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Core Psychiatry

Psychiatry illustration

The Wessex's three-year friendly and supportive Core Psychiatry training programme has a great reputation. It has twice been presented at the RCP educational conference and has been adopted in other regions..

Our exam pass rates for written papers and CASC are consistently higher than average. Information about the exams and their structure can be found on the Royal College of Psychiatrists' website.

Programme structure

We offer around 60 training posts. In general, your first year will be spent in adult mental health. The second year you'll be able to spend time in different specialties as well as time in a developmental post. The third year will focus on further specialty posts as well as another adult mental health post.

To help you gain varied experience in different settings and organisations you will need to do some travelling. Our placement rotations are carefully constructed.

The main locations for our six trusts are Dorset (Poole & Bournemouth), Salisbury, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and east Hampshire, (Winchester and Basingstoke). You'll be asked to rank the posts you'd prefer once you have accepted a Wessex post.

Core training education programme 

Local college tutors will support your learning and organise networking and academic education opportunities. In addition we offer all trainees:

  • A four-day core skills course (or local equivalent) during your first month for trainees entering psychiatry for the first time 
  • Fortnightly postgraduate courses in preparation for the MRCPsych examination.
  • Local weekly academic meetings and multidisciplinary case conferences as well as a programme of seminars.
  • A structured psychotherapy development programme which runs throughout training.
  • A minimum of an hour a week protected time for educational/clinical supervision
  • ARCP, reports prepared by your educational supervisor which cover revalidation requirements.
  • Study leave which you are encouraged to take 
  • Experience of deliberate self-harm assessment and liaison psychiatry
  • Support to complete your e-Portfolio of experience to ensure you have the necessary evidence of progression to satisfy the annual ARCP panel.


The Wessex extra 

We support you to fulfil your potential and achieve your ambition. We offer a range of fellowships and opportunities for research, academia in Wessex and abroad.

Wessex has strong links with the University of Southampton medical school which has an active academic psychiatry department.

We encourage your feedback and every trainee will have the opportunity to meet the Programme Director annually to review posts, consider options for the following year and informally discuss progress and career aspirations.

After you have successfully completed Core Psychiatry training, you'll have the opportunity to apply for our excellent higher specialty training (ST4-ST6). See the links on the left.

For an informal visit or a chat, email or one of our psychiatry training contacts

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