The academic programme is carried out over three terms in each year of the Course.

 Training begins with a four-week induction block, to provide trainees with the core professional knowledge and clinical assessment skills needed to commence their first placement. The subsequent two years of taught content is aligned with the order of our clinical placements, that is working age adults and older adults in year 1 and then child & adolescent/intellectual disabilities (in either order) in year 2. During these two years, trainees will become competent practitioners, both in cognitive behavioural therapy and systemic practice, and gain awareness of a number of other modalities. Trainees will also develop competence in neuropsychological assessment and working with the psychological issues associated with health problems. Throughout training, the topics of culture and diversity, professional/ethical issues and leadership will be interwoven into the curriculum.

There is an emphasis on training clinical psychologists who are confident in their research skills, and will seek to engage in research whatever their work setting when qualified. Research training begins in the first term of year 1 to ensure trainees have sufficient time and skills to successfully complete three research projects (a main research project, a service improvement project and a systematic review of the literature).

The third year curriculum covers specialist areas of clinical activity and professional issues to coincide with the elective clinical placements which are taken up in this year.

The Course aims to encourage creative self-directed learning and where possible the academic programme provides workshops, seminars and interactive sessions, rather than formal lectures. Teaching is delivered by Course staff, clinical supervisors working in the three counties, and external lecturers. Trainees have access to world class libraries in Oxford, including the Bodleian.