Core Psychiatry training is the first stage of your specialist training in Psychiatry. It is a three-year training programme (if completing training full time), consisting of 6 month rotations through a range of subspecialties. Trainees are currently appointed to two regions within the area, the West side (formerly ‘Mersey’) or the East side (formerly ‘North West’). The size and diversity of the schemes means that there are a wide array of placements to opt for.

The first year often consists of a General Adult post and an Old Age Psychiatry post. All trainees have to complete a developmental post (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry or Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability) prior to completion of the three years. Specialist General Adult posts, such as Early Intervention in Psychosis or Home Based Treatment Team, and posts in Forensic settings and Substance Misuse are available.

All trainees gain experience in Psychotherapy, completing Case-discussion groups, followed by a Short and Long case in different modalities.

There are both local and regional teaching programmes, which are of an excellent quality, to help trainees complete the MRCPsych examinations and prepare for specialty training.

Trainees receive one hour protected supervision time with their clinical supervisor each week and are allocated an educational supervisor and Training Programme Director (TPD) at the start of training.

There are ample opportunities to teach medical students, volunteer for leadership positions and undertake quality improvement projects. Some trainees undertake their training less-than-full-time, or combine Clinical and Academic training as an Academic Clinical Fellow.

Hover over one of our trainees below to learn about their experience of training in psychiatry

Saumya Singh, CT3, Mersey

Scott Broadhurst, CT3, Greater Manchester/Lancashire

Catarina Cardoso Rodrigues Dos Santos, CT3, Greater Manchester/Lancashire

To read their full stories, click here

Hi, my name is Oli and I am currently a first year Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) working on an Acute Male ward within Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust in Salford.  

Being an ACF means that for 25% of core training I will be out of clinical work and focusing on research. This could be within any area of psychiatric research, ranging from epidemiology to drug discover and everything in between. My focus will be on old age psychiatry as this is such a dynamic and life changing area of research, not just for patients but for their families and carers also.

 As part of the ACF I am currently completing an MRes in Medical Sciences, this will give me the knowledge and skills to conduct medical research effectively. I am currently exploring options but am particularly interested in neuroimaging and psychophysiology, most importantly how these can be applied to every day clinical situations. 

My aim is to complete a PhD after finishing the 3 year ACF and then work as a clinical lecturer, spending 50% of my registrar training completing clinical research. An ACF is the perfect starting place for a career in academic psychiatry and I would recommend the programme within the University of Manchester to everyone.


Oli Sparasci, Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF)