People walking under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset
Bridge of Sighs, Hertford College
(Image credit: Henry Lee (DPhil in Molecular and Cellular Medicine) / Graduate Photography Competition)

Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)

About the course

The course supports trainees in the process of becoming highly competent and flexible scientist-practitioners, who are confident in their ability to meet a range of needs in health and social care contexts.

This is achieved through a research-led academic and skills training programme, high quality placements in a broad range of specialty areas and excellent research support and supervision. The philosophy of the course stems from the reflective scientist-practitioner model, and the course is committed to drawing on a range of empirically supported and grounded theoretical orientations including Cognitive Behavioural Therapies and Systemic (Family) Therapy. Trainees benefit from having access to some of the best clinical and academic resources in the country via the University of Oxford, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and other agencies and Trusts providing health and social care.

Graduates from the course will be equipped to practice at a high level of research and clinical competence, and within an empirically grounded reflective and ethical framework which will provide a foundation for further learning and development. The course also prepares trainees to take leadership roles and enables them to develop the skills, competencies and meta- competencies needed to contribute to and influence services in which they work. This broad range of skills is attractive to future employers and past graduates from the Oxford course have gone on to occupy senior positions in clinical, academic and research settings.

Course team members are all clinically and/or research active and are able to use this experience to enhance the provision of clinical psychology training at Oxford. Course staff are engaged in research in a number of areas including but not confined to anxiety disorders, clinical health psychology, CBT, Systemic/Family therapy, eating disorders, transdiagnostic psychological processes, learning disabilities, working with children, older adults, psychosis, neuropsychology/neuroscience, stigma and clinical supervision.

The course is part of the Oxford Centre for Psychological Health, which also includes and integrates the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre (OCTC) and the Oxford Health Specialist Psychological Intervention Clinic. The course also has close links with specialist mindfulness, neuropsychology and spinal cord injuries units.

Trainees are given the opportunity to develop competencies in most areas of clinical psychology practice. Training takes a life-span developmental perspective.

Clinical placements (generally three days a week throughout the three years of the course) are located throughout the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, and are allocated primarily on the basis of training needs, therefore trainees must be prepared to travel within this area and are expected to reside within the Thames Valley footprint. The academic programme is designed to align with clinical placements in order to enhance and enrich the learning process.


The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Oxford Centre for Psychological Health. Trainees are allocated a course tutor who meets with them regularly as needed. The cohort also has monthly year group meetings with their allocated cohort tutor. The trainees are also allocated a personal tutor external to the course for pastoral care and support.


Assessment is undertaken throughout the three years through five clinical case reports, and a research portfolio, which is examined viva voce as detailed in the examination regulations.

Successful completion of the three-year full-time course leads to the qualification of Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych), which is validated by the University of Oxford. This confers eligibility to apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council and to apply for Chartered status with the British Psychological Society. There is no part-time version of the course and the only award that can be made is the DClinPsych - no other exit award is available.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from the Oxford course have gone on to occupy senior positions in clinical, academic and research settings.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

All graduate courses offered by the Medical Sciences Division

Biochemistry MSc by Research
Clinical Neurosciences MSc by Research
Experimental Psychology MSc by Research
Musculoskeletal Sciences MSc by Research
Neuroscience combined MSc and DPhil
Oncology DPhil
Oncology MSc by Research
Paediatrics MSc by Research
Pharmacology MSc by Research
Psychiatry MSc by Research
Surgical Sciences MSc by Research

Entry requirements

Information regarding the entry requirements for this course can be accessed at the following location:

DClinPsych entry requirements


The course has its own purpose-built building, the Isis Education Centre, located in the grounds of the Warneford Hospital, Oxford, which has well-equipped teaching rooms, seminar rooms, offices, computer facilities, kitchen and a common room. It also has a resource centre in the grounds of the Warneford Hospital. Trainees also have access to the healthcare libraries at the hospital sites in Oxford, and the Bodleian Library.

All trainees are allocated a course tutor who is responsible for facilitating and supporting the development of clinical, academic, research and professional competencies across the three years of training. They are also the first point of contact for all personal and professional issues, including leave requests. Trainees complete a Training Needs and Aspirations Assessment (TNAA) where they rate their competence and experience prior to starting training. This is reviewed and revised as experience and competence develops as part of the annual appraisal process.

Personal and professional development is also facilitated through supporting reflective practice in a variety of ways. There are opportunities for trainees to participate in a mindfulness meditation class. Additional support includes a "buddy" system where each new trainee is offered support from a trainee in the year above. There is a personal tutor system where trainees are allocated a personal tutor/mentor from a list of local clinical psychologists, for confidential mentoring and support. Further personal support options are available as appropriate. 

Trainees attend annual Course events and provide representatives to attend key course committee meetings. This provides opportunities for professional development and ensures good two-way communication between staff and trainees in all year groups and also ensures that trainees have the opportunity to influence decisions regarding the Course.

Funding and costs

Information about the funding and the costs associated with this course can be found on the Clearing House website. If you require further details, please contact the department using the details provided in the Further information and enquiries section of this page. 

College preference

Matriculation confers membership of the University on students. Students who enrol on this course will not be matriculated and will not become a member of an Oxford college. Although not formally members of the University, non-matriculated students are expected to observe the same rules and regulations as matriculated students. Further information about matriculation is available on the Oxford Students website.

Although you won't be a member of a college, students who enrol on this course will become an Associate Member of an Oxford college. Colleges will be allocated by the course and no preference can be taken into account from the student themselves.

How to apply

Admission to the DClinPsych is via the Clearing House. To apply and for further details about the course, its requirements and deadlines, please refer to the information on the Clearing House website.

Application procedure Apply via the Clearing House

Was this page useful?*