Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDipStudy level: Postgraduate
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a current form of evidence-based psychological therapy recommended by NICE as a first line intervention for many psychological disorders.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
1-2 years part-time
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.
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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 Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression Service 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
This course aims to train you to deliver CBT to people with depression and a range of anxiety disorders. In addition to providing practical, intensive and detailed skills training to give you the opportunity to enhance skills development to a defined standard of competence, the course also aims to increase your knowledge base of theory and research in CBT and to promote a critical approach to the subject. In order to successfully complete the course and gain the award of PGDip CBT, you will need to complete and pass all six mandatory modules.
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.
To facilitate these aims, you will also embark upon reflective CBT practice groups, as well as sessions to lay the groundwork for inclusive working practices.
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.
Working with Case Complexity in CBT - 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 course is delivered via a combination of university attendance (two days per week during term time, equating to approximately 11 hours of teaching) plus a clinical placement2,5 (up to three days per week). The duration of the course is one year for full-time trainees, and up to two years for those with part-time employment contracts. (Please see the entry requirements section for further information. There is a requirement to remain in placement for the duration of the training programme).
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
**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 Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression Service commissioned placement or equivalent).
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.
Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.
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
- Oral presentation
- 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 school 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 up to 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 Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression commissioned placement or equivalent), where you will work for up three days per week for the duration of the course. Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure is also required5.
To check if you are eligible to apply for training please see:
For more information or further clarification on requirements, please contact the course team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
2024/25 tuition fees.
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.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.
The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:
- Any optional overseas ﬁeld trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
- Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).
Please note that HEE operates a 2-year psychological professions funding rule which means that once an individual has commenced an NHS-funded psychological professions training programme, a 2-year period will be required to pass from the expected complete date of that training before the funded individual would be eligible for further NHS funding to train in another psychological profession training (where this leads to a change of occupation). For further details please see HEE guidance.
*Irish student fees
The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.
**EU support bursary
Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
Careers and opportunities
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 NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression 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 graduates with a solid foundation in cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, and an opportunity to seek a role within the field of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy.
On successful completion of the course, you will be able to:
- Critically evaluate the CBT evidence base for an identified area of clinical practice, as well as the evidence base for the cognitive behavioural treatment of depression and anxiety disorders
- Demonstrate knowledge of the phenomenology, diagnostic classifications and epidemiological characteristics of common mental health problems, and be able to distinguish between different presenting disorders
- Undertake a CBT assessment (including risk assessment) and use this to develop a CBT formulation and treatment plan for both straightforward and more complex depression and anxiety case presentations
- Demonstrate clinical competence in CBT intervention for both depression and anxiety cases
- Utilise clinical supervision appropriately to improve knowledge and understanding of the cognitive behavioural models, develop clinical skills, and manage the role of the self in the therapy process
- Utilise CBT self-practice and self-reflection (SP/SR) to facilitate the identification of personal barriers or challenges that might hinder professional development
- Understand the role of the therapeutic relationship in CBT when working with anxiety disorders and depression presentations, and the role of both client and therapist in client change
- Demonstrate an ability to sensitively adapt the delivery of CBT to ensure equitable access for all clients, taking into account various cultural and social differences as well as the impact of their own personal values
- Critically recognise the therapist’s own reaction to clients who are perceived to be different in terms of their identity, values and beliefs
- Evidence completion of all requisites for application for provisional professional accreditation with the BABCP.
How to apply
Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.
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 unpaid and/or 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, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any 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 UK (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. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.
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. 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. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 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.