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Course content

This programme has been developed in response to local, national and international agendas regarding the increased role of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) within healthcare provision.

Course details

Gaining an understanding of how scientific principles inform CBT clinical practice, you develop an understanding of how evidence is generated, retrieved, evaluated and importantly, employed within practice. The second year extends your CBT knowledge and skills to enable you to develop competencies in specialist techniques applied to depression and anxiety disorders.

This course provides the opportunity for you to develop the range of skills and knowledge needed to facilitate the advancement of practice through critical analysis, synthesis and application of relevant underpinning theories. The course enables you to undertake an academic journey of personal and professional development in a supportive, student-centred environment. Your previous experience provides the platform on which you will develop within a global context. The final part of the course is based around the enhancement of academic credibility through research awareness. If you are already in possession of a postgraduate diploma in CBT you may apply to be considered for advanced standing to the final part of the MSc in the CBT programme. If you want to become an accredited CBT therapist you should apply initially for the postgraduate diploma in CBT, then on completion apply for advanced standing and complete the MSc in CBT.

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. 

The third year of the programme is based around the enhancement of academic credibility through research awareness. The programme consists of two modules; Designing Research Projects and a dissertation. The first module equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills to design and manage a research a project relevant to your practice in CBT. The second module, the dissertation, enables you to apply your research-related knowledge to identify a researchable problem, plan and execute a study.

Course structure

Core modules

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

 Modules offered may vary.


Where you study

You study at Darlington campus and Middlesbrough campus. The final part of the programme may be studied from home or work through the use of electronic media.

How you learn

We use a variety of learning and teaching methods throughout the programme including classroom teaching, clinical practice, clinical and academic supervision, and e-learning strategies. You can study the final 18 months of the programme by distance learning.

How you are assessed

There are a variety of assessment methods depending on the module. These methods include critical reflections on therapy sessions, case studies and a research project. You must also achieve specific practice competencies.


Work placement

Within clinical practice you deliver cognitive behavioural therapy interventions under the supervision of a British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) accredited supervisor. You work with a range of service users with depression and anxiety disorders to fulfil all criteria for your final portfolio. Clinical practice enables you to develop cognitive behavioural therapy competence across various mental health disorders. As a candidate you are expected to work in an appropriate clinical area before applying to the programme.

Career opportunities

The role of the cognitive behavioural therapist is becoming increasingly prominent in modern healthcare. As a graduate you have opportunities in both statutory and non-statutory mental health services.

Visit the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy MSc page on the Teesside University website for more details!





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