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Programme information

Programme title: Cognitive Behavioural Therapies

Category of award: Postgraduate Diploma

Mode of attendance: Full-time - Three days per week in Clinical Services, two days per week at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (Thursday and Friday)

Duration: One year

Fees: The programme is funded by the Department of Health

Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies
Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies with Merit
Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies with Distinction

Term dates: October 2024 - July 2025

Department: Department of Psychology

Programme Leaders: Ms Sheena Liness and Ms Suzanne Byrne

Programme team: Charlotte Wilson and Ceri Woolcott

Teaching staff: Course lecturers and workshop leaders will include internationally known figures involved in developing and evaluating cutting edge cognitive behaviour treatments including Professor David Clark and Professor Steve Hollon. In addition, students will receive weekly clinical supervision on their cases from experienced practitioners.

The programme provides specialist post-qualification training in the practical skills of CBT and a review of theory and research in therapeutic efficacy and other experimental work relating to the cognitive model and therapy process.

The programme has a broad theoretical base to include a range of models with preference for approaches with the soundest evidence base and where cognitive and behavioural techniques are integrated in therapy.

In addition to providing practical intensive and detailed skills training to facilitate skill development to a defined standard of competency, the programme aims to increase students' knowledge base of theory and research in CBT and to promote a critical approach to the subject. It aims to equip students to practise independently and to contribute to the further development of CBT.

  • To develop critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature relating to cognitive behaviour therapy.
  • To develop practical competency in cognitive behaviour therapy.
At the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • a systematic knowledge of the fundamental principles of cognitive behaviour therapy and the evidence base for the application of cognitive behavioural techniques;
  • a systematic knowledge of cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety and depression, together with an understanding of its use in other disorders;
  • a critical understanding of the theoretical and research evidence for cognitive models and methods as applied to these disorders, and an ability to evaluate the evidence; and
  • awareness of some of the current competing and complementary approaches to CBT.
Successful students will be able to:
  • deal with complex issues arising in CBT practice systematically and creatively, construct maintenance and developmental conceptualisations of cases, and develop treatment plans;demonstrate competence in delivering cognitive behaviour therapy;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving therapeutic problems;
  • begin to practice as 'scientist practitioners' continuing to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level; and
  • take personal responsibility for clinical decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, and continue to learn independently from continuing professional development.

The course is an academic postgraduate course requiring evidence of critical and independent thought. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrable experience in systematic therapies with a commitment to the CBT approach.

Access to suitable CBT training cases, i.e. straightforward depression and anxiety, is essential.

Teaching is pitched at a postgraduate level so candidates need to be able to produce academic work to this level relatively independently.

Students on the course need to fulfill the following criteria:
  • A professional mental health qualification (e.g. clinical psychologist, mental health nurse, BACP accredited counselor) with relevant clinical experience. Clinical Psychologist applications are accepted without post-qualifying experience due to the nature of the Clinical Psychology training.
  • Those without a core profession who have at least three years’ experience, two of which are as a qualified practitioner, and are able to demonstrate they meet the required KSA criteria.

  • List of BABCP Core Professions:
    • Arts Therapists – HCPC Registered
    • Counselling – Accreditation with the BACP, IACP, COSCA, or FDAP (NCAC) - Registration with these organisations isn't sufficient
    • Medicine – Psychiatrist or General Practitioner, MBChB or MBBS, and usually PG training with membership of MRCGP, MRCP or MRCPsych
    • Occupational Therapy – BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, MSc Occupational Therapy, or Dip C.O.T and HCPC Registered
    • Psychotherapy/Psychotherapeutic Counselling – UKCP Registration
    • Registered Nurse – Mental Health (RMN), or Learning Disability (General Nursing and Enrolled Nursing is insufficient)
    • Social Work – CQSW, DipSW, MA Social Work, or BA/BSc Hons Social Work. Registered with one of four UK regulators - Social Work England (SWE), Social Care Wales (SCW), Northern Ireland Social CareCouncil (NISCC) and Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
    • Postgraduate Doctorate in Clinical/Counselling Psychology – accredited by the British Psychological Society and HCPC Registered as Practitioner Psychologist
    • Educational Psychology – Doctorate or QEPS - must have BPS Chartership (CPsychol) and HCPC Registration as Practitioner Psychologist
    • Health Psychology – QHP stage 2 - must have BPS Chartership (CPsychol) and HCPC Registration as Practitioner Psychologist
    • Forensic Psychology - QFP stage 2 - must have BPS Chartership (CPsychol) and HCPC Registration as Practitioner Psychologist

Applications for the 2024/25 intake are now closed. Applications for the 2025/26 intake will open around April/May 2025 - please keep an eye on the website for further updates closer to the time of applications opening.

For updates regarding Covid-19 Pandemic and study at the University, please refer to this webpage.

Selection process
Places on the diploma course are highly sought after. As you can imagine this means that competition, even to be interviewed, is very high.

We use a strictly-applied scoring system to rate applications on a number of dimensions, including clinical experience within a formal healthcare setting and relevant prior introductory training and supervision in cognitive behaviour therapy (this diploma is not an introductory or foundation course and requires prior supervised CBT practice and basic training).

Applicants who score highest submit forms that provide evidence that they have:

  • Significant clinical training (for example, they are qualified as clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors or senior nurses).
  • Several years post-qualification experience in adult mental health work within an NHS or equivalent mental health service.
  • Prior foundation training and supervision from a recognised CBT supervisor.
  • References from CBT supervisors that give detailed information on specific CBT experience and competency.
Applicants are scored highly if they demonstrate the above factors in their application forms and references.

The applicants interviewed provide detailed and extensive information on their clinical employment and prior training in CBT in the personal statement section of the application.

High-Intensity Trainee Band 6 Job Description

KSA Process
This document provides information about the KSA process. Please do not upload any KSA information with your application - it will not be reviewed. You are only required to provide KSA self statements if you are invited to interview.

KSA process for candidates selected for interview
The BABCP requires a KSA portfolio for all of the BABCP Core Professions listed above. However, there has been an update to the KSA portfolio and criteria required for assessment. For some professional groups there are some criteria which have already been met by holding the specified profession, which means that a condensed KSA portfolio will meet these requirements. Please click on the link below for more information:

Condensed KSA Portfolio and Criteria Required for Assessment

2024/25 October Intake

The course consists of three terms:

Introductory Workshop

Fundamentals Module
Thursdays/Fridays from November to January

Christmas break: December

Anxiety Module
Thursdays/Fridays from January to April

Reading week: February
Easter break: April
Reading week: April

Depression Module
Thursdays/Fridays from April to July

Reading week: June

There are no formal examinations. Assessment is exclusively through course assignments as follows:

Fundamentals Module
  • 1 x 4000 word theory focussed essay
  • 1 x recording of an assessment session
  • 1 x Practice Portfolio 1

Anxiety Module
  • 1 x 4000 word case study
  • 1 x therapy tape & 1000 word reflective analysis
  • 1 x Practice Portfolio 2

Depression Module
  • 1 x 4000 word case study
  • 1 x therapy tape & 1000 word reflective analysis
  • 1 x Practice Portfolio 3

Accreditation Portfolio
  • 2 x 2500 Accreditation word case reports
  • 1 x Practice Portfolio 4

Each assignment will be assessed with a rating scale designed for the purpose. All assessments are blind-marked, and borderline and discrepant marks are marked additionally with external examiners for moderation.



Answering your queries on entry criteria, applications and more for the CBT PGDip