This Master’s course, delivered jointly by the Universities of Stirling and Dundee, was designed by National Health Service (NHS) professionals and clinical academics to train people to deliver evidence-based psychological therapies to adults in Primary Care.
Mental Health Services across the UK are facing a growing demand for therapeutic services for common mental health disorders. The NHS commitment to delivering evidence-based treatments means that the theoretical focus of this training is cognitive behavioural therapy. Students of this MSc will study a curriculum jointly devised by NHS clinicians and clinical academics at the University of Dundee Medical School and the University of Stirling Division of Psychology, whilst undergoing training and clinical supervision within the NHS. The course will develop your knowledge of the prevalence, diagnostic criteria, presentation and current psychological theories of common mental health disorders. Although cognitive-behavioural models will be the core framework, other theoretical models will be introduced.
This National Health Service Education for Scotland (NES) funded MSc is designed to extend the knowledge of the theoretical foundations of human behaviour and psychological disorders, and to develop the necessary competences to deliver evidence-based psychological therapies to treat common mental health disorders in adults in a primary care setting.
Applicants should hold an Honours degree in Psychology (at upper second class or above) conferring the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society. Applicants for this programme should be aware that they are also applying for employment with the NHS and therefore must be eligible for, and have appropriate personal qualities suited to employment in the NHS. Recruitment will be jointly undertaken by representative senior academic and NHS staff.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 6 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 23, Reading 23, Speaking 23, Writing 23.
Upon entry to the programme students become salaried employees of the NHS.
Modes of study
Full-time: 12 months registered with the Universities of Stirling and Dundee. Clinical skills training is conducted both in supervised NHS placements and via face-to-face skills workshops at the universities. This training is supported by material in an online learning environment. You must attend one or other of the universities for three or four days per month for nine months of the year, in addition to a two-week period during January.
Course start date
The Universities of Dundee and Stirling, jointly with the NHS, will place advertisements in the Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald. This is usually in late July/early August but interested applicants should look at these publications from the beginning of July onwards. Application will be via UKPASS (the UCAS Postgraduate On-line Application System). As part of the UKPASS application process, applicants will also be guided through the NHS forms which are required to be completed for this programme. For further details see www.dundee.ac.uk/postgraduate/ptpc
University of Dundee
Division of Neuroscience
Medical Research Institute
Mail Box 5
Ninewells Hospital & Medical School
Tel: +44 (0) 1382 632410
Fax: +44 (0) 1382 633923
Structure and content
The course comprises five taught modules and a sixth research module. The first three modules are University of Dundee supervised while the second three are University of Stirling supervised. All modules are core and there are no optional modules:
- Assessment, Diagnosis and Formulation: This overview of the assessment process enables you to conduct clinical assessment and formulation of common mental health disorders in primary care
- Professional and Ethical Issues: This module develops your understanding of the principles and practice of appropriate professional conduct in the National Health Service (NHS)
- Research Project: A supervised systematic review of the scientific literature chosen to answer a clinically relevant question in the context of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for common mental health problems in adults.
- Principles and Methods of Psychological Therapy: This module helps you develop and maintain collaborative working alliances and deliver a range of psychological interventions appropriate to common mental health disorders
- Common Mental health Disorders in Primary Care: This module develops understanding of use of theoretical and clinical knowledge of the presentation and evidence-based treatment interventions for common mental health disorders
- Research, Evaluation and Outcome: This module equips you with the knowledge and skills to critically evaluate relevant published literature
You are allocated an NHS clinical supervisor who oversees and provides guidance on your clinical activity. You are also allocated a University-based supervisor from the course team (who reviews clinical performance) and a University-based research supervisor.
Delivery and assessment
Modules will be taught via a combination of clinical workshops and seminars and supported by material in an online learning environment. NHS employers provide appropriate study facilities including computers and internet connection to allow you to carry out academic work on-site. Clinical activities and delivery of therapeutic interventions will be supervised and guided by an NHS clinical supervisor in the NHS setting, who will provide guidance on all aspects of clinical competence according to agreed guidelines. Ratings of clinical competence will be based on taped evidence of practice in the NHS setting and observations of the trainees’ clinical interaction with patients.
The course will comprise 50 percent academic study and 50 percent practical clinical placement work. Academic assessment will be by case reports based on NHS clinical work, an essay, examinations and a dissertation. In addition, the successful completion of the first three modules listed above depends on the receipt of a satisfactory assessment of clinical competence from your NHS clinical supervisor. Assessments of clinical competence are made six months and nine months into the course. At these points, any unsatisfactory clinical competence will be highlighted and a programme of remedial action provided that must be undertaken successfully by the end of the modules. A further final assessment of clinical competence will be made at the beginning of December. A minimum rating of satisfactory is required at this point.