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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Clinical Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Specialist Clinical Placement 1 (CLPS12013)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 12 (Postgraduate)
Course typePlacement AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummarySpecialist clinical placements can be in any area of clinical psychology, including areas that are considered core (Adult Mental Health, Children and Families, Learning Disability and Older Adult). In a specialist placement, the core competencies established in previous placements are deepened and strengthened. Trainees will be likely to work with more complex cases, or using alternate specialist models of treatment, such as consultancy working and training other professionals. In addition to more specialised working in core areas, specialist placements can offer opportunities to apply established psychological skills to novel areas such as chronic health problems, neuropsychology, substance misuse services, post-natal mental health services and cosmetic surgery services to name a few.
Course description a) Academic Description
The placement will take place in an NHS setting under the supervision of a Clinical Psychologist. There may be situations where trainees are supervised by more than one supervisor, by other Applied Psychologist(s) (eg Forensic, Counselling) or by member(s) of other professions according to the Programme Eligibility criteria for Supervisor which are found in the NHS and Clinical Practice Placements Handbook. Trainees on the Core (ie non-aligned) Programme are able to choose the Specialist placements that they wish to undertake, subject to availability and any local restrictions. Trainees with aligned places will have Specialist placements in the clinical area of their alignment (usually CAMHS, Forensic or Older Adults).

The placement will be scheduled to last for a minimum of 5-6 months and trainees will be on placement for 3 days each week, apart from weeks when they have teaching (see Handbook for details). Trainees are required to attend a minimum of 49 days of Specialist Placement 1 on placement ie not including days on teaching, study days, annual leave or sick leave. During Specialist Placement 1, trainees will have 2 study days per week, apart from weeks when they are in teaching (see Handbook for details). This time is for reading and study relating to placement as well as relating to thesis and any academic coursework.

b) Outline Content
This will vary considerably depending on the type of Specialist placement that a trainee undertakes.

c) Student Learning Experience
Trainees will be on placement in NHS settings working clinically with clients/patients. The setting may be in a Psychology Department or in a multi-disciplinary or multiagency team. Depending on the settings, trainees may be expected to work with families or carers or staff from NHS and other agencies (eg social services, education). Trainees will receive regular supervision from their supervisor(s) (1 hour/week minimum) in addition to other informal contact and input, sometimes from other Psychologists or team members. Trainees will be expected to show increasing autonomy for their work and their learning over the course of Specialist Placement 1 as they progress towards qualification. Trainees will be required to be observed by their supervisor(s) on at least 5 occasions during the placement in order to receive feedback on the performance and for the supervisor to be able to evaluate their progress towards their Standard and Personalised Learning Objectives and implementation of agreed changes. Formative feedback will be provided by the placement supervisor(s) verbally in regular supervision session and, in writing, by completion of the Evaluation of Clinical Competence form prior to mid-placement visit. Verbal formative feedback will also be provided by the mid-placement visitor. Summative feedback will be provided by the placement supervisor(s) at the end of placement through completion of the Evaluation of Clinical Competence Form which is reviewed at the End of Placement Meeting/Joint Annual Review.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Feedback/Feedforward Hours 23, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Placement Study Abroad Hours 595, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 0 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Dependant on teaching and Thesis
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Performance on placement is evaluated by the placement supervisor, using a structured checklist of clinical competencies. The supervisor's recommendation is used by the Director of Studies to determine if clinical competence has been met. Explicit guidance is given to supervisors about placement evaluation (see above URL) .

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Assess, formulate, intervene with and evaluate a range of complex clinical problems as would typically present in the specialist service setting, using a range of psychological theories and knowledge, and drawing on a variety of models of psychological therapies and intervention. Whilst still under clinical supervision, trainees on specialist placements are likely to be more autonomous and take greater initiative and responsibility in managing their own work.
  2. Evaluate the efficacy of treatments and work within a framework of evidence based practice, drawing from and developing the professional knowledge base. Understand the need for regular evaluation of their work, be skilled in self-reflection and self-awareness, and understand the need for continuing professional development after qualification.
  3. Build effective alliances with individuals (including staff, clients and carers) from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and often under more challenging circumstances than in core placements. Communicate effectively with staff from other disciplines and work within multi-disciplinary teams. Adopt both direct and indirect modes of intervention to improve and support psychological aspects of health and social care.
  4. Demonstrate high standards of conduct and ethical behaviour consistent with recognised guidelines for professional practice.
  5. Have a deep understanding of the social context within which psychological problems may develop, and how environments may be modified to ameliorate problems. Have a critical overview of the policy, legislative and planning contexts of the services in which clinical practice is undertaken.
Reading List
This will vary considerably depending on the type of Specialist placement that a trainee undertakes.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Trainees completing Specialist Placement 1 will have been required to demonstrate a range of attributes and personal and professional skills in line with the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Practitioner Psychologists, the HCPC Standards of Conduct and Ethics for Students and the Required Learning Outcomes of the BPS Accreditation Criteria for Clinical Psychology Training Programmes. These are assessed through the Supervisor completing the Evaluation of Clinical Competence Form at mid-placement visit (formative) and at the end of placement (summative).
KeywordsClinical Psychology,Clinical Practice,Psychological Disorders,Specialist Placement,Assessment
Course organiserDr Neil Millar
Course secretaryMr Gordon Mackintosh
Tel: (0131 6)51 5979
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