Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDip
Coventry University (Coventry)
1 year full-time
Study level: Postgraduate
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a current form of evidence-based psychological therapy recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) as a first-line intervention for many psychological disorders.
This PGDip in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aims to provide practical, intensive and detailed skills training to facilitate skills development to a defined standard of competence while increasing your knowledge base of theory and research in CBT.
Global readyAn international outlook, with global opportunities
Teaching excellenceTaught by lecturers who are experts in their field
EmployabilityCareer ready graduates, with the skills to succeed
Why you should study this course
- The aim of this course is to train you to deliver CBT to people with depression and a range of anxiety disorders.
- Successful completion of the training should equip you with the skills required to become an independent CBT practitioner.
- Two modules dedicated to reflective practice and personal/professional development as a CBT therapist are included within our course (Foundations of Reflective Practice and Personal and Professional Development in Clinical Practice).
- Currently accredited by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), this Level 2 CBT training course aims to provide all the necessary training as per BABCP's Minimum Training Standards1.
- Each year a number of places are usually funded by Health Education England*, or you can choose to self-fund your training if there are available places.
*HEE commissioned places are available to those candidates who have an NHS IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapy) commissioned clinical placement. Placements usually advertise their own trainee therapist vacancies (e.g. on the NHS Jobs website) and we conduct a joint recruitment process with them (academic screening and interview)5.
Accreditation and Professional Recognition
This course is accredited 1 and recognised by the following bodies:
British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
This course is currently accredited by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). Upon successful completion of the training you should be eligible to apply for provisional accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with the BABCP.
What you'll study
Introductory CBT- 30 credits
The Introductory CBT Module will focus on delivering a systematic knowledge of the fundamental principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, with the aim of developing practical competency in the core elements of CBT practice. You will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of the theoretical and research evidence for behavioural and cognitive models, and an ability to evaluate the evidence base. The module will aim to enable you to have an understanding of how the scientific principles inform CBT clinical practice. The module will focus on core clinical competencies necessary in undertaking CBT; this will include cognitive models, maintenance and developmental conceptualisations of cases and the core aspects of the cognitive and behavioural process of therapy.
CBT for Anxiety Disorders - 30 credits
This module aims to develop skills in CBT for anxiety disorders to a more advanced level, improving proficiency in the fundamental techniques of CBT, and developing competency in the specialist techniques applied to a range of anxiety disorders. The module will build upon learning from the 'Introductory CBT' module, developing practical competency in CBT for anxiety disorders, as well as developing critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature in this area. Specific models, evidence base, assessment and specialist treatment strategies will be covered in lectures and workshops on Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, GAD, Health Anxiety and PTSD. The lectures and clinical workshops will also provide you with a strong foundation in the evidence base for working with CBT and anxiety disorders and address the most up-to-date research developments.
CBT for Depression - 15 credits
This module will develop skills in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression, improving proficiency in the fundamental techniques of CBT and developing competency in the specialist techniques used in the treatment of depression. The module will build upon learning from the 'Introductory CBT' module, developing practical competency in CBT for depression, as well as developing a critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature in this area. Specific models of depression, empirical evidence, and assessment and specialist cognitive and behavioural treatment strategies will be covered in the lectures and workshops. The clinical teaching will provide students with a strong foundation in the evidence base for CBT with depression and address the most up to date research methods.
Foundations of Reflective Practice - 10 credits
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the concept of reflective practice and its role in maintaining your own and ensuring the client’s wellbeing. The role of self-reflection in professional practice will be explored with the aim of identifying key areas of personal and professional development that you need to work upon as part of your training as a CBT therapist and beyond. The objective is to enhance your ability to implement and manage the process of reflection both within the therapeutic relationship and in your wider professional life. This will enable you to become more confident in your ability to critically examine your clinical practice, thus enhancing professional development and the overall quality of service delivery. You should be prepared to explore these issues experientially and demonstrate an ability to reflect productively on whatever emerges. The module will provide an environment offering a high degree of support combined with sufficient challenge to enable you to build on their strengths and progressively develop your reflective skills.
CBT for More Complex Cases - 15 credits
This module aims to build further on the Introductory CBT, CBT for Anxiety Disorders, and CBT for Depression modules, by developing practical competency in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for more complex cases and developing a critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature in this area. The module is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding, and skills to undertake treatment with cases involving increasing complexity. The module aims to foster your competency in working with increasingly complex anxiety disorders (e.g. PTSD) and co-morbid presentations. The module will also focus on understanding transdiagnostic processes and overcoming barriers to effective treatment and/or adapting treatment for clients with more complex needs.
Personal and Professional Development in Clinical Practice - 20 credits
This module seeks to build on the previous ‘Foundations of Reflective Practice’ module to further enhance your knowledge, awareness, and ability to critically reflect on a range of professional and personal issues, with the view to helping you work in a safe and sensitive manner with clients at all times. The module focuses especially on key issues that might arise in your clinical work by focusing on questions of risk, ethical challenges and the need to engage with questions of diversity as a key part of your professional practice. Experiential exercises will encourage the process of self-reflection with the view to increasing awareness of the potential problems that may be encountered in professional life. Sessions will also highlight the role of supervision in this process and incorporate a focus on your own views and beliefs. By the end of this module, you will also be expected to reach the benchmarks for professional accreditation with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). (Refer to the Accreditation tab for further information).
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
The PgDip course is offered on a full-time basis and is delivered through a combination of university attendance, clinical placement activity, clinical supervision and access to online learning materials.
It is taught through a range of teaching styles and opportunities, which is aimed at providing both an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of relevant materials and an opportunity to develop clinical competence.
These may include:
- Supervised clinical placement**
- Academic lectures
- Skills workshops
- Individual and group clinical supervision both within the clinical setting and within the university
- Guided self-study
- Individual tutorials
- Self-practice/self-reflection groups
The course is one year’s duration: two days a week at Coventry University and three days a week in clinical placement**. There are approximately 11 hours teaching contact hours per week.
The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on-campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.
Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
**To be eligible to enrol on the course, you must have an appropriate clinical placement. It is your responsibility to secure an appropriate placement (NHS IAPT commissioned placement or equivalent), where you will work for three days per week for the 12-month duration of the course.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.
Assessment methods include:
- A critical literature review
- A clinical simulation exercise
- Clinical case study reports
- Clinical process analysis reports
- Self-reflective reports
- Clinical session recordings
- A professional practice portfolio
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International Experience Opportunities
The faculty aims to provide a multicultural, international experience2, attracting students from a wide range of diverse backgrounds and different countries, who may provide global insight and experience. Many of the organisations we have links to operate on an international basis and we also collaborate with internationally renowned researchers across the globe.
To study this course, you must have a relevant core mental health profession or be able to demonstrate the equivalent knowledge, skills and attitudes via a ‘KSA’ portfolio. To be eligible to enrol, you must also have access to a clinical placement in which it is possible to carry out three days a week of face-to-face, supervised CBT practice and audio/video record client sessions for assessment in the academic setting. It is your responsibility to secure an appropriate placement (NHS IAPT commissioned placement or equivalent), where you will work for three days per week for the 12-month duration of the course. Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure is also required.5
To check if you are eligible to apply for training please see:
In line with the NHS Constitution we use a values-based recruitment approach in seeking candidates with the appropriate values to support effective team-working in delivering excellent patient care.
We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
Fees and funding
2022/23 Tuition fees
|Student||Full time||Part time|
|UK||HEE funded per year||Not available|
For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Careers and opportunities
On successful completion of the PgDip, you will be able to:
- Construct maintenance and developmental CBT conceptualisations for depression and anxiety disorders
- Develop CBT-specific treatment plans
- Practise CBT with depression and anxiety disorders systematically, creatively and with good clinical outcomes
- Deal with complex issues arising in CBT practice
- Take personal responsibility for clinical decision-making in straightforward and more complex situations
- Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving therapeutic problems
- Practise as a ‘scientist practitioner’, advancing your knowledge and understanding and developing new skills to a high level
- Demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the principles of CBT, and the evidence base for the application of CBT techniques
- Demonstrate a systematic knowledge of CBT for depression and anxiety disorders
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theoretical and research evidence for cognitive behavioural models, and an ability to evaluate the evidence
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has a continually evolving and robust evidence base and is indicated in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance across a number of psychological disorders. These include depression and a range of anxiety disorders.
Adequate access to a choice of effective psychological treatments for these problems via local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Services continues to be a key Government priority. As such, CBT can form the basis of much mental health practice across NHS Trusts.
This award should provide students with a solid foundation in cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, and an opportunity to seek a role within the field of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy.
How to apply
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure is also required. As part of the health clearance checks you will be required to provide information about your immunity and vaccination status. You will also be required to provide information about your COVID-19 vaccination status. We therefore recommend that you are fully vaccinated including the COVID-19 vaccine. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility to go on placement(s). Placements are provided at the placement provider’s discretion. The University is therefore unable to guarantee the provision of placements or the location and type of placement offered.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2022/23 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.