MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

Please Note: this is a Master's degree which runs across three years. We also offer this course as a postgraduate diploma degree which runs across two years.

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is an evidence based psychological therapy that is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as the main psychological treatment approach for a range of conditions and common mental health problems.

This course aims to support the development of students into safe, competent, and effective, evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Scientist Practitioners who can deliver formulation-driven therapy within evidence-based treatment protocols.

This course will enable to you work within NHS, 3rd sector, National Independent Health Care providers or set up your own independent private practice.

You will be provided with a solid grounding in both Behavioural and Cognitive theories, treatment protocols and the associated evidence base for each treatment for each common mental health conditions.

This course is working with the BABCP to become a Level 2 BABCP Accredited course. We will be applying for BABCP Level 2 Course Accreditation in early 2023, which will be backdated to the commencement of the new programme.

This means that upon successful completion of this course you may wish to pursue BABCP Accreditation.

Quality clinical placements and clinical supervision with BABCP accredited therapists will be offered as part of this programme of study.

The course team are all experienced Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists and trainers with extensive experience of delivering CBP as trainers, therapists, and senior Clinical Leaders within a wide range of clinical settings including NHS Primary and Secondary care services, 3rd sector charities, Independent Health Care Organisations and within individual Private Practice. You will be taught by current experts in this field.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Newport City C

All modules of this programme are Core, and you will be required to undertake each module.

Year One

Fundamental Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (20 credits):

This module provides a critical understanding of the scientific and theoretical underpinning of behavioural and cognitive therapies for common mental health problems, specifically depression and the range of anxiety disorders. In addition, it develops a working knowledge of the principles and basic competences for effective practice building on the generic competences used in psychotherapeutic work and in professional practice that are aligned with latest best practice e.g., Roth and Pilling competences

Evidenced Based Problem Specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (1) (20 credits):

This module builds on the knowledge and skills gained in the first module Fundamental Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and introduces the assessment, conceptualisation, and treatment of the most common presentations of depression and anxiety disorders. In addition, we will introduce an understanding of research methodologies and principles, along with the development of knowledge and competence to work in professional practice.

Professional and Applied Practice in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (1) (20 credits):

This module will run throughout the academic year and will develop your knowledge, understanding, critical analysis and reflexive skills of professional practice. The knowledge and skills gained within the Fundamental Principles and Problem Specific 1 modules will be integrated to ensure that application of theory is embedded within your clinical practice.

Year Two

Evidenced Based Problem Specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (2) (20 credits):

This module builds upon the Fundamental Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and Evidenced Based Problem Specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (1) and continues to develop the knowledge and skills to work with anxiety and mood disorders. It addresses the difficulties that can arise with engaging clients in treatment and overcoming obstacles.

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy with Complex and Transdiagnostic Cases (20 credits):

This module extends the knowledge and skills base developed in Fundamental Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and Evidenced Based Problem Specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (1) and (2) to critically examine CBP protocols and interventions for working with more complex presentations of mental health problems and to treat such difficulties using a transdiagnostic approach, adapting and enhancing problem specific strategies to achieve best outcomes.

Professional and Applied Practice in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (2) (20 credits):

This module will run throughout the academic year and will expand upon the knowledge, understanding, critical analysis and reflexive skills of professional practice; integrating the   knowledge and skills gained within the 2-year period of study ensuring that application of theory to clinical practice is embedded to the level required for Training Standards.

Year Three

Research Dissertation:

The final year of the course provides the opportunity for you to deepen your learning by conducting a research study and dissertation which represents a 17,000 words by assessment of a single dissertation

This year of the course employs a participatory pedagogy. At this level you are encouraged to co-produce your own learning, to practice peer learning and assessment to their peers’ work, and towards the course itself. Feedback and contributions are welcomed, in a collegial atmosphere of professional therapeutic practitioners.


The MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is 180 credits at Level 7

Classes include interactive lectures with group discussion, skills workshops, video recordings, role play, case discussion seminars, self-reflection and self-practice, specialist workshops with outside expert speakers, and research skills exercises.

There are a few additional teaching days each year when you will be expected to attend for block days; these dates will be confirmed at the interview stage and before teaching starts in September.

For year 1 university days will be on a Wednesday and for Year 2 it will be a Thursday. Please note there may be occasions to attend block teaching and attend outside of the standard days.


You are expected to attend all teaching sessions and there is an 80% minimum attendance requirement.  You will be expected to conduct additional learning and evidence this to make up any absence hours within the 20% bandwidth.

What kind of student would this course suit?

The course is for mental health professionals looking for additional specialist training, to train as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. 


A range of assessments are used during the course to assess your knowledge, skills, self-reflection, and competences.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Theory Essay
  • Therapy case studies and an associated therapy session recording
  • Ongoing practice portfolios
  • Case Study Presentation
  • Extended case studies

There will also be a number of formative assessment opportunities set throughout the year to support your progression through the modules and support your clinical skills development


There is a requirement for a student placement on this course; USW will support with organising the placement. However, there is an expectation for students to allow time for work in their practice placement, which will be the minimum equivalent of one day per week, plus time for self-directed study. In addition, there are expectations to adhere to placement policies / procedures and maintain a good working relationship with the placement.


You will be taught in modern facilities with dedicated classrooms, using digital recording equipment. We have an innovative system that allows for a hybrid of in classroom and remote joining for workshops which will mean that your attendance on campus can be flexible to suit your individual needs balanced with the requirements of the BABCP for both Course and Practitioner accreditation.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

USW considers all applications on an individual basis, to facilitate the ability to provide offers based on qualifications, personal profile, and experience.


  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree or relevant professional qualification 
  • A Core Professional Background For more information click here.


If you do not have a Core Professional background you should have evidence of successfully completing a mental health training programme at undergraduate or postgraduate level (e.g., IAPT Low Intensity training, PGCert in CBP). NB You will be required to complete a full KSA (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) portfolio to demonstrate how you meet the requirements as indicated for BABCP accreditation standards. For more information click here.


  • Mental health work experience including relevant experience gained during or after any professional training
  • Evidence of foundation level or sustained CPD in CBP

Applicants should demonstrate evidence of interpersonal skills to engage and develop working alliances with colleagues and patients

Applicants should show evidence of an openness to learning new knowledge and skills

Applicants should be able to demonstrate that their values and behaviours align with the values of:


Applicants will need to evidence they hold a core profession as recognised by the BABCP or will need to submit at interview their KSA Portfolio Knowledge Skills and Attitudes as evidence of their experience and ability to undertake this level of training and accreditation with BABCP

The course team are happy to guide and support you with the development of your Portfolio.


Interview dates

6th July

13th July

27th July

3rd August

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1030 per 20 credits

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £55.42
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee, and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Professional Body Membership * £81.5 - £105
Each year
Professional indemnity insurance * £40
Students are encouraged to hold their own insurance, but they may be covered within their placement. Total is each year.
Kit (Uniform and/or Equipment) * £45 - £55
Recording device and Encrypted USB Stick
Other: Supervision *
Dependent on whether appropriate supervision requirements are available within the placement student and if not the external supervisor's cost.



Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


Having successfully completed the formal training hours and assignments, for both year 1 and 2 you will be ready to look for work in the field of mental health care and psychotherapy with CBP as your specialist core approach as an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, whilst completing your 3rd Year.

The profile of CBP in the UK has grown significantly over the last 15 years and is widely used across mental health services.

CBP has the strongest evidence base of all the psychotherapeutic approaches and in the current guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

It is the treatment of choice for many mental health conditions and is the main treatment approach within Mental Health services across the UK.

Former students from the course have found positions in many settings within the NHS, Private Health Care Organisations, and in the voluntary sector.

It is possible to undertake further specialised training, for example, to work with children and young people, physical health conditions, severe mental ill health or to apply for a research PhD.

As a USW student, and member of our USW family, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies, and after you graduate.

This includes one-to-one appointments from faculty-based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via our "Ask a Question" service.  This service provides extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.

Possible Career Options

This programme is training people already in a career within the NHS, private or third sector services. It will provide you with an outstanding opportunity to develop your competencies and knowledge associated with practice as a CBP Therapist.

A strong emphasis throughout the programme is placed upon your personal and professional development.

Advantages of the programme are that:

  • You will study within a vibrant, stimulating and internationally recognised research environment, where members of your teaching team have first-hand experience within the clinical setting.
  • Your learning experience will be enriched by nationally recognised, innovative, clinical teaching approaches, designed to develop you on your terms.