The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)
To become a Clinical Psychologist in the UK you must complete a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) which takes 3 years. In the UK this is the only way you can become a qualified clinical psychologist.
In other countries, such as the USA, taking the right type of PhD will qualify you as a Clinical Psychologist. However, this is not the case in the UK. If you take a PhD, even if it is focussed on topics closely related to clinical psychology, it will not allow you to work as a clinical psychologist.
Similarly, in some countries such as Australia and Malaysia, it is possible to qualify as a clinical psychologist with a Masters Degree. This is not possible in the UK. Unfortunately, there are many Masters courses in the UK with titles such as Masters in Clinical Psychology or Masters in Child Psychology. These courses are introductory courses. You will not be able to practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia or any other country if you complete one of these courses.
I’ve met quite a few good people who have mistakenly taken one of these courses. It is understandable as the courses often state they are accredited by the BPS and they sound clinical. However, they are accredited for their academic content in the same way as the BPS accredits undergraduate degrees. They are not accredited as clinical training courses. So we recommend that you do not take a Masters of Clinical Psychology in the UK.
Until recently the UK’s National Health Service (the NHS) had paid for all the available doctoral training places. So there were no places available to foreign students. However, British Universities are opening a small number of training places to international students. The entry requirements for international students vary between universities. But in general they will require that you:
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Candidates need to hold (or hold the equivalent of) a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited psychology degree with a degree classification of 2:1 or above.
If your degree is not from the UK you can apply to the BPS to determine if your degree is equivalent to a UK degree. You can do that by applying for Graduate Membership with the British Psychological Society on the the BPS website.
If your degree is not equivalent you can take an accredited conversion course. These courses are listed on the BPS website here (select conversion course in the ‘Course Type’ Drop down box).
If you’re travelling to the UK to study a conversion Masters the Conversion Masters at Edinburgh University looks interesting because it’s orientated towards people who would like to apply for clinical psychology training. There are also distance learning options so you don’t actually have to study in the UK and there are conversion masters available in Hong Kong.
- If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate a good level of proficiency in both written and spoken English.
- Have some experience of the settings and people that Clinical Psychologists may work with.
Gaining Work Experience
You will usually need at least one years work experience in order to apply successfully for the DClinPsy courses. This is because the courses want you to know what being a clinical psychologist actually involves. They want you to have spent time with people who are in need of psychological support because as a clinical psychologist you will spend much of your time working with people who are distressed or finding aspects of life really difficult. It’s best to know that you are comfortable being with people who are in distress before you invest in a DClinPsy.
It is also very helpful if you have had the opportunity to observe a clinical psychologist at work to see what their work involves. Although, this isn’t essential because most of DClinPsy courses will understand that it can be difficult to find work where you get to observe a clinical psychologist.
I’m often asked if it’s necessary to gain work experience in the UK. The answer to that question is ‘no’, it’s perfectly acceptable to gain experience in your home country. Most of the DClinPsy courses recognise that finding work overseas is very challenging, particularly in the UK which currently has a government that is determined to reduce immigration which can make acquiring a work visa challenging.
If you are about to study in the UK or have recently studied in the UK then the visa situation becomes a lot easier. A student visa usually gives you the right to work part time (although it’s important to have at least the equivalent of a 2:1 in your Psychology degree to get onto the DClinPsy courses so avoid spending too much time on gaining work experience). The UK also usually grants a two year working visa to people who have studied undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.
The most popular role to gain experience of clinical psychology is that of ‘Assistant Psychologist’. Unfortunately, there are usually hundreds of applications to Assistant Psychologist posts by local British aspiring Clinical Psychologists and as an overseas applicant you’ll be at a disadvantage. It’s therefore unlikely that you’ll be able to secure an Assistant Psychologist role in the UK. Another popular role to apply for is that of Research Assistant where the research is linked to clinical psychology. These roles are less competitive than the Assistant Psychologist roles but there are still high numbers of applicants.
The roles that are useful for getting onto clinical training and usually have a number of openings are Health Care Support Worker or Health Care Assistant. These are general job titles so not all of the jobs will be relevant. If these roles are in settings such as mental health, learning disabilities, brain injury or dementia then they are usually a great opportunity to gain experience whilst genuinely helping people in need. The downside of these jobs are that they are poorly paid whilst requiring a lot of work. Given the high living costs in the UK you may not be able to save much money by working in these roles.
Once you find a place to gain work experience, try to focus on what you can learn from the experience. Take time to reflect on both the good and bad things that you notice and think through how you would improve things. It’s easy to forge this information and your initial observations can be really useful so you may need to write down or record what you notice. This approach and the knowledge you gain from it will help you once you become a clinical psychologist. It’s also what the DClinPsy courses will be looking for. You won’t gain much credit by having many years of experience and a long list of impressive sounding jobs unless you can also demonstrate what you’ve learnt and gained from the experience.
Who accredits clinical psychology programmes in the UK?
Universities offering doctorate programmes in Clinical Psychology have Health & Care Professional Council approval, and British Psychological Society accreditation:
- HCPC Approval: Each programme is required to meet the standards of education and training required by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). HCPC is the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK.
- BPS Accreditation: Each programme is required to obtain accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates of the programme are able to apply for Chartered Membership and full membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology providing they also have the Graduate Basis for Registration.
Do I need to be licensed or registered to practice as a psychologist in the UK?
In the UK the title of ‘Clinical Psychologist’ is protected by law. You must be registered by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) to use it.
Any UK student who completes the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) course in the UK would automatically be eligible for registration with the HCPC and the BPS. Most overseas students taking a DClinPsy should also be automatically be eligible unless the university has decided to give overseas students different types of placement and training. It would be a good idea to check with the university that you would be eligible for HCPC registration.
If you are a registered clinical psychologist in another country you can apply to the HCPC to see if your qualifications are recognised in the UK.
If I train as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK will I be able to practice in my home country?
You should check with the authorities or potential employers in your home country to determine whether a UK qualification will be recognised. The British Clinical Psychology qualification is usually accepted internationally but some countries, for example the USA, may require that you take extra examinations before you can work.
How much will it cost?
The fee for a 3 year Clinical Psychology course in the UK ranges between £20,000 and £35,000 per year. You will also need to be able to afford to live in the UK. The actual cost of living depends on the region in which you live. Universities based in London estimate that you will need £1,000 to £1,200 per month for living costs.
More rural Universities estimate that you will need £800 per month but you may need to access to a car to be able to get to your placements. Further estimates of living costs can be found on the Numbeo website.
It is not possible to work part-time to cover costs in the UK because the course itself is very demanding. Given the high costs involved the courses generally expect that you will have secured funding in your home country perhaps via your government or another funding organisation.
What are the VISA Requirements for the UK?
International students must obtain a Tier-4 student visa to study in the UK. For more information on visa requirements, please visit www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa.
Which Universities currently offer places for international students to study clinical psychology?
The ‘Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology’ lists which courses have self-funded places which are open to international students here.
British students cannot apply to most of the self-funded places. The table below was retrieved from the Clearing House website in October 2022. Please check the Clearing House website for the most up-to-date information.
|Course||Fee status required & how to apply|
|University of Birmingham||Overseas fees status only.|
Apply directly to the university.
|University of East Anglia||Overseas fees status only.|
Apply through the Clearing House to course 502.
|University of Exeter||Overseas fees status only.|
Apply through the Clearing House to course 902.
|University of Hertfordshire||Any fees status.|
Apply through the Clearing House to course 1102 or directly to the university.
|Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience – King’s College London||Overseas fees status only.|
Apply directly to the university.
|University of Manchester||Overseas fees status only.|
Apply through the Clearing House to course 1702.
|North Thames – University College London||Overseas fees status only.|
Apply through the Clearing House to course 1902.
UK trainee clinical psychologists are employed by the UK’s National Health Service. So to apply for an NHS place you need to have the right to work in the UK without restriction. A student visa is not enough for an NHS place on clinical psychology training.
We are not qualified to tell you whether you have the right to work in the UK or not. If you are unsure of your status please:
- check the UK Visas and Immigration website or
- check the information provided by your local British Embassy
What’s it like to study Clinical Psychology in the UK as an international student?
We recommend this website which was written by a group of international trainees who studied or are currently studying Clinical Psychology in the UK. They describe their experiences and give advice about the process of applying to clinical psychology training in the UK.
The website’s URL is: https://www.dclinpsy-international.co.uk/
Job opportunities once you qualify
We’re often asked about the job prospects for clinical psychologists once they qualify. I’ve written an article on ‘the Status of Clinical Psychology in Malaysia‘ which I hope will be helpful if you are planning to work in Malaysia.
If you obtain a qualification in the UK you will have the option of working in the UK. A new Graduate Visa is now being offered. It gives graduates from doctorate degrees permission to work in the UK for three years. As a skilled professional there is also a higher chance that you will be able to get permission to continue working in the UK after the three years. With some experience you may also be able to apply to live and work in other countries.
Any questions or comments about training as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK as an international applicant?
Did you find this article helpful? If you have any questions on training in the UK as a Clinical Psychologist please write them in the comments section at the bottom of this page. We will reply to you as soon as possible.
We would also be happy to receive any comments or opinions you may have on this article.
Thank you Dr. Dan Seal for providing such precise information. I am still unclear on part that does NHS offer complete funding to international students as well, If yes, which university offer that.
Unfortunately the NHS doesn’t offer any funding to international students. If you are an overseas applicant you need to self-fund or find the funding elsewhere.
Dear Dr Seal, Currently my daughter is doing MSc Psychology in London and would like to pursue DClinPsy..
According to you which might be the best college / university to apply for DClinPsy in UK which is really good / acclaimed and is value for money?
Currently my daughter is doing MSc Psychology and would like to pursue DClinPsy.
Hi Matt, the good thing about the clinical psychology courses in the UK is that they are all regulated by our National Health Service. This means they all have a minimum standard and there are certain topics that every trainee clinical psychologist must learn. So in that way they are all good. The larger cities are likely to have placements (part of the course involves learning on the job) which are more multi-cultural or more specialist. It’s a good idea to choose a course which suits one’s approach and preferences. The Alternative Handbook is one place to get a bit more informal knowledge about the courses: https://www1.bps.org.uk/system/files/user-files/Division%20of%20Clinical%20Psychology/public/Alt%20Hand%202018%20v6.pdf. The University of East Anglia has had a number of students from Malaysia and has some links with Sunway university here so I know they are very welcoming. It’s a bit difficult for me to say which university course has the ‘best value’ because I think it will depend a lot on individual preference.
Sir i have completed my post graduate diploma in counseling and psychotherapy . I want to work as an intern under clinical psychologist in UK . What are the ways of getting it? how will get the consent of psychologist ?
It is extremely difficult to work as an intern under a clinical psychologist in the UK. This is because many people are aiming to gain the experience they need in order to apply for the clinical psychology training programmes. As you have a counselling and psychotherapy qualification then it might be better to look for work experience with an organisation that does counselling or psychotherapy. You’ll also need a visa that allows you to work in the UK – without one you are unlikely to get an intern role as it is difficult for organisations to apply for visas on the behalf of staff unless they have a high level of expertise or experience.
Hello Dr. Seal! Thank you for this post, it was much more helpful than other posts I have read. I am currently working in the US completely my post doctoral training for licensing in California. I am beginning to do research on transferring to the UK in the coming years in order to be closer to loved ones. Today I reached out to the BPS for more information regarding licensure requirements and regulations to see how my license would transfer to working in the UK. I have an undergraduate, masters, and doctorate in applied and clinical psychology. I am wanting to gather information now in an attempt to be thoroughly in the know about what a transfer such as this might entail. I also want to do as much as possible to be prepared and properly regulated once I begin the visa process. Do you know the best place to begin? Thank you again!
Hi, yes, I think I can point you in the right direction! The organisation that you need to be communicating with is the Health and Care Professions Council http://www.hcpc-uk.org/. They are the legal regulator for clinical psychologists in the UK. In the past it was necessary for overseas clinical psychologists to be accredited by the BPS but that’s no longer really the case. That’s somewhat fortunate as I understand that the process with the HCPC is a little simpler than it used to be with the BPS. I wish you luck with your future application.
hello Dr. Seal. im studying in psychological science at the moment in Monash Malaysia. and I’m interested in clinical psychology. as you mentioned there are many postgraduate courses but I don’t know which ones will qualify me as a clinical psychologist.
I was wondering if these two courses will qualify me as a clinical psychologist after I have graduated.
Neither of those UCL Masters courses would allow you to work clinically in the UK or anywhere else. They are academic courses rather than practical ones. If you go to the UK you must to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) to be able to work as a Clinical Psychologist.
Thank you for the wonderful detailed article. If i have completed my Masters (foreign student) from a BPS affiliated university do i still need to give the GBC (Graduate basis of chartered membership) exam for my doctorate?
Thanks! It depends on what Masters you took. If you took a conversion course then you may just need to show your undergraduate degree certificate. If you make an application to the the BPS for the GBC (or GBR as it used to be called) they should tell you the steps that you need to take. Here’s the link: https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership
Hello Dr Seal. My daughter is currently in her final year studying for her BSc (Hons) Psychology in the UK. She would like to pursue further in DClinPsy and eventually practised as a Clinical Psychologist.
Can she enrol in the DClinPsy program without obtaining a MSc degree? She plan to take up MSc but I understand that if her exam grades are good, it may not be necessary. At the same time, I am worried that she may be at a disadvantage when competing with students who are equipped with a Masters.
My husband felt that she should fast-tracked into the DClinPsy program (her results for 1st & 2nd year were good) instead of doing the one year MSc program. Her concern is that she does not know what to expect in the doctoral program & whether the knowledge gained from her BSc can somewhat be applied into the program. She is in a dilemma & so are we.
Appreciate your kind advice.
Hi Karen, as long as your daughter gets a 2:1 or better in her undergraduate degree it’s not necessary to get an MSc in order to be able to enrol in a DClinPsych. Many British students obtain a MSc in research methods because that can help them compete for the limited number of funded places for UK students. However, there is less competition for places for international students due to the expense of the course. The doctoral programmes only assume that trainees have the knowledge from their undergraduate degree so your daughter won’t be at a disadvantage if she doesn’t have a MSc. The topics you learn on the doctoral course are very different from those in an undergraduate course but you need the knowledge from the undergraduate course as a foundation for the practical skills you learn on the doctoral course.
The minimum requirement that your daughter may not have met is a years work experience. This just means getting some experience of the settings and people that Clinical Psychologists may work with. I personally think it’s a good idea for clinical psychologists to have had some experience doing other types of work as well. A little life experience makes it easier to talk to clients and makes it easier for clients to relate to us.
Hi, I am Sunandini from India. I have completed my Bachelor’s from an Indian University and currently pursuing MSc in Psychology Conversion Course (Distance Learning) which confers GBC membership from the BPS. I am also currently training under a PHD Clinical Psychologist in a Hospital setting (06/2018-06/2019) to gain work experience. The main duties of my training period are to have direct interaction with the clients under the suprevision of the Senior Clinical Psychologist and also to take client history and case conceptualisation. I am also given the responsibility to administer psychometric assessments if required (such as personality tests like TAT and Rorchach Inkblot test, IQ assessments like PGIBBD, WAPIS and MISC, etc). In addition to this, I have to make reports for the assessments administered on the client which is checked and signed by the supervisor. I am currently able to apply stress and anxiety management programmes on clients and JPMR relaxation therapy. Im on observational learning for cognitive restructuring and CBT. On a monthly basis, I am given assignments to finish in order to gain more knowledge over the subject.
My main query now is, how do I proceed in order for me to get into a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Training programme? I have recently applied for MSc in Foundations in Clinical Psychology, thinking that it will add to my CV and add weightage to my application. Could you please let me know in your opinion, is it better for me to study further the foundations course in an UK University or should I try for job opportunities in the UK as an assistant Clinical Psychologist? I have got a reply from one of the University that I have applied to, stating that I was overqualified for the course (Msc Foundation is Clinical Psychology) and hence rejected my application. On the other hand, a few Universities have accepted my application and have given me a conditional offer letter.
Now I am confused as to how to proceed because I really want to get into a University for the Doctorate program and become a practitioner Clinical Psychologist, which is my main goal. It would be great help if you could provide me some guidance on how to proceed.
It sounds like you’re getting all the right experience. If you complete the MSc in Psychology Conversion Course and get a good grade (2:1+) you should be eligible to apply directly to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programmes. They wouldn’t expect you to have Assistant Psychology experience from the UK. The biggest restriction is the cost (it’s extremely expensive to self-fund a Clinical Psychology Course in the UK and I don’t know of any funding options unless you can find some from your own country). I don’t think those MSc in Foundations of Clinical Psychology are very helpful for foreign applicants (I don’t think they’re very helpful for UK applicants either to be honest) so it’s good that they suggested you didn’t join their course.
Hi Dr Seal, very kind of you to provide such rich and detailed information.
I am 31, from morocco, and am thinking about converting to psychology. I am thinking about starting with an online psychology certificat from Derby, then online bsc (hons).
I want to ask you if these qualify me to go further, and what road should i take to become a chartered clinical psychologist in the uk ?
Is it possible/advisable to do an online doctorate in the uk ?
Do charitable activities in morocco during the bsc count as work experience ?
What would you advise me to do, consideinrg my age, and knowing that i am highly motivated to become a clinical psychlogist ?
Thank you in advance and have a nice day !
It is possible to get an undergraduate degree in psychology via online distance learning. However, it’s not possible to do a clinical psychology qualification online because you need on-the-job training. All clinical psychology courses require that you do clinical work under the supervision of a qualified Clinical Psychologist. The main barrier to training in the UK for overseas students is the cost involved. You’ll need a lot of money to pay for the tuition fees and living costs in the UK. You might find local courses that are more affordable (I don’t know what’s available in Morocco). Clinical Psychology might be a more difficult path if you don’t already have a psychology degree. You could look into counselling as a career because there is some overlap with clinical psychology and it’s usually possible to do the post graduate qualification without a psychology degree.
Hi Dr Seal,
I hope you are well. I am a South African psychology student, I have completed my honours degree with a 1st class. Unfortunately my South African honours is not recognised with the BPS. I have enrolled in a MSc Psychology course and will pursue a DClinPsyc course in England. I am married to a British citizen, due to this would I be eligible for funding from the NHS because I am married to a British citizen, my MSc course was completed at a British university, and I reside in England; or would this still fall under the international student branch.
Then once I have completed my MSc course and I don’t get into a doctorate program straight away, are there any work opportunities available to those who hold a BPS accredited MSc?
Hi Devon, you seem to be taking all the correct steps. You do need to do a Masters or Conversion masters in order to get the Graduate Basis for Registration with the BPS. I don’t know whether that would make you eligible for an NHS funded training place. The current UK government has increasingly taken a harsher anti-immigrant stance (Brexit being a good example of this). I think there are some rules about how long you need to have lived in the UK in order to be eligible. The downside of being an international student of clinical psychology is that the tuition fees are very high. The downside of a funded place is that it is extremely competitive. You will need to get at least a years work experience before you’ll be accepted onto a clinical psychology course. Related jobs for psychology graduates include Research Assistant, Assistant Psychologist, Care Assistant in rehabilitation or psychiatric units and anything else in which you work alongside people who may access psychological services. If you decide against becoming a practitioner psychologist then your psychology degree should be well regarded by most employers.
Greetings Dr. Daniel Seal,
Thank you for your thorough explanation in this article. I am an American who has completed an undergraduate at University of California, Irvine (UCI) and master’s degree in clinical psychology at Columbia University with many spiritual psychology emphasis (as my focus is mostly on holistic healing/alternative therapeutic practices). I am interested in applying to PhD programs in the UK. How do I go about seeking accredited PhD clinical psychology programs that will be easily transferrable if I move back to the US to practice Clinical psychology (I know I would have to speak with the American Psychological Association, but wanted to see what your take on this was.) Deep gratitude and appreciation for your time and energy in advance!
Hi Ramanee, first you’d need to check that your degree and masters give you graduate basis for registration with the British Psychological Society. That shouldn’t be a problem if you took undergraduate psychology in the US. In the USA you can take a PhD course that allows you to work clinically. In the UK PhD courses do not allow you to work clinically. You need to take a DClinPsych. This is a professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. As I describe on the site the main challenge there is getting sufficient funds together in order to be able to take the course. If you are hoping to move to the USA with a British Doctorate in Clinical Psychology it is technically possible but quite difficult. You have to apply to the state that you are hoping to live in rather than there being a national licensing board. Training in the USA tends to take longer than most other countries (5 years I think) so they ask people with qualifications from overseas to take exams to demonstrate they have equivalent knowledge. I think those exams vary by state and are apparently quite challenging. I hope that helps.
I am a student of Master of art in Psychology from Hong Kong and my university is top ranked worldwide. I will be eigible to be a graduate member of Hong Kong Psychology Society. I studied economics and finance during undergraduate and have decided to shift my profession from financial industry to clinical psychology. I found your articles and Q&A session very useful! Much gratitude if you can give me some kind advice.
1. Does my undergraduate grade matter?
I only obtained a 2:2 honour of my bachelor’s degree in economics and finance. However, my gpa is 3.7/4 during my master degree (I studied my bachelor’s and master’s degree in the same university). Would that affect my application?
2. Could intern experiences and student research experiences equivalent to/compensate one year working experience?
I have 2 months unpaid working experience at cooperate clinical psychology services under Hong Kong Hospital Authority (government organisation), and have worked under clinical psychologist’s supervision and she is willing to be my referee ; 1 month unpaid experience at a private autism school, worked closely with applied behavioural therapists. Besides, i have 6 years experiences of working as part-time teaching assistant; summer intern experience at a hedge fund. On top of that I have joined 2 clinpsyc laboratory as student research helped, under clinical psychologists’s supervision.
Thank you very much and I am looking forwards to seeing your reply!!
Hi Leanne, I’m glad you found my articles useful. Most clinical psychology courses require a 2:1 or above. However, they usually just need evidence that you have sufficient academic ability to cope with a clinical psychology course. If you have a good Masters grade that should be enough. Intern experiences and research experiences are both valid working experience. The work experience you list sounds great – although what’s even more important is your ability to reflect on those experiences and learn from them. Good luck with your applications.
Thank you Dr. Seal for your reply!! They’re really encouraging.
Another question is, UK universities require applicants to have GBC of BPS. Yet when I apply for the Dclinpsy now (for program starting from fall 2020), I am not yet a master graduate (until July2020) and hence not yet a graduate member of BPS. Do you think it is possible to obtain conditional offer/or do uk universities offer conditional offer with these cases?
I’m quite confused about these procedures.
Thank you very much again!!
I’m not entirely sure but I suspect they would wait for confirmation that you have passed your masters with a good grade and that the BPS recognises your qualifications as meeting GBC. I don’t think they give conditional offers but I’m not sure as the requirements vary for international students. You could attempt to apply and see what their response is.
Greetings Dr. Dan
I am Muhammad Ahmad from Pakistan, I’ve recently got offer for Msc Forensic Psychology (BPS accredited) at Coventry university January intake, thats the only option I have for coming january 2020. After taking this course, I will have the GBC..
Actually I am interested in working or practice or do my internship in clinical psychology area after doing this masters in UK, and after this Msc Forensic Psychology I want to go for Dclinicalpsych… Is there any flexibility in UK that after taking Msc Forensic psychology degree, students can work or practice in clinical setting so they can peruse their career into clinical side?? What you suggest?
Im very confuse regarding these questions.
Hope you will help…
In most middle income or developing it’s difficult to work as a Forensic Psychologist. The main role of Forensic Psychologists is to rehabilitate people who have been put in prison for their crimes. If the country does not put a lot of funding into rehabilitation programmes there are few or no jobs for Forensic Psychologists. However, I see that you are doing the Masters in order to get the GBC. The UK has recently announced a plan to allow graduates to work for two years in the UK. I don’t know if this applies to masters students or when the scheme starts. Perhaps you could look into it. You could try to find work experience in a clinical setting during your course or after (if the visa allows) but Assistant Psychologist roles are extremely competitive so you may need to look into being a support worker or nursing assistant in a psychiatric hospital or similar. It might also be a good idea to check if your finances can cover all those years in the UK. Living costs and tuition fees are extremely high. There may be cheaper ways to get the GBC (distance learning for example).
Thank you much Dr. Seal
And yes I am eligible for new visa scheme that allow students to work or find work in the 2 years after their graduation, and this scheme applies to master students also, staring from 2019 september and 2020 january..
Another query I have, what about Industrial Organizational or Occupational Psychology in order to get GBC? I mean if there is difficulty in finding a job in forensic psychology but it might be easy to find a job In occupational side.. maybe I can get some work experience regarding organizational psychology and then move to clinical side, so I could gain some experience in clinical side and apply for Dclinpsy….
There are some other good courses like Msc Neuropharmacology and Msc Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, do you think that such courses can give me an edge to reach into clinical psychology settings??
Whats the possibilty to move to clinical psychology setting??
What you suggest?
You shouldn’t have difficulty finding a place as a foreign student on a clinical training programme in the UK providing you: a) have the funds to allow you to study the full course whilst living in the UK b) have the equivalent of a 2:1 undergraduate degree or a good masters, c) meet requirements for GBC, d) have some experience of what working with people with mental health issues will be like and e) you interview well (i.e you come across as someone genuinely wanting to help others, are responsive to feedback, willing to learn etc). There are some clinical training courses that are much harder to get onto (for example UCL’s places are often full even for foreign students). The clinical courses tend to regard research methods courses highly – but I wouldn’t do a research methods course unless you have a real interest in research. Getting qualified as an organisational psychologist is also very difficult because of the placement requirements but a masters in organisational psychology might be better regarded by corporate companies if you decided to give up on the clinical psychology route and seek a ‘regular job’. If you can afford the fees for clinical psychology I’d focus on doing a masters that you’re really interested in which might also be of use once you become a clinical psychologist. You could also try to contact the clinical training course that you’re really interested in and ask them what there suggestions are (they may have different opinions to me!).
Greetings Dr Dan,
My name is Anisha and I am writing in from Malaysia. I have been doing my research on placements in the UK however it still hasn’t given me much clarity.
My undergraduate was a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) in which I graduated with a distinction. I ran through the accreditation for this program a few months back, turns out it is not accredited by the BPS. I recently completed a MSc in Developmental Psychology, a research-based program in which I obtained a distinction too. I was working with the academic field for 2 years after my Bachelors. After obtaining my Masters, I started working with an international NGO dealing with refugees and asylum-seekers. However, this job does not involve any direct clinical practice or interventions. This is my 10th month serving with this NGO.
I am confused on my eligibility into this program. It would truly help, if you could advise me on my eligibility.
I look forward to your reply Dr.Dan.
Thank you very much.
Hi Anisha, congratulations on your distinctions in your degrees. If you think your qualifications are equivalent to a UK psychology degree but they don’t automatically give you GBC you can apply to the British Psychological Society so that they can assess them. This link should help you find more information https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership . The UK courses are aware that it’s difficult to get clinical experience. They will however be looking for evidence that you know what it’s like to work with people who are in psychological distress – so it depends what you are doing with the NGO and how you reflect on it.
I am Richika from India. I am immensely grateful to you for the guidance you are providing.
I have completed my Bachelors( first division) and Masters in Psychology from india.
I am interested in DclinPsy from UK and planning to apply in September,2020.
I have part time clinical experiences for few months and currently working to gain clinical experience. I would like your suggestion regarding if experince is not proper as clinical will be equally considered before applying for DclinPsy?
Also I would kindly like to know if there are plenty job opportunities in UK after I complete my DclinPsy (from UK itself) as a a clinical psychologist being an international student.? Or it would act as a barrier( being an international student?)
May I please also know the universities for DclinPsy which accept international students and also allow to work part time?
Any suggestions for the interview that universities conduct for DclinPsy admissions?
Thankyou Sir for your time and guidance. Have a good day 🙂
Hi Richika, the first step to applying to the UK Doctorate courses (after checking if you have sufficient funds to do so) is to check that your undergraduate degree is accepted by the BPS. You’ll probably need to contact them to demonstrate equivalency. You won’t be able to work part time on the Clinical Psychology courses. The courses already require you to work a few days a week on placement. This is like having a full time job but you won’t be paid and you won’t have time to work elsewhere. The question about working in the UK after the DClinPsych depends on the UK’s immigration rules once you graduate. That’s hard to predict right now. The current British government is anti-immigration so they are making it difficult for anyone to stay and work in the country. Whether that changes depends on the political situation.
Hello Dr Seal,
My name is Greg and I am currently in the process of applying for the Chevening Scholarship for my Masters Degree and am looking at three course choices:
1) Msc Clinical Neuropsychiatry, King’s College London
2) Msc Affective Disorders, King’s College London
3) Msc Clinical Mental Health Sciences, University College London
I would like to ask; in the event I am able to obtain an offer from these courses; which course would you recommend as my end goal is to be a Clinical Psychologist focusing on mood, anxiety and personality disorders, but at the same time my other interest is to be a clinical practitioner focusing on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
My next question is, given I will only be obtaining a Masters qualification for the time being, what would my job prospects be like coming back to Malaysia to work since I am not a qualified clinical psychologist yet. Would I be able to work in clinics or hospitals or does this qualification confine me to work only as a research assistant or volunteering at NGO’s. My goal in my job would be to gain clinical experience in the field so as to meet the eligibility criteria to apply for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the UK in the future.
Please advise. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Hi Greg, all of those Masters courses are strong options. You seem to have a good understanding of how the clinical psychology process works. Yes, those masters won’t make you a clinician but they will give you a lot of knowledge that will be useful once you are a clinician. Which you take would just depend on your own interest. If you came back with any of those Masters I suspect you’d be looking at an academic job. Some universities accept lecturers with just a masters. If you had the money to apply for the Doctorate in the UK then you probably wouldn’t be restricted by experience (if you did the masters there you could just do some part time work as care assistant in a psychiatric hospital, learning difficulties unit or dementia ward). If you don’t have the money for the UK doctorate then you could study a Masters in Clinical Psychology in Malaysia and then do online courses to expand your knowledge. I’m planning to write up some of the online courses that are available on my website.
Dear Dr. Seal
I am from India, completed M.A. in Psychology (major- Clinical Psychology). I have four years of work experience with an ngo as a Psychologist and the Indian Navy as a Psychologist and Guest Faculty for the officers of the Indian Armed Forces.
My interest areas are Child Sexual Abuse and PTSD in Military personnel.
i am keen on pursuing ClinPsyD in the UK. I have acquired the required GBC status from BPS.
I will be grateful if you could guide me regarding the same.
If you have GBR, some work experience and the savings to pay for the doctorate and living expenses then you can start applying to the clinical psychology courses in the UK. I’ve listed a few of the courses that are open to international applicants on my website but there are liekly to me more. You can contact the university courses directly to ask them how to apply.
I have a few questions regarding internships and the route to clinical psychology.
1) I’m a 2nd year student from a UK Scotland University (we do 4 years degree here), and my uni’s psychology degree is very aimed towards science (for example we have to take neuroscience as a compulsory subject during year 1 and 2, and we have clinical assessment as modules), I was wondering if this aspect of my uni put me in better position when applying for internships/jobs after I graduate (given I got good grades)?
For example, I know that in Malaysia if you only studied a psychology degree, a lot of times you would work in organisation or corporate HR department, but since my uni’s psychology has a more science background, I’m imagining that it would be more difficult for me to apply for a job in a corporate, but would I be able to get hired work in actual psychology job areas?
2) Also, I was once very conflicted between if I wanted to work in corporates or in clinical settings, so I actually took 2 modules of management this semeteser, however I didn’t really like it so I’m dropping it and sticking to pure science psychology next semester. If I wanted to work in corporations, would you suggest me taking masters in business psychology/organisational psychology in post grad? What kind of work would I be able to apply to with these masters? Is it worth the year studying it? (As in so I get to work in areas other than HR…)
3) I’m planning on to apply for internships in malaysia during June-August 2020, do you know if hospitals by any chance offer internships program for psychology students? (I’ve emailed a few hospitals but am waiting for their reply, I’ve mentioned the science background of my uni but not sure if it helps…)
4) I’m planning to work for maybe a year after I finish my undergrad, before deciding on to clinical psychology. I’ve saw a few students working as research assistant prior to studying clinical psychology, but most of them are from the uni they graduate from (Sunway etc), do you know if the chance of them accepting students graduating from another uni is high? Like should I email them myself to apply as a research assistant? Other than research assistant? What else could I work in to gain experience before studying clinical psychology?
5) Are there any scholarships in malaysia currently for students who got accepted into UK universities for clinical psychology? Or isit pure self funded?
6) are there any other countries that you suggest would be good for a doctorate in clinical psychology too?
7) If I were to pursue masters/phd in other areas of psychology, such as cognitive or developmental, would it be hard to find jobs in malaysia, what jobs are available?
8) finally, I’ve realised that in malaysia, it would be a Masters in Psychology, but in UK, it would be a doctorate, do you suggest that studying in the UK for clinical psychology would be better than Malaysia? After I finish a clinical psych in UK, would it be possible for an Asian chinese to find jobs in UK? Would it be harder cause you’re not a british person?
That’s all for now, I’m sooooo sorry I bombarded you with questions, it’s it’s that I really love psychology but I’m always worried about the job opportunities that’s available 🙁
HI, it took me a while to respond to your post as it was quite long.
1) Yes, getting good grades in your subjects, expecially clinical assessment courses, should help you in the future.
2) Local Malaysian companies tend to have a narrow view of what jobs psychology graduates can do but the large multi-national companies are generally open and welcoming to psychology graduates. So you can apply to more than HR roles.
3) Most hospitals don’t allow interns so I doubt you’ll have much luck with those applications.
4) It’s a good idea to get some work experience before applying to clinical psychology courses. You can apply to work as a research assistant anywhere but students who have an existing relationship with the researchers will have an advantage. You can gain experience by working with the sort of clients psychologists might see (dementia, leanring disabilites, mental health issues).
5) I don’t know of any scholarships in Malaysia for clinical psychology.
6) Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and the USA (although the USA is even more expensive) are all good places to do a doctorate in clinical psychology. Other countries have good training too but you’d need to have the right language background.
7) You’d be looking at a university job as a researcher or lecturer. There are jobs available in the academic field but you’d have to like teaching or research.
8) Clinical Psychology is better established in the UK so I think the training there is more indepth but it’s also a lot more expensive so it depends on the resources you have available. It’s difficult to predict what the immigration policies will be in the UK in a few years (Brexit has made things a lot less clear).
Dear Dr. Seal,
I have an honours in Psychology within South Africa.
My final ambition and goal is to be a clinical psychologist within in South Africa.
Would completing an MSc in Psychology that is BPS accredited in the uk allow/assist me in becoming a clinical psychologist in South Africa.
Hi Shaheer, none of the MSc Clinical Psychology courses in the UK train you to be a clinician. They are all academic courses. The BPS accredits them for their academic status. If you get a Clinical Psychology MSc in the UK the BPS will not give you accreditation as a practicing psychologist. In the UK you must do a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in order to be a registered Clinical Psychologist. In other countries (eg Australia and Malaysia) you can do a Masters in Clinical Psychology that gives you registration as a Clinical Psychologist in that country.
Hi Dr Seal,
thank you for this post. I am a trainee psychologist who is about to finish her training in Newcastle. My partner would like to go living abroad for a bit but I wouldn’t want to go somewhere where the British qualification is hardly recognised. I have got few questions, if you don’t mind:
1) do you know what Countries the DClinPsy is recognised straight away and I can get start working without undertaking extra exams?
2) do you think it’s a good idea to move abroad as a newly qualified, or is it better to gain some experience here in the UK first?
3) I am afraid that if I leave it will be difficult to find a job when I get back. Can this be an actual problem? will I run the risk of being disadvantaged when I get back?
4) if I leave soon after my qualification and I get back after a year will I still look for a job as a “newly qualified”?
Many thanks in advance!
1) I know it’s difficult to work in the USA with a DClinPsych. You usually have to do an exam for the state that you plan to work in (and then take another exam if you move to another state). I think most other countries recognise the UK qualification as equivalent to theirs. You usually have to produce some evidence of your clinical hours and the teaching you’ve received so it’s a good idea to keep a record of that. The bigger issue to consider is how easy it is to get a working visa in the country you’d like to work in. Some countries, such as Malaysia, are quite protectionist so it’s more difficult to get permission to work.
2) The more experience you have the easier it will be to find a job. But most people find it’s difficult to leave and travel once you’ve started working (it’s easy to get tied down by mortgages and the possibility of promotions etc). You could look and see what various NGO’s are offering (e.g VSO or MSF) or you could try applying to be a counsellor at an international school or look at lecturing in universities.
3 & 4) It’s been quite a while since I left the uk so I’m not sure about the job situation nowadays. My understanding is that some trainees find their jobs via connections they made in their final year placements. So if you leave for a year you might miss out on that. However, I can’t imagine that many employers would think it was a negative for you to have lived overseas for some time. Quite a number of my coursemates went overseas for a year or two and they all found good jobs on their return.
Good luck with it!
Hi, I’m Sunandini from India. I have recently applied for a Master’s program in the UK. I have got a few Universities offering me places. Could you give me some advice on how to shortlist which University would be the best. Like are there any points to remember while selection. Also I’ve got a offer for MSc in Rehabilitation Psychology, is this a good course to take up as I want to get into a doctorate training program for clinical psychology in the future. Or would you suggest that I stick to a Master’s in Clinical Psychology?
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Hi Sunandini, if you’re aiming to become a clinical psychologist in the UK then you could probably apply directly to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The only reason you would need a Masters is if you didn’t have a psychology degree that is equivalent to the UK’s second class honours. The masters in clinical psychology courses do not teach you to do clinical work. Only the doctorate in clinical psychology trains you to be a clinician.
Hello Dr. Dan Seal,
I am a Cameroonian with a PhD in Psychology and hoping to specialise in clinical psychology in the UK
I will love to work and study
How can I enroll for training or specialisation?
What advice can you give me.
I had my PhD this year.
Thank you and hope to read from you
Hi Tarh, if you wanted to become a Clinical Psychologist in the UK you’d need to show that your undergraduate psychology degree meets the Graduate Basis for Registration with the British Psychological Society. You’d then need to take a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the UK. However, if you are already a practicing Psychologist you may want to check with the Health and Care Professions Council https://www.hcpc-uk.org/ to see if your qualifications would be accepted in the UK.
Hello Dr. Dean,
How are you? Hope you’re doing well.
I’ve completed my graduation in psychology from india with 60% and I’m currently planning to opt for my masters in UK, as my ultimate motive is to be a clinical psychologist there.
I’m doubtful about which course should i go for, if I should choose an msc Psychology (conversion ) course or msc. Foundations in clinical psychology.
Which amongst there would be more convenient for me to get admission into doctorate in clinical psychology and ultimately lead to a career in clinical psychology.
Also i wanted to confirm if we as international student are paid as practitioners during our doctorate?
If you’re applying to the UK clinical psychology courses you will need to demonstrate that you have the Graduate Basis for Registration from the British Psychological Society. You could apply to them to find out if you current degree would be accepted. If it isn’t then you may need to do a conversion course. Some courses require a grade higher than 60% so depending on the course you may need a better score in your masters course to make you eligible. The UK is currently discouraging immigration so it might be difficult to become a clinical psychologist in the UK. Mainly the aim of the UK courses is to train clinical psychologists to return to their home countries. As an international student you won’t be paid as a practitioner. You have to pay for the course fees and living costs. The main problem with training in the UK if you are from overseas is the very high costs.
•Hi, I want to become a clinical psychologist in UK. I have completed BSc. Psychology Honours with 3.6/4 Gpa.I have received offer letters for postgraduate taught program in MSC clinical psychology. Considering that I am an Indian, an international student would this course be helpful in getting into a doctorate programme?
•If not what other course would be helpful in getting into doctorate programme for an overseas applicant?
•Also after postgraduate course will I be given the opportunity to work for clinical and research experience ?
• Also for the doctoral programme, do I have to fund myself for all three years?
Hi Anagha, if you have the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society then you wouldn’t need to do an MSc to apply for the clinical psychology doctorate courses in the UK. You can apply to the BPS to determine whether your undergraduate degree would be equivalent to a UK degree. If it is not equivalent then it is possible that you would need to do a Masters Conversion in order to gain the GBR.
You have a good GPA so you probably don’t need to do another postgraduate course in order to get on the clinical psychology training courses. You will need to get some work expeirence but you can do that in your own country and it will be recognised. Unfortunately, you will need to fund yourself for three years and pay the tuition fees for all three years if you are an overseas applicant.
Hi Dr Seal,
I recently graduated with a 2.1 in BSc (hons) Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Manchester. I am looking for jobs at the moment but struggling to find one in the UK. Do you have any suggestions on where I should look ? Furthermore will it still be valued if I gain the required experience from working in India? I am thinking of skipping doing a masters as I feel work experience can itself be enough to get in ClinPsycD programs. Do you think it is the right choice to make ? Moreover, how hard do you think it will be to find a job after becoming a clinical psychologist ? Will the NHS or other private organisations sponser visas for international clinical psychologists?
Thank you in advance for your guidance and help 🙂
Hi Tanishka, congratulations on getting your degree. You are correct in thinking that it is not necessary for you to do a Masters. Your degree will be sufficient. The doctoral courses generally understand that it may be difficult for overseas applicants to get the sort of work experience that British applicants may have. It’s more about what you’ve learned from your experience than having the right job title with the right people. I think the main aim of the work experience is to ensure that applicants are aware what it is like to work with people in distress (i.e that it can often be challenging and difficult). It’s really difficult to know what the UK will be doing in terms of employment for people from overseas in a few times. The whole mess with Brexit makes it difficult to predict. In the past the UK would be quite welcoming of people who had a professional qualification that was in need (and historically there was a shortage of clinical psychologists).
Hello Dr Seal,
I am a double masters graduate (first degree in London at UCL and another in USA at JHU), from India. I would like to pursue my doctorate program but cannot decide whether the education in USA or UK is better. I am not fond of research but more interested in practical training. Thus, i have applied for PsyD programs in the US and would like to apply for DClinPsy in UK. I am a little familiar with the doctorate programs in the US but not so much in the UK.
1. My worry is the lenght of the program being only 3 years in UK, does it cover all the major subjects while gving an indept experience for students?
2. What would the salary look like in both the countries and where the standard of living would be higher?
3. Hypothetically, if i pursue the DClinPsy prgram, would i be able to practsie in the US? What kind of additonal examinations or requirements would i have to attain to practise?
4. Will my placement hours in the UK, be valid in the US during licensure?
5. I am interested in Clinical Neuropsychology and Children/Adolescent psychology. COuld you recommend some universities i could apply to in the UK? Would i need to do an additonal year of specialized training in the field?
6. Does Singapore have any licensing requirements?
7. How likely is it to get a job in UK post graduation?
8. How competetive is the DClinPsy in UK for international students?
Botttom line, i am trying to keep all options, not knowing where my life could take me. Thus i would like to know if DClinPsy would be restricting my practise in any way in other countries as well.
I’m less familiar with the US but I’ve tried to answer your questions below:
1. The US is quite unusual in requiring 5 or more years of study to become qualified. Given most courses require self-funding it probably means only wealthier which won’t be good for diversity in the field. That’s one of the reasons why most countries keep training to two or three years. Any good psychologist recognises that training is just the beginning of their learning.
3. If you have a UK DClinPsych you’d need to do an examination in the U.S state that you want to practice in. You’d also need to take an examination like this if you’re moving between states in the US. Theoretically it should be easier to do that exam if you’ve been taught in the US style.
4. Each state has different rules so I think you’ll need to look this up.
5. You can take a masters in Clinical Neuropsychology after you have your DClinPsych. There are only a few courses available which you should be able to find online.
6. Yes, Singapore does have licensing requirements but if you have a US or UK qualification you should meet them (my UK qualification was fine when I worked there in 2013).
7. It’s difficult to tell what the job possibilities will be like in the UK at the moment!
8. Studying a DClinPsych in the UK is very costly. So it is usually not that competitive to get onto a UK course as an international student.
Hi Dr. Seal,
I’m in my final year of undergraduate studies from India. My degree is not recognised by the BPS for GBC so I assume I will have to do a conversion course. After that, I want to apply for a DClinPsy and ultimately practice in the UK.
I’ve a few questions about the same.
a) Could you elaborate on what makes an applicant stand out for applications of DClinPsy along with the minimum clinical experience requirements?
b) What are the chances of getting an international student getting into a DClinPsy program?
c) Lastly, is a one year UK non-conversion master’s recognised in other countries?
Thank you so much!
If you have the funds to study on a UK DClinPsych course you should have a good chance of getting on a course providing you meet the minimum criteria. Courses are usually looking for people that demonstrate an ability to critically reflect on their experiences and learn from them.
I’m not sure what you mean by a non-conversion masters.
Hi Dr Seal,
I currently graduated from University of Nottingham Malaysia (you’re my ex lecturer!) and is looking forward to pursuit DClin Psych in the UK. I noticed that quite a number of university requires clinical related experience.
1. Does working as an ABA therapist consider as clinical related experience?
2. Can working in HR considered as having the experience of dealing with challenging people/people with high stress? (This is because I’m trying to figure out which job to choose)
3. Is there a difference in studying Masters in clinical psychology in Malaysia as compared to DClin Psych in UK?
4. Are placements in the UK paid?
5. I saw that University of Nottingham (UK) has a DClin Psych program, however, is only limited to UK students. By any chance, it is possible for Nottingham alumni to join?
Hi Shi Yee,
1. Yes, working as an ABA therapist would be considered as related experience. However, the most important thing is being able to critically evaluate your experience. Some experts think that ABA is not very helpful – you could look into why. It would also help to
2. I think it’s always helpful to have some working experience in jobs that have nothing to do with psychology. It gives wider experience of the world which is helpful when you talk with clients.
3. Yes, one of the advantages of training in the UK is that their are a lot more psychologists and there are a lot of other services for people with psychological difficulties.
4. No, in fact the university has to pay the placement for trainees to work there. Generally, it takes the placement more time and resources to supervise trainees than they get back in work by trainees.
5. I last spoke to Nottingham UK’s DClinPsych course a few years ago. They were certainly open to international students then. The main challenge with studying clinical psychology in the uk is finding the funds to do so.
I’ve been reading a lot about how to become clinical psychologist in UK and all the information left me little confused. I’d be grateful if you could take some time to clarify my questions.
So I’m currently studying at undergraduate level in my country. I have planned to take master’s degree course in UK since I can’t apply straight for a doctorate programme even if I could afford it. Let’s say I completed masters level and now I’m able to stay for 2 more years. My next step would be to find appropriate job to switch to the working visa, as far as I remember and understand, if person has a working visa they don’t pay the fee for phd because they’re also funded by NHS(it’s been a few months since I checked so I don’t know if anything changed; I also read a lot about this subject so I might be getting something wrong). So my questions are: 1. Am I taking the right steps to become a clinical psychologist? 2. Will masters degree diploma help me in getting a job or should seek alternative methods? I should also note that there is an internship opportunity that I will be taking (I’ll be working on holiday seasons/summers since I already have part-time job and I am a full-time student) and I know that over qualification can be problem so I’m just interested in your thoughts about that.
3. I’m also interested in what jobs I would be able to do with masters?
I’m also a little confused about GBC. 4. Do I need this to get into masters programme? As far as I understand, it’s important for career so if I’m looking for a job I need it, right? I also understand that if I do a conversion course I could get it…
Many thanks in advance!
Hi Elene, unfortunately I don’t think the process works the way that you’re hoping it will. The main challenge for overseas students who wish to study clinical psychology is the cost of doing the doctorate course. As an overseas student you won’t be eligible for a UK (NHS) funded place on the doctorate in clinical psychology (DClinPsych) even if you have a working visa.
You don’t need a Masters in order to do the Clinical Psychology courses. Some British students take a Masters courses in the hope that it will increase their chances of getting onto the competitive Clinical Psychology training courses. Overseas students don’t have the same level of competition so you don’t need a Masters degree as long as you have a good undergraduate degree in Psychology. The Masters courses do not teach you to do anything clinical. So the only job that it might help you get, that you wouldn’t already get with an undergraduate degree, is a university based one (eg research assistant or lecturer).
If your aim is to become a clinical psychologist then you’d need to find funding to do the 3 year course in the UK. If it seems unlikely that you’ll find those funds (it is extremely expensive!) then you may need to look at options for training in you own country or a country which is recognised by your own country where clinical training is less expensive.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news ….
I am studying Msci Psychology (4 year course) at ucl in london and I am graduating this year. I am wondering what job opportunities I would have between my Msci degree and application to the clinical psychology doctorate program.
I heard that low intensity CBT therapist and assistant psychologist are two best choices but considering the fact that the training (and salary) are provided by the NHS, would they accept international applicants? If so, what is the tution fee/salary? I understand that a low intensity CBT therapist training would consist of learning in a university (UK residents get funded by the NHS) and working in an IAPT service (UK residents get salary). An international student won’t get the NHS fund but would I still get the salary?
In terms of other work in the private sector such as working as a care assistant or healthcare assistant, would they generally accept non-uk resident? I fear that for entry level job they wouldn’t sponcer a work visa.
Hi Yeung, Assistant Psychologist posts are extremely difficult to get because so many people apply for them. I think it’s the same for the Low Intensity CBT roles. For this reason it may extremely difficult if not impossible to find one of these jobs as an international student. Employers are less likely to go to the trouble of applying for a visa when they can just employ a local with a similar skills set and academic background. I think the pay and training costs for CBT therapists comes as a package. So I don’t think they’d split them up so that you can get the pay but not the training.
Working as HealthCare Assistant sounds much more hopeful. I think many of the European staff have left due to Brexit so they may have more vacancies. I don’t know if they are able to support a work visa but it may be worth applying to find out.
I am Abraham. I have a masters in clinical psychology from Nigeria. I recently relocated to London, after I got married to a UK citizen. am I qualified to apply for NHS funded Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) positions? by the virtue of my spouse, being a citizen?
Hi Abraham, I don’t know what the rules are in regard to the NHS funded places. Perhaps you could check with the course themselves. If you already have some training in Clinical Psychology you may wish to contact the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to see if any part of your training is recognised in the UK. I know in the past they would require psychologists from some countries to do top up training rather than the full course. It will very much depend on your training and experience but it may be worth getting their advice.
Hi Dr Seal,
My name is Shreya.I am currently waiting to give my thesis exam for my MPhil in India. I am interested to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the UK.
While I was researching for some information for the same, I came across your blog. Thank you for being responsive here and for writing a very detailed blog.
I have some queries.
1. As an international student, I am aware that I have to pay for my fees, living expenses & travel expenses on my own.
While going through some information given on the Clearing house page I read that the NHS funded students don’t have to pay the fees and they also join the program as “trainee clinical psychologist”. This makes them eligible for a pay on Band 6.
If I join the course, will I also be a trainee and will I also get this salary ? Or do I have to secure a stipend myself & will not be paid by the NHS?
2. Also, on the clearing house page, they had detailed that we are required to be eligible to work in the UK for this course. And a student visa does not automatically grant us this eligibility to work. For that, we have to contact the HCPC.
On the HCPC website, they’ve asked us a fee of 436 pounds. And I believe that is the fee to process a work visa for 5 years.
So, I am confused about the visa I will need to go for. And since the work visa is only sponsored by an employer, how can I get it myself ?
Lastly, as an international student, is it even sensible to pursue this course as I am realising that there is very less support for us. And I fear we may not be chosen for work positions if we are competing against UK nationals.
Thank you for the blog. I hope to hear back from you.
I hope you are doing well post a harrowing year.
Hi Shreya, thanks for your kind words about our blog. To answer your questions:
1. As an international student you will not receive a salary from the NHS. The local applicants compete for the NHS training places. The NHS pays the trainees, it pays the university for the training and it also pays the placements where the trainees gain work experience because it’s recognised that hosting trainees leads to more rather than less work for the placements.
2. It is difficult to know what the visa or work situation will be in the UK in a few years time. Brexit and the current government make that even more difficult to predict. The justification the universities used for opening training up to international students was that they would go back to their own countries and benefit psychological services there. It is possible to apply for a work visa once you become a clinical psychologist but you would need to find a job first and then get the employer to apply for your work visa.
Whether it is a sensible option to pursue this course depends a lot on your own personal situation. It’s a huge amount of money and I don’t know of many sources of sponsorship (clinical psychology training in the UK is not a PhD so you can’t get funding in that way). Training in the UK is really good but if it is financially out of reach you could train locally and then pay for good online courses (e.g those at psychwire.com) and find a good supervisor.
I hope that helps.
I am currently an undergraduate final year student studying Bachelor’s of Psychology (Hons ) in Malaysia and am interested in pursuing my DclinPsy in the UK. After alot of research this is what I think is the steps I need to take and I hope you could advise me accordingly
1. Finish my undergraduate ( I most likely graduate with a 3.4 CGPA )
2. Work for a year to gain any clinical experience
3. Check if my degree is BPS acredicted (If not take a conversion programme)
4. Apply for DclinPsy
I initally thought I need to do my masters in the UK but as mentioned above in your previous answers looks like it is not required. I am wondering if there is any chance at all to apply to DclinPsy without any work experince.
I hope you could assist me in this matter and thank you for your time.
Hi Kirthiga, yes you’d need to do each of those steps to get onto the DClinPsych (Doctor of Clinical Psychology) courses in the UK. You’ll need the equivalent of an Upper Second Class Degree. I’d probably check your degree is BPS accredited as soon as you graduate because you can do a conversion programme and seek work experience at the same time if necessary. You can try to apply to the DClinPsych courses without work experience but I don’t know how many will accept you onto the course. Most will understand that there are restrictions on opportunities for work experience in clinical psychology in many international applicants home country (particular during a pandemic). The idea is to get some idea of what it is like to work with people who have the sort of difficulties you’ll be working with once you become a clinical psychologist.
Hi Dr Seal,
Thank you for your reply. One last enquiry, will my work experience at an online counselling/therapy platform count as credible work experience to apply for the DClinPsych course ?
Or does it have to be in a hospital setting under a licensed psychologist?
Hi Shreya, the most important part of the work experience is what you’ve learnt from it and your ability to critically evaluate it. My first thoughts might be what sort of platform would allow you to do online counselling (unless you already have a counselling qualification)? What sort of training and supervision did you receive? Is the service really helpful to the people that seek help? Would you have run the service differently? If you’ve thought those sort of questions through then it should be useful experience.
Hi Dr. Seal,
Thank you for the very helpful information. I am a Canadian graduate (Masters) student qualifying as a Registered Psychotherapist under my province’s regulatory rules. two questions…
I am interested in pursuing a PhD in Clinical /Experimental Psychology focused on research. Are there different international student funding opportunities for this type of postgraduate degree versus the doctoral degree which is more practical in nature?
If not, could a person change their ‘oversea’ status by obtaining a work visa and residing in the UK prior to applying to school? Would this make any difference for full-funding eligibility?
Hi Cindy, there are many more opportunities for the funding of a research PhD than the DClinPsych Professional Doctorate. There should be some funded PhD places that you can apply to (although some will require that you have the right to live and work in the UK). The other alternative is to find a supervisor who is supportive and then apply for funding for your proposed project with their support.
I don’t think having a working visa in the UK would help much in terms of funding because the university would still have to apply for a visa for you. However, my knowledge of immigration into the UK is a bit limited so you may want to get some advice from a specialist on UK visas and working permissions.
Thank you for the information. I have been in contact with a few people who have left their country and been able to call themselves clinical psychologists in the UK. I was wondering if equivalence is based more on the length of your degree and the aspects that were learnt than on the name per se? So for instance I am studying a postgraduate diploma in clinical psychology alongside a Masters of Arts. Although the name here in NZ is not called. Doctorate degree it is a full time 3 year degree that includes supervision, internship and other core competencies is needed. Advice on this would be much appreciated 🙂 thanks so much.
Hi Jena, I’m not sure how our regulator makes the decision on who meets the criteria to be recognised as a Clinical Psychologist (or Practitioner Psychologist which is the term they use). In the past it was the British Psychological Society that made the decision. They would sometimes require that overseas psychologists do some extra coursework or extra supervision to gain equivalence with the UK qualifications. However, that role has now been taken over by the regulator, which is the Health and Care Professions Council. Their website is https://www.hcpc-uk.org/. You can apply to them to see if your qualification meets the requirements in the UK. This page https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/international-applications/how-to-apply/ on their website details the process for overseas applicants. I hope that helps!
Thank you so much for the information have a lovely day 🙂
Hi there Dr Dan
I am a Malaysian & would love to be a Clinical Psychologist.
Which Universities in Malaysia would you recommend to students to study undergrad & postgrad with good placements & study experience?
Appreciate your time in answering my questions.
Have a good day.
HELP and UKM are the older, more established masters of clinical psychology courses. I am not very familiar with the newer courses – if you are considering them perhaps you can ask to be put in contact with the current trainees so they can give you their opinions of the course.
Hi Dr. Dan,
Hope all is well with you during the pandemic.
I am wondering whether having a masters by research degree will help with the DClinPsy application for international students. I do see per your responses in the thread that having a masters is not mandatory, however, some certain universities (e.g., Essex and UEA) do require a BPS accredited masters conversion, plus a master by research if not received a 2:1 in the first degree. If this is the case that in the first degree is lower than a 2:1 and not a BPS accredited course (but have a BPS accredited masters conversion course), would you recommend taking another masters by research in order to further pursue doctorate, or what would you advise that might be the best way to pursue the doctorate without taking another masters?
I am also quite curious regarding overseas students applying to the doctorate in the UK, as you mentioned above, self-funded place for international students can be quite expensive, therefore only limited places are offered. However, from what I understand is that DClinPsy in the UK is extremely competitive, and very often local students will take up all the places available (including self-funded place) which leaves overseas students with no available places in the university. Could you advise overseas students who are thinking about or in the process of applying to the doctorate, how to increase our competencies? What might work out better for overseas students to get on to the doctorate?
Thank you in advance for your time, I wish you all the very best.
Hi Vivien, most UK clinical psychology courses do not allow local students to apply for self-funded places. This means that overseas applicants are usually competing against other overseas applicants for places on the DClinPsych courses in the UK. One book that has been popular amongst people applying for clinical psychology courses is this one Formulation in Psychology & psychotherapy. It should give you an introduction to the way that some clinical psychologists try to approach helping others.
All of the UK DClinPsych courses need you to have the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in psychology. If your degree was in another field then you will need to take a conversion masters or taught masters that confers BPS graduate basis for registration.
Most courses will want to know that you have the academic ability to complete a doctorate. If you have a 2:1 that is usually sufficient. If you do not have a 2:1 then one way of demonstrating that ability is to complete a masters and obtain a higher grade. However, before embarking on a Masters in the hope of getting onto a clinical psychology course it might be helpful to contact the courses to ask what that course would require of you.
Good luck !
Hello Dr Dan, my daughter has just completed her graduation in psychology ( double majors with english lit) from University of Mumbai, India. She is thinking of doing masters in clinical psychology from UK. I have few concerns-
1. Will she be able to get some paid job easily there in UK after her masters during her 2 years student work visa?
2. Will she be able to get DCinPsy seat easily there during these 2 years or is if very difficult to get ?
3. Will we have to bear the finances completely for DClinPsy or are enough funding options availble?
4. Will she be able to work in her home country ( India) with these qualifications ?
Can she do her doctorate from India after doing 1 year masters from a prestigious UK university ?
I will be very thankful to you if you can guide us in taking the decision regarding her career.
Hi Neerja, I would not recommend that your daughter study a Masters in Clinical Psychology in the UK. A masters will not teach practical clinical skills that allow you to work as a psychologist. A Masters in Clinical Psychology from the UK is only an academic qualification. In other countries such as Australia their Masters qualification does allow you to work clinically but that is not the case in the UK. The only reason your daughter may need to study a Masters is if her degree does not get her the Graduate Basis for Registration from the British Psychological Society (links to the BPS page are in my article above). If the BPS decides that her degree is not equivalent to a UK psychology degree then she will need to take a Masters that confers to Graduate Basis for Registration. If she is granted the Graduate Basis for Registration then she can apply directly to the DClinPsych courses after she has gained some work experience. I don’t know of any funding options, unless India has some specific funding options for its citizens then you are likely to need to fund it entirely (it’s not really feasible to work or get paid while you are doing the 3 year doctoral course). The UK qualification is usually well regarded overseas so I expect it would allow her to work in India – but it may be a good idea to confirm this with your local authorities. For more information you could contact this group of current international trainees which includes some students from India https://www.dclinpsy-international.co.uk/
Hello Dr Seal. I hope you’re safe and doing well.
I was just wondering that since the new immigration rules allow students to switch to the Tier 2 visa 3 months prior to their course ending, whether or not international students could work in the UK once they complete a DclinPsy?
Thank you! 🙂
Hi Jo, as a result of Brexit the UK immigration system is even more of a mystery to me. The risk is that things are changing fast so the immigration rules could change once you get to the end of a DClinPsych course. I think in practice some international students do stay and continue to work in the UK. I’m not sure on what basis that they have managed to do that. You could try asking this group of international trainees (https://www.dclinpsy-international.co.uk/) as they may have more information than me about the practicalities of trying to get a visa and work in the UK.
I am an Italian student graduated in psychology (BSc, MSc, MSc) in the UK. I wish to proceed with a doctorate so I can practice as a clinical psychologist. However, I wish to do so in another country that is not the UK. Do you know if, given my british qualifications, I would be allowed to study a clincal doctorate in psychology in any other country? Or am I stuck in the UK until I have completed all my studies, including the doctorate?
Hi Marilla, I think it would depend on which country you wanted to study your doctorate in. Most countries recognise the British Psychology degrees or have a system to ‘upgrade’ the UK degree to be equivalent to their own degree. You could look into the clinical training courses in the country that you are interested in and check their requirements. The other option would be to contact the organisation that accredits psychology degrees in that country and check what the system is for validating degrees from overseas. As an example, the British Psychology Society, which accredits psychology degrees, has the Graduate Basis for Registration which international students can apply for (https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership). Most countries have something similar.
Hi Dr.Dan, I am currently a bachelor’s of science student(2nd year) and I’m studying Botany, zoology and psychology as my core subjects. Can I study D.clinpsy in the UK without a master’s degree and only on the basis of the above degree?
Hi, to apply for a DClinPsych in the UK you need to have the Graduate Basis for Registration from the British Psychological Society. They will evaluate your degree and either grant you the Graduate Basis for Registration or recommend that you do an accredited Masters course that would give you the Graduate Basis for Registration. You can see the requirements and how to apply to have your degree assessed here: https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership. Based on the title of your degree my guess is that it might not have the 50% of psychology content that the BPS requires. That means you may have to do a Masters that’s recognised by the BPS but I’d recommend checking with the BPS to confirm this.
Hello Dr. Dan, I did my Bachelors in Political Science and currently I am pursuing my Masters in Clinical Psychology. I am planning to do another Masters in the UK in order to work as an Assistant Psychologist and then later apply for DClinPsych. Will I be eligible to study in the UK as my graduation degree is not in Psychology? Or shall I go for a conversion Psychology degree?
Hi Himadri, my understanding is that all UK Clinical Psychology Training courses (DClinPsych) require the Graduate Basis for Registration from the British Psychological Society (https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership). So if you wanted to apply for the UK courses then you would need to get the Graduate Basis for Registration. That usually means taking a Masters course – there’s a list on the BPS website of those that would automatically give you the GBR.
Your comments are very insightful. Thank You for sharing them with so much detail.
I am a graduate in non psychology stream (Commerce) and an MBA. I am a resident of India.
I am currently pursuing M.A in Clinical Psychology in India and also have an offer for MSc Conversion course in Psychology via distance education which is BPS accredited.
Please let me know if I need to do both these courses to be able to enrol for DPsyClin in future?
Thanks for your help in advance.
Hi Tina, in order to study a DClinPsych in the UK you need the Graduate Basis for Registration from the British Psychological Society. If you don’t have a psychology degree then you will probably need to study a Masters that gives you the Graduate Basis for Registration from the BPS. You can double check here https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership but I doubt an MA in Clinical Psychology will give you the Graduate Basis for Registration.
Thank you for your reply sir.
So, at masters level shall I apply for a conversion course or any other masters related to clinical psychology would be okay?
And after completing my masters will I be eligible to apply for jobs at NHS because I will be an international resident?
HI Himadri, there’s a list on the BPS website of conversion courses that would give you the Graduate Basis for Registration. You would need to take on of those if you wanted to do a DClinPsych. There’s a new scheme in the UK (launching July 2021) which gives undergraduate and masters students two years to work (You can read about it on the UK’s Home Office Blog). However, if you want to work with the NHS then the jobs that you would be able to find with a Masters in Psychology will be low paid by UK standards. It’s extremely difficult to find work as an Assistant Psychologist. You are more likely to be able to find work as a Health Care Assistant (e.g working in psychiatric hospitals as an assistant to the nurses).
Hello. I am Sowbarnika from India. I’ve completed my MSc in Psychology from India and I am planning to take up a masters course in Child psychology from the UK. I am told that this program is not BPS accredited.
I am a little apprehensive if I should take up this course or not. My main concern is with regard to the job prospects on completing a masters in Child Psychology at the UK.
I’d also like to know, if I’ll be eligible to pursue a PsyD course few years after completing the masters in Child Psychology course. Please guide me.
Hi Sowbarnika, the BPS accredits academic courses (e.g undergraduate psychology and masters courses) but these academic courses don’t necessarily train you to work as a clinician. If you have a Psychology degree or a Masters degree that gives you the Graduate Basis for Registration from the BPS then you would already be eligible to apply for a DClinPsych course in the UK. I don’t think you would improve your job prospects much by doing a Masters in Child Psychology. It would be better to save the money you would spend on a Child Psychology Masters get some work experience and apply to the Clinical Psychology courses.
Hello Dr. Dan
Hope you’re doing well …
This is Fatima here and I’m from Mozambique …
I read your article on “ how to train as a clinical psychologist in the UK as an international applicant “ ..
Thank you so much , I’m so grateful , It was super helpful …
but I still had a few doubts and was hoping you could help me with them …
I want to be a clinical psychologist and I want to apply in the UK for the 3-year Doctorate program …
I am an international student .. But , I am doing by undergraduate degree in honours in psychology from an online UK university which is bps accredited …(from my home country )
So I just started my bachelors degree and my plan is to study and try to get as much of experience as I can WHILE I’m doing my undergrad , so that my time does no get wasted on waiting to finish the degree and THEN doing work experience …
So As far as I’ve seen , it’s extremely competitive to get into the PsyD program …
And they make it seem almost impossible to get into the program as an international student..
so my queries are :
1. Is it important to have A-levels or would my bachelor degree be enough with my experiences ? Because I have not done A- levels … I have done till my IGCSE and then directly entered to university for bachelors…
2. Do I have to get my experience from UK itself ? Or would my volunteer works and experiences from my home country be fine?
3. What time of work experience is best and preferred ?
4. Besides the bachelor degree in psychology and speaking good level of English and experience in clinical setting , is there anything else needed ?
5. What do you think I can do to improve the competency to get into doctorate besides my bachelor degree and experience …
6. Besides the whole academic application process , is the visa process a complicated procedure ?
7. Lastly , how much of an acceptance rate do you think there is for international students ? If I meet the minimum requirements , would it be enough ?
hope to hear from you soon
1. If you get a 2:1 (upper second class honours) from a UK BPS accredited psychology degree course then I don’t think it will matter if you don’t have A-levels (there are a number of international clinical psychology trainees currently on the courses who have qualifications other than A-levels).
2. Volunteer work and experience from your own country would be fine – the main thing the courses want to see is your ability to reflect and learn from your experiences. They also want you to have had the opportunity to find out if you really enjoy working with people who are in psychological distress.
3. If you have the opportunity to work alongside or observe the work of a clinical psychologist that would be great. However, that’s often not possible, even in the UK. Working with groups of people that would often require help from a clinical psychologist would support your application (people in psychological distress, people who have a mental health diagnosis, children with autism, adults with global learning difficulties etc).
4. Unfortunately, the other thing that you will need to demonstrate is that you have the funds to finance the three year doctoral course. You’ll need enough to cover the fees and living expenses because you won’t have time to do any paid work.
5. You can read around to help yourself with the interviews. This book (well an older edition – I think quite a bit has been added in newer versions) was really helpful when I was trying to get on the doctorate courses: https://www.routledge.com/Formulation-in-Psychology-and-Psychotherapy-Making-sense-of-peoples-problems/Johnstone-Dallos/p/book/9780415682312. This website has insights from well-known psychologists: https://psychwire.com/ask/ that might be worth reading through. The video at the end of this page https://resolve.my/cbt/ that I wrote on CBT might also give you an idea of how a CBT session should look.
6. The visa situation in the UK keeps changing but I think it’s not a problem once you get onto a doctoral course as the university should assist you.
7. Actually the biggest problem for international students is paying the very high course fees and living costs. That means that there is much less competition for international places than there is for the local places. Some of the top universities, such as UCL and King’s have arrangements with overseas governments which make it more competitive (but not impossible) for other international applicants. The University of East Anglia and the University of Exeter are both particularly open to international students. Although do take note that those universities are quite rural so you wouldn’t get as much diversity in your client groups as you would in more urban universities.
I hope that helps!
I have already obtained the Graduate Basis Charted Membership from BPS. I need to do a DclincPsy . Am I qualified it.
Hi Fernado, As I mentioned in the article the requirements for most courses are that you have (1) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (2) a proven ability to write and speak in English (3) some experience of the settings that clinical psychologists work in. You state that you already have the GBC so from here you’ll need to demonstrate your English proficiency, get some experience and be able to pay the tuition fees and living costs (that last financial one is often the most difficult).
Thanks. Please tell me what is the difference between DClin Psy and PhD in Clinical Psychology
In the UK a PhD is only a research qualification. A PhD will not qualify you as a clinical psychologist even if you study a topic related to Clinical Psychology. The only way to become a clinical psychologist in the UK is to do a DClinPsych. In other countries, such as the USA, it’s different and you can become a clinical psychologist if you get a PhD.
After DclinPsy is it possible to get the registration in Uk as a Clinical Psychologist for foreign Students
If you study a DClinPsych in the UK you’ll be eligible for registration with the HCPC and British Psychological Society. I know of some international students who have remained to work in the UK. However, there may be some restrictions depending on the visas and the immigration policy in the future.
Is DclinPsych a full scholarship for all students or is there any fee for the program for international student..
International students have to pay for their tuition fees and living costs themselves. This is usually the major challenge for international students. I listed approximate costs in the article above.
Will I be able to practice clinical psychology if I do the advanced psychology course ( years)
It will give me a MPSYCH AND BSC
Hi Vani, No you will not be able to practice clinical psychology by taking any of those courses. The only UK based course that allows you to practice as a clinical psychologist in the UK is the DClinPsych (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology). You will need to do an undergraduate Psychology course first and then take the DClinPsych. That will be at least 6 years of education.
hello Dr Seal,
I am from India, MBBS from China, i want to pursue a career in clinical psychology. I wanted to know if doing MSc psychology conversion necessary for me as well? Also, if doing it from a particular university like Queens Belfast would give us more weightage to get a job as assistant psychologist or to get a job in NHS post the MSc course? What if I do not get a job as assistant psychologist, what options do i have to get self funded Dclinpsy. I mean, what kind of jobs would I aim for to get, in order to be able to save? any orgaisations there who hire you and sponsor ur DclinPsy? Lastly, after completing conversion course, is there a time limit between which u hve to get enrolled for Dclinpsy or we can take the course after few years as well. ?
Hi Sukriti, if you wanted to train to be a clinical psychologist in the UK you would first need to do a MSc conversion course. Assistant Psychologist jobs are low paid and extremely competitive. This is because many British aspiring clinical psychologists apply for Assistant Psychologist roles to help them get onto the clinical psychology courses. To gain work experience you could work as a healthcare assistant in a mental health, learning disabilities or brain injury rehabilitation unit. However, these roles are even less well paid. I doubt you’ll be able to earn enough in the UK to pay for the tuition fees unless you can work as a medical doctor using your MBBS. I don’t know of any organisations who would sponsor a DClinPsych (it’s very expensive).Once you have the Graduate Basis for Registration with the BPS (which you would get by completing a MSc psychology conversion course) there is no time limit by which you need to start the DClinPsych. Some of the trainees on my course had completed their psychology degrees more than 20 years before starting the DClinPsych. If you have completed your MBBS have you considered specialising as a psychiatrist? Once qualified you could study psychological interventions such as those on psychwire.net.
Hey sir, i am very glad to see you guiding and clearing the doubts of students.
I have couple of questions if you can please guide me.
1. I am doing conversion course as a foreign student from uk after four year bs in psychology from another country to get GBC.
I realized the cost of dclin is extremely high.
Is there any chance after one year masters from uk to pursue further training in australia and practise as a clinical psychologist in australia?
Hi Upashna, I’m not sure how the Australian courses view the psychology conversion masters – if you contact the Australian courses to find out please let us know what they tell you!
Hello Dr. Seal,
It’s Momina from Pakistan. I’ve just completed my BSc in Psychology and intend to do DClinPsych from the UK. What I understand by all my research is that I’ll most probably have to do a conversion course (haven’t yet checked if my degree is BPS accredited or not), then get one year’s experience and then apply for the doctorate.
However, reading this whole thread and other blogs, I’ve come to this conclusion….
– Clinical doctorate in the UK is very expensive and extremely competitive, especially for international students (what a bummer!)
– My chances of getting a seat and then being able to fund it myself are very low…..realistically speaking.
So, now I’m keeping my options open and considering some other countries where I can train as a licensed Clinical Psychologist.
Would you suggest some countries? Specifically, what do you think about Canada, Australia and Netherlands? And would their standard of education and clinical practice be similar to UK? And it’d be really helpful if you can suggest a country where international students are welcome for training and working as clinicians or where chances are better than UK.
Any guidance would be appreciated.
Hi Momina, I don’t think it’s that competitive to get a place on the UK DClinPsych courses as an international student because it’s so expensive and consequently not as many people apply (although it is difficult to get on some of the most well-known university’s programmes). I think Canada and Australia have really good training programmes that are well regarded across the world. The challenge with the Netherlands is that the Masters Course does not include a practical component. My understanding is that you are expected to go and find work experience with a qualified Dutch Clinical Psychologist after you finish the Masters in order to complete enough supervised hours to be qualified as a clinical psychologist. It’s difficult for Dutch trainees to find a supervisor I think it would be much more difficult for international students. If you do look at Dutch courses do check with them about the practical component. If you can’t get accredited after completing the course it may not be a good investment. I don’t know of any country that’s particularly welcoming for international students – although many international students have been successful at finding jobs overseas. Good luck!
Hi Dr. Seal! I’m currently in my final year of BSc Psychology (Hons) in Heriot Watt University, Dubai campus which is BPS certified. Initially I wanted to be a Neuropsychologist but I realized that in the country I stay, UAE, it’s hard to find a job as one, so I thought I’d do a Msc in Clinal Psychology first and then a PsyD followed by Msc in Neuropsychology so that I can practice both fields (please correct me if this is not a good way to go about it with). Hence, I’m looking for Msc in Clinical psychology in the UK. I read in your earlier replies that simply doing a Msc in clinical psychology and PsyD in clinical psychology does not equal to me being able to practice as a Clinical Psych in the UK. So I wanted to ask, what exact should I be looking for in the Masters and PsyD courses that I apply in the future which would license me to practice in the UK? I intend on working in the UK as a Clinical Psychologist for a few years after my masters, if I’m eligible to that is, or else I’d look for opportunities after I complete my PsyD. I plan on moving back to my country, UAE, after gaining enough experience where I know that a PsyD is enough to practice.
Hi Afrin, the good new is that if you qualify as a clinical psychologist in the UK then you can do the work of a neuropsychologist straight away (although it is advisable to do an additional neuropsychologist qualification afterwards to develop your knowledge). The bad news is that in the UK you need to take a 3 year DClinPsych (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology) to work as a clinical psychologist. In the UK a Masters in Clinical Psychology is just an introductory course and not really worth doing if you are from overseas.
Please send me how I can find the Dclin Psych available universities for the foreign students.
Hi Fernando, there’s actually a table in the text above that lists the UK courses available for overseas students. You can also go directly to the UK’s Clearing House Website here: https://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/internationalfunding.html
Thanks alot for the enlightenment. I hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical psychology. I will like to pursue a career in DClinpsy. What are my chances as an international student. I’ll be funding it myself after which I’ll like to live and work in the UK
Hi Ejeh, if you have relatively good grades (Upper Second class 2:1 equivalent), you can demonstrate a good level of English and you have some work experience then you should have a high chance of finding a place on one of the UK’s clinical training programmes. However, things can get competitive at some of the better known universities because they tend to have more applicants.
Hi, I am a Clinical Psychologist based in South Africa and interested in applying for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford as I have funding opportunities that are limited to that university. However, the program is limited to people who have home status. Is there a way to appeal for a self-funded placement especially considering that there are universities that offer similar programs to international students, however, funding for those universities is difficult to find.
Hi Marinos, I don’t know of any formal way to appeal. You can try directly asking the department of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why individual courses decide not to take international students. The most common of which is that a course has limited resources that prevents them from adding any additional training places.
Thanks Dr Seal!
Hi Dr. Dan, I am BSc Psychology graduate from Exeter. I have recently gotten a role as a psychology coordinator at a charity where I would be working with people with mental health difficulties and learning difficulties. I was wondering if this role would classify as an experience that meets the entry requirements of DclinPsy? There might be opportunities where I would be given a chance to consult a clinical psychologists as well. However, I would not be partaking in any therapy delivery.
Hi Janelle, that sounds like good experience to me! I don’t think the courses would be expecting you to deliver therapy. If you have contact with people with mental health and/or learning difficulties whilst also consulting with a clinical psychologist that should give you plenty to reflect on and learn from (the course’s will mainly be interested in what you’ve learnt from your experience rather than just the length of time you have been there).
Hi Dr Seal
I would like to know whether in order to apply to the DclinPsy programme, I need to have an honours degree? I have completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science however this degree does not have the honours (Hons) component included as that is a separate course at Monash. I would like to do a DclinPsy in future so I am wondering whether it is a must for me to do the separate 1 year honours course at Monash.
Additionally I would like to ask whether a DclinPsy and a PsyD are the same programme?
Hi Juwairiya, I don’t know whether you need to have an honours degree to apply to DClinPsych programmes. What you can do is apply to the British Psychological Society to see if your degree would get you the Graduate Basis for Membership with the BPS (if you have GBR then you should be eligible to apply for the DClinPsych). You can see how to make the application for GBR on this page https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership.
In the UK the Clinical Psychology Doctoral courses are called DClinPsych. In the USA (and maybe Australia) some Clinical Psychology Doctoral Courses are called PsyD.
In Australia it is still possible to do a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology to become a Clinical Psychologist. In the UK you can only become a clinical psychologist by doing the DClinPsych Doctorate. As an international student I recommend that you do not spend money on a Masters in Clinical Psychology in the UK (see the article above for more information).
Hello Dr.Sal. I hope this comment finds you well.
I’d like to firstly thank you for a such a detailed explanation about training as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK
I have recently completed my M.Sc.Clinical Psychology ( a 2 year program) from India and am currently looking into DClinPsych options in the UK and USA. I’ve also done a 4 years B.A program with a psychology major. During my undergraduate and postgraduate period I have had a total of one year and 3 months of clinical exposure by volunteering in a hospital setting under supervision. Apart from this, I have also attended several clinical psychology/psychology based internships both online and offline as well as social work involving education and mental heath awareness programs. I was wondering if this level of experience would be sufficient to apply for the program?
Apart from this, the following questions are my main concern:
1- I know I am a little late to apply for the UK but do I still hold a chance? (Given that the Clearing house application dates for 2022 are closed and only 2 or 3 Universities accept direct applications till early next year based on the list you have provided above.)
2 – What are the main differences between applying for the UK and USA in terms of course outcomes and expected requirements to apply? Also, do I still have time for applying to the USA and what places/universities would you suggest?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Waiting for your response in anticipation.
Hi AJ, I’m glad you found the page helpful. I don’t know much about the US system. I think the courses there are more diverse and what you get taught varies more by who is lecturing on the course. Also when you qualify in the US you qualify in the state that you studied. To be able to move to work in another state you may have to do additional examinations. It is technically possible (but difficult) to get funding for training in the US by doing it as part of a research PhD.
In the UK the courses are required to teach a certain core content because the local students are all funded by the UK’s National Health Service which states it’s expectations of what clinical psychologists should know. There is still some variation between the courses though (e.g King’s College is known to be very CBT and research based whereas the University of East London is known for a Social Constructionist approach despite also being required to teach CBT).
Based on what you have written your work experience sounds good to me (it will be important to show that you can reflect on those experiences and learn from them in the interviews). One requirement is that you will need to demonstrate that your qualifications are at least equivalent to the UK psychology undergraduate degree. You can do that by applying for the Graduate Basis for Registration (https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership).
I think the courses that follow the Clearing House will tell you that you need to wait until next year to apply (although you could always contact them directly to check). You should still be able to apply to the courses that allow direct applications.
I hope that helps!
Hi there! I’m attending a Conversion course at University of Sunderland. I know I need 12 months of experience between that and a DClinPsych. Now that there is a Graduate Visa, would it be viable to do my MSc Conversion Course, work/volunteer for 12 months on a Graduate Visa, and then do my DClinPsych with the year (or two) experience under my belt? I want to stay in the UK and work as a clinical psychologist after I get my DClinPsych, so I’m not worried about it transferring back to the US, I’m just looking for advice on navigating my path to obtaining the DClinPsych. Thank you so much!
Hi Jude, yes, now that the graduate visa exists you should be able to do exactly that! There’s a huge shortage of Health Care Assistants and Mental Health Support Workers for psychiatric wards, brain injury rehabilitation, learning disabilities and dementia services in the UK. Such a job, whilst not particularly glamorous, would get you great experience, particularly if it put you in contact with a Clinical Psychologist or allowed you to see the work they are doing. Many people focus on getting an Assistant Psychologist post but they are extremely competitive because of the number of local applicants. A number of trainees from overseas have recently managed to get Clinical Psychology jobs in the UK once they graduated so that seems a possibility too. Good luck with it.
Thank you so much! I also was able to request to connect to two of the graduates on the site you linked, and join their aspiring applicants Facebook groups, so thank you for that resource!
Great to hear!
Good evening Dr.Dan.
Thank you very much for the detailed article for aspiring psychologists. The commitment and patience you show by answering all questions is inspiring. I hope you will be able to guide me as well.
I am Syed, from India. I have completed B.Sc. Psychology (3 years full time course, 2011-2014; CGPA 7.47/10) and M.Sc. Psychological Counseling (2 years full time course + internship in a mental health clinic in the 2nd year of the course, 2014-2016; CGPA 7.82/10) from colleges affiliated to Universities in India. I have been working in the field of mental health ever since my graduation. I am currently working as a psychologist and care coordinator for Youth Mental Health program in an NGO, which is associated with World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating center for Mental Health Research and Training. In addition to also closely working with universities across the world on various mental health research projects.
Currently, as a result of the career I have accomplished so far, I have the experience of working as:
* Psychologist (clinical work includes providing therapies, doing assessments, working in community; clientele includes people suffering with severe mental disorders and general population who experience stress as a result of day-to-day difficulties; working with children, youth and adults; individuals, couples and families)
* Teaching and Training (faculty member for a mental health diploma course in collaboration with NIMHANS; involved in training of trainers for District Mental Health Program, a Central government initiative in India; training of peer support volunteers (youth from colleges); facilitating workshops on mental health related skills/topics for mental health professionals and general population)
* Research (published a systematic review in an Indian journal; presented a poster on PSR interventions in an International conference; currently, working on a meta-analysis review paper and data collection for a mixed-methods research which I am planning to publish in the next 3-6 months respectively)
* Case-manager (case history intakes, case managements for clients in need of continuous support and relevant interventions; providing support to out-patients and in-patients; individuals & families)
* Rehabilitation Therapist (working with clients requiring psycho-social rehabilitation, providing psycho-social rehab interventions for clients and their families, helping them reintegrate back into the community).
That’s some information about me as a Counselling Psychologist from India.
But currently, I am interested in stepping into the Clinical Psychology field. I am interested in doing DClin.Psy./ Psy.D.Clinical/ Ph.D. Clinical Psychology from UK. Based on my educational qualifications and professional experiences, where do you suggest I begin? Also, could you shed some light on the different avenues to get financial help when I move to UK for doctoral program? I will hopefully not have to worry about living expenses but I kindly request you to give me some information on scholarships that I look into. I am open to working in clinical and/or research field but I would definitely prefer working in the clinical field as a Clinical Psychologist.
I have enquired with folks who are planning to move to UK from India for the similar programs & others who have completed Psychiatry from UK. I was recommended to apply for HCPC license and BPS membership because I have significant work experience in clinical field and although my educational degrees are not recognized by UK, I have been told that since my CGPA is fairly good and since all my subjects were psychology-related, I should not have much of an issue in getting either one of those. I have been told to try to get the license and/or membership to get into UK and then look for options. But I would like to know your opinion about it.
I think I am writing this is such detail to you as I am experiencing information overload and a lot of confusion about where to start – what to do next – how to proceed. Kindly share your inputs on this so I can finally decide on the direction in which I should go to accomplish my goals.
A big THANK YOU and PRAYERS for your help, in advance!
Merry Christmas & a Happy New year to you & everyone else!
May we see the end of pandemic in 2022..Aameen 🙂
Hi Rabiya, thanks for your kind words and sorry for the slow reply as I was away for Christmas.
It sounds like you have some great experience which is very helpful. However, to be eligible for the DClinPsych (the only course in the UK which will qualify you as a Clinical Psychologist) you will need to demonstrate that your degree gives you the Graduate Basis for Registration from the British Psychological Society. You can apply to the BPS to have your qualifications assessed to determine if they are equivalent to a UK degree.
If your degree is not considered equivalent you would need to do a conversion masters (some of these are available as distance learning courses so you wouldn’t need to be in the UK although studying a Masters in the UK does now give you a 2 year work visa).
Unfortunately, I do not know of any avenues for financial help for doing a doctorate of clinical psychology as an international student in the UK. I know some countries do sponsor their citizens to study the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology in the UK but I’m not sure of the funding situation in India.
You could try applying to the HCPC but I think they regard educational qualifications as an important requirement and your qualifications need to match the UK equivalent quite closely so I don’t think there’s a high likelihood of success despite your strong work experience.
Hello Dr.Sal. I hope this comment finds you well.
I’d like to firstly thank you for a such a detailed explanation about training as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK
I have a 3 years bachelor’s degree in psychology, 2 years master’s degree in clinical psychology and 2 years M.Phil degree in clinical psychology from India.
The M.Phil degree in clinical psychology provides a nationally recognised licence to practice as a clinical psychologist in India.
The M.Phil degree has also provided me with 1000+ hours of clinical practice under a licensed clinical psychologist and also independently
I want to work as a Clinical psychologist in the UK
My enquiry is whether my qualifications and experience from India would be considered valid in the UK for me to work as a clinical psychologist there?
Please do help me with this
Hi, I’d recommend applying to the UK’s HCPC which is our regulating body: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/international-applications/ . They’d be able to tell you if your qualifications and experience would qualify you to work as a clinical psychologist in the UK.
Dear Dr. Seal, thank you for putting this up together. I learned a lot through this thread. I am at a point in my life where I want to practice so much more than teaching and research in academia. My current line of job in academia does not qualify me to run assessments and offer sessions.
(Not so) Quick questions, if we complete the professional masters training in Clinical Psychology at UKM (National University of Malaysia) or Taylor’s, would we be eligible to apply to work as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK, say, with the NHS? I understand that it requires a three-year DClinPsych qualification in the UK. But would the Masters in ClinPsych from UKM/Taylor’s/HELP be of any equivalent?
Secondly, if I hold a (first class hons) bachelor’s degree in Education, followed by MSc+PhD (mixed mode programs) in Educational Psychology from a tier 1 US university and now working as an academic in a public research university in EdPsy, would this qualify for entrance into the Masters in ClinPsych programs in Malaysia? Would my line of work for about 6 years in academia count as work experience needed for entrance? Also, is there an age limit as to who can apply? I am well below 40 still, but definitely no longer in my 20s. Wondering if there is an age preference (who knows!). Thank you.
Hi Marina, I’m not sure whether the Malaysian qualification would be accepted in UK. I think it probably isn’t as the Malaysian courses have a lower number of clinical and supervision hours than the UK courses to which the qualification will be compared (if anyone reading this knows different please let me know). However, it is the UK’s regulatory body, the HCPC that would be able to give you an official decision: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/international-applications/.
The Malaysian courses state that an undergraduate psychology degree is a requirement for entry onto the Clinical Psychology courses. However, I would contact them to ask if your strong postgraduate qualifications and academic experience would allow you entry without undergraduate psychology.
In the UK gaining life and alternative work experience prior to qualifying as a Clinical Psychologist is seen as a significant positive. That’s a position that I strongly agree with. There were trainees in their 40s on my doctoral course although the majority were younger. I felt it was a great asset to the course to have people who had different backgrounds (we had a police officer, an actor and health service manager to name a few). I’m not sure what the Malaysian courses view is but I doubt there would be any problem if you’re in your thirties.
Thank you kindly for your detailed response. I suppose why I am asking about ClinPsych is because of my inability to become a practitioner Educational Psychologist here in Malaysia as my graduate training was purely academic- and research-based and the fact that no such practitioner-track training exists in Malaysia in Educational Psychology. In fact, there aren’t any official positions for Educational Psychologists (EPs) in the public service sector in Malaysia to begin with while the demand for EPs continues to be on the rise globally.
My passion and interest still lies within EP and I would like to pursue to become a chartered educational psychologist with the official/right qualifications to practice and conduct assessments and run interventions, instead of only teach and do research within the academic setting.
I did some research and found out that the UK has a strong EP association under the BPS. I was wondering if it is within your knowledge on how someone already trained at the Masters, PhD and postdoc levels in EP can receive training on the practicum portion (supervision) to earn the practitioner status and subsequently become a chartered educational psychologist?
I will be taking a year’s sabbatical leave and wondering if this training could be completed in the UK.
My apologies for deviating from the ClinPsych thread. No such forums exist for EPs in Malaysia, unfortunately. Thank you again.
Hi Marina, it is unfortunate that Educational Psychology is not a recognised profession in Malaysia. It is an important and very well-established profession in the UK. I’m not sure what you were actually taught on your course in the USA. If you were only taught research methods then I think the expectation would be that you would need to study clinical subjects (eg CBT, neuropsychological assessment, behavioural interventions etc) before you could then work and be supervised in order to be fully qualified. If you have been taught those subjects and just need the placement and supervision I would start by going back to your course to see if there is a way they can help (perhaps by a combination of remote and local supervision?). You could try writing to the UK’s BPS Division of Educational Psychology. However, I would imagine that unless you are on a higher education course there would be visa issues with regard to working there.
Your other option is to qualify as a clinical psychologist in Malaysia and then choose to specialise in working with children.
Greetings Dr Dan,
1. Wanted to know if someone who has completed a masters in organizational psychology/educational psychology , can they still go down the clinical psychology route . For a Dclinpsych , or does a masters degree have to be in clinical psychology.
2. Does a masters in organizational/educational psychology online (malaysia) make a difference than studying on-campus for further studies in the Uk.
3. A masters in organizational/educational psy online (malaysia) allows individuals to register with the Malaysian Psychological Association (PERSIMA), Malaysian Counselling Association (PERKAMA International), American Psychological Association (APA), and several international psychological associations.
But what will it be equivalent to in Uk. Will a conversion course be required for DClinPsych.
HI Nazish, if you qualify as a Organisational Psychologist or Educational Psychologist then you cannot work as a Clinical Psychologist. However, if you qualify as a Clinical Psychologist then you can do the simialr work to a Educational Psychologist or Organsiational Psychologist. Clinical Psychology is seen as the umbrella qualification that allows you to focus on many areas. Organisational or Educational Psychologists generally have to stay within those specialisations.
To be able to study to be a Clinical Psychologist in the UK (i.e to get onto the DClinPsych course) you must have a psychology degree that confers the Graduate Basis for Registration by the British Psychological Society. That’s usually undergraduate psychology or a masters courses that is accredited as a conversion course by the British Psychological Society. You can apply to the BPS if you aren’t sure if you’re undergraduate or masters will be accepted. If you do a Masters in Organsational Psychology from Malaysia (online or in person) it is unlikely that the BPS will consider that to meet it’s requirements. It is likely that you would need to do a conversion course.
Thankyou for the reply,
so after a Msc Conversion psychology degree, do we have to do another masters degree in a specialized area before getting into DClinPsych or we can apply for it after the conversion degree + work experience.
Hi Nazish, once you have the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) from the British Psychological Society (by doing an undergradaute psychology degree or a BPS recognised conversion masters) and some work experience then you have met the requirements to be able to apply for the DClinPsych programmes. It is not necessary to do another Masters Degree before applying. Some British applicants do another Masters to increase their chances of getting onto the DClinPsych courses because of how competitive it is for local applicants. However, that shouldn’t be necessary for overseas applicants.
Hi Dr. Dan, sorry if this posts twice, I can’t tell if the first one went through or not. I’m currently in the US, and I’ve been accepted for a MSc Psychology Conversion course for this September. I just got a job offer as a caregiver and med tech at a nursing home here in the US. Would working here in that role count towards my year of experience or does it have to be experience that you’ve gotten in the UK? Thank you so much!
Hi Jude, your first question came through but I’ll delete that one and just reply to this. I set the forum up so that I have to moderate all messages before they get posted on our website. I do that to prevent spam or people being offensive to others but it can mean it’s difficult to know if your message went through as it won’t immediately be posted on the website.
In reply to your question. If you are an overseas applicant it would be perfectly appropriate to gain experience overseas. Most, if not all DClinPsych courses, would be aware that it would be practically very difficult for overseas applicants to get experience in the UK. They will be most interested in what you managed to learn from the experience so it’s a good idea to keep some notes for yourself to help remember your experiences prior to any interviews.
Hello Dr Dan,
Iam from India I belong from middle class family and I have completed my graduation in bsc behavioural sciences and Applied Psychology from Kolkata.
Since iam planning for master’s in clinical psychology I thought a abroad degree would more fruitful than Indian. Hence I decided to take msc in clinical Psychology taught master’s in uk. So my question is
1) is it really beneficial to do master’s in clinical Psychology from uk and what job opportunities will i have further after completing this course? Will I be able to find job in other countries?
2) expect assistant psychologist roles are there any job more job openings for us like a teacher
3) will I be able to apply for dpsych in uk universities also doctorate from uk as an Indian is good or not?
Also i have thought to apply in Italy Norway Netherlands and Australia and German. Is it better than uk.
Hi Ayushi, as I mentioned in the article above you cannot take a Masters in the UK and qualify as a Clinical Psychologist. In the UK, the only qualification you can take to become a Clinical Psychologist is a DClinPsych (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology). Other countries do have Master’s courses but you would need to be fluent in the language of that country because most of the clients will be speaking in their mother tongue. If you decide to study in an English speaking country you’ll also need a high level of English. Both for writing academically but also in order to understand the slang and low frequency words that clients may use.
I hope you are doing well. I had a few doubts about my future and wanted to get them resolved.
I am Reet Saxena. I have pursued a 3 year bachelor’s in clinical psychology from India and wish to pursue my masters and my career in the field of clinical psychology wherein I can work with the patients. Going through your article and the queries you have resolve, I can only practice in UK with a PsyD.
1. So sir if I get my bachelor’s recognized and accreditated by GBC and BPS, will I be eligible to apply for the PsyD courses in UK, keeping in mind I am just about to graduate and have no work experience.
2. If no how can I go about it, Is it necessary for me to get a conversion course in psychology? If I do a conversion course am I eligible to work in clinical setting in the UK without doing any other masters?
3. Are PsyD fully funded for international students as well? and are the PsyD from UK accepted in USA?
4. What is a better idea, to get a masters from India and work experience as well and then apply for PsyD in the UK, or to apply for masters in UK followed by PsyD?
1. If your degree is assessed by the BPS and seen as equivalent to a UK Psychology degree then you will have the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR). You need the GBR, some relevant work experience and proof that your English is of a high enough standard. So you probably need some time to gain work experience after you graduate.
2. If your degree is not seen as equivalent then you will need to do one of the Masters Conversion courses listed by the BPS to get the GBR. You will still need work experience in order to apply to the DClinPsych courses. Doing a conversion masters is equivalent to an undergraduate degree so it does not qualify you to work in clinical settings.
3. International students have to pay for themselves or find funding from their home country. This is often the most challenging part for most applicants. If you get a DClinPsych from the UK you would need to do further examinations in the US in order to work there. The examination depends on the state that you want to work in.
4. In order to study or work in the UK you will need the GBR first.
Hello Dr. Dan,
I am S. Joseph from India holding MSc in clinical psychology. I currently work in the field of developmental psychology in an hospital and have 4 more years of experience as clinical psychologist(counselling, assessment etc.). I am planning to pursue MSc in developmental, neuro or health psychology from UK. I do not have a plan to go for Doctoral program. Where I can find a job once I complete the masters and would it be difficult for an Indian to find job or internships in UK? What are the possible job profiles I can apply for?
Hi Joseph, if you would like to work in the UK as a psychologist then it’s important that the qualifications you take are recognised and allow you to practice according to the UK’s regulatory body the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) (https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/). An MSc in Developmental Psychology does not qualify you to work as a psychologist. I think Neuropsychology and Health Psychology require more than a Masters in order to get registered (but you can check the requirements as I may have missed something). If your qualifications are not recognised by the HCPC then you would be applying for jobs such as a Health Care Assistant which tend to be paid more poorly.
Hello Dr. Seal,
I’m on my last semester of my Clinical Psychology master’s degree, and I’m interested in an a residency in the UK. In my country, we do two-years long practicum during the master’s degree, then we need 2-4 years residency in order to be a licensed clinical psychologist. And I’m wondering what’s the procedure in the UK and where can I get the needed information about required qualifications. Thank you.
Hi Ola, the UK system works a bit differently in that the clinical psychology placements (residencies) are part of the university clinical psychology doctoral courses. Once the doctorate finishes then the new clinical psychologist can apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council. As the UK doesn’t use the same residency system it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do a residency in the UK. If you want to work in the UK once you have your full license you may be able to apply to be registered in the UK via the HCPC’s website: (https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/international-applications/). They will let you know if your qualifications allow you to be registered in the UK or if you’ll need to additional training.
Thank you so much for answering. If I’m interested in pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology, where can I find the programs I can apply to?
In the UK a PhD doesn’t allow you to work as a Clinical Psychologist. It would be preparing you for an academic career (researcher, lecturer etc). Sometimes universities will offer funded PhDs as part of a research project they are doing. If you’re funding the PhD yourself you can contact an academic who has done research on the area you are interested in and ask if they have any projects you can join or write a proposal of the research you would like to do whilst supervised by them. Sometimes they will help you write a funding proposal for the project which may include some funds to cover the cost of studying for a PhD and living costs. I’m less familiar with searching for PhDs as it’s not my area but there should be plenty on the internet suggesting how you can proceed.
Hello Dr Seal
I am making this inquiry on behalf of my daughter Rhea Sule.
Rhea has completed her BSC Clinical Psychology from Amity University, Mumbai, India. She is in the process of applying for her Master’s in Cognitive Psychology/ Neuropsychology(University of Kent) or the MSc in Practice(Applied Neuropsychology)
1. Will pursuing a Master from a University which is accredited by the BPS be helpful to her.
2. What is the route you recommend for her to achieve the DClinPsych in the UK?
She has already received an admission offer letter from the University of Kent for the MSc in Cognitive Psychology/ Neuropsychology. The course is not accredited by the BPS.
We are really confused as to how we should take this forward.
Your expert guidance would be highly appreciated
Hi Priya, if Rhea’s aim is to qualify as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK then this is what she would need to do:
1. Apply to the BPS to determine if Rhea’s degree is equivalent to a UK degree. You can do that by applying for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). For more details you can check this page on the BPS website: (https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership). If Rhea’s degree is considered equivalent then she would need to gain some work experience and then she could begin applying to the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) which is the only course in the UK which qualifies you to work as a clinical psychologist.
2. If Rhea’s degree is not equivalent to a UK degree she will need to take an accredited conversion course. These courses are listed on the BPS website here. For more information on the GBR you can view this page on the Clinical Psychology Clearing House Pages. Once she has completed the conversion Masters she would then be able to apply for the DClinPsych doctoral courses (she’d also need some work experience but she may be able to get that whilst studying for the conversion Masters).
The Masters in Neuropsychology at Kent are academic courses – they would not train you in how to work clinically. If Rhea’s aim is to be a clinician I would not recommend those Master’s courses. She could use the money to invest in the UK ClinPsych or other courses in other countries that would qualify her as a Clinical Psychologist.
I hope that helps!
Hi, I am from Turkey and I am Psychologist. I’ve been living in the Uk for 3 months. I came with my husband, and because of him I have right to work. I have bachelor degree and one year Family Counselling Master degree.
I apply to BPS now, but ıf they don’t accept my documents, what should I do?
Without BPS confirmation can I work in the Uk? Which title I can use? And ıf I can work what should I do to do that?
Is there any way to giving therapy to Turkish people without BPS or HCPC who is living here? Or is it illegal?
Thanks in advance.
Hi, I hope you’ve been enjoying living in the UK! To be able to work as a psychologist or therapist in the UK you should apply to the legal registering body which is the HCPC rather than the BPS. Here’s the link for overseas applicants to register: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/international-applications/. They should let you know if there are steps you can take to make your qualifications equivalent to those required in the UK. You can’t use the titles or do the work (such as seeing clients in the UK who are Turkish) protected by the HCPC because there are laws forbidding you from doing so. However, I think it would be legal for you to work remotely from the UK (via Zoom) with clients who are in Turkey if you are registered and qualified there.
Hello Dr. Seal,
Thank you for this amazing article and all the help you have been doing with answering these comments. You are truly a gem. I recently graduated from a psychology program in Turkey and I want to pursue a doctorate in UK. The thing is I don’t know whether my experience (work-study) is sufficient for GBC and the BPS website says that it can take up to 6-8 weeks for the results to be stated (alredy submitted an application anyways). However, due to deadlines and all, I don’t have time to wait. I was wondering if Master programs in clinical psychology (foundations of clinical psychology etc.) + my BSc from Turkey would be enough to get a GBC. Because conversion programs are too broad, most of which I am already exposed from BSc and since my family is funding this it is best I save a year if possible. To be clear again, do you think that a master program in clinical psy. and my BSc (in psy.) would be enough for GBC?
Hi Ugi, thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, I can’t tell whether the combination of your masters and undergraduate degree would be sufficient to get you the GBR (Graduate Basis for Registration) from the British Psychological Society (BPS). The Clinical Psychology Courses wouldn’t be able to tell either so they’d probably require an official statement from the BPS. So you may be stuck waiting until you hear back from the BPS. However, that might not delay you by much as the most of the Clinical Psychology courses are closed to applications at this time of year (April to September). Most of the courses use the Leeds Clearing House for Clinical Psychology Courses. They usually open applications in October with a deadline for the applications by mid-November for admission in the autumn of the next year. There are a few exceptions but that might restrict your choices. It’s a long process but you can always use the time to gain more experience. It would help your application if that experience was related to psychology but I (and some of the courses) think it’s really helpful to have other forms of life experience too (e.g working in an office, teaching etc).
Thank you for your article. Quickish question 🙂
I’m British but have been living and working abroad for the last 10 years. I have a first class non-BPS accredited undergraduate qualification is Criminology and Applied Psychology from the UK and a non-BPS accredited MSc in Psychosocial Studies (Merit) also from the UK. I am currently undertaking a BPS accredited MSc in Psychology online with the University of Glasgow.
In terms of qualifications, I should be okay but I’m worried about that fact that I have not been resident in the UK for the past 3 years as I have seen that this is a requirement for funding. My intention was to continue to keep my salaried job in Dubai whilst applying to get on to the DClinPsy. Will this be a problem? If so, is there any way around it or is it necessary to come back to the UK for two/three years prior to applying.
(PLease note the following only applies if you are a British Citizen) ….Hi Amelia, I’m not sure about the requirement for having been resident in the UK for the past three years in order to apply for a funded place. However, in practice it might be necessary to live in the UK for at least a year in order to get the necessary work experience to be able to apply for an NHS funded DClinPsych place. The NHS funded places are only open to UK citizens but these are extremely competitive. Many courses want you to have had experience working for the NHS. This usually means having a low paid NHS job (e.g Health Care Assistant, Support Worker, Research Assistant) in the hope of gaining experience that will get you onto the DClinPsych course. Unfortunately, due to the level of competition for NHS funded places on the DClinPsych course there’s no guarantee that you will be offered a place even if you do get some experience. I’m sorry if I sound a little negative. If you are really keen on being a Clinical Psychologist then you should go for it! However, I wanted to alert you to the risks which are a bit higher if you’re already established in your career and living abroad.
As a UK citizen you might not be eligible to apply for the self-funded DClinPsych courses as most courses require you to be from overseas in order to self fund (there are some exceptions such as Hertfordshire). However, you could look into a Doctorate in Counselling Psychologist which can be self-funded. That would give you the title of Counselling Psychologist rather than Clinical Psychologist but you can often apply for similar jobs in the UK.
Thank you for taking the time to get back to me. No, I don’t see it as negative at all. I see it as realistic!
Yes – I am of the same impression that it will be necessary to go to the UK in advance of applying in order to get the necessary experience. I didn’t, however, realise that working within the NHS specifically would be so advantageous but it makes perfect sense. I am all too aware of how competitive it is to get a place so I am trying to make myself as attractive a candidate as possible.
Thank you very much for the advice. I will have a looked at the Doctorate in Counselling too in case I cannot manage to get things to fall into place.
I appreciate your time 🙂
All the best,
Dear Dr Dan Seal,
This is somewhat of a humanitarian plea really, and I have not yet written to the HCPC for any advice. I am a British citizen but I write on behalf of a young Russian lad who is about to graduate next month, from Perm University, with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, following a four year course of study. He wishes to further his studies and career elsewhere, following graduation, for fairly obvious reasons. He will otherwise be conscripted into the Army to prosecute the war in Ukraine; something he is desperate to avoid. He has no right to work in UK and can only visit here on a standard tourist visa, or possibly some kind of student visa, if he can get here at all. Big IF! I have agreed to accommodate and feed him if he can get here. I might also be able to contribute towards a further course of study for him, with the view that he might be able to secure the right to work, and eventually the right to remain. Alternatively, there may be other, less problematic, opportunities open to him elswhere, but he would really like to work within the NHS eventually. Any advice or suggestions would be gratefully received.
Hi Michael, that does sound like a difficult predicament. You could try applying to the HCPC to see if his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology would allow him to be registered in the UK (https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/international-applications/). If he was accepted onto the register that would allow him to apply for jobs as a psychologist in the UK. However, I’m not sure how likely it would be that the HCPC would accept his qualification. Another issue would be that even if he was accepted onto the register he would still need to find an organisation that would want to employ him and sponsor his visa.
He could apply for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology but as an international applicant he would need to self-fund which is very expensive. If the aim is to avoid conscription and that can be achieved by working overseas he could look into a job as a healthcare assistant in a psychiatric hospital, learning difficulties ward, dementia care or brain injury rehabilitation. It’s low paid work and I don’t know if the employers (the NHS and some private companies) would sponsor a work visa but because of the shortage of staff there may be a possibility. I wish him all the best in finding something.
Dr. Dan Seal, hi!
Thank you for a very informative article. I am from Pakistan and I have done my BS (a 4 year degree in Applied Psychology) and MS in Clinical Psychology. I am thinking of applying to the UK for a doctorate but I can tell that costs are too much. Can an international student like me apply through scholarships? Do any of the universities that offer a DClinPsy degree also give scholarships to international students? Is there any other way to get funding?
Also, which other countries are easy on the pocket/scholarship friendly for clinical psychology students from Pakistan who are looking for a post graduate degree?
Hi Noor, unfortunately I don’t know of any scholarships for Clinical Psychology courses that you would be able to apply to. I know that some countries (e.g Singapore) have sponsored their own citizens to train as clinical psychologists in other countries. You could look to see if there are any organisations in Pakistan which might offer scholarships but I don’t personally know of any.
Most of the countries which have globally well-regarded clinical psychology programmes are also very expensive. There’s some variation in that, for example Australia is a lot cheaper than the USA, but it’s still an expensive course. If you choose a country that offers clinical training for a much lower cost then you need to ensure that the course is fully recognised by your own country. You can usually do that by contacting the registering body, psychological association or clinical psychology society in your country.
If you qualify as a clinical psychologist in your own country you should be eligible to attend specialist training online or in other countries to improve your skills. For example, the website https://psychwire.com/ has some really good courses. I particularly like the ACT courses by Russ Harris.
I’m sorry I don’t have a better solution to the affordability of Clinical Psychology courses. It is unfair that so many people who would be great clinical psychologists aren’t able to train because of the cost.
I understand. I hope I am able to find some funding or any scholarships from organisations here. I hope I get one, I really want to study in the UK once, haha.
Thank you very much for the link to the website, it looks good and I’ll try that and thank you for your reply as well.
Hello sir, I have done my Bsc in physics mathematics and computer science then I did my masters in clinical psychology from one of the renowned university from india. Now I want to do my psyd in uk.right now I’m very much confused about eligibility criteria without bachelors but with masters in clinical psychology. I have also have a good experience as a psychologist in one of the best mental health hospital in india.sir if you could explain me the eligibility criteria for me to get in to a self funded university in uk I would be highly obliged.
Hi Ahmed, the criteria is written above on this page under ‘entry requirements’. You can check with the BPS whether your masters qualification would give you the required Graduate Basis for Registration. The BPS has just changed their website around but the page that you should look at is here: https://www.bps.org.uk/graduate-membership-mbpss. If your masters is not considered equivalent to a psychology undergraduate degree in the UK then you’ll need to do a conversion masters.
Hi Dr Dan Seal,
Thanks for the informative article! I do have a couple of questions that nobody has been able
to answer. I recently completed my BSc in psychology and I’m looking at applying for an MSc in applied clinical psychology at the University of Bath (which is not professionally accredited) and I would like to complete a PsyD in clinical psychology in the U.S afterwards. Will a UK masters in clinical psychology be accepted as valid in the U.S? What does it mean that the program isn’t professionally accredited and does it matter? Do you think my chances of being accepted into a U.S PsyD will decrease with a non-accredited UK masters?
Thank you so much,
I would not recommend taking a Masters of Clinical Psychology in the UK if you are an international student. I’m copying this paragraph from the top of this webpage:
Unfortunately, there are many Masters courses in the UK with titles such as Masters in Clinical Psychology or Masters in Child Psychology. These courses are introductory courses. You will not be able to practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia or any other country if you complete one of these courses.
I don’t think your chances of being accepted will decrease if you take that Masters but I think you will be wasting your money. If you wanted to increase your chances of getting onto a US course you’d be better off taking a research methods course that is related to Clinical Psychology (such as this one: King’s College, Psychiatric Research MSc. If you wanted to get onto the UK DClinPsych course you could apply to the courses as an international student without having a Masters.
Thank you for the response and the suggestion! Are there any other courses that are related to clinical psychology that might also increase my chances? Does the course need to be accredited to be valid and does it matter if it’s BPS or APA accredited?
Thank you so much,
Hi Christian, the selection procedures and requirements of the Clinical Psychology Training Programmes in the USA vary a lot so it is difficult for me to say which UK based courses might increase your choices. I think research methods courses related to clinical psychology are likely to be helpful as an ability to understand research is important for all clinical psychologists and many of the training programmes in the USA put a lot of emphasis on research ability. It might be better to decide which university you wish to study at and contact them directly.
Previously you asked about professional registration vs BPS accreditation. Professional registration refers to whether the course will qualify you to work as a practitioner psychologist (e.g clinical psychologist or educational psychologist). This is now done by the HCPC not the BPS. The BPS accredits academic courses, such as undergraduate psychology and conversion courses. Having that accreditation is one way of demonstrating that the course you took is reputable.
Most overseas applicants apply directly to clinical psychology training programmes once they have the basic requirements such as an undergraduate psychology degree and some relevant working experience. This is because the clinical psychology training programmes are expensive and because of the cost there are fewer applicants so it’s not usually as necessary to compete academically by having an additional masters. You may find that gaining work experience will be more valuable to you than having an additional post graduate qualification. You could get that experience by working as a health care assistant in psychiatric hospitals or in brain rehab etc.
Hi Dr Seal,
I found your article very useful, thank you!
I’ve been struggling to find a doctoral training to register with hcpc as a clinical psychologist and not sure who to ask 🙁
I was doing a PsyD with an US institution. Unfortunately I didn’t complete my PsyD due to personal reason though I have completed most of the coursework plus clinical psychology internship (2500 hours).
Thereafter I completed my master conversion degree in the UK (as my first degree is not in psychology).
I wonder if I am eligible for hcpc registration with my master conversion degree, previous PsyD coursework (not awarded with the degree) plus clinical experience?
As you said, the nhs funded places are very competitive and the self-funded/ international student one is way too unaffordable.
Or else I am not sure what I should study to complete my academic profile to register with hcpc and practice psychology here in the UK.
Hi Isabella, I’m glad you found the article helpful. That does sound like a difficult situation to be in. You could try applying to the HCPC https://www.hcpc-uk.org/registration/getting-on-the-register/international-applications/. However, I suspect the most likely outcome is that they will reject your application because your qualification is incomplete. You could look at other accrediting boards in counselling or other linked professions to determine if the training you have already done would make you eligible for accreditation although that wouldn’t be in clinical psychology. In the UK the only way to be recognised as a clinical psychologist is to complete the ClinPsych Doctoral training in the UK or gain a qualification overseas that is recognised by the HCPC. I don’t know of any training courses that offer a ‘top-up’ approach. Is there any option to complete your studies in the USA?
Hi Dr. Seal,
Thank you for getting back to me, and it is really appreciated. I think I am a little “stuck” in the process of how to progress on my professional development here and it is good to get your advice.
Indeed, I am looking into PsyD opportunities in the USA and think there are options that I can complete the degree online. It is not cheap but it’s definitely more affordable than the BPS ClinPsyD in the UK. I am only worried that the online PsyD is not accredited by the APA (the APA do not accredit any online degrees) so if it might affect HCPC registration. Although the programme is not accredited by the APA but can lead to licensure to certain states in America. I’ve been reading the HCPC guidelines and see how international qualifications register with them but did not explicitly say no to online degree though. I am a little unsure so I wonder if you can share with me your advice please?
I literally cannot move to America to do my degree there considering additional living costs there. Nonetheless, I am very determined to complete my training to become a professional psychologist in the field.
Having said that, I will definitely look into other accrediting boards such as counselling as you suggested.
Thank you so much!
Hi Isabella, as I’m sure you already know it would not be possible to do a full Clinical Psychology programme via online learning because of the need to do placements and receive good supervision. So I’m fairly sure the HCPC would reject any qualification that was online only. However, you mentioned that you had already done much of the internship/placement component and in person learning. I’m not sure which part of the training you were not able to complete while you were in the USA. If you can find a university which will help you ‘top-up’ what you’ve done so far so it makes you eligible for registration in one of the US states then you may have more chance of being recognised by the HCPC. I don’t know exactly how the HCPC makes its decisions but I think it would be safer to find a mainstream training program in the USA to complete your training with. I would imagine that if your qualification was from a training course that was online only that would be a problem. The pandemic meant that many training programmes had to do more online so it may be that they are more receptive to some parts of the programme being done via distance learning. I doubt that will be reflected on their websites though so you may have to approach them directly. Good luck with it !
Hi Dr. Seal,
I am in my final year of BSc Psychology Honors from Christ university in India. I have many internship and volunteering experiences and expect 3.5/4 CGPA. It is likely that my degree will be eligible for GBC but if I am not wrong, I can only get that confirmation after all my marksheets are there and then I apply which will be around June 23.
I wish to be a clinical psychologist in the UK so I had been thinking, to build my profile for dclin, I could do a masters in clin in the UK, practise for a while as an assistant psychologist then apply for their dclin program (not sure if it will be that straightforward). Is there an alternate available? Perhaps I could apply for this program get a conditional offer then wait for all my marksheets and give a shot directly applying to DClin proigrams? I am not sure what would be the best route and feel very confused.
Hi Nimish, there is likely to be a gap between your receiving your degree and being able to apply and start on training course. If you complete your studies in June 2023 then the earliest you can start training in the UK would be September 2024. The clinical psychology training courses in the UK encourage potential trainees to gain relevant experience and also life experience before starting the course. This makes a lot of sense – future clients will appreciate you being able to draw on your life experience to better understand their circumstances. It’s why I always encourage aspiring clinical psychologists to take some time to acquire different types of experience. You’ll need some relevant work experience but you could also take the opportunity to work in other areas too (e.g office work etc).
Hi Dr. Dan,
I have completed my B.A. in Psychology (3 years), and M.A. in Clinical Psychology (2 years) in India (17 years of study altogether). I have 2 years of work experience (mainly assessments and testing). I am looking to pursue further opportunities in the UK. I have mainly 2 questions:
1. Would I be eligible with my current degree to practice as a psychologist or undergo training and supervision in the UK?
2. If I don’t meet the criteria to start practicing with my current degree, what educational prospects can make me eligible? Would a 1 year Master’s ( I am looking at MSC Health Psychology) be fruitful?
3. How can I go about pursuing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the UK? Can I apply with my current qualifications?
Thanking you in advance.
Hi Rishika, you can check whether your Clinical Psychology qualification will be accepted in the UK by applying to the HCPC.
If it is not accepted by the HCPC you need to do a postgraduate qualification. To take a postgraduate qualification that allows you to be a practitioner psychologist (eg clinical psychologist or health psychologist) you first need to have an undergraduate psychology degree that is recognised by the BPS. You can apply here to determine if your undergraduate degree is recognised: https://www.bps.org.uk/graduate-membership-gmbpss.
If it is not recognised then you need to do a conversion masters that is recognised by the BPS before you can do a post graduate training course (it’s possible that the health psychology masters you mentioned counts as a conversion masters – you can check on the BPS website).
You’d need to follow the steps above to get on the DClinPsy courses.
As a note, I think you need to do more than one years study in order to become a Health Psychologist registered with the HCPC (which is necessary to work or get a job as a health psychologist in the UK).
I am currently doing a Bsc Psychology (Hons) BPS accredited with plans to do a DClinPsych. If I cannot do a DClinPsych because it is exceptionally expensive and my studies are self-funded as an international student in the UK, what career paths would be open to me with a BPS accredited Msc Psychology qualification?
Would I be able to work for the NHS in some from of mental health?
(Of course assuming I have working rights within the UK)
Hi Saskia, there’s a page on the NHS website here: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/psychological-therapies/roles-psychological-therapies that explains the different psychological roles that are available within the NHS. It’s usually the HCPC rather than the BPS that is important because they are the legal registrar.
If you decide on an alternative career (eg counsellor or CBT therapist) I’d advise checking that that career is recognised in your home country because it’s difficult to predict the UK’s immigration rules at the moment.
The only way to become a clinical psychologist in the UK is to attend a DClinPsyc course. A masters course won’t allow you to be a clinical psychologist.
Hi Dr Seal,
I completed my undergrad and masters degree in the UK and I am currently working in the UK as an assistant psychologist with the NHS. I am living in the UK on a spouse visa and have a permit to work and a BRP as well. I have a few years before I can apply for my citizenship but am not a UK passport holder yet.
I wanted to apply for the DClin course this year to eventually become a licensed clinical psychologist but i’m confused about whether I can apply through the NHS or have to apply as an international student. I do not require a student visa to work and so I find myself in this weird grey area.
Would you happen to have any advice? I understand the course fees are expensive and was wondering if there were any scholarship programs or anything I can apply for to help with the fees?
Thank you for your help in advance!
Hi Rhea, I’m not sure what the rule on that would be either. The clinical psychology clearing house says that you just need to have permission to work in the UK without restriction. If the spouse visa gives you that right then I’d go ahead and apply for NHS funded places. There isn’t much to lose by applying!
Thank you so much Dr Seal! Appreciate your quick reply!
Hi, This is Jashwika Reddy from India, I’ve completed my Bsc (HONS) Psychology from Manipal university, this June, I am currently in my gap year. I am a bit skeptical about my chances of getting accepted by UK universities ( UCL, King’s College London, Uol ) because of my gap year.
You are a true saviour sir, for your article have saved me from a very great disappointment, as I would go for Msc instead of Dclinpsych, I am very grateful for your post sir, your suggestions would do great help sir, can you please guide me through it.
R Jashwika Reddy
HI Jashwika, I’m glad that my article helped you avoid the disappointment of getting an MSc that wouldn’t allow you to work clinically rather than the DClinPsy. It’s an easy trap to fall into. I’ve asked some senior people at the BPS to look into making it clearer whether a course is accredited academically or if it is accredited clinically.
I think UK DClinPsych courses are very positive about applicants who have obtained some life experience so I think your gap year will count towards your application rather than against it. There’s no particular rush to have applied by a certain age. ALthough, as mentioned in the article above it’s usually important to have had some relevant experience.
HI Dr Dan
This is Jashwika reddy from India, I’ve looked up for Universities in uk that offer Dclinpsych, there are very few who are taking in international applicants, I have very less clinical work exposure, which is making me nervous to apply, do you have any suggestions for it and about visas, i dont think a student visa would do the job, which visa would you think is appropriate.
Hoping you would revert back soon.
R Jashwika Reddy
Hi Jashwika, there are currently 7 courses offering places to international students. You can find a list of them here: https://www.clearing-house.org.uk/applications/international-applicants/international-applicants-funding.
There are fewer courses and places than in previous years because the UK government has funded more places for locals on clinical psychology programmes for the next few years. However, I think it is still possible to gain a place on the course – previous applications don’t count against you so there shouldn’t be any harm in applying even if you don’t get a place this year.
My understanding is that if you successfully apply for a place on the clinical training course then you will be guided on how to apply for a student visa which is sufficient for the DClinPsy course.
Hi Dr. Dan,
First of all thank you so much for such detailed explanation. I have a question. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Pakistan. I am now planning to apply in the DclinPsy program in the UK. I know that one needs to have work experience in a relevant setting in order to increase their chances of being offered admission to the program, and so I am currently doing an internship to get that experience. I wanted to ask that will I be eligible to apply to the DclinPsy program after my undergraduate degree or do I have to have a masters degree as well before applying.
Also, what if I complete my masters from Pakistan and then register with the HCPC, will I then be eligible to practice as a clinical psychologist in the UK?
Hi Zahra, Thanks I’m glad you found the explanation helpful.
You’ll need to check if your undergraduate degree will give you the graduate basis for registration with the British Psychological Society. You can apply to have your degree assessed by the BPS here: https://www.bps.org.uk/graduate-membership-gmbpss. If your psychology degree does give you GBR then you would not need to do a Masters qualification and you can apply directly to the DClinPsy programs once you have some experience. If your undergraduate degree does not give you GBR then you’ll need to do a Masters Conversion degree which is accredited by the British Psychological Society. You can search for accredited, conversion courses here: https://portal.bps.org.uk/Accredited-Courses
It’s unlikely that the HCPC would consider someone newly qualified with Masters qualification from Pakistan to have experience and qualifications that are equivalent to the Doctoral Qualification in Clinical Psychology from the UK. So my guess is that you would not be eligible to practice in the UK. However, that’s only my opinion so it would be a good idea to check. You can apply to the HCPC after you gain the qualification to determine whether they will grant you registration to practice.
Hi Dr. Dan Seal,
Thanks a lot for your support with every question.
I am currently taking my masters at a university in the UK in Applied Child Psychology, I was able to get in based on experience and proof of my interest in the above mentioned course, as I do not have an undergraduate in psychology.
Now here’s my BIG concern, the Masters degree I am undergoing is not accredited by BPS, I also do not have an undergraduate degree that can be accredited by BPS, can I apply for an accredited PSyD in educational psychology with my Masters degree that is not accredited? Will I still be able to get the BPS accreditation using this approach? Are people able to apply for a PsyD with an unaccredited Masters program and an absence of a degree in psychology?
I would really appreciate your guidance as my end goal is to practice
Hi, if you’re looking at doing a Doctorate in Educational Psychology in the UK then you will need the Graduate Basis for Registration from the British Psychological Society. You can apply to see if the Masters you are doing would qualify you for the Graduate Basis for Registration on this page on the BPS’s website. As far as I know this is a pre-requisite for getting on an Educational Psychology training programme. There’s some more information on this page from the UK’s Association of Educational Psychologists.
Hello Dr Den,
Hope you are fine.
I’m Rahat Zaman from Pakistan completed my Msc in applied Psychology. Having two year clinical experience in my country. Recently I got admission in University of Essex in England for one year Master degree. I wanted to ask after this one year master will I then be eligible to get licens in Uk or pratice as a psychologist.
Looking for your answer. Thank you
Hi Rahat, no a one year Masters in Applied Psychology will not allow you to get a license to practice as a psychologist in the UK. To be a practitioner psychologist in the UK you need to have a qualification that is recognised by the Health & Care Professions’ Council. You should ask any course that you are planning to attend whether the qualification they are offering will allow you to gain registration with the Health and Care Professions Council or you may risk doing a course that does not prepare you to practice as a psychologist.
Dear Dr Seal,
This article is very helpful, thank you! UK is now offering the Global Talent Visa, which allows one to work without restrictions in the UK, and not relying upon any particular employer. If one would obtain this visa and get accepted to DClinPsy programme through self-funded places (because the Home fees status is not met), would it be possible to obtain the NHS funded placement?
NHS, based on my understanding, doesn’t require one to be a UK citizen or settled, as long as you have unrestricted woking rights. I hope my question makes sense… thank you in advance!
Hi Katarina, I like your thinking but unfortunately I don’t think that will work. I think the Global Talent Visa restricts you to 5 years of work (although you can renew) so it technically does have restrictions. They really intend for the NHS funded places to be for British Citizens or equivalent. Having said that I’m not an immigration expert so feel free to check into it further and let us know if you find any information to the contrary.
Thank you for your reply! I haven’t thought about it in that sense, that would be “permanent right to work” according to this: https://hr.qmul.ac.uk/workqm/righttowork/workinguk/
But it’s always better to ask them directly, I agree 🙂
Hello Dr Dan,
Hope you are doing well!
I am an international student who recently completed my MSc in foundations of clinical psychology from UK. I understand that as an international student I can not get funding from NHS, but is it possible to get scholarships for DClinPsych?
Thank you for your help!
Hi Ved, unfortunately I don’t know of anywhere that offers scholarships for DClinPsy. I know that some countries offer scholarships (for example Singapore) but they are usually only offered to their own citizens.
Thank you Dr Dan.
I am currently training to become a Clinical Psychologist. I am doing a three years MSc in Cyprus which will grant me licence to practice as a Clinical Psychologist. My BA Hons degree in Psychology is from the UK. I have pre-settled status because I have lived on and off in the UK for 8 years in total. I have work experience in the UK as a support worker. I am now in my second year and I wonder whether I will be able to do my clinical practice (third year) as an assistant clinical psychologist in the UK. The university allows us to do our practice in another country as long as it fulfills certain criteria.
But does the UK allows that? And how would I go about approaching that?
Hi Mika, I don’t think there are any rules that would forbid you from working as a trainee in the UK to fulfill the requirements from your program in Cyprus. However, the difficulty might be finding a supervisor and a placement organisation that would be supportive of you working with them. Most placements see taking on a trainee as more work for them rather than them gaining from free labour. In the past, there used to be a system that allowed foreign qualified clinical psychologists to work under supervision in the UK to gain enough supervision hours so that their overseas qualifications would be viewed as equivalent to UK qualifications. I think it was more common for that to happen in private clinics or hospitals outside of our National Health Service. So you could try contacting those bigger health care groups (such has the Priory – priorygroup.com) to ask if it’s possible for you to have a placement with them (i think there would be very little chance of you being successful if you did not have working permissions in the UK). If you had contacts within the NHS as a consequence of your working as a support worker you could always try asking them too.
Hi Dr. Seal.
My name is Pranay and I’m finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from India(BPS accredited)
I am planning to complete a MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology course from Manchester, and then working as an assistant psychologist for a few years before applying for the DClinPsych. My question was – would working for 2 years + the 1 year master course make me eligible for home fees if I plan on staying in the UK? That would save me a lot of money.
Thank you, and apologies if this has already been answered.
Hi Pranay, based on my (limited) understanding of the uk immigration system I don’t think that completing an MSc and working for two years will make you eligible for home fees. If you were looking to save money then you might not need to do the Masters. If your degree is already BPS accredited and you have graduate membership with the British Psychological Society (https://www.bps.org.uk/graduate-membership-gmbpss) then you can apply to the DClinPsy courses once you have obtained some work experience. You could get that experience in India.
Hi Dr. Dan,
Would you be able to share where that information about the scholarship for Singapore? I have been trying to research for it but haven’t seen it
Hi Daf, I’m aware that some people from Singapore have secured funding from the Singaporean government or other organisations in Singapore to be able to study on DClinPsy programmes in the UK. However, I don’t know if these are still available or where to access them if you are from Singapore. If you find out please do let us know here – I’m sure others would like to know.
Hi Dr. Dan,
I hope that you are having a great day. I am an international student in Istanbul, Turkey. I am studing a BA in Psychology . Next year, I will be graduating next year with a projection of 3.3GPA. DClinPsy programmes perfectly resonates with my interests and lines up with my enthusiasm for Clinical Psychology. However, the path seems a little complicated so i hope you can give me some advices on how to approach this. I was thinking of taking MSc i Clinical Psychology in the UK then apply for a DClinPsy program. But that is a more expensive path and im not even sure if that is going to make me more qualified to enter a DClinPsy program. So after doing a little research, i saw that people finish their bachelor degerees and go for experience, they work under NHS offered programs as Assistants or similar positions. That sounds like a great idea to me. As an international student, is it possible to apply for a research/assistanship job to earn experience and then apply for DClinPsy? How hard it is to find a job that will help me gain the necessary experience to later enter a DClinPsy program knowing that i will be coming from abroad? If jobs are frequent, how can i find them?
Also if this path of doing a research job is complicated, should i still consider doing a master`s before going to DClinPsy? Will that be any helpful or would it be a waste of money and time.
Also note that i am thinking of working in UK while studying to at least fund my living expenses. What kind of Visa do i need to both work and study?
I know these are a lot of questions Dr. Dan, but i hope i expressed myself correctly to put you in my situation so that you would help recognize what kind of path i should go after.
Thanks in advance, i highly appreciate your time.
Hi Othmane, Istanbul is an interesting city I’d like to visit one day – I hope you’re enjoying your course there. You’re correct in noting that it’s not necessary to do a MSc in Clinical Psychology. They are expensive to study and they aren’t as valued by the DClinPsy courses as a masters in research methods. So if you’re really interested in doing a masters in the UK to further your chances of getting on to a DCLinPsy course then it would be better to a research methods masters preferably with a learning towards epidemiology or clinical research. I took a Masters at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London (it was then called Mental Health Services Research but is now Psychiatric Research MSc) course which I’d recommend.
I should note that this assumes your BA in Istanbul will give you the Graduate Basis for Registration with the British Psychological Society (BPS). If your BA does not give you graduate membership of the BPS then you’ll need to do a Masters in order to gain equivalence. There’s information on how to check if you can get graduate membership here. You can search for accredited BPS conversion courses on the BPS website. I like the look of Edinburgh’s Psychology of Mental Health Conversion Masters because it’s orientated towards becoming a clinical pschologist (it’s a bit cold up there in Scotland though).
You will need to gain work experience in order to apply successfully for the DClinPsy courses but you don’t necessarily need work experience from the UK. You could also gain that experience from working in your home country. It’s more about what you learn from it and whether you understand what you’ll be doing as a psychologist in the future. If you decide to gain experience in the UK then you can usually do so if you have a student visa as it usually gives you the right to work part time. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to get an Assistant Psychologist post. There are usually hundreds of applications to Assistant Psychologist posts by local British aspiring Clinical Psychologists and you’d be at a disadvantage if you didn’t have full rights to work in the UK. You could apply to work as a health care assistant in a mental health, learning disabilities or dementia unit as there is lack of people interested in those jobs although that’s mainly because they are poorly paid. You could try working part time if you were studying a masters but you won’t have time to work part time if you are studying a DClinPsy. I hope all that helps.
thank you so much Dr. Dan, i highly appreciate your time and priceless tips. I hope you are having a great sunday.
Dear Dr. Seal,
I hope this message finds you well. Currently, I am in the midst of taking my A-Levels and aspiring to become a clinical psychologist. To further my education, I am planning to pursue an undergraduate psychology and placement program at the University of Surrey, which is BPS accredited. The university is well-known for providing exceptional placements in England. However, I am curious if this one-year placement will provide sufficient experience to be considered suitable for a Doctorate program by universities. I have read and heard from others that more years of experience may be required.
Since a PsyD program emphasizes practical experience rather than research, can it be considered as three years of work experience? Additionally, as Doctorate courses begin at Band 6 trainee level, and moving to Band 7 requires work experience, would a one-year placement coupled with three years in a Doctorate program be sufficient to meet the requirements for moving onto Band 7?
Furthermore, I am interested in working abroad after gaining clinical experience in the UK. I would like to know how easy it is to convert my knowledge and be qualified to work clinically in other countries such as the USA.
Thank you for your time and assistance. I appreciate your help in answering these questions.
Hi Elias, if you are an international student applying for the DClinPsy in the UK then you should be able to find a place on a training course with one year of experience (although some of the top universities may prefer more). If you are British and you are hoping to get a funded place then that may require more experience as there is more competition for those places. A UK funded trainee is paid at Band 6 on the NHS payscale. If you get a job as a qualified clinical psychologist with the NHS you automatically move to band 7 (so your amount of experience before the course is irrelevant in terms of the band but employers may be more likely to give you a job if you have more experience prior to training). As an international student you would not be paid during training. But if you had working rights or were sponsored for a visa you would go onto Band 7 when you qualify.
Most countries accept the British Doctorate of Clinical Psychology as equivalent to their own qualification. So it is relatively easy to move overseas. THe USA is an exception in that their licensing is by state rather than the country (ie you’d apply to California rather than the US) and they usually require British Clinical PSychologists to take exams to prove their knowledge is equivalent to the US qualification.
I have an mbbs (Bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery ) degree from India. I do not want to take the PLAB exam and get an MD in psychiatry (which would be the ideal next step for me) I want to become a clinical psychologist. Can you advice me how I can go about it?
Hi Nora, in most countries to train as a clinical psychologist you first need an undergraduate degree in psychology or you need to take a conversion Masters (that ‘converts’ your undergraduate degree to psychology). I’m not sure whether clinical psychology training courses in India have this requirement. If you took this route it might take longer than becoming a psychiatrist. If you did become a psychiatrist you can do postgraduate training to learn the therapy approaches that clinical psychologists use (the website psychwire is particularly good for online courses).
Hello Dr. Dan,
I hope you are doing great. Looking at the great work you are doing for all the international psychology aspirations, I want to thank you for all the guidance you are giving from the bottom of my heart.
My question is I am currently pursuing Masters in Clinical Psychology from India. I have bachelor’s in Dental Surgery (India), and certification in Clinical research (Canada, online distance program).
I want to go for ClinPsyD from UK/Europe. Am I eligible to work and earn during the course? Or whether the course will provide any stipend or salary to sustain while living in UK/Europe? Also, are there any diploma courses or fellowships available in the field of psychology in these countries that one can apply for as an international student after post graduation???
Thank you so much again.
Dr Mansi Dawesar
Hi Dr Mansi, in the UK there will be a few obstacles for you. Firstly, you will need an undergraduate degree in psychology or a Masters conversion course that is accredited by the British Psychology Society. If you are doing a Masters in Clinical Psychology you should meet the work experience requirement. Then you would need to complete the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy).
I don’t know of any scholarships or funding that is available from the UK or globally. Some people manage to get funding from their home countries to go overseas to study clinical psychology but I don’t know of anyone from India who has managed that.
You need to pay the fees and your living expenses yourself. There won’t be time to do part time work and the work you do on placements will be unpaid. The financial challenge is usually the hardest to meet – it’s a very expensive training process!
Hi Dr Dan,
I don’t know if you will be able to help me but I thought I would try. I am currently in my last year of an undergraduate degree in psychology in New Zealand. I am hoping to complete the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) and then move to the UK to practice as a clinical psychologist. Unfortunately at the moment, I do not likely have the grades or experience that is required. I have a few options after I graduate and was wondering what you would recommend. One of my options is getting more study such as an honours or a masters to improve my grades for clinical psychology. Another option is looking for work that counts towards the necessary experience needed to be accepted into the DClinPsy. I was just enquiring to see if you would be able to recommend which of these options would be the most beneficial to me or suggest something else that would help me to be accepted into a clinical psychology program.
Hi Luca, most clinical psychology training programs appreciate the value of work experience. Many require that you have work experience with people who are going through psychological distress because they want you to know that you are comfortable being with people in psychological distress as that is what you will spend most of your time doing as a clinical psychologist. Most training courses are also positive about people gaining life experience and working in fields unrelated to clinical psychology. Consequently, gaining work experience in any field will be of advantage to you. So if you have the option I’d advise getting work experience first before committing to a masters.
In regards to your grades and whether you should do a masters, it would be a good idea to reflect on what has made it difficult to get the grades you need. Most clinical psychology training programs have a relatively high academic requirement (in the UK it’s the equivalent of a high upper second class honours). The clinical psychology training programs are usually quite academically orientated because they usually follow the scientist-practitioner model. So trainees need to understand statistics and be able to interpret and conduct academic research. If you naturally find those topics extremely difficult then it may be better to consider a career pathway that is more practically orientated rather than academically orientated. For example, some counselling courses are primarily practical and don’t have the same research and academic requirements.
If your grades were low because you were struggling with procrastination or some other issue then one way of demonstrating to the clinical psychology training courses that you have resolved those issues and are academically capable is to do a masters. The more academic the masters the more convincing it will be, providing you get a good grade. The most convincing masters are usually Research Methods courses but I’d only advise taking one of those if research is genuinely of interest to you.
Everything I’ve written above is quite general and some clinical psychology training may have their own specific requirements or recommendations. If you are targeting a particular course it is a good idea to find out what their requirements are directly. If you are currently at a university with a clinical psychology training course they might be more open to speaking with you. If you can’t speak to the training course or any of is staff directly you may be able to find out from current trainees or recent graduates.
I hope that helps!