Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Therapies Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (High Intensity)

Year of entry

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. Students of CBT have studied on this programme for over ten years and we have a proven record of producing well-rounded and knowledgeable therapists. Teaching is delivered across a mix of classroom learning, clinical practice based learning, clinical supervision and intensive skills workshops. In addition to the high quality teaching, there is an emphasis on self-practice and self-reflection, both to enhance therapy skills and to support students in their journey through an intensive but rewarding year.

Individuals with a commitment to working in the sphere of adult mental health who would like to develop their skills in the delivery of CBT, in particular to people with moderate to severe mental health conditions.

As suggested by the entry criteria, participants of the programme will have already gained considerable experience in working with people with mental health problems, either as professionals from other related disciplines or through related work experience. However, this training will provide participants with the key competencies and skills to work effectively as Cognitive Behaviour Therapists, providing interventions for a range of clinical presentations. This qualification will also enable entry to the Masters programme for candidates wishing to develop applied research skills in CBT.

  • Module 1: Fundamentals of CBT
  • Module 2: Consolidation of the Fundamentals of CBT
  • Module 3: CBT for Anxiety Disorders
  • Module 4: Consolidation of CBT for Anxiety Disorders
  • Module 5: CBT for Depression
  • Module 6: Consolidation of CBT for Depression


Term 1: Modules 1 and 2

Module 1: The Fundamentals of CBT focuses on generic knowledge and skills for the application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy methods, which can be drawn on in this and the other modules and applied to the treatment of specific anxiety and depressive disorders. Module 1 teaches generic CBT procedures such as the development of good therapeutic alliances with patients, use of agenda-setting, structure and homework.  These can be applied across the treatment of all disorders. 

Module 2: Consolidation of the Fundamentals of CBT provides trainees with a range of opportunities to build upon their generic competencies in using the CBT model.


Term 2: Modules 3 and 4

Module 3: CBT for Anxiety Disorders builds on the generic CBT knowledge and skills gained in Modules 1 & 2 and teaches trainees new knowledge related to the CBT treatment of anxiety disorders. There will be a special emphasis on the attainment, critique and synthesis of knowledge regarding the specific methods and procedures that constitute the treatment of anxiety disorders.  This will include appropriate intervention strategies and protocols for the treatment of Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Health Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and Social Phobia.

Module 4: Consolidation of CBT for Anxiety Disorders provides trainees with a range of opportunities to build upon their knowledge and competencies using CBT techniques and methods for the treatment of anxiety disorders as detailed above. This module will include additional teaching on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Term 3: Modules 5 and 6

Module 5: CBT for Depression builds on the generic CBT knowledge and competencies gained in Modules 1 & 2 and the specific CBT competencies gained in Modules 3 & 4, and teaches trainees to apply this knowledge to the treatment of depression. In addition, specific methods and procedures of relevance to the treatment of depression will be learnt.

Module 6: Consolidation of CBT for Depression provides trainees with a range of opportunities to build upon their knowledge and competencies using CBT techniques and methods for the treatment of depression.  Trainees will also be introduced to appropriate intervention strategies for the treatment of common co-morbid conditions occurring with depression and anxiety, including personality disorders and substance misuse.  Trainees will learn how to work with complex case presentations including working with clients with dual diagnosis.

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.

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. 

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, 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 work placements will be by BABCP accredited practitioners.

Trainees will also be provided with weekly, individual (or individual and group), on-site supervision by their employing or host service.

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

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. 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 it is also expected that you will offer some critical review of the existing research literature and expert opinion on the topic of your reports. You will also be expected to critically reflect on the clinical work you carried out for the report. These studies will be no more than 4000 words in length.


Together with each case report, 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). 

Literature Reviews:

During the programme, you will produce two stand-alone Literature Reviews; one relating to CBT application, the other to CBT for anxiety problems.  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. These reviews will be no more than 4000 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.

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 at


(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 .


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  £9,810 TBC
Part-time  TBC N/A

IAPT funded places

These places are offered via application for full-time paid position in a service that is part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies 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, we would recommend contacting local service providers, details of whom can be obtained from the programme administrator.

Self-funded places

If you would like to apply for a self-funded place on the course you are welcome to do so. Entry criteria are the same as those listed above.

Self-funding students on the programme need a practice placement in order to be able to practise their newly learned CBT skills. This can be their current place of work, but the practice placements needs to meet the approval of the Programme Director. If you need help in finding a suitable practice placement where you might volunteer, please contact Claire Fullalove as it may be possible to provide the names of interested services. Access to and selection of appropriate training cases will be crucial to success on the programme.

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


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

The Postgraduate Diploma is open to both IAPT-funded and self-funded trainees for the 2019 cohort, and beyond. Places will be offered to self-funded applicants (by NHS Trust or individual funding) who meet the required criteria and are successful at interview. The cost of the Diploma is £9,810 and the application process will start in December 2019. The next intake for this programme will be the end of March 2020.

Enquiries should be directed to Viv Cousins at

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full time


  • March 2020

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.



Last edited 27/06/2019 15:59:00

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Last edited: 27/06/2019 15:59:00