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Clinical Psychology MSc

UCAS code
Year of entry 2018
Course Length
1 year full time
2-5 years part time
Department Psychology »


Psychology explores many aspects of the human condition including our thoughts, feelings, decisions and behaviours. Study Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll develop a deep understanding of the treatment and assessment of mental illness and behavioural problems.

This comprehensive programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a career in a mental health setting or mental health research, with topics including clinical assessment, the principles of evidence-based treatments and wellbeing. You’ll learn in tutorial groups from our enthusiastic expert academics, with a mix of seminar, lecture and research-based teaching providing exciting academic variety.

The Department of Psychology is research intensive and well equipped, and you’ll enjoy access to a range of cutting-edge technologies including an on-site MRI scanner, eye tracking technology, EEG machines, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) equipment, and a baby lab.

You’ll graduate with a range of transferable skills to take into further PhD study or your future career, including advanced research training and communication skills for working with clients, patients, and families. We provide excellent employability skills for graduates. Our notable alumni include leading bioscience innovator Professor Jackie Hunter CBE, Terrence Higgins Trust founder Dr Rupert Whitaker, and Dr Christian Jarrett – author of The Rough Guide to Psychology. 

  • Students develop applicable skills and knowledge to pursue a career in a mental health setting or mental health research.
  • Study in a department ranked 6th in the UK for research (The Research Excellence Framework 2014)
  • Gain a range of transferable skills to take into your future career.

This course can be studied full time in one year or part-time over two to five years.

The MSc in Clinical Psychology offers specialised training from clinical practitioners and researchers and was developed in collaboration with our Clinical Doctorate team. This programme is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills to pursue a career in a mental health setting or in mental health research. You will develop an enhanced understanding of the subject area, including topics on clinical assessment, the principles of evidence-based treatments, and well-being, through an exciting mix of seminars, lectures and research conveyed by our friendly and accessible staff, who are all involved in cutting edge research.

Core courses


Adjustment and Well-Being
The course will cover a variety of topics in adjustment and well-being (happiness and fulfilment) delivered by experts on the topics. These will include, for example, conceptual issues in adjustment and well-being, research methods in adjustment and well-being, the links of personality traits to well-being, methods to help people with mental disorders adjust to their situation as necessary.

Advanced  and Applied Research Techniques
You will explore many of the key research techniques that are used in applied areas of research. You will develop an advanced understanding of current techniques and be able to evaluate and critique them.

Clinical Assessment and Treatment Approaches
This course will explore instruments that mental health professionals use to assess patients, as well as assess evidence-based treatment approaches to disorders.

Professional Clinical Practice and Skills
This course will explore important information, concepts, theory and professional practice that clinical and counselling psychologists must be aware of, such as increasing awareness of health care structures (e.g. NHS), concerns surrounding the DSM, controversies in diagnosis, and communication skills.

Statistics for Research
You will be provided with an overview and basic understanding of advanced statistical methods used in psychology and neuroscience research, including hands-on experience applying these methods to specific problems. The unit will provide a methodological foundation if you wish to pursue research in disciplines allied to the MSc course.

Clinical Dissertation
You will be provided with the possibility to complete a systematic review or to carry out an original piece of research on a topic of your interest within the broad area of clinical psychology. You will be given the necessary support during the conception, conduct and writing up of your research.

 

Optional courses

In addition to the core courses, students choose one of the following options:

Psychology in Applied Settings 
The module aims to help students understand the challenges but also benefits of conducting research in applied settings, as compared to laboratory settings. After discussing general opportunities and challenges in conducting psychological research in applied settings, the module will cover a variety of topics in applied psychology delivered by experts on the topics and practitioners. These may vary each year, but can include selected topics in organisational psychology, forensic psychology, educational psychology, counselling psychology, and applied social psychology. Some examples of topics are: Eye witness testimony in the court, parenting interventions, understanding donations.

Topics in Psychological Science 
Seminars will adopt an interactive, discussion-based style, focused around a topical research paper or a wider issue relating to psychological science. The topics for discussion will be drawn from a broad range of research areas, including neuroscience, cognition and social psychology. Many of the discussions will be student-led, and the topics for these sessions will reflect individual students’ particular areas of interest. The taught module will be complemented by a series of departmental research seminars, through which students will be able to hear about the latest research from a variety of external speakers.

Cognitive, Social and Neuroscience Approaches for Forensic Investigations
In this module you will develop an understanding of cognitive, social and neuroscience approaches to forensic psychology. You will look at social approaches to different victim and offender groups, the neuroscience of psychopathy, interviewing victims, physiological approaches to deception, detection, and the role of eyewitness identifications in the legal system. You will also examine receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and confidence relationships as they apply to decision makers and estimator and system variables.

Clinical Psychology Placement 
The placement is designed to offer students the option to gain practical work experience within the area of clinical psychology. Students will have to secure their own placement, which will allow the freedom to choose placements that best suit their career plans and the expectation is that these choices and the subsequent placement experiences will provide a clear enhancement to student CVs for future applications to courses such as the DClinPsy or for jobs in the health sector.

Teaching and learning is delivered primarily through sessions lasting between one-and-a-half and five hours. These typically combine seminar discussions with practical exploration or workshops. Where possible, these will be student-led, with participants encouraged to devise exercises engaging with the relevant issues and to direct fellow-students in these experiments.

We place emphasis on group discussion and the development of independent thought and analysis appropriate to carry out an independent piece of research of high quality, in an area of interest to you. In some contributing modules, you will give oral presentations which form part of the formative assessment. Summative assessment is usually by extended essay, although there are written exams for modules focussing on methodology and statistics.

Entry criteria:

UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in Psychology or a related Social Science subject with evidence of having taken and passed methodological and statistics training at degree level.

Applicants will also be considered if they have marginally missed 2:1 or equivalent entry criteria if there is evidence of relevant work experience or professional qualifications in an associated area, provided they can demonstrate that they have achieved 2:1 level or equivalent in statistics and research method modules.

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and no subscore below 5.5.  For equivalencies, please see here.

If English is not your first language and you do not meet the English language requirements above, you will need to complete and pass our 12 week Pre-sessional English Language Programme to meet the English language entry requirements. More details on this programme can be found here.


If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor your study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK
government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below




Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

Graduate with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll be well-placed to progress to further postgraduate study or to a rewarding career in mental health. The skills and knowledge you’ll gain while studying Clinical Psychology will be of immense benefit if you wish to apply to a DClin Psy programme, and subsequently go on to practice as a clinical psychologist.

Please note that this MSc does not lead to a professional qualification as a clinical psychologist, nor does this module guarantee you entry onto a Clinical Psychology doctorate programme.

Royal Holloway's Department of Psychology is one of the most highly regarded psychology departments in the country, and we work hard to provide our students with the help and advice they need to achieve their postgraduate career ambitions. We hold annual ‘Meet the Grads’ events where students can get help and advice from our successful alumni, while a dedicated online forum provides students with the information they need to prepare for postgraduate life.

  • 90% of Royal Holloway graduates are within work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • We have close links with local organisations including the Macular Society, Southern Addictions Advisory Service and Bishop Creighton House provide rewarding placement opportunities.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2018/19*: £10,400

International students tuition fee per year 2018/19*: £16,300

Other essential costs**: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email student-fees@royalholloway.ac.uk for further information on part-time fees. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees and our terms and conditions.

** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

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