Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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Post by Oneday » Tue May 12, 2020 8:17 am

Morning all
I finally received a copy of my references, and frankly I am gutted. My academic reference (which is my Masters tutor whom does not seem like to me) neither understands my desire to get on the course or what the course is even about. (I have asked to be changed due to her unprofessional comments and lack of support developing my practice). She basically wrote I'm not good enough for the course, and hasn't included one positive reflection!!!

(Note my other reference from a clinical psychologist is much more positive and a truer reflection of my skills and areas of need - I'm not claiming to be perfect!)

So questions:
1) If I get a Merit - something I am set to achieve, does that mean that I am not working at the desired level for a DClinPsy application? She makes out in the references and our discussions that I am virtually incoherent, but I have been consistently receiving merits.

2) I am going to ask for a different tutor next year, (it is a distance learning course so I am moving into my final year - this year was acting as a practice application to experience the process). Any ideas how I can facilitate a better reference? I'm worried the new tutor won't get it (or me) too and I will be stuck with a terrible academic reference. Or someone else I can use?

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Re: References

Post by banzay » Tue May 12, 2020 8:10 pm

Hello Oneday,

I'm very sorry this has happened to you. I remember while I was preparing my application last year the 1 thing I was most nervous about was my academic reference, mainly because I felt like it was the thing I had zero control over!

To answer your questions:
Academically, most courses require a 'high' 2:1 at undergraduate level - so if you meet that requirement it doesn't really matter what grade you get on you MSc. However, a Merit is obviously an indication that you are academically able to work at a doctorate level!

I think asking for a different tutor is an excellent idea. Generally speaking, the best person to write your academic reference would be your thesis supervisor. Would that be possible?
When I asked my supervisor to write my reference I emailed them beforehand the sample reference I found on the clearinghouse, and I also briefly explained to them the course (I mainly did this because I did my MSc in Holland so my supervisor wasn't really familiar with the UK DClinPsy). I was very nervous about the perceived quality of my reference because of having done my MSc abroad, so I also asked my thesis supervisor from my undergrad (which was completed in the UK) to liaise via email with my MSc supervisor, he then added her comment on the reference clearly stating that this was Prof X's from Uni of X comment.

Good luck!

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Re: References

Post by svr » Wed May 13, 2020 9:57 am

Hi Oneday.

Just to reassure you- my academic reference was written by a Clinical Psychologist who supervised me as an AP. We were involved in writing a paper together and doing data analysis etc. I was offered a place a couple of years ago and the course never questioned it. So don't worry, you don't have to use this person next time as long as there is someone else you feel can comment on your academic potential.

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Re: References

Post by Jeopick » Wed May 13, 2020 10:10 am

Hey Oneday,

I'm sorry this has been your experience. I changed who provided me with my academic reference this year, as I felt that in previous years my referee was not an ideal choice (not that I believe they were saying anything negative about me specifically, but I had heard from other academics I know that this person can be rather terse and sound more negative than intended).

That different reference, plus another year of experience under my belt seemed to be really beneficial as I got three interviews, one reserve interview, and offered a place this year. Last year I got no offers of tests or interviews.

Hang in there!

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