How to apply

All applications for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology are processed by the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology.

Please ensure you have read the entrance requirements for this course and are confident of meeting the criteria before applying.

Application procedure

All necessary information to do with applications, including how and when to apply, references, interview dates etc can be found within the Clearing House website.

Clearing House

Applications will open in September 2023 for entry in September 2024

Selection procedure

The selection and appointment procedure reflects the close involvement of the NHS Boards, and their wish to encourage recruitment into the profession in their localities.  Please read the Applicant Guidance for people applying to our programme here:

Applicant Guidance (352.13 KB / PDF)

Please note we have made some changes to the timings of our process compared to previous years. All applicants will be sent some additional questions to respond to online and will be asked to complete an online Situational Judgment Task which is designed to assess capacity to make sound judgements in complex situations. We also ask applicants if they have a disability and if they wish to use the Disability Confident scheme. The questions will be sent by email to candidates on 1st February 2024 with responses to be provided by 12 noon on 14th February 2024.

Then, all applicants will be asked to rank order the Health Board areas for which they wish to be considered, as well as indicate which clinical specialties they would consider for aligned training places (see Structure webpage). The online survey to express rankings and preferences will be sent by email on 15th February 2024 with responses due by 5.00pm on 29th February 2024. We do these two processes (Additional questions and Health Board information) separately for all applicants to provide more time to consider the relevant information and respond to each part.

Candidates should therefore ensure that they have regular access to the email address that they provided on their Clearing House form at that time and check their Junk/Spam boxes as well as their Inbox on a regular basis.



Members of the academic programme team and clinical psychologists from the NHS Board areas participate in the shortlisting process using anonymised application forms and answers to the additional questions. All decisions regarding screening, shortlisting and inviting to interview are made with the applicant’s identity concealed from the shortlisting panel. Candidates' Suitability statements will be checked at this stage and must be of a satisfactory standard to allow progression to interview. Candidates should note that there are various essential criteria in our process and all have a minimum level that candidates must meet. In addition to the guidance regarding Suitability statements on the Clearing House website, the Experience Suitability statement should be written by the candidate's current or most recent employer, otherwise candidates should explain their choice of referee in the Personal Statements section of their application. Suitability statements should not be written by a peer or colleague. Candidates should note that further references may be sought later in the selection process.

English language requirements will also be checked at this stage. Candidates should therefore ensure, if they have not already submitted evidence (see Entry requirements page) of this at an earlier stage, that it is available by mid-March 2024. Usually about 110 candidates are invited for the interviews. Candidates who are not offered an interview place will be provided feedback by the end of March about which element(s) of the shortlisting process lead to their application being unsuccessful. Due to the numbers of candidates, we cannot provide any further more detailed feedback. There are a variety of essential minimum criteria across all aspects of shortlisting.

Interview stage

There is usually one interview, about 40 minutes, covering academic, applied research, clinical and professional competences, although we have in the past had two separate interviews. We also usually ask all candidates to take part in an interpersonal role play task with an actor as part of the selection process. Interviews have been held online in recent years but may be held online or in person in 2024. If the interviews are in person in Edinburgh, NES may cover reasonable requests for agreed costs incurred in attending for candidates. We will update this page with information about our interviews nearer the time.

Further information about the interview process will be provided to candidates once they are invited to interview along with an opportunity for candidates with disabilities to request reasonable adjustments to the process. Interview panel members are drawn from the academic programme team, the clinical practice team and representatives from the NHS Board areas. Current trainees are available to provide information about their experience of training. There is also an orientation video and an opportunity to discuss and review preferences for NHS Boards with a tutor. Following the interviews, each NHS Board area appoints the appropriate number of applicants who will be employed by that Board for the duration of the Programme.

After Interview

By the end of May/beginning of June candidates will receive a definite offer or reserve listing, or will be informed that they have been unsuccessful. Only if applicants have heard nothing from the Programme by this late date need they make enquiries. Feedback after interviews is available to unsuccessful applicants on request from the Clinical Practice Administrator ( Following the final confirmation of places on the programme, interview feedback will be prepared for candidates who have requested this. Due to the high number of requests for this information, the programme does not give individualised feedback by phone, in common with other training programmes. Each candidate will receive information about the component in the interview process in which they performed most strongly, as well as the component in which they performed least strongly. For the latter component, there will be a short description of what was being assessed by the panel to help guide discussions with current supervisors.

The letter will also give an indication of where the candidate was placed in the interview process; specifically (a) where on the reserve list for places they were ranked or (b) that they were below the cut off for consideration of a reserve list place or (c) that they had been excluded on one or more components in the interview process. Unfortunately, due to the high numbers of candidates interviewed, the programme cannot undertake to give any other forms of feedback about interview outcomes. As the Clinical Psychology Training Programme is aligned with the Clearing House application system and must conform with the selection policies and procedures of the NHS, aspects of the standard University of Edinburgh admissions’ policies and procedures are superseded by those designed for the programme.

Training as a clinical psychologist involves working with children and vulnerable adults.  Throughout the selection process and the training programme, stringent measures will be taken to ensure that the clients that trainees work with are protected. All employment arrangements are undertaken directly with the employing NHS Board, who will take up current employer references, carry out Right to Work checks, health checks and arrange Protection of Vulnerable Groups (criminal records) checks. Offers of employment are subject to these being satisfactory.