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Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2017
Part time 2 years September 2017

Choose Kingston's Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc

This MSc course provides a dynamic and current perspective across the various areas of clinical applications of psychology. Specifically, it covers theories of psychopathology from childhood to adulthood, and clinical applications of psychology in health and wellbeing. The course also covers basic counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) skills, as well as the professional issues relevant to clinical practitioners.

Please note that, although this course is anticipated to significantly enhance your knowledge of the clinical applications of psychology and therefore benefit your future career – be it in clinical training and practice, research or other related areas of psychology – it does not lead to a professional qualification as a clinical psychologist, nor does it guarantee entry to doctoral-level training in clinical psychology.

Find out more about this course:

  • You will be taught by both clinically active psychologists as well as academics who conduct research in clinically relevant areas.
  • There is a strong practical focus – across all modules, we emphasise applying the relevant theory and research to clinical practice in mental health. You will also acquire foundation counselling and cognitive behavioural skills.
  • If you are already in a clinical placement, we will support you in considering relevant empirical evidence and how it may inform your work with the particular client group.

What will you study?

You will gain in-depth knowledge of theories of adult and child psychopathology, and will study the biopsychosocial aspects of health and illness. You will explore the evidence base for psychological and behavioural change interventions in mental and physical health, and will cover advanced research methodology and statistics. The course also provides opportunities for detailed and advanced study (via the dissertation) of a chosen area in clinical applications of psychology, enabling further development of your practical research skills. You will acquire basic counselling and cognitive behavioural skills, and will gain a comprehensive knowledge of the issues relevant to clinical practice, such as context and settings for clinical practitioners. You will also consider professional issues and current debates in ethics and diversity relevant to practitioners and researchers in mental health, and will learn how to apply ethical principles in both your research and via real or hypothetical clinical case studies. 


Assessment methods include essays, in-class tests, presentations, unseen examinations, laboratory reports and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This module examines how an understanding of health and the treatment of illness can be advanced through knowledge and techniques derived from the behavioural sciences. It will then allow students the opportunity to acquire related practical experience via a supervised work activity. In the first semester, the module will explore different approaches to the prevention and treatment of illness using behavioural methods, and it will identify various psychological factors that contribute to successful rehabilitation programmes. Examples of topics covered in the first part include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, smoking and alcohol use, obesity, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and women’s reproductive health. In the second semester, students will spend a minimum of 50 hours in a placement of their choosing. It is expected that a professional from within the institution will oversee and determine the extent of the student’s role within the placement setting (this will vary with each student). Examples of placement settings include: rehabilitation services, forensic settings, psychology departments, maternal services, cancer wards, charitable organisations concerned with the well-being of refugees. It is expected that students will arrange their own work placements, the suitability of which will be discussed and agreed upon with the module leader and/or the course director. In the absence of an external placement, students will be offered a work placement in the Department of Psychology.

  • This module aims to help students develop an awareness of the professional issues relevant to clinical and counselling psychology and psychotherapy in the UK. Students will learn about the structure of these professions within the National Health Service, and the roles, ways of working and issues and challenges that face clinical practitioners. Themes such as ethics, diversity, and research in clinical settings will be discussed. The module will also provide an introduction to counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) theory and skills. This will be done by reviewing the concept of counselling and the various counselling paradigms. The core conditions in the therapeutic process are examined and students’ acquisition of generic counselling skills (e.g. listening, attention giving, the effective use of questions, reflection, empathy) is facilitated during interactive workshops. The module then progresses to the CBT component in which fundamentals of this approach are presented. The development of knowledge of CBT skills such as identifying and modifying negative thoughts, promoting behavioural change, guided discovery, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness, are facilitated through the interactive lectures.

  • The dissertation project will be based on a critical literature review addressing complex and contradictory evidence and will usually require carrying out an empirical study using one or more methodologies of data collection such as experiments, observation, psychometric testing, surveys and questionnaires, interviews and field studies. In all cases, the dissertation will involve the analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data, as well as the presentation and critical evaluation of research findings. Through independent study and meetings with a project supervisor, the dissertation project will allow students to better understand the role of research methodologies, theoretical considerations and ethical issues in psychological research.

  • This module focuses on the problems and disorders that have their onset in infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. It provides an in-depth analysis of the factors relevant to diagnosis, assessment, aetiology, risk and protective factors, maintenance and treatment of psychological disorders. Key psychological disorders reviewed include regulatory behaviour problems, prematurity, autism and language difficulties, externalising (e.g., Bullying and Conduct Disorder) and internalising problems (e.g., anxiety, PTSD and mood disorders), eating disorders, neurological disorders, personality disorders, psychosis, and substance misuse disorders. Particular emphasis is also placed on discussing and evaluating the empirical evidence for different therapeutic approaches in the treatment of these disorders.

  • The module provides an advanced coverage of the design and analysis of psychological research. Building on a revision of intermediate inferential statistics (e.g. ANOVA, factorial ANOVA, regression and multiple regression), the course moves quickly towards a consideration of more advanced and specialised quantitative methods (e.g., multivariate statistics, co-variance, structural equation modelling, factor analysis, meta-analysis and advanced regression techniques) and their applications. The course introduces principles of questionnaire design, evaluation and data analysis, along with advanced qualitative research methods. The laboratory workshops combine formal teaching with hands-on activities. The material provides an important foundation for the development and execution of the master’s level research dissertation.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

Admissions team


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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