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Masters Degrees (Acceptance And Commitment Therapy)

We have 3 Masters Degrees (Acceptance And Commitment Therapy)

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Programme Philosophy. The Programme recognises that clinical psychology is a caring profession with a number of distinctive features. Read more
Programme Philosophy

The Programme recognises that clinical psychology is a caring profession with a number of distinctive features. Chief among these are the close interdependence between practice and research, and the systematic application of psychological models, theories and evidence to the needs of clients and the development of services. The main aim of the programme is to meet the needs of the NHS for Health and Care Professions Council registered Clinical Psychologists who have:

a wide range of clinical, organisational, leadership and research skills
developed high standards of professional integrity
an internalised model of reflective practice flexible enough to accommodate change

We therefore train clinical psychologists who promote psychological thinking in health care settings, by integrating their clinical, academic and research skills, and through critical, reflective and independent thinking. From a strong value base, they act with integrity to make a positive difference to peoples’ lives.

The programme continually reviews the training programme and is active in making adjustments, where these are indicated, in keeping with the programme’s aims and objectives and to meet the needs of the public and the profession. We are currently focusing on leadership and service user involvement. We have a People Panel, comprising service users and carers, who help us to establish a dialogue between the clients, the trainers and future colleagues in the profession.

The People Panel offer advice on a range of aspects of the training programme. The trainees are invited to consult with the panel on areas of their training, e.g. research ideas. A service user sits on our selection sub-committee and service user representatives are involved in interviewing. Service users are also involved in curriculum development; teaching, and they are invited to provide feedback on trainees as part of clinical placement evaluations.

In terms of therapeutic approaches we focus on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Third Wave therapies: Mindfulness based approaches, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. With the Centre for Mindfulness and the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy training team, and a range of local clinicians using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, we are optimising learning in these exciting clinical areas. Trainees also receive teaching on psychodynamic models, systemic working and Applied Behavioural Analysis, as one of the leading centres for training and research in behaviour analysis is based within the School of Psychology.

The programme aims to select trainees for their commitment to clinical psychology and their potential to develop a high level of clinical, academic and research competence. It aims to foster this potential by encouraging the development of skills, knowledge and values that underpin these competencies. This development takes place within a supportive structure that facilitates personal and professional growth and uses the close links that exist in North Wales between the clinical and academic services.

The programme has a positive attitude towards diversity and social inclusion, which is reflected in selection, teaching, value based practice ideas and the programme’s overall ethos.

Training Facilities
In addition to the dedicated Programme library based within the Main Arts Library, trainees have access to the wide range of facilities at the University library and the School of Psychology (e.g. psychology and computer laboratories). There is a dedicated trainee resource room that contains computers and an extensive Programme test library. Lease cars are available to trainees on the Programme and many trainees take advantage of this opportunity.

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The School of Health & Social Care has been commissioned to provide cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) training to graduates within mental health professions delivering CBT within Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services in response to the Department of Health’s commitment to improve access to psychological therapies for people with depression and anxiety. Read more

The School of Health & Social Care has been commissioned to provide cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) training to graduates within mental health professions delivering CBT within Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services in response to the Department of Health’s commitment to improve access to psychological therapies for people with depression and anxiety.

Course details

The course has achieved level 2 accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) which means that on completion you are eligible to apply for provisional accreditation with the BABCP. The course is suitable for you if you are working in non IAPT services and wish to undertake CBT training.

Teaching in terms one and two centres on developing a level of competence in relation to the fundamental principles of CBT enabling you to apply CBT to people with depression and anxiety. You gain an understanding of how scientific principles inform CBT clinical practice. In addition you undertake a module through distance learning which develops your ability to understand how evidence is generated, retrieved, evaluated and importantly, employed within practice. The second year extends your learning of CBT knowledge and skills to enable you to develop competencies in specialist techniques applied to depression and anxiety disorders.

Professional accreditation

When not at University you are required to spend your clinical time developing your case load for clients who have depression or an anxiety disorder with access to a BABCP accredited supervisor.

What you study

In the first two terms you focus on the development of the knowledge and skills required for the application of the fundamental principles of CBT for cases of depression and anxiety disorders, including the underpinning scientific principles and research literature, assessment processes, CBT formulation and related CBT therapeutic processes and interventions. 

The second year extends your learning of CBT knowledge and skills to enable you to become a competent CBT practitioner with more complex cases of depression and anxiety disorders. You also learn the techniques necessary to carry out literature searches and critically to appraise the literature.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Depression
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • The Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

 Modules offered may vary.


Where you study

You study at the new purpose-built Darlington campus and Teesside University campus.

How you learn

The learning and teaching strategy is to deliver the course using a range of classroom and workplace learning methods. These include skills-based workshops and weekly CBT case supervision, both group and individual.

How you are assessed

In accordance with the BABCP accreditation criteria, assessment of your CBT knowledge and skills is through a range of methods, including a assessed video-taped CBT sessions and case studies.


Work placement

To enrol on this programme you must work in a clinical setting which enables you to provide cognitive behavioural therapy interventions to a range of people with depression and anxiety related problems from assessment through to completing treatment protocols.

Career opportunities

Once you pass the course you are eligible to register for provisional accreditation with the BABCP as a cognitive behavioural therapist. Following completion of the PgDip Cognitive Behavioural Therapy you have the opportunity to continue your studies and complete a 60-credit master’s level dissertation and a 20-credit Designing Research Project module, successful completion will lead to an MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This is only offered part-time and must be taken within five years of commencing the PgDip. 

If you who have not undertaken the PgDip Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Teesside University you must complete an additional 20-credit Evidence-based Practice module, before you can apply for the MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

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The Masters in Clinical and Abnormal Psychology offers a comprehensive grounding in aspects of psychopathology and abnormal behaviour. Read more
The Masters in Clinical and Abnormal Psychology offers a comprehensive grounding in aspects of psychopathology and abnormal behaviour.

As well as modules that will develop knowledge of the aetiology and treatment of a range of psychological disorders and abnormal behaviours, this programme includes a substantial research element.

You will receive extensive training in research methods via a postgraduate statistics module and will complete a postgraduate dissertation in a related topic. Links with a number of agencies and the University of South Wales’ Psychology Clinic means that suitable students should have the opportunity for access to client groups in order to complete an applied dissertation.

We aim to provide students with access to clinical populations to collect psychological data in order to complete an applied dissertation. This is possible through our links with local NHS trusts and local healthcare providers. In addition, the University of South Wales has recently invested in a new psychology clinic which provides clinical and therapeutic services. Suitable students will be able to benefit from in-house research opportunities and supervised voluntary experience.

The MSc Clinical and Abnormal Psychology draws on the research and applied expertise of psychologists in the fields of developmental, clinical, health, sports and forensic psychology. You will learn about a wide range of developmental disorders including autism and conduct disorder, as well as dependence issues such as alcohol addiction and eating disorders. You will also explore interventions such as pharmacological and behavioural treatments, as well as research on depression, anxiety and personality disorders.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/836-msc-clinical-and-abnormal-psychology

What you will study

You will study 180 credits comprising of the following modules:
- Research Methods in Health Psychology: Measurement & Professional Issues (40 credits)
- Psychopathology Through the Lifespan (20 credits)
- Interventions (20 credits)
- Addiction, Dependence and Deviance (20 credits)
- Current and Historical Perspectives on Psychopathology (20 credits)
- Dissertation (60 credits)

Learning and teaching methods

The MSc Clinical and Abnormal Psychology is delivered through a variety of lectures, seminars and workshops. Some of these sessions will be led by members of the teaching team and some by external experts in clinical psychology practice. There will also be student-led sessions and some elements will be delivered online.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

While completion of this programme will not qualify you to practice as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK, nor guarantee acceptance onto a DClinPsy course; the skills that you will develop should enhance your applications for professional training programmes, Assistant Psychologist posts, or Research Assistant posts in clinical settings.

Career options:
Graduates of this masters programme will possess a diversity of skills that will enhance their applications for a range of popular training, employment, and research opportunities. These may include:

Clinical psychology doctorate programmes: These are extremely popular and competitive training courses and successful applicants are likely to have work experience in an appropriate setting as well as suitable qualifications. Applied research experience including the collection of psychological data in a clinical setting should be a useful addition to an application for further training. The extensive research training and applied dissertation completed in this MSc programme should contribute to more robust applications to Clinical doctorate programmes.

Assistant Psychologist posts: These are sought after positions with many applicants for every post; not least because experience as an Assistant Psychologist can help support an application to clinical doctorate training programmes. Successful completion of this MSc programme will suggest a commitment to a career in clinical psychology as well as the development of skills and knowledge that are more advanced than those gained during an undergraduate degree. This may help to help enhance applications for Assistant Psychologist posts.

Research Assistant posts: Excellent psychological research is extremely important in the field of clinical psychology. The extensive research focus and the dissertation completed in this programme will provide graduates with a range of research skills including the ability to critically evaluate literature, research, and applications in the field of clinical psychology, as well as experience in designing, conducting, writing up and disseminating good quality psychological research. These are transferable skills that should be valued in a range of Research Assistant posts.

Assessment methods

A range of assessment methods will be used, including examinations, essays, a systematic literature review, research reports, and case study analysis. You will also complete a dissertation of 15,000- 20,000 words. The range of teaching and assessment methods used will foster a range of skills that are transferable to the workplace and/or further professional training.


As a student in the School of Psychology, you’ll have access to the latest learning technologies, facilities and equipment, including excellent designated facilities.

These include observation and interview rooms equipped with two-way mirror, CCTV and audio and allow research and interview practice sessions to be conducted and recorded onto DVD. We also have a custom-built air-conditioned PC laboratory which provides access to specialist software for running psychology experiments and conducting careers guidance interviews. More specialist equipment is also available in our cognitive suite and more details about this are given below.

- Cognitive suite
The cognitive psychology suite houses specialist psychology equipment. This includes eye tracking equipment which is capable of studying the eye movements of individuals whilst they complete cognitive tasks. The suite includes EEG (electroencephalogram) and ECG (electrocardiogram) facilities for recording electrical activity in the heart and scalp. There is also a driving simulator which is currently being used by postgraduate students to complete a study which examines the effects of stressors on driving performance.

- Psychology clinic facility (PAWB Wales)
As well as our excellent dedicated teaching facilities, the School of Psychology offers a wide range of psychological services to the general public. These are offered through our new PAWB Wales clinic facility and include play therapy, behaviour analysis, health and sport psychology interventions. The clinic activities support our wide range of postgraduate opportunities and undergraduate students can also get involved in some of the clinic’s work.

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