Graduate (Clinical) Information

With mounting international awareness of the impact of mental disorder on public health, clinical psychology is a growing field in Singapore. Currently, there is a widespread demand for clinical psychology services. The Ministry of Health - National Mental Health Blueprint - has prioritised the development of mental health manpower as a key focus area for Singapore for 2007 to 2011.

The Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme in NUS is a two-year full-time programme, which provides entry-level training for graduates who seek a professional career in Clinical Psychology. This programme is based on the scientist-practitioner approach, and builds on theoretical knowledge and core competencies for clinical practice. It is taught through coursework, research, and practical placement experience. Completion of the programme requirements will be recognized with a Master of Psychology (Clinical) degree.

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) programme in NUS is a full-time programme that provides increased depth and/or breadth of training for graduates who seek a professional career in Clinical Psychology. The first and second years of the programme are identical to the Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme, and will be spent full-time at NUS. In the third year of the programme, students will typically reside in Singapore and complete coursework, clinical placement, and research components, although there may be opportunities for an overseas placement.


Programme Information

Master of Psychology (Clinical)

Why pursue a career in Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychologists are psychologists with specialized training and knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, biopsychosocial formulation and psychological treatment of a range of psychological difficulties and mental health conditions. They work in different settings, including hospitals, general medical practices, community health centres and other community or VWO services, private practice, universities and other settings. Clinical psychologists work with children, adolescents, adults and older adults. They are also involved in designing and implementing a wide range of prevention and mental health promotion programmes, and in clinical research, consultation and leadership. The contribution that a professionally trained clinical psychologist can make to the health and quality of life of a large number of individuals affected by mental health issues across the life span can be significant.


For more information on careers in clinical psychology, see https://careers.bps.org.uk/area/clinical, http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/clinical.aspx and https://www.psychology.org.au/for-the-public/about-psychology/types-of-psychologists/Psychologists-with-an-Area-of-Practice-Endorsement/Clinical-psychologists.


Clinical Psychology in Singapore
With mounting international awareness of the impact of mental health on public health, clinical psychology is a growing field in Singapore. There has been a widespread demand for clinical psychology services in the last 10 to 15 years. The Ministry of Health – through its National Mental Health Blueprints - has prioritised the development of mental health manpower as a key focus area for Singapore in the last 10 years and into the future.


How do I know if Clinical Psychology is for me?
Clinical psychology can be both a demanding and rewarding field. Clinical psychologists need to have excellent communication skills and an empathic understanding of others. There may be times when the clinical psychologist would be required to work with individuals experiencing considerable distress and he/she will need to make complex, and sometimes difficult, decisions keeping the client’s and community’s best interests in mind. Maturity and the ability to respond well following constructive feedback, as well as good interpersonal skills and working well with others, are necessary attributes for potential clinical psychologists.
For more on whether clinical psychology is for you, see https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-19/edition-11/students-clinical-psychology-it-you and http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2012/11/right-path.aspx.

Overview of our Master of Psychology (Clinical) Programme

Our programme aims to:

  1. Meet the psychological welfare needs of the healthcare service, community ministries and private sector;

  2. Provide entry level training for graduates seeking a professional career in clinical psychology based on the scientist-practitioner model

  3. Strengthen clinical psychology as a professional discipline of psychology in Singapore and Asia; and

  4. Act as a hub for graduate level training and research for local clinical psychologists

The Master of Psychology (Clinical) degree in NUS Department of Psychology is a two-year 24-month full-time coursework programme based in Singapore. It provides entry level training for graduates who seek a professional career in Clinical Psychology.

This programme is based on the scientist-practitioner approach, builds on up to date theoretical and empirical knowledge, and aims to provide opportunities to develop core competencies necessary for clinical practice. It is taught through coursework, research, and practical placement components.

The programme has an annual intake in August of every year.

Completion of the programme requirements will be recognized with a Master of Psychology (Clinical) degree.

More than 100 interns have graduated from our Master in Psychology (Clinical) programme and are qualified, practicing clinical psychologists since we started in August 2008!

Duration and Course Structure

Duration

The normative (and minimum) period of study is two years on a full time basis and the maximum period of candidature is four years.


Course Structure

  1. Coursework Component
    Seven coursework modules will be required for all students. Coursework will be conducted over two semesters, each lasting 13 weeks (August-December and January-April). For more information about these modules, please see http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/psy/current/grad_clinical/modules.html.

  2. Practical Component (Clinical Placements)
    Students will be required to undertake three placements under the supervision of qualified clinical psychologists, with each placement lasting 6 months (January-June and July-December).

  3. Research Component
    The research component of the programme entails a graduate research methods module (PLC5008), a research proposal (PLC5009) submitted towards the end of the first year, and the research thesis (PLC5010) submitted towards the end of the second year. Students will work on their research project under the supervision of a member of the NUS psychology faculty. All three components are examinable and students are expected to successfully complete them.

Clinical Placements

Students will undertake three clinical placements, with each placement lasting 6 months.


The first placement usually takes place at the Clinical and Health Psychology Centre (CHPC) - our in-house training clinic (see http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/psy/chpc.html). The remaining two placements will typically be undertaken externally with various hospitals, community agencies or private practices in Singapore.


During clinical placements, students will be under the close supervision of qualified and experienced Clinical Psychologists. The emphasis in clinical placements is on enabling students, through supervised practice and opportunities, to develop core competencies in assessment, formulation, intervention, and other core skills. These competencies are monitored and evaluated at mid-placement, and at the end of the placement by the supervising clinician, who assigns a PASS or FAIL mark for each placement. Interns need to successfully complete (i.e., PASS) all three placements to graduate.


For more general information on core competencies in clinical psychology, see https://www1.bps.org.uk/system/files/Public%20files/DCP/cat-713.pdf and http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/competency.aspx.


Our programme has been running since 2008 and we have developed strong partnerships with 40+ different settings/ sites and 100+ external supervisors. We are thus able to offer a range of general and specialist practice opportunities with different age groups across the lifespan and in different sectors.


Examples of hospitals who have offered clinical placements to our interns in the past and currently include the Institute of Mental Health, National University Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Changi General Hospital, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre, and others. Our students have also been on clinical placements with teams and services by Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Defence, and Singapore Prison Service. Community settings, such as Family Service Centres, Disability/ Special Needs Voluntary Welfare Organisations, the Community Psychology Hub and Children’s Home have also provided clinical placements for our interns, as have several private settings and hospitals.


Curriculum Summary

Module Title Module Code Year Semester Module Credit Programme Components
Psychological Assessment PLC5001 1 1 4 Coursework
Adult Psychopathology PLC5002 1 1 4 Coursework
Health Across the Lifespan PLC5003 1 2 4 Coursework
Psychological Intervention and Therapy PLC5004 1 1 4 Coursework
Child Psychopathology PLC5005 1 1 4 Coursework
Ethics and Professional Issues PLC5006 1 2 4 Coursework
Advanced Psychological Practice PLC5007 2 1 4 Coursework
Graduate Research Methods PLC5008 1 1 2 Research
Research Proposal PLC5009 1 2 8 Research
Research Project PLC5010 2 2 12 Research
Clinical Placement 1 PLC5011A 1 2 6 Practical
Clinical Placement 2 PLC5012B 2 1 6 Practical
Clinical Placement 3 PLC5013C 2 2 6 Practical
Number of Modules Type of Training Module Credit
7 Coursework: Scientific Foundation of Clinical Psychology (41.2%) 28
3 Practical: Practice Skills for Clinical Competence (26.5%) 18
3 Research: Research Skills and Evidence-Based Practice (32.3%) 22
13 Total 68

Research Components

Research is an essential part of professional development and practice. Applied clinical research is thus a key part of the NUS Master of Psychology (Clinical) Programme and constitutes around a significant portion of the curriculum.


There are three research modules in the programme:

  1. a graduate research methods module (PLC5008);
  2. a research proposal (PLC5009) submitted towards the end of the first year; and
  3. the research thesis (PLC5010) submitted towards the end of the second year, which is made up of a literature review (approximately 4,000 words) and an empirical paper that presents the research study in a format suitable for potential submission to a peer-reviewed journal (5,000 to 6,000 words).


Students will work under the supervision of at least one member of the NUS psychology faculty on their research. Our NUS psychology faculty members have broad and diverse areas of research expertise, allowing students to pursue their research in different areas, including but not limited to neuropsychology, autism, trauma, anxiety disorders, disability-related research, emotional regulation and child psychopathology.

Admission Requirements and Procedures

The NUS Clinical Psychology Programme accepts a relatively small number of applicants each year and entry is typically very competitive.


Admission requirements

Essential requirements. All candidates must demonstrate readiness for full-time graduate study for a period of two years full-time (4 semesters) and must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. hold a good Honours degree (second class and above) or equivalent (e.g. a four-year Bachelor's degree with at least an average grade of B or equivalent) in psychology or a closely related discipline from a recognized university; or in exceptional circumstances, such other qualifications and experience that meet with the approval of the Board of Graduate Studies; please note we do not accept applications from students who are in the final year of their undergraduate studies and have not yet graduated, therefore please apply only after you have completed your degree. Please also note we rarely accept applicants with a second lower degree, unless good evidence of efforts to compensate for this have been provided (i.e. an applicant with a 2:2 Honours who then pursued and successfully completed a Masters course or who has subsequently published in peer-reviewed journals or other such evidence on a case-by-case basis;

  2. successfully complete, if shortlisted, a comprehensive interview, a practical component and/ or written exercise set by the core programme staff;

  3. pass any preparatory modules as indicated by the core programme staff on a case-by-case basis;

  4. provide evidence of meeting NUS language requirements (see below) if English is not a candidate's first language, and the tests must have been taken not earlier than two years before the proposed date of admission:
    IELTS score of 6.0; or
    85 for the internet-based TOEFL (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or
    580 for the paper-based TOEFL; or
    237 for the computer-based TOEFL


Highly desirable for applicants to possess:

  1. Successful completion of an Honours research thesis, demonstrating evidence of core research skills and ability to complete a research project; we occasionally accept applicants without an Honours thesis but usually they will need to provide some other evidence of research skills and competencies (i.e. worked subsequently as a research assistant; published research work in peer-reviewed journals; did a research project/ thesis in a subsequently completed postgraduate course; etc. this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis);

  2. A minimum of one year of relevant to clinical psychology practical/ applied and/ or clinically relevant research experience (i.e. working as a psychologist, assistant psychologist, therapist, learning support assistant, research assistant or researcher etc.; in psychology, psychiatric, special needs, social service or VWO settings), ideally supervised by a psychologist/ clinical psychologist. This can be full or part-time, and can be paid or voluntary. This is because some relevant clinical experience allows an applicant to discover whether this line of work is for them, and to apply with realistic expectations. It also allows course staff to see that some core initial learning and development of basic skills and competences relating to the role has started prior to applying. Although we occasionally accept excellent applicants with less than one year relevant experience, please note this is relatively rare and we give priority for shortlisting to candidates meeting the minimum criteria above with at least one year of relevant experience.

  3. A good understanding of clinical psychology as a profession and clear motivations for becoming a clinical psychologist, as evidenced in their application form statement and at the interview.

  4. Very good interpersonal and communication skills, evidence of reflective skills and ability to empathise and relate well to others are also highly desirable and evidenced during the interview and through the referees’ letters.


Diagnostic English Test

All successful applicants are required to take the Diagnostic English Test. Students will be placed on a graduate English module or be exempted from the module, depending on their performance in the proficiency test. A Masters student is required to achieve an intermediate level of proficiency (at least grade C) in the English modules.


Admissions procedure

The online application form can be accessed at the following link only during the application period from 1st November to 15th January each year.

http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/coursework/application-info.html

Graduation Requirements

Coursework Modules.

Interns must successfully complete all modules to graduate from the programme. If they fail any taught module, they can repeat that module when it is next offered, with the exception of the clinical placement modules (see below for clinical placement graduation requirements).


CAP requirements.

The minimum Cumulative Average Point (CAP) for fulfilment of this degree requirement is 3.0 (out of a maximum of 5.0).
The grades of all 13 modules will be considered together in assessing whether the student has met the degree requirement. Students must also have at least a B- for each module.
A student's CAP must not fall below 2.5 for two consecutive semesters or 3.0 for three consecutive semesters. A student who fails to maintain the minimum CAP as stipulated will have her/his candidature terminated. For any semester in which the student's CAP falls below 3.0, she/he will be issued a warning. If, in the following semester, the student's CAP again falls below 3.0, but above 2.5, she/he will be placed on probation.


Clinical Placement requirements.

The programme places considerable emphasis on the development of core professional and clinical competences. For this reason, students who receive a failing grade for any clinical placement will need to repeat a placement of a similar nature. Students who receive two failing grades for the same placement, or for any two of the three clinical placements, will be discontinued from the programme regardless of CAP.


Professional competence: Case studies.

In addition to the CAP, module, and clinical placement requirements, three written clinical case studies will need to be submitted by the interns in order to meet graduation requirements, one from each of their three 6-month block placements. Interns will be required to submit a case study at the end of each placement and they will be given only one opportunity to revise and resubmit the first two case studies only, if they received an initial "FAIL" grade for any of the two first case studies.

Performance on the case studies will not contribute to the assessment of any individual module, but students need to successfully complete (i.e. PASS) at least 2 out of 3 case studies in order to meet professional competence requirements for completion and graduation from the programme. This must include a pass in the final case study which they will not be given an opportunity to revise if they fail to pass in their first attempt unless the student is extending or repeating the 3rd placement, in which case he/she will be given a chance to resubmit a new case study if the first attempt is unsuccessful. This provision will only apply to students extending/repeating the 3rd placement.

Students who do not pass at least 2 out of 3 case studies (this must include the final case study) will not meet professional competence standards for graduation and a case will be put up to the university to terminate their candidature from the clinical programme regardless of their performance in the other components of the programme.


Examination/ Continuous Assessment.

Students are evaluated across all components of the programme through written and/or oral assignments and examinations, depending on the module and lecturer. Their development and performance in the clinical placements is evaluated in mid- and end-placement reviews. Students' research is evaluated through the three research components of the course (module, proposal and research project).

Fees

For intakes prior to August 2018, the course tuition fees are S$17,222 per semester or S$34,444 per annum (inclusive of 7% GST) for Singapore citizens/permanent residents/international students.

* Please note that the course tuition fees will increase to S$17,740 per semester or S$35,480 per annum (inclusive of 7% GST) for Singapore citizens/ permanent residents/ international students from AY2018/2019 onwards. The fee increase applies to intakes from August 2018 onwards.

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above can use their $500 SkillsFuture Credit from the government to pay for a wide range of approved skills-related courses. Visit the SkillsFuture Credit website to choose from the courses available on the SkillsFuture Credit course directory.

Non-refundable course tuition fees for the first semester will be due upon acceptance of offer of admission to the programme. Please note that this will only apply to self-funded students who have been offered admission to the programme.

Successful applicants can apply for the competitive MOH Holdings (MOHH) Healthcare Graduate Studies Award and/or the Ngee Ann Kongsi Post-graduate Scholarships in Social Sciences for financial support.

FAQs

  1. What are clinical psychologists?
    A: Clinical psychologists are specialists in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and mental illness. They are located in private practice, hospitals, universities, general medical practices, community health centres and mental health services.
    Clinical psychologists work with children, adolescents, adults and older adults. They are also involved in designing and implementing a wide range of prevention and mental health promotion programmes. Thus the contribution of a professionally trained clinical psychologist can have a large impact on the health and quality of life of a large number of patients across the life span.

  2. How is the NUS Clinical Psychology Programme structured?
    A: As with other countries, the NUS Clinical Psychology Programme follows a scientist- practitioner model. This means that students will be required to complete coursework, a thesis, and supervised clinical training practicum.

  3. What are the entry requirements for the Master of Psychology (Clinical) Programme and how many people will be accepted for each intake?
    A: The Clinical Psychology Programme will accept a relatively small number of applicants each year and entry will be extremely competitive. The minimum entry criteria are a good Honours degree and/or advanced graduate degree in psychology or a closely related discipline.

  4. What can I do to improve my chances of acceptance?
    A: Apart from meeting the minimum academic requirements, applicants can greatly enhance their applications through psychology, volunteer or other clinical work experience. Attendance of clinical workshops, observation programmes, and publication in peer reviewed journals and/or other clinically related activities following graduation are also desirable.

  5. What will happen after I submit my application?
    A: This is what usually happens:
    (a) All applicants will be evaluated to ensure minimum admission requirements have been met on a case-by-case basis
    (b) Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for face-to-face interviews in Singapore.
    (c) Acceptance/rejection letters or email will be sent to applicants.

  6. How do I know if clinical psychology is for me?
    A: Clinical psychology can be both a demanding and rewarding field. Clinical psychologists need to have excellent communication skills and it helps to have an empathic understanding of others.
    There may be times when you would be required to work with depressed, distressed and possibly aggressive people. Maturity and the ability to take constructive criticism are necessary attributes for potential clinical students.

  7. Are there any scholarships or financial support for students of the programme?
    A: There is no scholarship or financial support from NUS as this is a self-funded programme. However, there are competitive external scholarships available from MOHH (Healthcare Graduate Studies Award) and Ngee Ann Kongsi (Post-graduate Scholarship in Social Sciences) for successful applicants to the programme. Singapore citizens aged 25 and above can also use SkillsFuture Credit to offset tuition fees.

  8. Does the programme meet the requirements to practice as a clinical psychologist in Singapore?
    A: Yes, the programme is designed to meet the forthcoming minimum standards for clinical psychology training currently being considered by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

  9. Is the clinical programme accredited with the Singapore Psychological Society or other accrediting bodies?
    A: Presently there is no formal accreditation of clinical programmes via the Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Graduates from our programme are eligible for SPS full membership and the Singapore Register of Psychologists. Do note that these bodies may have other criteria to be met. Please visit the SPS website https://singaporepsychologicalsociety.org/ for information on their criteria.

  10. Can I do the Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme part-time?
    A: At present, the Masters programme only admits full-time students.

  11. What is the job market like for clinical psychologists after I graduate?
    A: There is currently a need for trained mental health professionals including clinical psychologists in Singapore. It is expected that graduates will be able to secure posts upon graduation.

Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)

Why a Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)?

In the USA, Canada, and Australia, both PhD and practitioner doctorate (variously known as DPsy/DPsych/PsyD/DClinPsy) programmes are offered. In the UK, the practitioner doctorate (DClinPsy) programme is a hybrid of the scientist-practitioner and practitioner-scholar models, and is the only form of clinical psychology training. In the UK, Ireland, Canada, the USA, and New Zealand, doctoral-level training is mandatory for practice as a clinical psychologist.


Whilst the 2-year NUS Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme is comprehensive and sufficient for graduating generalist or entry-level clinical psychologists with core competencies in assessment, diagnosis, formulation, and intervention, the duration of the programme limits the number of hours available for clinical exposure and the repertoire of skills that can be acquired within a 24-month period. For example, our Master of Psychology (Clinical) students typically graduate with core competencies in one of the major evidence-based intervention modes of today – cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – but only acquire introductory skills in the so-called ‘third wave’ of therapies that are showing efficacy for the treatment of mental health conditions, or in other evidence-based approaches. Furthermore, the brevity of the three 6-month placements that are designed to give broad exposure to core competencies in child, adult, and/or geriatric settings as part of the Masters programme may make it more difficult for students to develop more specialised skills in their field of choice. Doctoral training can therefore provide increased depth and/ or breadth of training in different interventions, practice-related knowledge and experience, competences in research methodology, and the application of the evidence base to practice. A further advantage of the doctoral programme is that the additional year may allow students the opportunity to take on an advanced placement in an overseas centre of excellence and/ or in more specialised local settings. Finally, an important element of the NUS doctoral programme in clinical psychology is that it would more closely match international standards, compatibility, and recognition.


In view of the above considerations, the establishment of a 2+1 NUS Doctor of Clinical Psychology programme is thus timely. In this programme, self-funded and sponsored students (in consultation with their sponsors/employers) can take on one extra year (“+”) to complete the doctorate either immediately after their Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme or at a subsequent time.

An Overview of our DClinPsy Programme

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology programme aims for its graduates to meet the following main goals:

  1. To develop advanced clinical skills through the integration of theory, research, and practice - these include advanced skills in clinical interviewing and psychometric assessment; advanced skills in formulation/ clinical case conceptualisation based on relevant theory; increased ability to select and implement a range of appropriate evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions for clients’ presenting problems, diagnoses, and level of functioning in a variety of populations via individual, family, and/ or group therapy;

  2. To function as an autonomous, ethical, culturally sensitive, and responsible practicing psychologist;

  3. To be an effective user of clinical research in practice and to demonstrate the competence to conduct high-quality clinical research; and

  4. To develop and demonstrate advanced effectiveness in working with healthcare professionals from other disciplines, including psychiatry, general medicine, social work, nursing, and allied health domains (e.g., speech pathology, occupational therapy).

The maximum candidature for this full-time programme will be 60 months (in line with the maximum candidate for an NUS PhD, and in line with other universities running the DClinPsy programme or equivalent). Extension of candidature beyond the normative 36 months will be charged on a per-semester basis.

The first and second year of the programme are identical to the Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme, and will be spent full-time at NUS. In the third year of the programme, students will typically reside in Singapore and complete coursework, clinical placement, and research components, although there may be opportunities for an overseas placement.

Course Structure and Duration

The NUS DClinPsy programme will consist of

  1. coursework (a total of 11 modules, seven modules from the Master’s programme and four additional modules in the third year);

  2. clinical placements (five in total, three from the Master’s programme and two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement in the third year; approximately 2500 clinical hours in total, with a minimum of 2000 hours);

  3. and a research thesis (of approximately 30,000 words).

In the first few years of the DClinPsy programme, the existing 2-year Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme will become scalable to the practitioner doctorate (DClinPsy) as it will be offered as a 2 years (existing Master's) + 1 year + (Doctorate) modular package.


The NUS DClinPsy programme will consist of coursework (a total of 11 modules, seven modules from the Masters programme and four additional modules in the third year), clinical placements (five in total, three from the Masters programme and two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement in the third year; approximately 2500 clinical hours in total, with a minimum of 2000 hours) and a research thesis (of approximately 30,000 words) over three years. In the first few years of the DClinPsy programme, the existing 2-year Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme will become scalable to the practitioner doctorate (DClinPsy) as it will be offered as a 2 (existing Masters) +1 (Doctorate) modular package.


The NUS DClinPsy programme is principally based on the UK scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology training and therefore provides a good balance of coursework, enhanced professional clinical training, and strong training in research skills. The curriculum covers core areas of knowledge and learning deemed by professional bodies (namely, the British Psychological Society/Health and Care Professions Council, American Psychological Association/APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, and the Australian Psychological Society/Psychology Board of Australia) to be essential components of doctorate level clinical psychology training.


Most of the coursework of the NUS DClinPsy programme is already in place within the existing Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme, and four additional taught modules, two additional 6-month placements (or one 12-month placement) will be added in the third year of the DClinPsy programme, alongside an expanded research thesis.


Although the "top-up" third year of the DClinPsy is currently scheduled as a one-year full-time period of study, it is anticipated that DClinPsy 3rd year "top-up" students will most likely require more than one academic year to complete and submit their research theses. Thus, 3rd year DClinPsy students should expect that their research theses will take up to 18-24 months to be completed and submitted. Should this additional time of one or two semesters be needed for the research thesis to be submitted (i.e., should candidature need to be extended beyond the normative two Master's + 1 DClinPsy top up years), additional fees will be charged accordingly for the research module only.


This 2+1 DClinPsy model will initially allow existing Master's level practicing clinical psychologists to complete the additional one full-time year (+) of training to obtain the doctoral qualification. At present, applications to enrol into the 3rd year DClinPsy "top-up" programme will be open to already qualified and graduated at Master’s level practicing Clinical Psychologists, in order to upskill their qualifications to a doctoral degree level. In subsequent years, it will be possible to apply for and complete the DClinPsy programme immediately after the 2-year Master’s programme (i.e. as a 3-year full time programme). This will be announced on our website a year before it takes effect.


The third year DClinPsy programme is a full-time one year period of study. Students will have a demanding and intense one year schedule, completing four modules over two semesters (i.e. a total of about 1 day per week spread over 1 or 2 days), two 6-month placements (2½-3 days per week) while completing their doctorate research theses throughout the year (1-1½ days per week). Therefore, we strongly discourage students from working during this one year period and encourage them to obtain study leave to pursue their doctorate. Should they need 1-2 more semesters following the full-time study year to complete their doctorate research theses, it is possible to resume employment after the one-year full time, while completing the research thesis (and, as mentioned, if this is the case, fees for the research project module only will be paid during this time).


Clinical Placements

A key component of the third year of the DClinPsy programme is the provision of an opportunity to spend a period of training in one 12-month or two 6-month specialist local or international clinical settings to develop specialised knowledge and skills.


Local third year clinical placements

Third year doctoral students can express their interest and describe their professional needs and aspirations in their application form regarding the type of third year local specialist clinical placements they would need/ want in order to develop specialist skills and knowledge and/ or expand their current skills/ client groups. These can be settings relating to their current work, where they can develop specialist knowledge and develop further expertise; or different areas of specialist settings and work, in which the candidates wish to develop their skills further, if they are considering a shift in their career and wish to gain experience in other client groups/ conditions/ clinical work/ specific skills.


International third year clinical placements

Our faculty are already discussing and liaising with several universities offering established doctorate level clinical psychology programmes abroad to explore possibilities and opportunities for clinical placements in specialist settings/ centres of excellence in other countries. As this process takes time, applicants for the August 2019 intake should be aware that clinical placements for the first year of the programme (2019-2020) will in all likelihood be local only.


Curriculum Summary

Below is a summary of the DClinPsy 2+1 curriculum. In bold are the modules of the third year; all other modules are part of the 2-year Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme.


Module Code Year Semester Credits Type
Psychological Assessment PLC5001 1 1 4 Coursework
Adult Psychopathology PLC5002 1 1 4 Coursework
Health Across the Lifespan PLC5003 1 2 4 Coursework
Psychological Intervention and Therapy PLC5004 1 1 4 Coursework
Child Psychopathology PLC5005 1 1 4 Coursework
Ethics and Professional Issues PLC5006 1 2 4 Coursework
Advanced Psychological Practice PLC5007 2 1 4 Coursework
Graduate Research Methods PLC5008 1 1 2 Research
Research Proposal PLC5009 1 2 8 Research
Research Project PLC5010 2 2 12 Research
Clinical Placement 1 PLC5011A 1 2 6 Practical
Clinical Placement 2 PLC5012B 2 1 6 Practical
Clinical Placement 3 PLC5013C 2 2 6 Practical
Clinical Placement 4 PLC5014D 3 1 6 Practical
Clinical Placement 5 PLC5015E 3 2 6 Practical
Advanced Intervention and Therapy I PLC5016 3 1 4 Coursework
Advanced Intervention and Therapy II PLC5017 3 2 4 Coursework
Specialised Applications in Clinical Psychology I PLC5018 3 1 4 Coursework
Specialised Applications in Clinical Psychology II PLC5019 3 2 4 Coursework
Research Project 2 PLC5020 3 2 12 Research
Total number of modules and
Total number of MCs
20
(108 MCs)

The total modular credits for the DClinPsy programme are 108, consisting of, 44 credits (40.7%) of coursework, 30 credits (27.8%) of clinical work (supervised practice), and 34 credits (31.5%) of research work.


In the DClinPsy programme, students will thus be examined each semester using a combination of module specific written examinations, continuous assessment of oral presentations, in class exercises, seminar participation, essays, skill assessments, performance in supervised clinical practice, case studies, and a research thesis.


Research Components

The doctoral student will work under the supervision of at least one member of the NUS psychology faculty on their research. They will be guided and evaluated by the research supervisor on a continuing basis and will need to successfully complete the third year research project (PLC5020).


It should be noted that under the 2 Master’s + 1 Doctorate model, the Master’s research thesis (PLC5010) would have been submitted in Year 2 for the Master’s qualification, and the Doctorate thesis (PLC5020) will be submitted at the end of the third year. The Doctorate research thesis can be an extension of the Master’s thesis, incorporating additional work in the form of collecting follow-up data, studying additional groups, or developing a cross-cultural component (i.e. to take advantage of being on an international placement, if this is available; or if the candidate completed their Master’s thesis abroad, they may wish to replicate and expand with a Singaporean population). It would also be possible to conduct an entirely new research project, which might be more viable for those who return for the DClinPsy top-up programme some years after their Master’s programme. It is also possible, and indeed it is encouraged, that students develop research proposals that closely align with their current or planned future research and clinical work, if feasible and desirable. The research project could relate to existing or recently developed research the candidate is already involved, or wishes to be involved, in at their current work setting; and/ or could be part of the supervisor’s existing or planned research projects; and/ or be a project independently developed and proposed by the candidate. “Site”, clinical co-supervisors can be involved, if the project is taking place at a particular clinical setting, but it is essential that students have an NUS supervisor as well.


Students can be supervised by any member of the NUS Psychology faculty (see http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/psy/staff/faculty.html for areas of expertise and interests of current faculty). Our NUS psychology faculty members have broad and diverse areas of research expertise, allowing students to pursue their research in different areas, including but not limited to neuropsychology, autism, trauma, anxiety and OCD-related disorders, disability-related research, emotional regulation, parenting, child psychopathology, pain, amongst others.


Although the "top-up" third year of the DClinPsy is currently scheduled as a one-year full-time period of study, it is anticipated that 3rd year “top-up” students will most likely require more than one academic year to complete and submit their research thesis. Thus, 3rd year DClinPsy students should expect that their research thesis will take up to 18-24 months from their admission to be completed and submitted. Should this additional time of one or two semesters be needed for the research thesis (i.e., should candidature need to be extended beyond the normative two Master’s + 1 DClinPsy top up years), additional fees will be charged accordingly for the research module only.


Admission Requirements and Procedures

The first intake for the DClinPsy programme will be in August 2019 and is aimed at offering the third year of the programme. For the first intake, up to five candidates will be admitted. In subsequent intakes it is expected that intake will gradually increase. In the first intake, priority will be given to those who already possess a Master of Psychology (Clinical) qualification and are practicing clinical psychologists. Depending on the number of applications, successful admission is expected to be highly competitive in the first few years.


Requirements

The following are essential admission requirements:

  1. Hold a good Honours degree in Psychology (at least Second Class Upper Division or Honours with Distinction in most instances) or closely related discipline (i.e. social work, special education, speech and language pathology etc., with a substantial psychology component and/ or a Psychology conversion course); AND a 2-year Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from NUS or another recognised university . If applicants have completed their Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in another university, module equivalence of their Master’s modules will be established on a case-by-case basis, and applicants may be required to complete additional modules (e.g., from the Master of Psychology (Clinical) Programme) as deemed appropriate; and

  2. In the case of those who already possess a Master of Clinical Psychology qualification, pass the Doctoral Programme Entrance Examination for entry (DPEE) which will be assessed via the interview at the shortlisting stage; and

  3. If shortlisted, be selected for an interview conducted by a panel of at least two members of the Clinical Psychology faculty team; and

  4. Pass any additional preparatory modules deemed necessary by the Clinical Psychology faculty team; and

  5. Provide the following evidence of meeting NUS requirements if English is not the applicant’s first language, with the relevant tests taken not earlier than two years before the proposed date of admission.
    IELTS score of 6.0; or
    85 for the internet-based TOEFL (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or
    580 for the paper-based TOEFL; or
    237 for the computer-based TOEFL.


In addition, desirable admission requirements to be considered when evaluating applications include the following:

  1. The applicant has obtained an overall GPA/ CAP of > 3.5 (out of 5) or equivalent (i.e., a score of > 70 out of 100 or at least a B+ average) for their Master of Clinical Psychology degree or equivalent; and

  2. The applicant has been in clinical practice (which may also include supervision, consultancy, and/ or leadership roles) for at least two thirds of the time since obtaining his/her Master of Clinical Psychology degree or equivalent (unless there have been extenuating circumstances such as medical or other long forms of leave which have reduced his/her time in practice since graduation, such as medical or maternity/ adoption leave), as evidenced by his/her application form and up-to-date CV submitted as part of his/her application.


Application Process for the NUS DClinPsy Programme

Applicants should submit their fully completed application form and all required copies of certificates and documents here http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/coursework/application-info.html. The link is only available from 1st November to 15th January every year.

In addition to the standard NUS application form which also requires reference letters from two referees, applicants should also upload the following documents to the Graduate Admission System:

  1. A 2-3 page summary of their research plan, outlining a brief proposal for their doctoral research thesis (which can be a follow-up, extension, or continuation of their Master’s thesis; or in a different area/ topic linked to their current clinical and research work/setting/expertise; or a new/different topic that can be feasibly completed within the timeframe stipulated for the programme/ research thesis). This proposal does not need to be overly detailed at this stage, but should provide sufficient information to allow the Clinical Psychology faculty team reviewing the application to understand broadly the potential areas/ topic the applicant may undertake, its originality, the ways in which it extends (rather than repeats) their Master’s thesis (if it is a continuation of the Master’s thesis), as well as feasibility and match with available research supervisors.

  2. A 1-2 page Clinical Placement plan, summarizing their professional clinical goals, needs, and preferences for the type of third year placements (e.g., which specialist settings/ client groups/ approaches/ type of work? local and/ or international?). If applicants have specific interests for certain local or international placements and/or clinical supervisors, they should indicate these in this proposed plan, although applicants for the first intake in August 2019 should be aware that there are unlikely to be international placements available during their candidature.

  3. Their up-to-date CV;

  4. A letter from applicants’ current employer stating that they are aware of and supportive of the application;

  5. For applicants who have completed their Master’s qualification more than 5 years ago from the application date, a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Log for the last 5 years will also be needed, so that the Clinical Psychology faculty team can assess their state of current knowledge and skills.


What happens after submission of an application?

All applications will be reviewed by the NUS Clinical Psychology faculty team.


Shortlisted candidates will be informed and invited for an interview, likely to take place between end February and early March each year.

Graduation Requirements

Modules.

All candidates must take and pass all modules of the DClinPsy programme (including the two research thesis modules) unless exemption has been approved on a case by case basis. The grades of all modules will be considered in assessing whether the student has met the degree requirements.


CAP.

A student’s CAP must not fall below 3.0 for more than two consecutive semesters. Failure to maintain the minimum CAP will result in the termination of the student’s candidature. For any semester in which the student’s CAP falls below 3.5 (but is ≥ 3.0), she/he will be issued a warning. If, in the following semester, the student’s CAP remains below 3.5 (but is ≥ 3.0), she/he will be placed on probation.


Clinical Placements.

Third year students who receive a fail grade for any of their third year clinical placements will need to repeat a placement of a similar nature. Students who receive two fail grades for the same placement, or a fail grade for any of the two third year clinical placements, will be discontinued from the programme regardless of CAP.


Case Studies.

Two case studies will also need to be completed and submitted for each of the two third-year clinical placements (or two different case studies from the one 12-month clinical placement) and both will need to receive a PASS grade. The student will be given one opportunity only to revise and resubmit the first third-year case study, if it receives a FAIL grade. There will be no opportunity to resubmit the final case study. Both case studies will need to be successfully passed, otherwise a case will be made for the student’s termination from the programme irrespective of his/her performance in all other modules.

Fees

The tuition fees for each year of the DClinPsy programme, including the third year, will be S$17,740 per semester or S$35,480 per annum (inclusive of 7% GST) for Singapore citizens/ permanent residents/ international students from August 2018 onwards and until further notice.

FAQs

  1. Are there any scholarships or financial support for students in the Doctorate programme?
    A: There is no scholarship or financial support from NUS, as this is a self-funded programme. However, there may be external scholarships available for successful applicants, Candidates are advised to search for possible scholarships from organizations funding post-graduate doctorate level studies (such as MOHH, Ngee Ann Kongsi postgraduate scholarships and other organizations), and to inquire whether they may fund the doctorate programme. They may also explore possibilities/ opportunities for funding from their current organizations, if these are available. Singapore citizens aged 25 and above can also use SkillsFuture Credit to offset tuition fees.

  2. Is the clinical programme accredited with the Singapore Psychological Society or other accrediting bodies?
    A: Presently there is no formal accreditation of clinical psychology programmes via the Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Graduates from our programme are eligible for SPS full membership and the Singapore Register of Psychologists. The Master’s programme is designed to meet the forthcoming minimum Master’s level standards for clinical psychology training currently being considered by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Do note that these bodies may have other criteria to be met. Please visit the SPS website https://singaporepsychologicalsociety.org/ for information on their criteria.

  3. Is the DClinPsy programme a full-time or part-time programme? Can I do the top-up 3rd year of the doctorate programme while working?
    A: The third year DClinPsy programme is a full-time one year period of study. Students will have a demanding and intense one year schedule, completing four modules over two semesters (i.e. about 1 day per week in total per semester spread over one day or two half days), two 6-month placements (2½-3 days per week) while completing their doctorate research thesis throughout the year (1-1 ½ days per week). Therefore, we strongly discourage students from working during this one year period and encourage them to obtain study leave to pursue their doctorate. Should they need 1-2 more semesters following the full-time study year to complete their doctorate research thesis, it is possible to resume employment after the one-year full time, while completing the research thesis (and, as mentioned, if this is the case, fees for the research project module only will be paid during this time, if all other doctorate components – modules and placements – have been successfully completed).
    We do not currently offer a part-time programme, although this may be a possibility in subsequent years.

  4. What is the maximum candidature of the 3rd year top-up DClinPsy programme?
    A: The maximum candidature for the 3rd year top-up doctorate programme is two years.

  5. Can I do the doctorate programme clinical placements at my current work setting? Will I get the placements I want?
    A: You may list in your clinical placement plan (to be submitted with your application form and documents) the settings/ client groups/ populations/ approaches you would like or need to complete your placements in, in order to develop additional specialist skills, competences and knowledge. Although it is possible to work in a clinical setting within your current organization/ setting, it will not be possible to work in your current role/ position/ setting as part of your doctorate level clinical placements. This is because the doctorate level training is developed to upskill or support candidates in developing different or more highly specialist, rather than existing or already developed, competences. As an example, if you are currently working with adults with mood disorders, you may propose in your placement plan alternative, but related specialist settings, i.e. in a substance abuse setting, eating disorders, a specialist OCD setting or an adult neurodevelopmental service setting. For clinicians who may wish to use the doctorate programme to shift to work with other client groups or approaches to those they are currently engaged in, this is also possible (i.e. a clinician working for many years with young children who wishes to shift to working with adults or older adults). If there are specific settings and/ or clinicians you would like to gain more experience in/ with, then please be as specific as possible in your clinical placement plan document submitted as part of your application. The NUS clinical placement co-ordinator will do their best to provide appropriate clinical placements as closely linked to your goals/ needs as possible, although of course this will depend on availability and many other factors, therefore preferences and recommendations for specific settings will be explored, but cannot be guaranteed.

  6. Is the DClinPsy the same as a PhD?
    A: No. Although both are doctorate level qualifications, PhDs are research-based. DClinPsy is a professional training programme at doctorate level, comprising of coursework and taught module components, clinical placements and a research thesis aiming to train competent scientist-practitioners in clinical psychology.

  7. Are there International 3rd year clinical placements available?
    A: We are in the process of liaising with several overseas universities offering established doctorate level clinical psychology programmes to explore the possibilities of 6-month clinical placements in specialist settings and centres of excellence abroad as part of the 3rd year Doctorate top-up programme. As this process takes time, applicants for the August 2019 intake should be aware that clinical placements for the first year of the programme (2019-2020) are likely going to be local only.

  8. What is the structure of the 3rd year doctorate top-up programme?
    A:
    Year 1 Semester 1 Year 1 Semester 2
    PLC5014D Specialist Clinical Placement I PLC5015E Specialist Clinical Placement II
    PLC5018 Specialized Applications in Clinical Psychology I
    PLC5016 Advanced Intervention and Therapy I
    PLC5019 Specialized Applications in Clinical Psychology II
    PLC5017 Advanced Intervention and Therapy II
    PLC5020 Research Project (may likely need to be extended for 1-2 semesters to complete data collection and write-up; see Research Thesis section on our website for more details on this) PLC5020 Research Project (may likely need to be extended for 1-2 semesters to complete data collection and write-up; see Research Thesis section on our website for more details on this)

    Note: For teaching, semester 1 is August to December and semester 2 is January to June. For placement, the first one takes place August to January and the second placement is February to July, although the time periods for placement only can be a little flexible.

  9. Do I need to contact a research supervisor at NUS before I apply?
    A: This is not necessary. All you need to submit is a viable preliminary research proposal. You could specify in your application the research supervisors that you are planning to approach or would most like to work with for your research thesis, but you do not need to have their a priori commitment to supervise your research thesis before you submit your application.

  10. Do I need to attach my undergraduate or Master’s thesis in my application?
    A: This is not necessary. However, it would be helpful to include the thesis title and supervisor in your CV. If you have publications in peer-reviewed journals or books, make sure to include them in your CV too. You may select a peer-reviewed paper or article reflecting your best written work to attach to your application if you wish, but this is not essential.


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