Our Graduate College provides a friendly, diverse and supportive environment for all our postgraduate students.

Professor Susan Millns, Dean of the Graduate College

    How do you want to study?


    1 year


    Tunbridge Wells


    If you wish to qualify as a cognitive behavioural therapist this course offers an excellent programme of study. With an emphasis on self-practice and self-reflection, it will enhance your therapy skills and support you during an intensive but rewarding year of study.

    Teaching is delivered across a mix of classroom and clinical practice-based learning, clinical supervision and intensive skills workshops. This training will provide you with the key competencies and skills to work effectively as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, providing interventions for a range of clinical presentations.

    Our Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Therapies: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (High Intensity) offers an excellent programme of study for those wishing to qualify as CBT therapists.

    Places on this programme are offered via application for a full-time paid trainee position in a service that is part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Department of Health initiative. These posts may be advertised on the NHS jobs website or in other local press or provider literature. If you would like more information on the IAPT job roles and terms of employment (these may differ between services), we would recommend contacting local service providers direct. Contact details of these can be obtained from the programme administrator.

    If you would like further details or information about self-funded places then please contact Mel Saunders.

      All about the course

      On completion of the Diploma participants will have met the minimum training standards for provisional accreditation with the BABCP, the accrediting body for Cognitive Behavioural Therapists in the United Kingdom.

      Entry requirements

      Applicants should have a professional qualification recognised by the BABCP, or be able to demonstrate they have the required core training and competence for the delivery of a psychological therapy within an ethical framework. For further entry requirements, see below.

      If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 for most standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are some exceptions and if the IELTS requirement differs it will be specified on the course page.

      BABCP recognised professional qualification

      Module information

      Core/optional modules

      *Modules subject to validation

      How you’ll learn

      Throughout the PG Diploma, you will be exposed to a variety of different learning and teaching methods. During the two days per week you will generally spend at the university base, these will principally involve clinical supervision, main lectures and clinical skills workshops. You will be assigned a tutor to support you through the whole training experience, all of whom have extensive experience as CBT therapists and trainers on this programme, and can provide expert advice on all elements of it. They will be at least at senior lecturer level. You will have weekly supervision from practising, accredited CBT therapists who have been approved by the Programme team. This will generally be in groups of three over the year, and will constitute the equivalent of at least 30 hours individual CBT supervision. For each trainee, this supervision will include the regular review of recorded therapy material and one formal full session review per term. The workshops have an emphasis on experiential learning involving facilitated role-plays, giving and receiving feedback and subsequent self-reflection. You will also be required to prepare and deliver literature presentations from set texts and case presentations based on your own clinical work. 

      The programme has a strong emphasis on self-directed learning and there is an expectation that you will participate in guided reading and make use of library and electronic CBT resources. In addition to this you will have time in the programme for self-practice of CBT techniques. 

      For three days per week (generally Wednesday to Friday), you will be learning through supervised clinical work in the primary care mental health service where you will either be employed, or working on a voluntary basis. Supervision of practice in your place of work will be by BABCP accredited practitioners and will generally be one-to-one. 

      Teaching and Supervision will generally be delivered on a Monday and Tuesday each week.

      Further details of entry requirements are as follows:

      • (a) A professional qualification recognised as a 'Core Profession' by BABCP such as Mental Health Nursing, Clinical Psychology, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, or an accredited Counselling qualification. A full list of recognised Core Professions is available on the BABCP website.


      • (b) Demonstrate, through the BABCP’s 'Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA)' application, that they have the required core training and competence for the delivery of a psychological therapy within an ethical framework.


      • (c) A good honours degree in any subject OR Provide evidence of ability to study successfully at Postgraduate level.


      • (d) Work, or have negotiated a clinical placement, in an environment that enables them to offer high intensity interventions for depression and anxiety disorders using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, with access to clinical supervision by a BABCP accredited CBT Therapist and evidence that they will conduct at least 200 hours of CBT practice during the programme.

      Please note that evidence of qualifications under (a) and (c) must be presented at interview. Evidence for degree equivalence under (c) must be presented in the form of a portfolio of written work completed in relevant employment settings or during previous training. Those wishing to qualify for interview via route (b) will need to have completed self-statements for all the KSA criteria by selection. Subsequent completion of (b) will be necessary by the start of the programme. Evidence for (d) should be provided by written support from two referees, one of whom is the current employer. Appropriate case selection criteria will be publicised in advance and candidates for the programme will be asked to provide evidence of appropriate access to such cases in their practice placement at selection.

      Proficiency in English: Currently the minimum requirements are a score of 7.0 for IELTS with no element below a score of 6.5, or 100 for internet-based TOEFL, 250 for computer-based TOEFL or 600 for paper-based TOEFL. More information on this can be found at www.ets.org/toefl.

      For further information, and a more detailed breakdown of this course, please visit our programme web pages at the Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology.

      We are a friendly and experienced team, committed to helping you grow and develop your cognitive behavioural therapy skills towards professional accreditation.

      Dr Daniel SalterProgramme Director

      How you’ll be assessed

      Students will be assessed via formative and summative assessments over the duration of the programme. The summative assessments are detailed below: 

      Case studies: 

      You are required to write four Case Reports, which must relate to four separate clients, invariably with a different primary disorder for each client. The disorder of the first report you write (Module 1) will not be specified but for the subsequent reports one will be an anxiety disorder (Module 3), one will be a depressive disorder (Module 5) and one will involve comorbidity (Module 6). In the report, you will describe the work you have done with the client, including assessment, formulation, action plan, intervention and outcomes. The first report will be of an assessment, and so will not include the actual intervention you might have carried out, nor the client outcomes. However the subsequent three reports will include these details. It is necessary to underpin clinical decisions with research support, however you may also offer some critical review of the existing research literature and expert opinion on the topic of your reports. You will be expected to critically reflect on the clinical work you carried out for each of the reports. 

      The first case report will be no more than 4000 words in length, the later three no more than 3,000 words 


      Together with each of these later case reports, you will be expected to submit a digital video recording of a session with the client who was the subject of that report. Similar to the formative video assessment above, these will be 50-60 minutes in duration and are rated by both trainee and examiners using the Cognitive Therapy Scale - Revised (Blackburn et al. 2001). 

      In addition, you will be specifically required to submit a video recording of one of your sessions with a client whose main presenting condition is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. This may be up to 90 minutes in duration, but is rated using the same scale as the other videos. 

      Literature Reviews: 

      During the programme, you will produce one stand-alone Literature Review (Module 2) relating to the fundamentals of CBT application. This will involve carrying out a literature search on a subject chosen by you from a list of topics. Having read the research you identified, you will describe, critically analyse and then synthesise it with reference to your review subject. Effectively you will set yourself a question and then answer it by reference to the literature. This review will be no more than 4,000 words in length. 

      Clinical Portfolio: 

      The portfolio will consist of the evidence you will have collated to meet the eligibility requirements for British 

      Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) accreditation. This will include several forms of evidence of the clinical work and supervision you will have received during the programme, in addition to your case reports, presentations and reflective accounts (see below). The Portfolio submission is pass/fail and is not graded.

      Reflective Accounts: 

      At the end of each term you will be expected to write a brief (1-2 pages) reflective account of your experience of various assignments, e.g. working as part of a group for the literature and case presentations, working on the Self Practice/Self-Reflection module. These Reflective Accounts provide an opportunity for you to review and describe the key features of your professional learning and development through your involvement in each of the assignments. All reflective accounts should be included in the clinical portfolio at the end of the programme.

      Your future career

      As an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, you will be able to practise within public (NHS) or private mental health services, or as in independent practitioner.


      Tuition Fees for 2022/23 have not yet been finalised. These course web pages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once they have been agreed.

      Apply now


      1 year


      Tunbridge Wells