Postgraduate study
This exciting programme in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) focuses on the evidence based treatment of depression and anxiety disorders.
MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Up to 4 years part-time
Entry requirements
Applicants must have at least a second class UK honours degree in a related subject and be working in mental health and social care or associated independent sector agencies.
Other requirements
Applicants without a first degree may be considered for the course based on clinical experience and previous study subject to approval.
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£12,330 - Terms apply
International fees
n/a - Terms apply
Queen's Medical Centre



BABCP_logoThis programme in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) will focus on the evidence based treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. 

The central aim of the course is to provide students with a clear understanding of cognitive-behavioural concepts, models, and methods. It is anticipated that those completing the programme will be able to use what they have learned in a safe and effective way in order to enhance the efficacy of their psychotherapeutic interventions.

The course is fully accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) as an IAPT level 2 course.

Students need a core profession relating to mental health or can go through the KSA route and provide a portfolio as outlined on the BABCP website. KSA requirements must be met if candidates do not have a core profession recognised by the BABCP. 

Students will be required to attend clinical supervision and teaching sessions one day a week (day to be confirmed), so will need to organise this with current employers.

For the MSc, in year three students undertake one of the following:

  • A professional development portfolio project of 15,000 words. This option requires the student to identify an area of their work and where they wish to develop their expertise. Through critically appraising published material, attending teaching days and refining and developing their own professional skills, students will develop a portfolio of evidence on how this has influenced their practice. This innovative option will allow students to develop expert clinical skills that will assist them when helping more difficult patients and developing advanced clinical skills.
  • A 15,000 word critical review. 

For more information download the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy flyer (PDF).

Please note: This course is only available part-time.

Key facts

  • Rated 8th in the UK for nursing and midwifery and 5th for Physiotherapy in the Complete University Guide 2018
  • We are a leading environment for world class research according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 86% of our research activity is rated as world leading and internationally excellent with significant impact on people's health and wellbeing. We have also seen a 35% improvement in the quality of research undertaken in the past five years
  • Ranked 5th best in terms of research power in our unit of assessment, a measure which includes the quality of research and number of research active staff according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014
  • Our teaching team includes a number of Senior Fellows and Fellows of the Higher Education Academy

Full course details

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:

  • Assessment
  • Formulation
  • 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.


Written assessments

a) Essays
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) 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.

Clinical practice

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.



Core modules:

  • Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (40 credits)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression (40 credits)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety and Related Disorders (40 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

Home/EU students

Most UK students are funded through their employers and NHS training monies. Some students have also been successful in obtaining scholarships from national funding bodies.

You can find out more detailed information about course fees, scholarships and funding on the school website.

International students

This course is not available to international students.


Careers and professional development

The programme is open to people working in mental health and social care, and associated independent sector agencies. Students will normally require a first degree in a related subject or demonstrate equivalence and an ability to study at level 4. 

The course will enable students to develop their knowledge and practice of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) skills to allow them to function as CBT (high intensity) practitioners.

Completion of the Diploma or MSc programme will entirely go towards meeting the requirements of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) for the training element of practitioner accreditation. However, it is very important for individual students who are seeking accreditation to ensure that they will fully meet all requirements, which are available at the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies website.

Average starting salary and career progression 

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The median starting salary was £32,000*

*Based on known destinations of full-time, UK, postgraduates who were available for work or further study, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for NHS trusts (e.g. clinical specialists, advanced practitioners, modern matrons), universities (e.g. lecturers and senior academics, lecturer practitioners, researchers) and in private practice.

Career prospects and employability

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.   

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.


Related courses and downloads


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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School of Health Sciences
Institute of Mental Health
University of Nottingham
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