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Research in Clinical Psychology (MSc)

Course Description

About the course

This programme has been specifically designed for those intending to pursue a career in clinical psychology and to apply for a place on the professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, but it is also ideal for those interested in a research career or PhD in the area of clinical psychology and mental health. The programme enables students to gain detailed knowledge about modern theories and models in relation to psychopathology and psychological assessment as well as about effective psychological interventions and therapies. It also provides broad research training in quantitative and qualitative research, and offers education about the role of professional clinical psychologists along with training in essential clinical skills. The programme includes a Research Apprenticeship in clinical psychology which is a particularly attractive module enabling students to gain experience with professional research in clinical psychology.

- Designed to strengthen the research competence and academic profile of those intending to apply for professional training in clinical psychology

- Offers broad postgraduate research training in quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to clinical psychology and mental health in general

- Includes a Research Apprenticeship in Clinical Psychology

- Provides education about the role of clinical psychologists as well as training in some essential professional clinical skills

- Uses a blend of adult learning approaches (i.e. lectures, seminars, group work, workshops) to engage students with the content of the taught modules

See the website http://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/research-in-clinical-psychology

Why choose this course?

The main educational aims of the programme are to provide you with a thorough knowledge about clinical psychology as an academic and professional discipline, and to develop your research competence in a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods of particular relevance to clinical psychology. Core knowledge areas such as psychopathology, psychological assessment and various types of psychological intervention are each taught in specific modules. You will be introduced to leading theories or models in each field and the scientific evidence on which they are based will be critically discussed. Important research paradigms and controversies dominating current scientific debates within clinical psychology will be presented, and you will learn and practice how to critically appraise published research.

You will receive extensive training in a range of essential research skills and we will be discussing various types of research design for investigating the aetiology of mental health problems, for evaluating the effectiveness of psychological therapies and for auditing mental health services. The research training also includes advanced methods of statistical data analysis with exercises in SPSS and you will learn how to professionally report and communicate the findings. Qualitative research methods, for example, Grounded Theory will be taught in a specialist module and you will learn to use software for the coding and interpretation of transcripts. Finally, each student will be allocated to a senior researcher for a Research Apprenticeship, a particularly valuable learning experience enabling you to prepare an impressive MSc Research Project which will be your most important academic achievement of the programme.

The programme also includes a module Professional Clinical Skills introducing you to the role and competencies of professional clinical psychologists within mental health care settings as well as professional standards and ethical considerations. It also provides you with training in some essential clinical skills.

More specifically, the programme aims are to:
- provide students with in-depth knowledge about current theories of psychopathology covering both dimensional and diagnostic approaches for conceptualizing, defining, observing and assessing behavioural and mental indicators of psychopathology.

- provide students with detailed knowledge about psychiatric classification systems for mental health and personality problems as well as alternatives such as formulation

- provide students with thorough knowledge about different kinds of effective psychological interventions for the treatment or prevention of mental health and behavioural problems.

- educate and train students in various types of quantitative and qualitative research in the area of clinical psychology, their methodological justification as well as criteria of validity to critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of research proposals or published research.

- provide education about professional standards for clinical psychologists as well as training in professional skills.


This course is ideal for those considering a professional or research career in clinical psychology and wish to strengthen their academic CV.

Teaching methods

We have our own dedicated postgraduate teaching rooms. Teaching includes lectures, seminars, practicals in class, workshops, group work, simulation exercises and individual supervision.

A blend of different assessment methods will be used. Part of the modules is assessed by exams, but the majority of the assignments constitute coursework such essays, data analysis reports, a written paper critique and oral presentations.

Professional Accreditations

Please note that this MSc does not replace an accredited doctoral training programme in Clinical Psychology, nor will it guarantee entry to such a programme or provide a professional qualification in clinical psychology.

Find out how to apply here http://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/research-in-clinical-psychology#how-to-apply

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.herts.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-funding/scholarships/postgraduate

Visit the Research in Clinical Psychology (MSc) page on the University of Hertfordshire website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a 2.1 or first BSc honours degree in Psychology (or overseas equivalent). Applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. The following qualifications will be considered; IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in any band and a 6.5 in written and spoken English) or equivalent.

Course Fees

UK/EU Students: Full time £6,100, Part time £510 per module; International Students: Full time £12,000

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Recipient: University of Hertfordshire
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