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Our MSc in Foundations of Clinical Psychology prepares psychology graduates for the next step to pursuing a career in clinical psychology, clinical PhD/ research or other careers in healthcare, social care and charity sectors.
This programme is studied on campus.
Increasing numbers of psychology graduates are looking to pursue a career in clinical psychology and related areas. Accessing job and training opportunities is highly competitive. Our masters programme in Foundations of Clinical Psychology will increase your knowledge, skills, experience and confidence when applying for highly competitive Assistant Psychologist posts, Clinical Associate Training, the Doctoral Qualification in Clinical Psychology, clinical psychology research posts or related positions*.
You will learn from practising and academic psychologists who will provide training on theoretical and applied aspects of clinical psychology. Courses include key issues and debates in clinical psychology, clinical psychology across the lifespan (core and specialist areas), introducing core clinical skills, ethical and professional issues and clinical research methods. Carrying out a substantial clinical project will enable students to apply some of these skills. Each clinical project is typically co-supervised by a practitioner psychologist and is often rooted in local clinical services, for example, carrying out a service evaluation of a treatment group.
This programme is aimed at psychology graduates looking to pursue a professional career in clinical psychology, clinical PhD/research or other careers in healthcare, social care and charity sectors working with people experiencing a range of mental health problems.
*The Masters in Foundations of Clinical Psychology is a foundation course, not a professional qualification. Completion of this degree cannot guarantee successful applications to further training or posts.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
On Campus Learning
12 months or 24 months
Full Time or Part Time
What You'll Study
The MSc in Foundations of Clinical Psychology consists of eight taught courses and an individual research project.
The initial lectures of this course provide introductory information that is essential for new postgraduate students. The subsequent lectures and assessments develop essential research skills and knowledge such as academic writing, ethics and philosophy of science.
The ability to identify, select, carry out and interpret a range of core psychological statistical methods is required to interpret research evidence and complete successful research in clinical psychology. This course enables you to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of key research methods and statistical techniques applied to clinically relevant data.
A fundamental aspect of developing clinical psychology knowledge and skills is the ability to identify, critique and integrate information covering key issues and debates in the current field. This course is structured to help you develop these essential skills while building your understanding of key aspects of the theoretical knowledge underpinning the application of clinical psychology.
Fundamental to the practice of clinical psychology are the processes of psychological assessment, formulation, intervention and evaluation for effective assessment and treatment of a range of psychologically-based distress/mental health issues. Using case examples, this course will help you develop your theoretical and practical understanding of these processes, with a focus on the development of your psychological formulation skills.
Core clinical skills are fundamental to the application of clinical psychology. Through a series of workshops involving experiential group tasks, students are introduced to some key therapeutic skills including building and sustaining a therapeutic relationship, basic psychological assessment skills, developing formulation skills, some basic intervention techniques, the importance of self-care and using supervision effectively. These core skills will be explored from both the perspective of the therapist and the client (expert by experience). Regular psychologist-led reflection during and following the experiential group tasks will enable students to reflect on and further consolidate their learning. Regular self-practice of some therapeutic tasks and techniques, keeping a reflective journal and developing an example of a behavioural experiment intervention will allow students to develop their capacity for self-reflection and develop some core basic therapeutic skills.
Students will be required to provide feedback and commentary to their peers in a variety of ways and will receive feedback on their contributions to group tasks and activities.
The ability to carry out and appraise clinically relevant research is a crucial aspect of working in clinical psychology. This course enables you to develop an understanding of some key clinical research methods, including systematic review, service evaluation, clinical audit, quantitative and qualitative clinical research and their application in clinical practice.
Fundamental to the practice of Clinical Psychology are the processes of psychological assessment, formulation, intervention and evaluation for effective assessment and treatment of a range of psychologically-based distress/mental health issues. Focusing on case examples, this course will help you develop your theoretical and practical understanding of these processes, with a focus on the development of your psychological formulation skills applied to more complex cases in specialist areas (e.g. Neuropsychology).
An awareness of the importance of ethical and professional issues is an essential part of the practice of clinical psychology and related professions. This course highlights key ethical and professional issues, exploring case examples in the context of current professional guidelines to enable you to confidently identify issues and develop a practical understanding of current professional practice.
One of the fundamental skills involved in clinical psychology is the ability to carry out clinically relevant literature reviews, service evaluation, audit and research. This course enables you to develop some of these key skills by completing a substantial, individual clinical project, typically co-supervised by a Practitioner Psychologist. As part of your clinical project, you will disseminate your findings, including presenting to clinical and academic colleagues and producing a poster/article for peer-reviewed publication/dissemination.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
A broad range of teaching methods are used throughout the programme, including workshops, practical classes, lectures, experiential exercises and debates.
Clinical workshops, often led by Clinical Psychologists give an insight into the application of formulation across the lifespan and in a broad range of clinical areas highlighting topical issues and debates.
Clinician-led experiential group exercises (eg. guided role play) and a reflective learning approach are used to introduce some core skills relevant to clinical practice.
Key ethical and professional issues are also examined and brought to life using clinically relevant examples and dilemmas.
This course incorporates a range of assessments, including presentations, debates, written assignments, practical exercises, a reflective journal, and the MSc clinical project.
Why Study Foundations of Clinical Psychology?
The Aberdeen masters in Foundations of Clinical Psychology introduces key areas of current clinical psychology knowledge, theories and models and enables students to link this applied knowledge with fundamental psychological theory.
Based in one of the UK’s oldest centres for the study of psychology, students’ knowledge and practice of core research methods will be extended and key clinical research methods, such as systematic reviewing, audit and service evaluation introduced.
The programme has a workshop format, enabling interactive learning. You will be taught by clinical and health psychologists practising in a range of NHS and voluntary sector settings.
You will use real world clinical data or focus your review on a current clinical issue for your individual clinical project. You will be encouraged to present your project to clinical and academic colleagues, providing an excellent opportunity for networking to enhance your career prospects.
The School of Psychology at Aberdeen is ranked in the top twenty for research in the UK (REF 2014).
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
Applicants will usually have a 2:1 or first MA or BSc BPS accredited Psychology Degree (or overseas equivalent). In exceptional circumstances, applicants with a 2:2 BPS Psychology Degree may be considered. Relevant experience will be an advantage.
Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.
English Language Requirements
To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals
In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More information can be found on our Finance and Funding page. (Please note this cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other scholarship award.)
With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health problems during their lifetime and a growing recognition of the value of psychological therapies and interventions, there is an increasing demand for professionals working in the field of clinical psychology.
The Masters in Foundations of Clinical Psychology is aimed at psychology graduates looking to develop and extend their clinical knowledge, experience and network, prior to pursuing a career in clinical psychology and related fields.
Graduates of the programme will be able to demonstrate a strong skillset in a wide range of areas relevant to clinical psychology as well as a range of valuable transferable skills.
Assistant Psychologist posts
Clinical Associate Training
Doctoral Qualification in Clinical Psychology
Clinical PhD/Clinical Research posts
Careers in health care, social care, mental health and charity sectors.
You will benefit from our excellent links with NHS Grampian and voluntary sector organisations. A range of workshops are taught by Clinical Psychologists based at the Foresterhill Health Campus, the Royal Cornhill Hospital and local voluntary sector services. You will complete a clinical project typically co-supervised by a local Practitioner Psychologist. This substantial piece of clinical work will enable you to develop an area of special interest relating to the clinical area of your project.
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Psychology Research Top UK 20
The School of Psychology's research was ranked within the top twenty in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise.
Foresterhill Health Campus
The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.