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Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
Part time 2 years September 2020

Choose Kingston's Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc

This course will enhance your knowledge of the clinical applications of psychology and build practical experience to help your future career.

You will be taught by both clinically active psychologists and research active academics. You will learn theories of psychopathology from childhood to adulthood, and clinical applications of psychology in health and wellbeing. The course offers skills training in counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), and develops your awareness of professional issues relevant to clinical practitioners.

We will support you to find a placement through our links with charity organisations, local community groups or hospitals, all of which aim to promote positive mental health wellbeing. Recently our students have undertaken placements at:

  • Place2Be, a charity working with school children to improve their psychological well-being
  • Paiwand, a charity supporting refugee children
  • Rise, a social enterprise supporting people with mental health problems
  • Kingston Hospital, on an initiative enhancing psychological care for patients with dementia

Our students have also gained placements working with clinical psychologists as an assistant clinical psychologist in organisations such as Central & North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust and the Kingston Early Intervention Service at Tolworth Hospital.

If you have already secured a clinical placement prior to the start of the course, we can offer research placements within Kingston University's Psychology Department.

You will gain a real advantage for careers in clinical and counselling psychology, research and a related area of psychology. However, please note the course does not lead to a direct professional qualification as a clinical psychologist, or guarantee entry to doctoral-level training in clinical or counselling psychology.

Find out more about this course:

What will you study?

You will gain in-depth knowledge of theories of psychopathology across the lifespan, 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.

You will acquire basic counselling skills and knowledge of various therapeutic approaches, in particular cognitive behaviour therapy.

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.

The dissertation will provide you with the opportunity for detailed and advanced study of a chosen area in clinical applications of psychology, which will enable further development of your practical research skills.


Assessment methods include clinical vignette-based reports, essays, in-class tests, 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.

Part time students take three modules in the first year (90 credits) and 2 modules in the second year (90 credits).

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 you develop an awareness of the professional issues relevant to clinical and counselling psychology and psychotherapy in the UK. You 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 your acquisition of generic counselling skills (eg. 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 you 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 (eg., Bullying and Conduct Disorder) and internalising problems (eg., 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 (eg. ANOVA, factorial ANOVA, regression and multiple regression), the course moves quickly towards a consideration of more advanced and specialised quantitative methods (eg., 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.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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