Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc

Why choose this course?

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 well-being. The course offers skills training in counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), and develops your awareness of professional issues relevant to clinical practitioners.

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.

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

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You may gain practical experience through a work placement. The University has links with charities, community groups and hospitals.
  • You will be taught by academics who are researchers and/or practitioners in clinical and health psychology.
  • There are guest lecturers who are clinical and counselling psychologists, working in specialist clinical settings (eg chronic pain, sexual health).

Placements

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 well being. 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.

Find out more about this course

What you will 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.

Full time - 1 year

Part time - 2 years

You will study four core, 30 credit, modules plus a Psychology Dissertation, worth 60 credits.

Core modules

Psychology Dissertation

60 credits

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.

Research Design and Analysis

30 credits

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.

Psychopathology Across the Life Span

30 credits

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.

Clinical Applications of Psychology

30 credits

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.

Professional Practice

30 credits

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.

Part-time students will take three core, 30 credit, modules in the first year. In the second year you will take one 30 credit module plus a Psychology Dissertation, worth 60 credits.

Year 1

Professional Practice

30 credits

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.

Research Design and Analysis

30 credits

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.

Psychopathology Across the Life Span

30 credits

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.

Year 2

Psychology Dissertation

60 credits

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.

Clinical Applications of Psychology

30 credits

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.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

After you graduate

The Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc helps to prepare you for further training and roles such as:

  • Assistant psychologist
  • IAPT training as a psychological well-being practitioner
  • Doctoral level training in clinical or counselling psychology
  • Research Assistant in Psychology
  • Doctoral (PhD level) research training in psychology

Entry requirements

Typical offer

Applicants should have:

  • a good honours degree in psychology or equivalent; or
  • a mental health qualification or other suitable professional experience.

Knowledge of statistics and research methods skills up to third year undergraduate psychology level or equivalent is required.

International

Please note: most students from countries outside the European Union/European Economic Area and classified as overseas fee paying, are not eligible to apply for part-time courses due to UK student visa regulations. For information on exceptions please visit the UKCISA website or email our CAS and Visa Compliance team.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and at least 5.5 in all other elements. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

12% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity:

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 205
  • Guided independent study: 1545

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 205 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1545 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 80%
  • Exams: 20%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetables

Each student receives a personalised timetable. This is usually available after you have completed your online enrolment, which is typically accessible one month before the start of your course.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which supports dedicated academic guidance and advice and the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you will be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,900
  • MSc part time £8,195

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni: