Cognitive Behavioural Practice (PGCert) | Courses | Queen's University Belfast
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Cognitive Behavioural Practice (PGCert)

PgCert | Postgraduate Taught

Cognitive Behavioural Practice

Entry year
Entry requirements
1 year (Part Time)
Places available
30 (Part Time)
This course is now closed to applications for September 2021. If you are interested in September 2022 entry, please register your interest.
  • Overview

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is recognised internationally as an effective psychological treatment for many emotional and mental disorders. The UK NICE guidelines recommends Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a number of conditions including depression, anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In Northern Ireland the DHSSPS Psychological Therapies Strategy has endorsed the principle of stepped care for mental health services and recognised the need for more evidence-based psychological interventions at all levels of care.

    The purpose of this PG Cert in CBP is to train practitioners in mental health and non-mental health programmes including primary care, to apply Cognitive Behavioural Therapy models at levels 1 and 2 within a stepped care model (low intensity psychological interventions). At the end of this course students will be able to apply evidence based low intensity interventions, such as behavioural activation and guided self-help.

    The programme should be of interest to all health and social care professional groups and other staff such as counsellors who wish to learn basic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy methods and is relevant for staff working in mental health, primary care and social care settings.

    Please note that this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.

    Closing date for applications: Friday 30 July 2021 at 4pm.

    Cognitive Behavioural Practice highlights

    Industry Links

    • Funding Students currently employed by HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland may seek support from Trusts via funding available from the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • The teaching team is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of accredited, skilled Cognitive Behavioural Therapy staff, who are currently involved in clinical practice and research.
    "This multidisciplinary course will equip you with a better understanding of common mental health problems and the basic cognitive behavioural techniques to guide your clients towards recovery at Step 1-2 of the Mental Health Stepped Care Model. "

    Mr Stephen Herron, Programme Co-ordinator and Lecturer
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    The Postgraduate Certificate is offered over two 12-week semesters over one academic year. Students may enrol on a part-time basis only (one day per week).

    Course DetailsThe Postgraduate Certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete four 15-credit modules (60 CATS points):

    Mental Health Awareness, Engagement and Assessment
    This module will enable students to be able to engage patients and establish a therapeutic relationship while gathering information to begin assisting the client to choose and plan a collaborative treatment/intervention programme.

    An Introduction to CBT Theories and Methods
    This module will provide students with clear understanding of basic Low Intensity CBT theories and concepts that will enable students to conceptualise client problems using a generic CBT formulation. This module will explain basic cognitive & behavioural theory and enable students to discover potential benefits for clients of integrating Low Intensity CBT techniques into current practice. This module will introduce basic theories, models and techniques for practice within stepped care levels 1 and 2 and in non-mental health programmes such as primary care or social care settings.

    Providing Psychological Interventions at Levels 1 and 2 in a Stepped Care Model
    This module will educate students about evidence-based low-intensity psychological treatments of common mental health problems. Students will learn how to enable clients to use self-help and self-management methods such as CBT manuals, computerised CBT.

    Evidence-Based Low-Intensity Psychological Intervention for Mild to Moderate Mental Health Problems
    This module will develop students’ decision making abilities and enable them to use supervision and to recognise when and where it is appropriate to seek further advice or for the client to access a signposted or step-up service.

    People teaching you

    Dr Michael Duffy
    Programme Director

    Dr Michael Duffy's main area of research interest has been mental health linked to trauma and conflict and the development of evidence based psychological interventions, in particular cognitive therapy for conflict related PTSD.

    Mr Paul Quinn


    Mr Stephen Herron
    Course Co-Ordinator


    Teaching Times

    Part-time (1 day per week)

    Career Prospects

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) services are an expanding area of health and social care services due to an increasing demand for evidence-based psychological therapies. The award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Practice will enable students to apply for professional employment at stepped care levels 1-2 and integrate CBT informed interventions into professional practice.

    Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:

    Morning and Afternoon.

    Part-time (1 day per week)


    Access to lecture notes and teaching material is provided via Canvas.


    Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

    Essays, case studies and simulated role plays.


    The Graduate School

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    A 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Applicants who do not meet this academic requirement but hold a professional qualification will be considered on an individual basis.

    All applicants must have:

    - Evidence of working with people who have experienced a mental health problem

    - A broad understanding of mental health issues

    - Good written and verbal communication skills

    - Good organisational and computer skills

    Closing date for applications: Friday 30th July 2021 at 4pm.

    Late applications may be considered.

    International students will need local placements to access clients for clinical training. Whilst these placements should normally be arranged by the applicants, the University will try to negotiate a limited number of placements with local H&SC agencies.

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £3,535
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £3,535
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £3,535
    EU Other 3 TBC
    International N/A

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

    Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

    Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

    If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

    Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

    There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    Cognitive Behavioural Practice costs

    Students are required to register for BABCP membership, the student rate costs £25. BABCP accreditation is optional for all students and would normally be applied for at the end of training at the PG Diploma level.

    How do I fund my study?

    The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

    A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

    More information on funding options and financial assistance.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    When to Apply

    The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
    Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    Download a prospectus