During the first year of the course the emphasis is on acquiring basic clinical skills and practising them in one-to-one settings. These basic clinical skills are taught in the Professional Skills module in Semester 1, delivered primarily at Lincoln University. Trainees also start the first research module: Research Design and Ethics. Trainees have a year-long 2-part Foundation Placement in their Home Trust during the first year. The first part of the placement focuses on assessment and formulation, the second on intervention and evaluation. Clinical placement work is introduced in the first semester and gives trainees the opportunity to practise the skills they have been taught at the university, to work with longer term cases and to become familiar with how a clinical psychology service operates. During the second semester the Individual Client Interventions module is taught at Nottingham University on a day release basis, alongside the second research module in which trainees produce a systematic literature review. Throughout most of the programme trainees have one day per week for private study and during certain parts of the programme also have a day per week for research.
Early in the first year, trainees are asked to complete a number of formative assessments. This allows trainees to have a number of opportunities for feedback that aims to enhance the learning experience, and better understand individual strengths and learning needs, before the summative (pass or fail) assignments are introduced later in the first year.
Professional Skills Module
The aim of this module is for trainees to acquire basic clinical skills and practice them in one-to-one settings. The module aims to cover the introductory material needed to enable trainees to have the theoretical competences for their foundation placement. The module makes use of Practice Based Learning (PBL) in teaching and assessment. When joining the Trent programme, trainees are allocated to a small group of 3 or 4 trainees to complete a range of PBL assignments including role plays, presentations and reflective practice. Early in the first year, ethical issues, such as consent and confidentiality, as well as statutory legal issues and issues of personal safety are also covered.
Individual Client Interventions Module
This module provides students with the theoretical foundations to understand the phenomenology of problems commonly referred to clinical psychology services. In this module, trainees develop the key skills for planning and delivering Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) interventions with individual clients, based specifically on models of engagement and change within CBT and other psychological evidence based practice (EBP) models.
The aims of this module are to familiarise trainees with the theoretical models clinicians use to understand the acquisition, instigation and maintenance of problems commonly referred to clinical psychology services. Trainees also learn about models of change and growth derived from CBT and other EBP based models in order to develop and deliver effective client-focussed interventions.
As the module progresses, trainees practice skills of formulating from more than one evidence-based theoretical perspective and learn how to offer a CBT formulation tailored to the capacities of their clients; negotiate a therapeutic contract appropriate to different client problems and service settings; and deliver a CBT intervention. Students consolidate their scientist-practitioner stance and reflective practice skills and further develop the capacity to work effectively in pairs and small groups.
Research (Ethics, Design and Systematic Literature Review)
This module lays the foundation to the research component of the programme by introducing trainees to research designs used in applied clinical psychology and to the practical aspects of conducting research in healthcare settings. Teaching within RDE will also introduce trainees to the conduct of systematic literature reviews.
The assessment for this module requires trainees to develop a defensible plan for a doctoral level research project and acquire the appropriate skills for writing formal research proposals for university and/or NHS ethics committees. When formulating a research project, trainees should take account of the principles of ethical research and the requirements of the HCPC, BPS and other appropriate bodies.
Assessment within this module is the first step taken towards the completion of the research project portfolio and submission-ready journal papers.
These introductory placements last throughout the first year following the introductory block of teaching. Trainees are based in a department/service within their employing trust. In the early stages of the placement trainees observe clinical assessments, formulations, interventions and evaluations being carried out by experienced clinicians. Trainees participate in group discussions, team meetings and service development meetings and gain an understanding of the breadth of work in clinical psychology. They receive training in basic competences including the skills of engagement and alliance building. These placements offer opportunities for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the trainee and establishing further developmental needs.
The emphasis will be on working with individuals, predominantly utilising a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach.