MSc Clinical Associate in Psychology

Duration Full time 1 year
  • Psychology
LocationCornwall (Truro)
Start date September


This Masters programme is intended for graduates in Psychology, who are interested in developing careers as applied psychological practitioners in a range of healthcare settings working with adults, children and young people.

The programme is currently based in Cornwall for local NHS services. Teaching takes place at the Knowledge Spa in Truro two days a week, with trainees working in their service three days a week. We are hoping to also offer an Exeter-based programme in the near future.

What are Clinical Associate Psychologists (CAPs)?

CAPs are psychology graduates who currently undergo one year of training at Masters level in order to become a skilled professional applied psychologist, working within their scope of practice, under the direct supervision of a clinical psychologist. Up to half of their training is spent on clinical placement using the Clinical Psychology training model of teaching-placement synchronisation so that CAP trainees can put their academic teaching into practice.

Although the CAP role is of utility in a broad range of settings, and CAPs can be trained to work with a wide variety of clinical populations, in practice individual CAPs are trained to work with one population (initially). At the University of Exeter, we expose our trainees to a curriculum that emphasises fundamentals of professional psychological practice across the lifespan.

We we use problem-based learning and the supervised clinical placement as the medium through which our trainees develop competence in working with a specific clinical population. As such our trainee CAPs have a full year of supervised clinical practice, in a service and a clinical team, before they graduate to become a CAP.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Teaching consists of class-based activities, self reflective learning and work-based study. There will also be guided independent study.

Types of assessment include:

  • professional practice reflective log
  • group report
  • evidence-based practice infographic
  • clinical research proposal
  • research proposal
  • research proposal poster
  • supervisor evaluation of clinical competence during placement
  • end of placement supervisor evaluation of clinical competence
  • mid and end placement portfolio
  • clinical case reports detailing evidence of competence in clinical assessment
  • clinical formulation and intervention
  • and an integrative clinical case report.


This programme is training people already in a career within the NHS or an IAPT service. It will provide you with an outstanding opportunity to develop their competencies and knowledge associated with practice as a Practitioner.

A strong emphasis throughout the programme is placed upon your personal and professional development.

Advantages of the programme are that:

  • You will study within a vibrant, stimulating and internationally-recognised research environment, where members of your teaching team have first-hand experience within the clinical setting.
  • Your learning experience will be enriched by nationally-recognised, innovative, clinical teaching approaches, designed to develop you on your terms.

Entry requirements

Graduate Basis of Eligibility (GBE/graduate) membership of the British Psychological Society

and either

Minimum 2:1 honours degree in Psychology.


A 2:2 honours degree in Psychology and a postgraduate Research course - either at Masters, DPhil or PhD level. The course must be classified as a research degree and the research component must exceed 50% of the course, or be at least 50% supervised clinical practice experience.

Personal statement

Applicants must submit a personal statement providing evidence of how their academic, professional and personal experiences equip them to meet the demands of the MCAP programme. Applicants will also be asked to outline reasons for pursuing a career as an applied psychological practitioner with a brief statement about subsequent career intentions.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should provide evidence of an English language proficiency of IELTS level 7 (with no score below 7.0 in each test element - listening, reading, writing and speaking), or equivalent (e.g. undergraduate degree taught in English), at the time of application.

How to apply

Applications to this programme may only be made through IAPT services recruiting trainees and not directly through the University of Exeter. Posts are typically advertised by IAPT services on NHS jobs websites or equivalent. 

The next cohort for this programme is likely to commence in early 2020.

If you are a prospective student and would like to apply for this course:

If you are working as an assistant psychologist in Cornwall and would like to apply for the course, we advise that you speak to your manager about whether CAPs would be suitable for you.

Fees and funding

Home/EU students

The current cohort is commissioned by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The fee per student is set at £13,000 under this contract. The fee for future cohorts is still to be determined.

Contact us

Programme administrator:

Dan Smith
College of Life and Environmental Sciences,
Washington Singer,
Room 001,
Perry Road,

Tel: +44 (0)1392 725753

Clinical Education Development and Research (CEDAR) Ask a question Print course

This programme is delivered by Clinical Education, Development and Research (CEDAR): an applied psychological practice centre of excellence, focussed on training the new psychological therapies workforce of the future.