Clinical psychology is an evidence-based profession and research forms a substantive part of clinical training on the South Wales programme. All trainees on the South Wales DClinPsy programme undertake both a Small-Scale Review Project (SSRP) whilst on placement in Year I and a doctoral standard Large-Scale Research Project (LSRP), which is completed over the three years of training and examined by a viva voce examination in Year III.
All of the LSRPs are part of ongoing or emerging programmes of clinical and scientific research that are led by experienced supervisors in the DClinPsy programme team, the wider School of Psychology and associated research centres at Cardiff University and, very importantly, research-active supervisors in the NHS and Third Sector organisations. Current research programmes are focussed on:
- Forensic clinical psychology
- Burnout and resilience in health professionals
- Recovery in mental health services
- Autism and neurodevelopmental disorders
- Intellectual disability and genetic disorders
- Clinical health psychology (including paediatrics)
- Post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth
Applicants should be aware that the continuation of personal research work from a previous Masters or PhD is not facilitated on the South Wales programme.
The emphasis on the South Wales DClinPsy programme is on high quality empirical research that is ‘close to practice’ and that will readily benefit service users, clinicians and the wider profession. To this end, the research methods and techniques for the LSRP are selected according to what is required to address particular research questions and the programme can draw upon expertise in:
- Clinical trials work
- Psychometric and behavioural measure development
- Online survey evaluation (using Qualtrics)
- Behavioural phenotyping, psychophysiological methods
- Q methodology
- Qualitative data analysis including Grounded Theory, and Repertory Grid technique.
Trainees are encouraged to collaborate with their peers, both within and across cohorts as well with other researchers and practitioners in other disciplines including medicine, genetics and neuroscience.
Both the LSRP and SSRP are supported by teaching on research, evaluation and audit and all trainees are expected to disseminate their work appropriately and publication is strongly encouraged. To facilitate this, the LSRP is written up as a portfolio thesis that includes both a systematic literature review and an empirical research paper written for submission to specific journals and trainees are encouraged to present their work at national and international conferences as well in local services and service users.