MSc Clinical Psychology

This Clinical Psychology masters offers a comprehensive grounding in the understanding of mental health problems.

As well as modules that develop your knowledge of the aetiology and treatment of a range of psychological disorders and behavioural problems, the course has a substantial research element.

You will receive extensive training in research methods via a postgraduate statistics module and will complete a postgraduate dissertation in a related topic.

We have strong links with local NHS trusts and suitable students can benefit from dissertation and/or voluntary placement opportunities.

USW also has a Behaviour Analysis clinic, where students can participate in in-house supervised voluntary experience.


2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A

The Clinical Psychology masters draws on the research and applied expertise of psychologists in the fields of clinical, health, sports, and forensic psychology. You will learn about a wide range of psychological disorders, dependence issues such as alcohol addiction and gambling addiction, and the interventions employed to help people. The Research Methods and Dissertation modules provide a strong emphasis on research.

The MSc Clinical Psychology is taught over one year (full time) or two years (part time). Full time students study 180 credits in one year, comprising of the following modules:

Full Time: Term One

  • Interventions (20 credits)
  • History, Concepts and Controversies in Mental Health (20 credits)
  • Research Methods in Clinical Psychology (40 credits)
  • Dissertation* (60 credits)

Full Time: Term Two

  • Perspectives on Psychological Disorders (20 credits)
  • Addictions, Dependency, Deviance (20 credits)
  • Research Methods in Clinical Psychology (40 credits)
  • Dissertation* (60 credits)

* Students will complete their 60 credit dissertation throughout the academic year, and submit it on the university submission deadline in September.

Part time students study the same modules according to the following timetable:

Part Time: Year One: Term One

  • Interventions (20 credits)
  • History, Concepts and Controversies in Mental Health (20 credits)

Part Time: Year One: Term Two

  • Perspectives on Psychological Disorders (20 credits)
  • Addictions, Dependency, Deviance (20 credits)

Part Time: Year Two: Terms One and Two 

  • Research Methods in Clinical Psychology (40 credits)
  • Students will also complete a dissertation in Year Two (60 credits)


The MSc Clinical Psychology is delivered through a variety of lectures, seminars, workshops, individual study, and one-to-one or small group dissertation supervision. Most of the teaching will be delivered by members of the teaching team and some by external experts in clinical practice.

There will also be student-led sessions and some elements will be delivered online. Academic staff teaching on this award are research active, so you’ll be taught by academics at the forefront of their specialist fields.

You will benefit from the expertise of specialists in a range of topics relevant to the field of Clinical Psychology (e.g., addiction, eating disorders, stress, reproductive health, mental health, suicide, etc.).

Contact hours:

  • Tuesday 9am - 18.00
  • Thursday 9am -13.00

Part time students: Contact hours are on Tuesday in Year One and Thursday in Year Two.

Dissertation supervision is additional to the hours above. The expectation is that (including contact time) full time students engage in 35 hours of study per week and part-time students engage in 17.5 hours of study per week (on average). Hours of individual study per week may vary with course demands.


A range of assessment methods are employed, including examinations, essays, a systematic literature review, research reports, oral presentation, and case study analysis.

You will also complete a dissertation of 15,000- 20,000 words. The variety of teaching and assessment methods used will foster a range of skills that are transferable to the workplace and/or further professional training.


Through our Psychology Plus scheme, you will have the unique opportunity to gain clinical experience on campus. The University of South Wales Behaviour Analysis Clinic offers applied behaviour analytic intervention for children five and under typically with a diagnosis of autism. The clinic is largely run by student volunteers under the supervision of a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.

We also have some voluntary, optional placements with local NHS trusts. Students may apply for these on commencement of the course. Such opportunities are a valuable addition to the CV of anyone aspiring to become a Clinical Psychologist. 

Please note that a DBS check and other NHS requirements (e.g., occupational health check) are required if you decide to undertake a placement. 


Facilities include observation and interview rooms equipped with a two-way mirror, CCTV and audio, which allows research and interview practice sessions to be conducted and recorded.

The Cognitive Neuropsychology Suite houses specialist psychology equipment such as eye tracking equipment, EEG (electroencephalogram) and ECG (electrocardiogram) facilities for recording electrical activity in the heart and scalp and a driving simulator.

Our Psychology technicians are happy to help students wishing to use this equipment for their researcj projects and dissertations.

Featured Lecturer:
Dr Deborah Lancastle, course leader

Dr Deborah Lancastle, course leader

"The MSc Clinical Psychology course is designed to provide students with comprehensive knowledge and critical understanding of aspects of psychological disorders as well as the interventions employed to help with various mental health conditions.

Importantly, the course will provide students with extensive training in research methods as well as the opportunity to complete an appropriate dissertation. The skills and knowledge developed during this course may help to enhance applications for competitive further training and employment such as the doctorate course in Clinical Psychology, Assistant Psychologist posts, and Research Assistant posts in applied settings.

Your skills and knowledge will be tested in a range of different assessments culminating in a substantial piece of independent practical work – your dissertation. All of our teaching and assessment is designed to reflect the core philosophy of our course." Read about Dr Lancastle's latest research.


Academic staff on the clinical psychology masters course are research active, and students can work with these researchers to complete interesting and meaningful dissertations.

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in Psychology or Psychology major/joint honours.


The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.


Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14500 

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS £53.20
Only required if students do a placement. This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Travel
Cost is dependent on dissertation location



Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


Apply directly to the University for this Psychology Masters.

Admissions statement 

This is a taught Clinical Psychology Masters programme and completion will not qualify you to practice as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK, nor guarantee acceptance onto a DClinPsy course. The skills that you develop will, however, enhance applications for professional training programmes, Assistant Psychologist posts, and Research Assistant posts in clinical settings and set you apart from applicants who have only an undergraduate Psychology degree. Students can also progress to a psychology PhD / Psychology research degree.

Find out more about research at USW>>


Example careers:

Clinical psychology doctorate programmes: These are extremely popular and competitive training courses and successful applicants are likely to have work experience in an appropriate setting as well as suitable qualifications. Applied research experience such as the collection of psychological data from an appropriate population will be a useful addition to an application for further training. The extensive research training and applied dissertation completed in this MSc programme will contribute to more robust applications to Clinical doctorate programmes.

Assistant Psychologist posts: These are sought after positions with many applicants for every post; not least because experience as an Assistant Psychologist can help support an application to clinical doctorate training programmes. Successful completion of this MSc programme will suggest a commitment to a career in clinical psychology as well as the development of skills and knowledge that are more advanced than those gained during an undergraduate degree.

Research Assistant posts: Excellent psychological research is extremely important in the field of clinical psychology. The extensive research focus and the dissertation completed in this programme will provide graduates with a range of research skills including the ability to critically evaluate literature, research, and applications in the field of clinical psychology, as well as experience in designing, conducting, writing up, and disseminating good quality psychological research. These are transferable skills that will be valued in a range of Research Assistant posts.