have:
     a wide range of clinical, organisational and research skills
     developed standards of high professional integrity
     an internalised model of reflective practice flexible enough to
       accommodate change.

The Programme welcomes change and continually reviews the training scheme.
In line with our vision we are currently focussing on: Systemic Working,
Creativity and Innovation, and Social Inclusion.

The Programme aims to select trainees for their commitment to clinical
psychology and their potential to develop a high level of clinical and academic
competence. It aims to foster this potential by encouraging the development of
skills, knowledge and values that underpin research, evaluation, clinical and
professional competence.       This approach takes place within a supportive
structure that facilitates personal and professional growth and uses the close
links that exist in North Wales between the clinical and academic services.

Bangor And Its Locality
There are few University towns or cities that can rival Bangor's location. It is set
in a region of outstanding natural beauty with the mountains, lakes and forests
of Snowdonia National Park, as well as having North Wales's dramatic coastline
on its doorstep.     There are unparalleled opportunities for outdoor activities,
attracting many students to Bangor. Today the City of Bangor is an important,
rapidly expanding commercial centre, but its compact size and rural setting
leave it free from many of the problems of the larger industrial cities. Bangor is
easily accessible; it is just over one hour's travelling distance from the M56
motorway, which joins with the M6. The M56 provides a direct link from
Manchester to the A55 coast expressway, while the A5 is a scenic route through
North Wales to Shropshire. Regular fast trains run between Bangor and London
Euston, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly. There is also an
Anglesey-Cardiff air link, which runs Monday to Friday.

Entry Requirements
Before applying candidates should have already obtained a single or joint
honours first or upper second class psychology degree and should be eligible for
Graduate Basis for Registration with the British Psychological Society.
Candidates who are currently undergraduates will not be short-listed for
interview due to the level of competition. It is expected that candidates will
have at least one year’s relevant clinical or research experience. Clinically
relevant experience should have given the candidate opportunity for substantial
interaction with people with significant health or psychological difficulties, ideally
under the supervision of a clinical psychologist. Research experience should
involve the investigation of psychological phenomenon within a clinical

The Programme is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes candidates
from a range of backgrounds. The Programme also is a Two Tick Scheme
subscriber. This means if an applicant with a disability meets the minimum


criteria to be short-listed for interview, he or she will automatically be invited for
interview. The applicant needs to indicate (in section 9) that they want their
application to be considered under the Two Tick Scheme. Please contact
Carolien Lamers, Admissions Tutor, ( for further
information and support that can be made available to candidates.

A significant proportion of the population in North Wales speaks Welsh as their
first language and Welsh speaking candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
for this Programme. The Programme is currently investigating strategies to
encourage more Welsh speakers to apply. Funding is available for those wishing
to learn the Welsh language.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to provide
proof that they possess an adequate level of English competence. They need to
have obtained level 8 on the IELTS scheme, with no elements below 7.5. This
does not apply to English/Welsh bi-lingual candidates.

Selection Procedure
Local NHS clinicians, service users and Programme staff are involved in the
selection process. The shortlist for interview will be decided on the basis of the
quality of the application form and academic and clinical references by a panel
comprising NHS and Programme staff. Candidates who have not been short
listed for interview can ring for feedback on their application form. An informal
buffet to meet existing trainees is held the evening prior to the interviews
allowing candidates to ask questions about the Programme and the area. The
interview panels comprise of a 3rd year trainee, service user or carer, local
clinicians and Programme team members and involves the assessment of
clinical, academic, research and reflective skills as well as the suitability for
clinical training. Throughout the interview process candidates are supported by
Programme staff and existing trainees who do their utmost to put candidates at
their ease. All candidates will be called on the last day of the interviews with
the interview panels’ decision. All candidates will also be offered a time to call
for further feedback.

Funding and Fees
The trainee posts are funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. There are
currently eight per annum. Successful candidates will become salaried trainee
clinical psychologists in the employment of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS
Trust and are paid at band 6 on Agenda for Change. Due to funding regulations
and restrictions we cannot accept self-funded trainees or trainees who would
normally be charged overseas fees (please add a link to fees status page)

Programme Structure
a)   Academic Component
     The Academic component of the Programme aims to actively engage
     trainees in the learning process. This is helped greatly by the relatively
     small size of each year group, allowing plenty of scope for discussion and
     development of ideas and skills. The majority of teaching is workshop-
     based, introducing problem based learning, with theory-research-practice
     links developed from the outset. Trainees are expected to take an active
     role in teaching and are expected to present cases at regularly scheduled


      case-discussion sessions. In the first year of the Programme, teaching
      focuses on topics including adult mental health, older adults, health
      psychology and neuropsychology reflecting the range of clinical
      experience trainees may have during the year. In the second year, child
      and adolescent mental health and learning disabilities teaching are
      covered. Third year academic sessions pursue a range of topics at a more
      specialist and advanced level and trainees’ preferences and interests are
      incorporated in the syllabus.      Most of the teaching takes place in
      academic blocks, but there are also 'college days' spread more evenly
      across the year, to further encourage theory-research-practice links.
      Teaching on issues relating to therapy, process, professional conduct,
      reflective practice and research run throughout the three years. While
      clinical and academic psychologists within North Wales undertake the
      majority of the teaching, psychologists from outside the area are also
      invited to contribute where appropriate. There is also some contribution
      from other professions and an increase in service users perspectives in
      the teaching sessions. Trainees have the opportunity to give feedback on
      all their academic sessions, thus enabling the Programme to keep
      improving the standards of its teaching and allowing the trainees’ views to
      be heard.
b)    Clinical Experience
      Clinical experience starts in November of Year One and extends over the
      three years of the Programme. The placements are provided over a large
      geographical area (Gwynedd, Anglesey, Conwy and Denbighshire, North
      Powys, Flintshire and Deeside, Wrexham). Placements available at the
      time of writing include: adult mental health, older adults, children and
      adolescence, learning disabilities, forensic psychology, neuropsychology,
      palliative care, behavioural medicine (adults), behavioural medicine
      (children), primary care services for children, continuing care, adult
      survivors of sexual abuse, severe and enduring mental health problems,
      child development, childhood autism, child conduct disorder, in-patient
      adolescents, challenging behaviour (learning disability) and profound
      learning disability. In addition trainees can gain clinical experience in
      particular therapeutic approaches such as dialectical behaviour therapy,
      cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis, psycho-dynamically orientated
      therapies, person centred therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy
      and mindfulness. Trainees with particular interests may explore the
      possibility of other placements both within North Wales and outside the
      area in the third year of training. For example trainees have undertaken
      placements      in    Tennessee     (child   behaviour),    South     Africa
      (neuropsychology), Reno (acceptance and commitment therapy) and
      India (older adults).     Placement Agreements are negotiated at the
      beginning of each placement by the supervisor and trainee in conjunction
      with Programme staff. These contracts are reviewed mid-way through
      the placement. Trainees are required to provide feedback on all their
      placements as part of our endeavour to ensure that the high quality of
      clinical experience is maintained and improved.
c)    Research
      Research is an important aspect of the Programme. Training in research
      skills occurs throughout the Programme under the direction of the
      Research Director and tutors . Time is set-aside for trainees to carry out
      a literature based and a data based project during the first and second


      years of the Programme. Additionally, trainees will start preparing their
      large-scale research project during the second year. The overall aim of
      the Programme is to ensure that all trainees gain experience in using a
      range of research models and strategies.

      A range of research supervision is available across the NHS Trusts of
      North Wales and also in the School of Psychology. At present, research
      programmes are being conducted in several areas including self-control in
      children, evaluation of pain management, new treatments for conduct
      disordered children, people with a learning disability who display
      challenging behaviours, autism, dementia care, addictive behaviours,
      cognitive approaches to psychosis, autobiographical memory and mental
      health, cognitive and coping strategies in adult survivors of sexual abuse,
      mental health problems in people with learning disabilities, attributions in
      staff working with people with learning disabilities, families of people with
      intellectual and developmental disabilities, relationship issues in older
      adults and primary care child mental health. The Programme supports
      research using both quantitative and qualitative methodology and
      provides supervision and support to qualitative research projects from
      within the scientist practitioner tradition. In addition, research in clinical
      and health psychology is one of the strengths of the School of Psychology,
      as well as in clinical neuroscience.

There are no unseen written examinations in the Programme.                 Trainees’
competence in theoretical aspects of clinical psychology, clinical skills and
professional issues is evaluated by continuous assessment through essays,
evaluations of clinical competence, reports of clinical activity, a reflective piece
of work, a service related research project and a meta analytic project. At the
end of the third year, the candidates’ major research project is evaluated by
viva voce examination.

Trainee Support
The small size of trainee cohorts enables the Programme to have a friendly and
relaxed atmosphere.       In order to address individual training needs, the
Programme has a system of allocating a Training Co-ordinator to each trainee.
The Training Co-ordinator is a member of the Programme Team and oversees
and monitors trainee development over the three years of the Programme.
Each trainee also is funded to receive 24 personal development counselling
sessions from recognised counsellors who are independent of the Programme.
Trainees also select a Personal Tutor (a local NHS Clinical Psychologist) to
discuss matters to do with their training. An annual study leave budget is also
available to enable trainees to attend conferences and workshops.

Trainee Facilities
Each trainee is provided with a laptop for their use during their time on the
Programme. In addition to their own Programme library, based within the Main
Arts Library, trainees have access to the wide range of facilities at the University
library. The facilities within the School of Psychology (e.g. psychological and
computer laboratories) are also available to trainees. There is a dedicated
trainee resource room that contains computers and the Programme test library.


Lease cars are available to trainees on the Programme and many trainees take
advantage of this opportunity.
Trainee Representation
Trainees are involved in both the organisation and day-to-day running of the
Programme.        For example, there are trainee representatives on all the
Programme committees and trainees are consulted in the organisation of the
academic teaching. Trainees are also encouraged to monitor academic and
clinical input to the Programme, assessing the quality of both clinical supervision
and academic teaching.

Programme Staff

Dr David Daley                   Senior Research Tutor
Ms Sharon Fraser                 Programme Manager
Dr Isabel Hargreaves             Programme Director/ Clinical Director
Dr Helen Healy                   Clinical Tutor
Professor Richard Hastings       Research Director
Dr Robert Jones                  Continuing Professional Development Director
Ms Carolien Lamers               Admissions Tutor
Miss Lynn Moran                  Research Secretary
Ms Sharon Owen                   Academic Secretary
Ms Renee Rickard                 Clinical Tutor
Mrs Dawn Thompson                PA/Clinical Secretary
Dr Rebecca Williams              Senior Academic Tutor
Professor Bob Woods              Academic Director

Additional contributions to the Programme are made by the School of
Psychology, Bangor University and Clinical Psychology Departments in the NHS
Trusts of North Wales.