How to train as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK as an International Applicant

Click the image above for Clinical Psychology Courses from the UK.

To become a Clinical Psychologist in the UK you must complete a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) which takes 3 years.

Important Note: Don’t apply for a Masters in Clinical Psychology in the UK!

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.

In the UK a PhD, even if it is in a clinical area, will not qualify you as a Clinical Psychologist (however, in other countries you can get a PhD which will allow you to practice as a Clinical Psychologist).

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic

In my opinion it would be advisable to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic is better under control before travelling overseas to study Clinical Psychology. The pandemic has restricted many of the learning opportunities that would otherwise be available to international students.

Entry requirements

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:

  1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Candidates often need to hold a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited psychology degree with a degree classification of 2:1 or above. If your bachelors is not accredited, you can obtain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) by sitting the BPS’ exam, taking an accredited conversion course or taking an accredited post-graduate course For more information you can view this page on the Clinical Psychology Clearing House Pages or view the BPS website for more information.
  2. If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate a good level of proficiency in both written and spoken English.
  3. Have some experience of the settings and people that Clinical Psychologists may work with.

Do I need to be licensed or registered to practice as a psychologist in the UK?

Yes. 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.

The most common way of obtaining this is by completing the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych). However, you may not automatically be eligible for this as an international student – it is advisable to check with the course provider.

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.

Who accredits psychologists 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.

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

Which Universities currently offer places for international students to study clinical psychology?

Self-funded places

There are self-funded places available at the course centres listed below. Most of these courses require applicants to have overseas fees status (see the Entry Requirements of the UK‘s Clearing House) if you need more information about fees status.

Course centreHow to applyFees status required
University of BirminghamApply directly to the university.Overseas
University of East AngliaApply through the Clearing House to course 05 – X.Overseas
University of EssexApply through the Clearing House to course 08 – X.Any fees status
University of ExeterApply through the Clearing House to course 09 – X.Overseas
University of HertfordshireApply through the Clearing House to course 11 – X
or directly to the university.
Any fees status
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience – King’s College LondonApply directly to the university.Overseas
University of ManchesterApply through the Clearing House to course 17 – X.Overseas
Newcastle UniversityApply through the Clearing House to course 18 – X.Overseas
North Thames – University College LondonApply directly to the university.Overseas
Royal Holloway – University of LondonApply through the Clearing House to course 22 – X.Overseas
Salomons – Canterbury Christ Church UniversityApply directly to the university.Any fees status
University of SheffieldApply through the Clearing House to course 24 – X.Overseas

NHS places

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:

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:

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 drug or alcohol problems 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.


I am a British Chartered Clinical Psychologist currently working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I aim to help people who are facing psychological or emotional difficulties to overcome their difficulties.


  1. 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.

  2. 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: 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Greetings Dr.Seal,
    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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

    Kindest regards

    • 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.

  10. 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!

    Warmest regards,
    Ramanee Kaur

    • 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.

  11. Dr. Seal,

    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.

  12. 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!).

  13. 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 . 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.

      • Respected Sir.
        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.

  14. 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!

    Thank 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.

  15. 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.

    Deepti Gurav

    • Hi Deepti,
      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.
      Good luck!

  16. Hi there,

    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).

  17. 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.

    Kind Regards,

    • 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.

  18. 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!
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Barbara,
      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!

  19. 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.
    Thank you

    • 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.

  20. 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 to see if your qualifications would be accepted in the UK.

  21. 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.

  22. •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.

  23. 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).

  24. 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.

    • Hi Devyani,

      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.

  25. 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!

    • Hi Sophia,

      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.

  26. 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.

  27. Hi,Dr Seal

    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 ….

  28. Hi,

    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.

    Best Wishes,

    • 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.

  29. Good day.,
    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.

  30. 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.

    Shreya Menon

    • 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 and find a good supervisor.
      I hope that helps.

  31. Dear Dr.Dan,

    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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. Hi Dan

    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 You can apply to them to see if your qualification meets the requirements in the UK. This page on their website details the process for overseas applicants. I hope that helps!

  35. 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.

  36. 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 !

  37. 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

  38. 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 ( as they may have more information than me about the practicalities of trying to get a visa and work in the UK.

  39. Hello!

    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?

    Thank you

    • 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 ( Most countries have something similar.

  40. 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: 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.

  41. 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 ( 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.

  42. Hello Dr.Seal,

    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.

    Best wishes,

  43. 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).

  44. 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.
    Thank you!

    • 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.

  45. 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
    Thank you..

    • Hi Fatima,

      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: This website has insights from well-known psychologists: that might be worth reading through. The video at the end of this page 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!

    • 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).

    • 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.

    • 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.

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