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  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Part-time: 18 months

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    £884 per 20 credits

Course content

The PG Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and emphasises the integration of theory, research, practice, and self-awareness to develop competent and ethically-sound psychotherapists who adopt an evidenced-based approach.

This course is aimed at those who are interested in working towards becoming a psychotherapist with Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy as the core theoretical orientation. It is part of a group of psychotherapy and counselling courses which have an established national reputation for excellence.

The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy at the University is the most comprehensive training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in South Wales. The curriculum is based on the Core Curriculum Reference document (2010) for training in CBT published by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and The Map of CBT Competences (Roth and Pilling, 2007).

On this course we emphasise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in psychotherapy. The use of core counselling skills interwoven with the delivery of specific strategies and techniques we view as critical to the effective delivery of CBT.

The profile of CBT in the UK has grown significantly over the last 10 years. It has the strongest evidence base of all the psychotherapeutic approaches and in the current guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (often referred to as the NICE guidelines) it is the treatment of choice for many presenting psychological problems CBT is also used with children and young people with psychological and behavioural difficulties although this course is focussed on work with adults.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1679-pg-diploma-cognitive-behavioural-psychotherapy

What you will study

Year One:
- Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy: This module provides a critical understanding of the theoretical underpinning of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) and a working knowledge of the principles and basic competences for effective practice building on the generic competences used in psychotherapeutic work.

- Problem specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (1): This module builds on the knowledge and skills gained in the first module Fundamentals of CBP and provides an introduction to the assessment, conceptualisation and treatment of the most common presentations of depression and anxiety.

- Portfolio of Evidence Based Practice (1): This module has two key components: an understanding of research methodologies and principles, and the development of knowledge and competence to work in professional practice.

Year Two:
- Problem specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (2): This module builds on Module 1 and 2 and continues to develop the knowledge and skills to work with anxiety disorders. It also addresses the difficulties that can arise with engaging clients in treatment and that impede progress.

- Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy with Complex Problems: This module extends the knowledge and skills base developed in modules 1, 2 and 3 to critically examine CBP approaches to working with more complex presentations of mental health problems and to treat such difficulties by adapting and enhancing problem specific strategies to achieve best outcomes.

- Portfolio of Evidence Based Practice (2): This module builds on the previous practice module in year 1 (Portfolio of Evidence-based Practice 1) and develops further students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to research and in relation to professional practice.

The Postgraduate Diploma in CBP is part of a three year MSc Programme. After successful completion of the Diploma stage which is two years you can choose whether to proceed to the final Masters year.

Learning and teaching methods

Classes include interactive lectures with group discussion, skills workshops, video recording, role play, case discussion seminars, self awareness and self-practice, specialist workshops with outside expert speakers, seminars, research skills exercises.

This course takes 2 years part-time to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy.

You will have classes one day a week during term time. The PG Diploma stage is taught on a Wednesday in Year 1 and on a Thursday in Year 2. Students must also allow time for work in their practice placement, which is likely to be approximately 3-4 hours per week.

There are a few additional teaching days each year outside of these attendance days. In Year 1 for 2014/15, these days are currently planned in addition to the Wednesday teaching and will be confirmed by the end June 2014:

- Thursday and Friday, 25th – 26th September 2014 (a comprehensive introduction to the course and for working in a placement)
- Thursday 28th January 2015
- Thursday 26th February 2015
- Tuesday 19th May 2015

We expect that all our students attend all teaching sessions, and there is a minimum requirement of 80% attendance in order to complete the course successfully.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

While more practice experience will be required to build the hours to achieve BACP accreditation, having successfully completed the formal training hours and assignments, graduates of the course will be ready to look for work in the field of counselling and psychotherapy with CBT as their core approach.

Former students from the course have found positions in many settings within the NHS, Higher or Further Education and in the voluntary sector. It is also possible to undertake further specialised training in order to work with children and young people, or to apply for a research PhD.

Assessment methods

A range of assessments are used at the PG Diploma stage of this course to test your knowledge, skills, self awareness and practice ability. These include essays, case studies, practice portfolios, critiques of research studies, online tests and exams. Practical assessments include in-class skills assessments, recordings of your client work and reports from your practice supervisor. You need to complete 200 hours of supervised practice

Work and Study Placements

You need to complete 200 hours of CBT practice in a suitable placement during the 2 years. Following on from the programme you will need to complete further practice hours to meet the requirements to become a BACP accredited practitioner.

You will need to find your own placement although the staff team will be able to help with this. Any placement needs to be with adults, support the use of CBT and be willing for you to record your therapy sessions. You will be given more information on this at interview. Some placements may be available in the Newport Community Counselling Service, the counselling research clinic at the University of South Wales.

- Supervision
As a counsellor/psychotherapist you need to meet regularly with a practice supervisor.This may be at an additional cost. If your placement does not provide appropriate CBT supervision. You will be given more information on this at interview

Visit the Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (PGDip) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!





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