Taught course

Abnormal and Clinical Psychology

Swansea University · Psychology

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2.1 degree in psychology or a related discipline is required. We consider a wide range of international qualifications. Please contact chhsinternational@swansea.ac.uk for further information. Where English is not the applicant’s first language, the University requires an IELTS test is taken to meet minimum entry requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

Clinical psychology focuses on the challenges faced by people with clinical, mental or physical (neuropsychological) health conditions. The role of the clinical psychologist is to work with these individuals and attempt to improve their quality of life. The Master’s degree in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology at Swansea is designed to equip students with an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of clinical psychology in healthcare settings. The primary purpose of the course is to allow students to gain knowledge and experience to enhance their suitability for professional clinical training (i.e. a three year DClin Clinical Psychology programme at a BPS accredited training centre; see http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/clinical).

Entry onto a clinical psychology doctorate training programme is extremely competitive, with candidates usually expected to have acquired training and experience beyond degree level. We have a proven track record of helping our students progress towards clinical psychology training, as well as roles in a range of other clinical mental health-related occupations (see testimonials below). Our MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology alumni have also secured NHS clinical based placements, providing valuable experience for those seeking to attain Assistant Clinical Psychologist positions.

Students on the MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology typically include:

* UK and international psychology graduates seeking positions as Assistant Psychologists (both in the UK and abroad) as part of their journey towards becoming a BPS Chartered Clinical Psychologist.

* Psychology graduates aiming to work in related fields of applied psychology and other areas of clinical mental health.

* Healthcare and other clinical professionals looking to expand their understanding of particular areas of abnormal and clinical psychology.

* Psychology graduates who have relevant work experience to apply for further clinical training, but who need to enhance their academic and research skills.

* Psychology graduates aiming to secure a PhD by Research in a clinically applied area.

The MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology is unique in the range of modules the programme offers:

• Eating Disorders

• Psychosis

• Personality and Sexual Disorder

• Clinical Neuropsychology

• Psychotherapy

• Statistical and Research Methods

• Affective and Somatoform Disorders

• Applied Behaviour Analysis

• Coping with Chronic Disease

• Psychopharmacology for Clinical Psychologists

Students will also complete a substantial research project in their chosen field of study.

The majority of our teaching is carried out by practicing and/or qualified Clinical Psychologists and related professionals, ensuring that students are learning from those with direct experience of professional challenges.

Course modules are assessed using a range of different approaches, including written examinations, essays, presentations and clinical case studies.

Study on the course can be undertaken either full time (1 year) or part time (2 years) basis, with teaching condensed into two weekdays to more easily accommodate part-time students and for relevant experience to be gained alongside the degree. Taught modules are provided in the first two semesters, with the research project typically undertaken over the summer.

About the Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology at Swansea University is a thriving research led department that provides a friendly, supporting learning environment with instruction from world-class researchers. Our consistent ambition is to provide outstanding excellence of teaching and learning for all our students – as demonstrated by a recent Teaching Quality Assessment national audit that judged our teaching as ‘Excellent’. Moreover, the research caliber of our group has also been demonstrated. For example, in The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, we were one of only four psychology departments to achieve a 100% 4* rating (maximum score possible) for the reach and significance of its work.

Student testimonials

Completing the MSc has been very beneficial, as in addition to improving my academic knowledge and skills, as well as confidence, it has enabled me to quickly secure employment in this field”. Sam (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2013-14)

“The level of expertise of the lecturers is second to none” Katie (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2011-12)

“An outstanding and highly interesting MSc program” Vasilis, international student from Greece (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2009-10)

Thanks to my masters, I am in such a good placement in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a multi-speciality hospital's Cardiology Unit” Phoram, international student from India (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2009-10)

“The MSc in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology provided me with an excellent theoretical knowledge of a wide variety of psychological approaches” – Ruth (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2008-09)

“I'm now an Assistant Psychologist in Cardiff, and I do not think I would have had a chance of getting such a post if I didn't have the MSc. I'm really glad I did it!” - Bryn (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2008-09)

“The MSc helped me to get my first assistant post and provided me with a good academic basis to pursue a career in clinical psychology. I am now undertaking the DClin Psych course in Oxford!” - Nicola (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2007-08)

Information for international students

Since its foundation in 1920, Swansea University has embraced opportunities to think globally. The vibrant mix of nationalities and cultures on campus greatly enriches our learning and teaching environment. We understand the type of support our international students need to help them settle into student life in a new country.

Fees and funding

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page: www.swansea.ac.uk/postgraduate/scholarships

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Eleanor Gregory
+44 (0)1792 513023