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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy MSc

Two years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

£9,250 (Home/EU students)
£16,994 (International Students)
More detail

Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy MSc will equip you with the theoretical, practical and research skills that are necessary to undertake the job of a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.

This programme will provide successful graduates with all the key components to apply for British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) Practitioner accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, subject to the students acquiring sufficient clinical practice and supervision hours.

The course runs for three days per week for two years. You will spend approximately 60% of your time on placement, 30% in teaching and course supervision and 10% will be for study. Teaching workshops are delivered by course staff, experienced local clinicians and experts in the relevant clinical area. Following an initial longer teaching block in term one, a typical week will consist of one day teaching, and two days placement throughout the year. The programme is examined by continuous assessment, with students completing a series of assignments and a dissertation over the two years.

Whilst this is a new course offered for 2020, the CBT programme has a track record of training high calibre Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists since 2004 and has produced more than 200 practitioners who have successfully gained employment in mental health services.

Our location in the West Midlands, which has a large and diverse population, provides opportunities for excellent clinical experience and we have good links to a range of services who provide suitable clinical placements


Students must complete the following modular components:

  • Psychological Therapy Foundation Course
  • Introductory Practitioner Certificate
  • Professional Issues in Psychological Therapy
  • CBT: Fundamental Skills
  • CBT for Common Mental Health Problems
  • CBT for Complex Mental Health Problems
  • Trans-diagnostic CBT for Complex Presentations
  • Dissertation

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees for 2020

  • Home/EU students £9,250 FT (£4,625 PT)
  • International students £16,994 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support via the Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan for the duration of their course. For more information visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

EU Referendum

Answering your questions and concerns about the outcome of the EU referendum.

How To Apply

Applications will close on 1st May 2020, or earlier if the programme is full.

Interviews will take place on 9th, 10th and 17th June 2020.

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

Our Standard Requirements

All applicants must have both of the standard requirements:

  • A good Honours degree (eg, 2:1 or above) in Psychology that confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society.


  • At least 12 months' equivalent full-time experience of working in a relevant health or social care setting.

Work Experience

Applicants must demonstrate that they have been engaged in work experience that allows them to understand the caring professions, and to demonstrate skills that can be enhanced through training, that are relevant to the role. We require applicants to have completed the equivalent of one year's full-time relevant experience at the time of starting the course. This experience could come from a variety of roles, including health care assistant, support worker, education welfare work, counsellor and assistant practitioner. However, this is not an exhaustive list of potential relevant experience. The experience could be spread across more than one year but must equate to one year full-time as a minimum requirement. Candidates are required to describe this experience clearly on the application form. Candidates who have previously pursued relevant professional careers will be considered on an individual basis; however, all applicants must meet our minimum academic requirements and requirements for GBC (see above for details).

Please ensure when detailing work experience gained, that you are clear how many hours you worked per calendar week if a role is part time. In addition it is helpful to detail the tasks / role carried out and the type of organisation/service in which you were working. This information could be within your supporting information or an uploaded CV.

Selection Procedure

We operate our selection procedures in line with NHS Values Based Recruitment.

Our selection process is as follows:

  1. All applications are screened to ensure that candidates meet our standard entry requirements (as described above).
  2. Applicants who meet our standard requirements are short-listed according to information presented on the application form, including satisfactory references. 20 short-listed candidates are invited to attend the University of Birmingham for interviews. Experts by experience and local clinicians are involved in the interview process. After the final interview date, offers are made to the most suitable candidates subject to a satisfactory DBS disclosure and Health and Immunisation checksPlease note: the offer process at the University of Birmingham has several steps, and the final formal offer will be made by the University of Birmingham Admissions Team.

International Requirements

International Students

If your qualifications are not from the UK or the Republic of Ireland, you will need to have them assessed by the British Psychological Society (BPS) to see if they can grant you Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). You must do this by applying for membership of the BPS for more information on this process and on Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

Standard English language requirements apply

For candidates whose first language is not English or whose first degree was not taught in English the minimum requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band. 

IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): PTE Academic 67 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced or Proficiency – minimum overall score of 185, with no less than 176 in any component

We work with local clinicians to offer a clinical placement which will provide you with opportunities to work in mental health services, providing frontline care. The placement, which will run throughout the two-year duration of the course, will be two days per week. You will attend teaching workshops one day per week, which will provide you with all the skills-based learning to prepare you for your clinical role. In addition, you will be required to undertake a substantial dissertation, involving a literature review of a relevant clinical area.

Our programme is run by experienced mental health professionals, all of whom are accredited practitioners, trainers and supervisors with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP). Our CBT programmes sit within the Centre for Applied Psychology, and make use of the excellent links which exist between this well-established group of professional applied psychologists, our colleagues in the wider School, and our colleagues in the NHS.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to apply for positions as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist in a range of healthcare services, including the NHS.

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