The postgraduate diploma consists of three prescribed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) modules (each of 40 credits) taken at level 4.
The modules are entitled:
- The Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety and Related Disorders
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression and Related Disorders
Teaching will be a mix of lectures, role-plays and discussions. There will be a strong focus on experiential learning and the mastering of practical skills, such as:
- Working with thoughts
- Rules and beliefs using cognitive and behavioural methods
- Following disorder specific protocols
The skills element will consist of at least 50% of the course. The course will be taught by experienced clinicians in CBT, all registered as practitioners, supervisors and trainers with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).
Students will receive theoretical instruction and clinical skills development at the University for one day per week.
Supervision will be provided as part of the course to ensure consistency between the academic and supervision elements. Teaching will be supplemented by off-campus experiential learning in the student's place of work.
Students are required to complete one essay in the first module, of a maximum 3,000 words, on assigned topics related to the module's teaching. This essay must demonstrate a clear understanding of the theoretical basis of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapies (CBP). In the final module an essay of 3,000 words is to be completed relating to the material in modules three and four.
b) Case reports
Students are required to write up four treated cases, one in the first, two in the second and one in the third term. Case reports are between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Case reports include: references to relevant literature, a description of the patient, a cognitive-behavioural formulation of the case, a treatment plan demonstrating knowledge of appropriate cognitive therapy interventions, an evaluation of outcome, and a concluding discussion.
Evaluation of clinical performance
a) Audio/video-taped treatment sessions
Students must submit four audio or videotaped examples of mid-treatment cognitive therapy sessions, the first of these is formatively marked by the supervisor. Tapes are submitted in fulfilment of module assessment processes, three in all, and will be evaluated summatively by means of the Cognitive Therapy Scale, an established measure of therapist performance.
Summary of assessments
Assessment of module one - essay of 3,000 words maximum, case report one 2,000-4,000
Assessment of module two - case reports two and three, 2,000-4,000 words each
Assessment of module three - case report, 2,000-4,000 words
A portfolio of clinical work is kept and marked at the end of each module on pass/fail basis.
The student must complete eight cases by the end of the course. Cases need to be accessed through the trainee's employing department. They should also work towards a total of 200 hours clinical practice over the year, which is the BABCP accreditation requirement. It is very important to think in advance about accessing suitable cases.