What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

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agill
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What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by agill » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:14 pm

Hi there,

Long time lurker here. If this post is in the wrong forum, please absolutely feel free to delete/move this thread.

A question for international applicants - what are roles similar to being an AP that helped you get a place on a DClinPsy programme? If not similar, then what was considered relevant experience?

A bit of background - where I come from, because psychology is still stigmatised and not as advance as the UK, a Master's degree is sufficient to be considered a 'clinical psychologist'. I am personally not comfortable with this as I've just finished my Master's here in the UK and am definitely not comfortable with the responsibility of someone's wellbeing so early on. However, with the UK not being so open to sponsoring international applicants (I still hold my student visa so the conversion process is much more convenient, but still no luck), it's likely that I have to head home and find work there before returning for doctorate training.

Thus, my main question above is because I'm just wondering, how much institutions consider cultural differences in such cases when looking at applicants?

Thanks in advance!

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miriam
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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by miriam » Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:37 pm

International experience is fine, but if you need a visa for work you won't get an NHS funded place on doctoral training in the UK either, you'd almost certainly have to self-fund. So worth thinking more about your career plan.
Miriam

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agill
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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by agill » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:01 pm

miriam wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:37 pm
International experience is fine, but if you need a visa for work you won't get an NHS funded place on doctoral training in the UK either, you'd almost certainly have to self-fund. So worth thinking more about your career plan.
You have no idea how much I wanted you to respond, Miriam - you always have informative input!

I think my question has been misunderstood slightly, as it's not so much about funding (I'm aware I need to self-fund my spot in the programme). I'm having a hard time finding AP roles in the UK because many places don't want to sponsor international applicants, despite it being relatively easy now that my student visa is still valid (would take 2-3 weeks to convert it to a Tier 2 working visa). So I'm wondering, what roles do international applicants have prior to their DClinPsy applications?

I'm just trying to figure out what counts as relevant experience outside the UK. There's one particularly great thread here that talks about the experience people had prior to securing a place in a DClinPsy programme, but most of them are UK-based applicants that have that AP experience. I'm wondering more for internationals in their respective home countries.

Thanks!

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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by miriam » Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:35 pm

If you are self-funding, the expectations of experience and the level of competition are not the same. I'd say probably voluntary work, or work in other countries is probably most common. We have whole wikis and many posts on the forum discussing the kinds of job titles that these have, but they are often in health or social care and involve support work, care assistant, rehab, research or outreach type roles rather than anything as competitive as AP posts. There might be employers who would take international applications, perhaps in larger providers of private hospital or residential care (try St Andrews, The Priory, Keys, Cambian, Cygnet, maybe BMI, Bupa, Nuffield, Spire) they are more familiar with international visas or have vacancies that have been hard to recruit to?
Miriam

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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by agill » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:35 pm

miriam wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:35 pm
If you are self-funding, the expectations of experience and the level of competition are not the same. I'd say probably voluntary work, or work in other countries is probably most common. We have whole wikis and many posts on the forum discussing the kinds of job titles that these have, but they are often in health or social care and involve support work, care assistant, rehab, research or outreach type roles rather than anything as competitive as AP posts. There might be employers who would take international applications, perhaps in larger providers of private hospital or residential care (try St Andrews, The Priory, Keys, Cambian, Cygnet, maybe BMI, Bupa, Nuffield, Spire) they are more familiar with international visas or have vacancies that have been hard to recruit to?
Sorry Miriam, don't mind me asking a silly question but why would you say the expectations of experience and level of competition won't be the same for those that are self-funding? Is it because I'll be competing with other internationals instead rather than UK/EU citizens, therefore there are lesser people to compete with potentially? Also, would you happen to be able to link me to the threads that mention the experiences of international applicants prior to securing a place on the doctorate programme?

And thank you for listing those private companies, I've only known and checked out Priory and Cygnet, so I'll be sure to check the rest now. Had a BAD experience with one private company though so I guess that's something to be aware of as well.

Thanks a million for taking the time to get back to me, I appreciate this sincerely.

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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by miriam » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:17 am

I guess the competition is for the paid places, so they get thousands of applicants via the clearing house system. The paid places are very expensive (and I get the impression they don't guarantee NHS placements either) so they are more limited in who they attract, whilst the universities often have financial pressures to take on paying candidates. People don't offer to pay if they think they can compete for funded places, so the bar is lower by definition - and more international applicants means less expectation of NHS experience, or experience with an HCPC registered practitioner psychologist as a supervisor. I've always had the impression it is much like the difference between AP posts in private providers (which in my experience do well to get 10-50 applicants) compared to those on NHS jobs (that can get 100+ applicants in a matter of hours).

I don't know of any threads about the experience of international applicants before they got a place on the doctorate. I'm only speaking from personal experience. But you might be able to find some members that mention self-funding, who also talk about their career path if you search carefully.
Miriam

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reishi
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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by reishi » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:08 pm

Hi, I am (about to be) a newly qualified psychologist who took the self-funding route as an international trainee.

I would like to clarify a few points regarding the self-funded places.

1) There are only a number of courses who accepts self-funded trainees. As of 2020 this is only 12 courses out of 30. Of those 12, only 3 accepts *any* self-funding applicants, meaning if you are a UK or EU applicant and want to self-fund, you can only apply to those three. The remaining 9 only accept overseas (international) self-funding applicants. Link for this info: https://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/internat ... nding.html. I would say there isn't much space for wealthy UK candidates to get on the competition ladder that much.

2) When you are on the course, you are supposed to be treated like any other trainee. I am not saying there isn't any overt or covert discrimination, but on paper you should be equal. For example, all of my placements were with the NHS even though once or twice a cohort member ended up on a private hospital setting for their placement.

3) Competition for places are as fierce as the NHS funded route. Let's check the numbers on clearing house to see how many people applied for each place: https://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/numbersplaces2020.pdf . This page shows the places and applicant numbers for NHS funded and self-funded courses (that takes applicants through clearing house). Let's look at the first course's numbers: East Anglia attracted 365 applicants for 29 NHS-funded places. It also received 66 applicants for 5 international places. The ratio is very similar.

4) Since you are an international applicant, you are not expected to produce NHS experience or work supervised by a UK clinical psychologist, but they do ask you questions about the NHS including values, leadership and quite a lot of stuff that you wouldn't normally know unless you had some NHS experience or did some extensive research (including reading this very useful forum). The exams (if there are any) and the interview questions are all the same (I checked it with my cohort after I started the course). And they do expect you to give proper answers, use your reflection skills and overall achieve a good interview performance. And they are happy to not to offer any places at all if they think the applicants were not appropriate. My uni accepts self-funding applicants, but they didn't offer any self-funding places for three years straight after me. When I asked they said the candidates weren't eligible. That included one of my acquiantances who were rejected based on their application form.

5) In terms of the actual question, what roles you might get that could be helpful: I would say any role that requires client-contact would be good. If the mental helath system and the understandig of psychology in your country is more medicalised than in the UK, you might need to keep yourself updated by using various channels including this forum, twitter, recent research, and books on clinical psychology by UK authors.

6) Finally, there is a newly found group for international trainees on facebook: https://m.facebook.com/groups/268391290 ... le_browser. You might find someone from your country and ask them about the roles they worked before application.
The group also just launched a new website which has some very useful information: https://www.dclinpsy-international.co.uk

I hope that this is helpful.
"Ever since psychoanalysis was developed, almost everyone is ill one way or another"

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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by miriam » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:41 pm

Not to be pernickety but UEA is one of the least competitive courses, and not really representative. Whilst I am surprised that nowadays there are 45 applicants per place for the self-funded places, which does compare on the face of it to the numbers of applicants for NHS funded places, I'm not sure you can directly compare when some courses only select one or no self-funded trainees some years, suggesting none of the applicants are suitable - whilst 90%+ of applicants for NHS funded places are.
Miriam

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reishi
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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by reishi » Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:27 pm

I don't really know much about the competitiveness of individual courses but there are numbers for others, too. I believe they are similar. Although I understand just taking numbers at the face value wouldn't do enough justice as international places usually end up not taken. But there are many reasons for that and I don't think it is solely because of the potential of the candidates. For example, I know that there are people who interview, get an offer, but then end up not taking it because they can't arrange a scholarship. Additionally, as a systemic issue, international candidates are more likely to not to know how to write a good application for the programme and how to perform at a D Clin Psych interview as this type of communication and performance is not similar to other masters/doctoral applications. Many might consider it similar to a master's application and proceed as such, and be rejected promptly. They might also not be aware of how the system works in the UK which gives a big disadvantage. If they were to work in an NHS setting briefly they might end up understanding what they are asked. In one of my interviews, I was asked a question that felt so abstract I didn't know what to say. Naturally, I was rejected by that course. But two months into my first placement, I understood what exactly they were trying to ask back then.

However, I also think that if you are deemed as an appropriate candidate as an international student, it is more likely to be offered a place in comparison to NHS funded candidates. So many NHS funded applicants hear "you were a good candidate but there were others who were better". I guess that might be less likely for international candidates. But it isn't impossible as there are reserve lists for international offers, too.

At the end of the day, I still think the competition is similar. Because the advantage of the international places (if you're a good candidate more likely to get an offer) is also its biggest obstacle. Because you need to be a good candidate as a person who studied outside the UK in a different system and you are trying to parachute yourself into another system you know nothing or very little about. So, as an international candidate, your competition is more with the UK system than with the other applicants, whereas UK candidates compete with each other more. Obviously, these are only my interpretations based on my experiences as an international applicant and a trainee, my interactions with other international trainees, applicants, my course tutors and admin staff.
"Ever since psychoanalysis was developed, almost everyone is ill one way or another"

agill
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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by agill » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:11 am

Miriam and Reishi, my sincerest apologies - the last couple of weeks have been challenging to say the least!

Both your responses are super informative, and definitely paint a clearer picture of what to expect. I have some interviews coming up so hopefully they're willing to sponsor my Tier 2 visas if all goes well. I'd at least have full-time NHS experience on my resume besides my previous honorary AP role.

Thanks a million again, I'm sure loads of members and lurkers around the world have benefitted from your input!

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reishi
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Re: What roles outside the UK have helped with your application

Post by reishi » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:12 pm

Hi agill, I am very happy to hear that! If you work with your Tier 2 visa for five years, you might become eligible to apply for an IRL. If you have IRL, you can apply to the doctorate courses as a home student and won't have to pay incredibly high fees.
Keep up the good work and good luck!
"Ever since psychoanalysis was developed, almost everyone is ill one way or another"

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