Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) (PGDip) | Courses | Queen's University Belfast
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Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) (PGDip)

PgDip | Postgraduate Taught

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

Entry year
Entry requirements
2 years (Part Time)
Places available
21 (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

    Anxiety and depression are among the most common mental health disorders experienced by all ages. Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapy (CBP) is currently the key recommended psychological treatment for these and other mental health conditions. However, it is essential that practitioners are prepared with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver CBP competently. This course is written to the requirements of the lead organisation in the UK which sets the competency standards for Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy. The teaching at the University is of the highest standard. This course will fundamentally alter the way clinicians work in practice.‌

    The Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy was a new programme for September 2019 entry, jointly offered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. It is a rationalisation of two separate postgraduate diplomas in CBP/CBT which were previously offered by the two Schools. The programme meets the minimum training requirements for accreditation as a CBP therapist by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

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

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

    Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy highlights

    Professional Accreditations

    • The Postgraduate Diploma has been accredited by the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy professional body, The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) to Level 2 (meeting BABCP minimum training standards criteria for individual therapist accreditation on successful completion of the course). The programme is also accredited for social workers at the specialist award level with NISCC.

    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.
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    The Postgraduate Diploma is delivered over three semesters during an 18 month period and provides training in the evidence-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy models including those recommended in NICE guidelines. Throughout the 18 months course training supervision is provided each morning in small groups before teaching commences. Trainees will be expected to provide therapy with a minimum of 8 clients during the course and also arrange their own clinical supervision within the agency providing the clients for the trainee.

    Therapy sessions should be recorded on camera for supervision purposes and to facilitate self-reflection on practice development. Teaching and supervision are provided each Thursday in Year 1 and on Friday in Year 2 and trainees should plan for a second day to provide therapy with clients, receive supervision at base and critically review their own performance.

    Each module is taught one day per week over 3 x 12-week semesters at Queen's campus. Students must attend small group training supervision sessions at Queen's. Where possible, these will be delivered during the teaching days. They are designed to facilitate the integration of research and theory with practice, and the development of skills in CBT. Clinical accountability for CBT clinical practice remains with the agency responsible for the patients.

    Course DetailsThe Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) consists of 6 modules, which are linked to the BABCP Minimum Training Standards for therapist accreditation (Level 2) and the Specialist Level award for social workers.

    CBP 7101: Core Concepts & Skills of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy for Depression
    This module is intended to provide an introduction to the core theories, concepts and skills of CBT, the application of the CT model to depression and the efficacy of CBT in treating Depression.

    CBP7102: Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy for Anxiety Disorders
    This module is intended to provide an overview of the core theories and skills of cognitive behavioural therapy and the efficacy of CBT in treating anxiety disorders.

    CBP7103: Training Supervision of the application of CBP Models and Skills for Depression and Anxiety
    This module is intended to provide an introduction to the core theories, concepts and skills of CBT, the application of the CT model to depression and anxiety disorders and the efficacy of CBT in treating depression and anxiety disorders.

    CBP7104: Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy for Complex Disorders
    This specialist module is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the core theories and skills of CBT with complex cases and the efficacy of CBT in treating these disorders.

    CBP7105: Training and supervision for the application of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy for Complex Disorders
    This specialist module is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the core theories and skills of CBT with complex cases and the efficacy of CBT in treating these disorders.

    HSN7076: Evidence Based Practice (optional)
    The student will be introduced to the principles of Evidence Based Practice (EBP). Students will reflect upon their practice; topic of inquiry; framing searchable questions and searing for the evidence; critical appraisal of a randomised controlled trials; critical appraisal of systematic reviews and qualitative study.

    SWK7106: Self-Practice / Self-Reflection in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (Optional)
    This module will provide the student with a comprehensive grounding in the practice of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy self-reflective practice and related issues underpinning self-care.

    Students undertake 3 core modules and 1 optional module in Year 1 and 2 core modules in Year 2.

    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 Colin Hughes
    Joint Course Co-Ordinator


    Mr Paul Quinn
    Joint Course Co-Ordinator


    Mr Stephen Herron


    Teaching Times

    Small group supervision is provided in the morning followed by workshop teaching for the remainder of the day. The modules are provided one day per week at the University.

    Career Prospects

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy services are an expanding area of mental health services due to an increasing demand for evidence-based psychological therapies. The award of the PG Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will enable students to apply for professional employment as fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists.

    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:

    Teaching Times

    The modules are provided one day per week at Queen's.


    Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

    Essays, case studies, supervision, recorded clinical sessions and a portfolio.


    The Graduate School

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    All applicants will be interviewed for the PG Diploma by Programme Directors from both the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and should:

    • Hold a Lower Second Class Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a cognate area or equivalent professional qualification[s);

    • Have at least two years clinical/practice experience in a statutory or independent mental health or related setting where applicants have worked with mood and anxiety disorders;

    • Provide evidence of prior basic knowledge of psychological therapies preferably CBT;

    • Be currently employed in a clinical or practice setting within a suitable organisation providing therapeutic or counselling services, and

    • Be in a role for the duration of the programme to access a suitable client group for practice and supervision purposes.

    Applicants from a non-core profession, such as counsellors, will be expected to provide a portfolio of evidence and references to demonstrate suitable core knowledge, skills and attitudes in line with KSA guidelines produced by BABCP.

    The programme is not suitable for TIER 4 international students.

    Application deadline: Friday 30th July 2021 at 4pm.

    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 £8,160
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £8,160
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £8,160
    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 Psychotherapy 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