Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Therapist holding paperwork and male patient


Our Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) offers training for mental health professionals who wish to use CBT in their practice.

CBT approaches and interventions are recognised as a major contributor to psychological treatment. Our course is suitable for a wide range of professionals such as:

  • nurses
  • social workers
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • doctors
  • psychologists
  • counsellors

Our PgDip will provide you with foundation skills in CBT core models and interventions, and you will develop the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and clinical competencies to become a competent and safe CBT practitioner.


Programmes underpinned by internationally excellent/world-class research - Research Excellence Framework 2014

More Information

Professional Approval and Accreditation

The Postgraduate Diploma is a Level 2 accredited course with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). There are two stages of BABCP accreditation - Provisional and Full. This Level 2 course satisfies your application for provisional membership of the BABCP in that it guarantees that you meet the minimum training standards (MTS) required to become a fully accredited CBT therapist or high intensity worker.

However, as a diplomate from this course will also have to meet additional criteria to gain individual practitioner accreditation. For example, you will need to demonstrate that you are continuing to use CBT, have appropriate supervision, engage in appropriate CBT and adhere to BABCP Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics. Use the button below to find out more about British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) accreditation:

BABCP - Accreditation

Placement Requirement

You are required to secure a placement for the duration of our course, and may need to arrange for individual clinical supervision with a BABCP accredited supervisor.


in UK for Teaching Quality in Psychology (The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)


Overall student satisfaction amongst UWS postgraduate students (iGraduate Student Barometer 2017-18)

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need?

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate & Post-experience Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Academic Requirements

You will require an Ordinary bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a relevant subject (or equivalent overseas degree). If you do not possess a degree, you may still be considered if you possess professional qualification and extensive, relevant experience.

You will also normally be registered with a professional body, and have acquired two years post-qualification experience working with people experiencing mental health issues.

Attendance Requirements

Students will attend one day per week, as well as have a required number of clinical hours and self–study each week:

  • September cohort: Monday (Year One) and Wednesday (Year Two)
  • January cohort: Tuesday (Year One) and Friday (Year Two)

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
  • PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)


IELTS Score Exceptions (Research degrees, Nursing & Midwifery degrees with NMC registration, Certificate of Higher Education, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET)*.

For such courses, the IELTS score is as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • score of at least 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking and no less than 6.5 in writing

* Note that the Occupational English Test (OET) will now be accepted in addition to IELTS as proof of a Nurse's English Language Competence (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2019). 

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5



TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:

  • Reading: 17;
  • Listening: 17;
  • Speaking: 17;
  • Writing: 17

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.


West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*

  • C6 or above in English

*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.


Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

    • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
    • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
    • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Find out more about our English lanaguage Courses.

Course details

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has two exits points allowing you to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate – PgCert. (NB: the PgCert does not lead to accreditation with the BABCP) or with a Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip.

The PgCert comprises the following core modules:

  • CBT Models and Core Therapeutic Competences (core, 20 credits)
  • CBT Strategies Skills and Interventions (core, 20 credits)
  • Applying CBT with Anxiety and Depression (core, 20 credits)

As part of these core modules you will explore good psychotherapeutic practice by reviewing the historical development of CBT and critiquing the factors that influence therapy sessions and how to measure effective treatment. As your studies develop you will begin to focus on specific CBT concepts and skills including learning about the roles of safety and avoidance behaviours. You will also focus on using CBT with anxiety and depression by exploring common difficulties and how to overcome these as well explore ending therapy and relapse prevention strategies.

Successful completion of the PgCert allows you to proceed to the PgDip, which consists of the additional following core module:

  • CBT Enhanced Skills and Treatment Models (core, 20 credits)
  • CBT for Chronic and Complex Disorders (core, 20 credits)
  • CBT Science Ethics and Personal Development (core, 20 credits)

In this stage of your studies, you will be introduced to diagnostic specific models for PTSD, Social Phobia, OCD, eating disorders and health anxiety and develop your skills in order to diagnose and treat these disorders. You will also look at the difficulties and complexities encountered in working with more severe and complex conditions and develop your confidence as a CBT practitioner. You will also develop a firm foundation or the role of scientist-practitioner, instilling principles of healthy, ethical practice.

Throughout your studies you will attend a number of skills workshops in order to improve on your knowledge, skills, attitudes and clinical competencies to allow you to become a competent and safe practitioner.

Teaching & Assessment

Teaching has been specifically designed to provide quality training combining skills training through role play and demonstration with more traditional teaching of the relevant theory.

There is a combination of:

  • Face-to-face lecture and workshop delivery
  • Supervision
  • Innovative virtual teaching learning opportunities utilising the Scotia Medical Observation and Training System (SMOTS lab.)


  • Scheduled Learning: 40%
  • Independent Study: 42%
  • Placement: 18%

The development of a coherent assessment strategy is central to our course. This recognises the range of learning and communication styles and skills you possess and develop, and provides opportunities for you to engage in a variety of forms of assessment.


  • Coursework: 100%

Coursework assessments will include essays and case studies. You’ll also undertake a number of practical based assessments which include reflecting on recorded therapy sessions and whilst they do not contribute to your overall mark for your studies they are still essential to pass.

Attendance requirements

Students will attend one day per week, as well as have a required number of clinical hours and self–study each week:

Monday (Year One) and Wednesday (Year Two)

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

PgDip Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Course Structure

Postgraduate Tuition Fees

Postgraduate fees for this course 2020/21

Scottish & EU

£6,500 cost of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£6,500 cost of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£6,500 cost of study

International (Non-EU)

£13,000 cost of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Module Fee: Face-to-face delivery version 2020/21

Scottish & EU

£930 per module (20 credits)

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£930 per module (20 credits)

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£930 per module (20 credits)

International (Non-EU)

£1,855 per module (20 credits)

More on current & future tuition fees

Academic Session 2021/22 Postgraduate Tuition Fees - Part-time


£7,200 Cost of study

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£10,765 Cost of study

Republic of Ireland

£10,765 Cost of study

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

2021/22 Tuition Fees for 20-credit Modules (face-to-face)


£1,030 Cost per 20-credit module of study

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£1,600 Cost per 20-credit module of study

Republic of Ireland

£1,600 Cost per 20-credit module of study

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

CBT - Additional Costs

If you are not able to secure a BABCP accredited therapist to supervise your work via your employment must secure this privately. This may involve paying privately for this. For more information, contact the Course Leader.

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Norther Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

How to apply

Postgraduate courses (MA, MSc, MEd, MBA, DBA, PG Cert, PG Dip, etc.) & some Post-experience courses (CertHE, BA, Grad Cert, Grad Dip, etc.)

All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.

The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.


An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Get in touch

Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!

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Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.


We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.