MSci Applied Psychology (Clinical)

UCAS code C811
Duration 4 Years
Typical offer AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34; BTEC DDD
Discipline Psychology
Location Streatham (Exeter)


Undergraduate Psychology

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Innovative programmes

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This unique programme is designed to provide you with an understanding of the core areas of psychology, as well as equip you with the clinical skills to work as a trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP), as you will undertake full BPS accredited PWP training.

Psychology is a broad field which incorporates a number of different key areas of research including biological, clinical, cognitive, and developmental and social psychology. The MSci Applied Psychology (Clinical) programme has a dual focus that provides you with a broad knowledge across these core areas in addition to training you to work with patients suffering from mental health problems, mainly depression and anxiety, including diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

Clinical research project and placement

During the programme you will undertake a clinical research project and placement which will allow you to put your knowledge into practice. As a student of the programme you will benefit from being part of a professional, research-led culture and environment, learning from experts in the field. The Clinical Placement provides you with the opportunity to work with a caseload of patients delivering Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) interventions in a clinical setting, to build up clinical hours towards becoming a qualified PWP after the training by completing more clinical hours under supervision.

Where will the programme take me?

Our MSci Applied Psychology (Clinical) programme provides the basic training requirements towards employment as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. With additional relevant clinical experience, this programme could lead to accreditation as a PWP with the British Psychological Society or British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies soon after graduation.

As well as providing a platform for becoming a PWP, the programme will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. The programme will develop both your subject-specific and clinical competencies, and also your skills in communication, critical thinking and problem solving, data analysis and manipulation, teamwork, organisation, project management and independent learning.

BPS accreditation

This programme provides British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation. BPS accreditation confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, provided the minimum standard of a Lower Second Class Honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

  • Innovative programme set within a UK centre of excellence for Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) training
  • Designed to provide you with an understanding of the core areas of psychology and equip you with the clinical skills to work as a trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) as you will undertake BPS accredited PWP training, providing eligibility for qualification as a BPS-accredited PWP
  • Includes modules with a particular focus on the development of professional practice and clinical competency in evidence-based, low intensity psychological therapy
  • This programme provides British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation – the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist

Years 1 and 2
Your first- and second -year modules will provide you with an appreciation of the development of psychology, including a focus on the application of psychology to clinical problems, and will introduce you to the concept of evidence-based practice. They will also develop your clinical understanding of individual differences and psychopathology whilst gaining an appreciation of biological psychology including an emphasis on the biological basis of behaviour and mental health. These modules will be shared with the BSc Psychology programme and provide you with a broad introduction to research methods, statistics, social, cognitive, biological and developmental psychology.
Year 3
The emphasis in your third year is on clinical research and practice. You will undertake a clinical research project within the Mood Disorders Centre where you will see leading research in action. Your project will be supported by staff recognised internationally for their excellence in mood disorders research which seeks to translate research into clinical treatments.
Year 4
The fourth (PWP) year of the programme provides a thorough grounding in the theory, evidence base and clinical practice of low intensity psychological therapy for anxiety and depression. You will undertake your clinical internship in this year. A patient-centred approach develops competencies in core patient-centred interviewing and assessment skills, case management, and the delivery of a range of low intensity interventions including behavioural activation, exposure, cognitive restructuring, sleep management, problem solving alongside support for medication taking. Completion of the programme gives you the ability to apply for trainee PWP positions at NHS Band 4/5.

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.

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted, or replaced as a consequence of the annual review of this programme.

You may take elective modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme in stage 1 as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You may take optional modules up to 30 credits at stage 2 and 45 credits in stage 3 as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You are also permitted to take the five-credit module PSY3910 Professional Development Experience in the second or final years. Registration on this module is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, this module will not count towards progression or award calculation.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Entry requirements 2019

Typical offer


Required subjects

GCE AL science grade B; IB science HL5; GCSE Maths grade B or 5; GCSE English Language grade B or 5.

GCE AL/AS science includes: Biology/Human Biology; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Statistics.

Applicants studying one of the following BTEC Extended Diplomas will be considered without GCE AL requirement(s): Sport and Exercise Science, Sport Science, Applied Science, Pharmaceutical Science. Applicants offering one of the above BTEC Extended Diplomas in lieu of the GCE A’ Level Science will also be required to have a grade C or 4 in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science.

Selection criteria

Placement requirement

There will be a clinical placement within an NHS or other IAPT service setting in the fourth year of this programme. Given the exposure to patients, offers will be conditional upon successful completion of a self disclosure form and satisfying full health assessments. If a place is offered and accepted, students will be required to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check in their second year prior to their Clinical Practice Placement. Students will not be able to begin their placements prior to the Disclosure receipt and it being deemed satisfactory.


We meet all shortlisted applicants before making an offer. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a daylong interview process which will include an assessment of communication skills, a service-user led group interview and an individual interview.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programme for Biomedical, Life and Environmental Sciences.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

Research inspired teaching

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Research inspired teaching

You will be taught by expert, research- and clinically-active staff who are undertaking relevant research of national and international quality; this feeds directly into the programme ensuring teaching is up to date. The programme benefits from the extensive clinical research, training and service delivery experience from the Mood Disorders Centre and Clinical Training (CEDAR) at the University of Exeter. As a student this will mean you benefit from:

  • exposure to a stimulating research culture at the cutting edge of translational science;
  • exposure to high quality clinical training provision with access to specialist clinical trainers with published educational research in the latest clinical training techniques;  
  • exposure to clinically-active teaching and research staff who are able to translate their experience to ensure the teaching grounded in clinical practice;
  • close links with mental health service providers in the region and the Medical School.

You will be taught through a range of methods including:

  • lectures and seminars for the delivery of academic material;
  • problem-based learning, which enables you to study within groups applying new knowledge to a number of clinically relevant scenarios. This method of learning increases the application of knowledge into practice;
  • facilitated small group role play and skills modelling to help you learn the required clinical competencies;
  • self-practice/self-reflection exercises in which you are supported to provide reflections upon clinical interventions helping to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The use of reflective blogs to enhance this process has been developed at Exeter and published in leading academic journals;
  • group clinical skills supervision sessions to support the development of clinical skills;
  • clinical research internships with academics within the Mood Disorders Centre to support the development of research skills and further increase employability;
  • clinical training internship to support the development of clinical competency.

All learning is supported by an e-learning hub which enhances the teaching of both the academic and clinical content.

Contact hours

It is not possible to learn clinical competencies by reading about them in a book or through self-directed learning. As such, modules which require the development of clinical competency tend to have high contact hours to ensure that the relevant skills can be learnt through role play and modelling under the direction of the teaching staff. Contact hours on this programme can vary between a minimum of 12 hours per week on the more academic modules up to 35 hours per week on the competency based modules. In addition, the Clinical Practice Placement will entail high levels of contact time and study hours.


We are committed to providing you with a supportive learning environment in which you can build confidence and gain expertise in the clinical applications of psychology. The atmosphere is one of informality. Members of teaching staff either maintain an open door policy for student enquiries or have regular office hours during which they can be consulted. From day one you are allocated a personal tutor who acts as a mentor on academic work, as well as a source of advice for accessing wider student services should you require them.

During your First Year you will develop a Personal and Professional Development (PPD) portfolio which will be maintained throughout your degree with support from your personal tutor. Upon graduation, this PPD portfolio will focus upon both your academic and clinical development and will be helpful in increasing your employability. It will also support your continued professional development, as well as your application for accreditation as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner.

Clinical placement liaison will be undertaken during your Third Year to ensure you are appropriately supported and to maximise your learning opportunities during the clinical placement. You will not be expected to set up clinical placements; this will be undertaken by the College using established contacts.


You will be assessed in a number of ways including:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Digitally recorded role play competency assessments
  • Patient scenario presentations
  • Case studies
  • Patient work within the clinical practice placement portfolio
  • A clinically focused research dissertation

Assessment methods will vary depending on your choice of optional module; check individual module descriptions for details.

You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but these results won’t count towards your degree classification. The assessments in the second, third and final years all contribute to your final degree classification.


Psychology and your career choices

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Psychology and your career choices

The research and evidence-based focus of the programme alongside the clinical research internships provides an ideal basis for a career in applied clinical psychology or health services research. The programme also benefits from providing a general education in a degree recognised within a variety of careers such as advertising and marketing.

Your successful completion of the programme provides:

  • the basic training requirements for employment as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. With additional relevant clinical experience, this programme could lead to accreditation as a PWP with the BPS or British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies soon after graduation;
  • employment opportunities within a variety of other clinically relevant roles such as clinical psychology assistant, mental health support worker;
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership for the British Psychological Society (BPS);
  • your first step into the clinical training developed within the Exeter Clinical Training Centre. Combined with increased clinical experience, as a graduate of the MSci Applied Psychology (Clinical) you will be able to continue your clinical training with us when you wish to develop more knowledge and clinical competency to enable you to undertake another clinical psychology or psychological therapies related role or develop further competency in the role which you hold. This process can be continued over several years to enable you to progress to your desired role within the clinical psychology field.

Psychology at the University of Exeter provides a range of support and opportunities to help you develop skills that are attractive to employers. Visit our Careers and Employability web page for more information.

Further study

Relevant further training at Exeter includes:

  • MSc Psychological Therapies – to develop competency as a therapist in a variety of psychological therapies
  • PgDip in High Intensity Psychological Therapies – to develop competency as a high intensity cognitive behavioural therapist and eligibility for accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist
  • MSc Psychological Research Methods – for those who wish to pursue further study and training in research

Further, higher level training offered at Exeter includes:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – for those wishing to practice as a clinical psychologist
  • Doctorate in Clinical Research/Practice – for those in leading clinical positions who wish to develop high level research skills
  • PhD – for those who wish to undertake a research-based career

Find out more

Further information about the opportunities the University of Exeter offers to maximise our graduates’ employment prospects can be found on the CareerZone website.

Clinical research placement

In the final year of the programme you will undertake a clinical research placement which will allow you to put your knowledge into practice. As a student of the programme you will benefit from being part of a professional, research-led culture and environment, learning from experts in the field. The placement provides you with the opportunity to further your experience through internships in a range of clinical settings, learning with professionals who specialise in delivering treatments for depression and anxiety.

During this module you will work alongside Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners within a local NHS community or voluntary sector mental health service provider and apply the clinical skills you have developed during your programme. Clinical and case management supervision will be provided to help enhance the skills you have learnt. 

Our students leave equipped with a range of skills they can translate into a number of different areas, around critical thinking and analysis, research design, data analysis, communication skills and being able to work in teams. Those are the skills that employers really value today. Psychology here at Exeter really opens up any number of doors to students to be able to take those skills and expertise out into the real world.

Dr Jo Smith, Director of Research and Associate Professor, Psychology.

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

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Phone: +44 (0)1392 725818

Website: Visit the Psychology website