Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Postgraduate Diploma

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CBT is an increasingly popular form of psychological therapy, and many people who have learned about the methods find that it helps them a great deal in doing their job - if their job involves helping people in distress to experience less distress (eg. as in health care work), or perhaps helping people learn how to manage their life more effectively (eg. also health care - but also education, the prison service, etc). CBT is also recommended by NICE as a first line intervention for many psychological disorders.

This course is designed to enable students to practice CBT. The course is structured around teaching, skills practice, experiential learning, supervision support groups, and academic assignments. The academic assignments include essays, case reports, and recordings of live sessions with clients. Students will also be encouraged to discuss their own views on CBT as well as on mental health and psychological therapy in general. The core feature of the course is the facilitation of reflective practice.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Part time

Duration: 18 months part-time

Start date: January


Key Features

  • Structured Cognitive methods
  • Reducing fear and anxiety using CBT methods
  • Developing your use of CBT methods
  • Using CBT methods in routine service delivery

Related links

School of Psychology

More Cognitive Behaviour Therapy courses

Why study this course

Comments from past students

"The course was very well organised and delivered."

"The use of the practical exercises was helpful."

"Very useful role plays. I feel more confident in having family members etc.. in session after today."

"Thank you – The chance to speak to a person who experiences OCD and the privilege of being able to ask questions."

"It has increased my understanding of CFT, the model how to formulate and use a range of techniques much I can apply in my practice."


Course structure

The Diploma is an 18 month course, split over two academic years. Year 1 consists of two modules which students take in the January – July period of the first academic year, and Year 2 is a full academic year, consisting of four further modules from late September to July. These two years will operate on a one-day-a-week teaching format, with breaks over the Christmas/New Year and Easter holiday periods, and aims for no teaching to take place in Birmingham schools holiday (including half-term) periods. Study days, which contribute to the time in which students are required to work on background reading and the production of assignments, will be interspersed throughout both sections of the course. Students will be assessed by various assignments, including essays, recorded (by tape or CD) sessions with clients/patients, and case studies, as well as (in Year 2) two supervisor reports from the fortnightly supervision support groups that students will attend.

To obtain a Postgraduate Diploma requires 120 credits at Higher Education level 4 (or M). A summary of the Module structure is below:

Year Module number Title Credits Level
N/A 1 (Psychological Therapy Foundation Course) [see Note 1] 30 H
1 (Thursdays) 2 Introductory Practitioner Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [see Note 2] 20 M
3 Professional Issues in Psychological Therapy 10 M
2 (Tuesdays) 4 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – Fundamentals Skills 20 M
5 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Common Mental Health Problems 10 M
6 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Complex Presentations 20 M
7 Trans-Diagnostic Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Complex Presentations 10 M



Please note: 

  1. Module 1 is not being offered currently as the CBT Diploma is being targeted at those with a background in mental health, social care, counselling, psychological therapy, etc. who will have covered the content of this module in their prior core training. However, this means all applicants must provide information in their application form concerning their prior learning and work experience that is at least equivalent to the content of this module, so that the CBT Director can be assured that this content has been covered.
  2. As the  Introductory Practitioner Course has been running as a short course since 2003, applicants who have done it previously and who later decide they wish to apply for the full diploma can do so, and, if offered a diploma place, will be exempted from attending the 10 days teaching, but will be required to do the assignments for this module. Such applicants should include in their diploma application evidence of their CBT-related continuing professional development experience since attending the IPC. 

Taught modules offered include:

  • Behavioural Experiments (BE’s)
  • Psychosis
  • Process Issues
  • PTSD
  • OCD


There are 11 assignments to be handed in during the Diploma:

Module 2

  • 2,000 word Anxiety Essay
  • 2,000 word Session Log

Module 3

  • 2,000 word PIPT essay

Modules 4-7

  • 3 audio assignments
  • 2,000 word essay
  • 2,000 word case study x 3
  • 4,000 word case study

Fees and funding

Module fees breakdown

The 2014/15 fee for the diploma will be £6,845 in total:
Modules 1-2 (Introductory Practitioners Course) - £1,135
Professional Issues in Psychological Therapy module - £535
Modules 4-7 - £5,175

The 2015/16 fees for the diploma will be £6,945 in total:
Modules 1-2 (Introductory Practitioners Course) = £1,690
Module 3 - Professional Issues in Psychological Therapy  = £545
Modules 4 -7 = £5,255

Learn more about fees and funding.

Entry requirements

This course is aimed at people who currently work in a typical health or social care environment.

1. Professional background (i.e. ONE of the following:)

a) Typical health, social care or other relevant professional qualification (e.g. Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Psychiatry, Psychology, Counselling, Teaching) PLUS 2 years full time equivalent post qualification relevant work experience.

b) Applications from those who do not have a prior professional qualification as above will be considered, if they have an Honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. Psychology, Health, Social Sciences) PLUS 3 years relevant full time equivalent post degree relevant work experience (e.g. in mental health or social care services), which should include relevant Continuing Professional Development experiences gained as part of this work experience (see note below).

c) Applications from those who do not have a prior professional qualification OR an Honours degree in a relevant subject as above will be considered, if they have 5 years full time equivalent post full-time education relevant work experience (e.g. in mental health or social care services), which should include relevant Continuing Professional Development experiences gained as part of this work experience, and preferably also some relevant Further or Higher Education courses that will be indicative of their academic ability beyond a GCSE or ‘A’ level limited education  (see note below) .

(NOTE: The alternatives b) and c) are included as there are some experienced clinicians who do not have a professional qualification, and yet have significant clinical experience, and although already making a welcome contribution to health and social care services, appropriately wish to formally develop their CBT skills.  The  British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) also have acknowledged that a CBT training - and the option of eventually applying for BABCP accreditation - should be open to those without a core professional training. Thus, those applicants who may apply for the Diploma under criteria b) or c) are advised to consult the BABCP website and review the requirements within the alternative accreditation route for those without a core professional qualification - which is called the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA) route. )

2. Module 1 equivalent learning & experience

Formal learning and experience gained during either a), b) or c) above that is at least equivalent to the content of Module 1 on of the Diploma, Psychological Therapy Foundation Course (see ‘Before YOU APPLY – 1’ below for a summary of the content of this Module).

However, the selection process will also take into account the factors below (and for more details on these factors see the ‘Before You Apply - 2’ section below and the Application Form itself)

3. Overall experience in the psychological therapies, including counselling and CBT

4. If the time since obtaining any prior professional qualification or degree is more than 5 years, the applicant would be expected to provide evidence of their relevant continuing professional development over the intervening period.

5. Potential to be able to make significant use of CBT skills in current work-setting on obtaining a Postgraduate award in CBT, and future ambitions concerning practicing as a CB Therapist.

6. References and managerial support - How confidently the applicant’s TWO referees confirm the statements and evidence supplied by the applicant and a written statement of support from your manager.

7. Ability to meet the various demands and requirements of the diploma– the application form requires applicants to confirm that they can meet all of these.

Please also note this programme is subject to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise regulations, to which trainees are required to sign up

How to apply

The course can be completed as follows:

Route 1

  • Module 2 – February 2015 Start  (Teaching on a Thursday)
  • Module 3 – June 2015 start (Teaching on a Thursday)
  • Module 4-7 – September 15  - July 2016 (Teaching on a Tuesday) 

or as follows:

Route 2

  • Module 2 – May start 2015 (Teaching on a Thursday)
  • Module 4-7 – September 2015 – July 2016 (Teaching on a Tuesday)
  • Module 3 – June 2016 (Teaching on a Thursday) 

If wishing to start the full diploma in January, the closing date for applications is 31 October 2014.

If wishing to start the full diploma in May, the closing date for applicants 28 February 2015.

If you believe you do not need to do Module 2 due to prior learning, you would take Route 2 and miss Module 2, the closing date is 26 June 2015.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Professional accreditation

All of the tutors and clinical supervisors on this Diploma course are BABCP accredited therapists. The course is structured to meet many of the requirements of the BABCP for accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.