Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

The University of South Wales has many years’ experience in teaching Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the two-year Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) course highlights the therapeutic relationship and the development of core psychotherapy skills whilst equipping students to work effectively and ethically as CBT practitioners.

The course is for mental health professionals looking for additional specialist training, or if you want to train as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.  
The Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is made up of two years training which covers both the practical and theoretical aspects of learning to be a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.
The BACP-accredited Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) is aimed at those who are interested in professional training to become a psychotherapist, with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as the core theoretical orientation. 

2020/21 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 2 Years September Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 2 Years September Newport City C

Year One: Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

This module provides a critical understanding of the theoretical underpinning of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) and a working knowledge of the principles and basic competences for effective practice, building on the basic and generic competences used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and within professional practice.

Problem specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (1)

This module builds on the knowledge and skills gained in the first module Fundamentals of CBP and provides an introduction to the assessment, conceptualisation and treatment of the most common presentations of depression and anxiety. In addition, we will introduce an understanding of research methodologies and principles, and the development of problem-specific knowledge and competencies used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and within professional practice.

Year Two: Problem specific Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (2)

This module builds on Module 1 and 2 and continues to develop the knowledge and skills to work with both depression and anxiety disorders. It also addresses the difficulties that can arise with engaging clients in treatment and that impede progress. We will also develop students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to research and in relation to professional practice and build on meta-competencies.

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy with Complex Problems

This module extends the knowledge and skills base developed in modules 1, 2 and 3 to critically examine CBP approaches to working with more complex presentations of mental health problems and to treat such difficulties by adapting and enhancing problem specific strategies to achieve best outcomes. 

The Postgraduate Diploma in CBP is part of a three-year MSc Programme. After successful completion of the Diploma stage which is two years, you can apply to proceed to the final Masters year.

See MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy for more information.


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

Students must also allow time for work in their practice placement, which is likely to be to the equivalent of one day per week, together with time for self-directed study.

There are a few additional teaching days each year when you will be expected to attend on both Wednesday and Thursday; these dates will be confirmed before teaching starts in September.

We expect that all our students will attend all teaching sessions; there is a minimum requirement of 80% attendance in order to complete the course successfully.




A range of assessments is used during the PG Diploma course to test your knowledge, skills, self-reflection and practice ability.

These include essays, case studies, practice portfolios and presentations.

Practical assessments include in-class skills assessments, assessed recordings of your client work (CTS-Rs) and reports from your clinical practice and supervisor.

Over the two years, you will need to complete 200 hours of supervised practice.

You will need to:

  • Take an active part in teaching and skills practice
  • Complete four recorded skills practice – one with a peer & three from clinical practice (CTS-R)
  • Complete reflective process reports on skills recordings supported by a portfolio of evidence
  • Complete Written Assignments – three case studies linked to clinical practice
  • Complete a presentation upon a case that you have worked with
  • There will also be a number of formative assessment opportunities set throughout the year that support your progression through the modules



You will need to find your own placement, although the course team and placement officer can provide some support in sourcing a placement by providing a list of placements that students have previously utilised, or currently utilise, whilst accessing the course. 

The placement that you will work within will need to provide one-to-one Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with adults (18+), and support the use of CBT as a therapy modality and be willing for you to record your therapy sessions.

You will need to have regular supervision with a BABCP accredited practitioner. If this is not available within your placement, then the placement should give permission for you to discuss clients with an external BABCP supervisor. This may incur an extra cost. 

You will be given more information on this at interview and at the beginning of the course. 
Placements may be available (by application/interview) in USW Therapy Centre, the USW counselling service for the local community which operates from the University counselling clinic facilities. 


A light, modern suite of rooms at Newport City Campus. IT and library facilities including access to appropriate data analysis software.


Tutors are all accredited with BABCP.

  • Hold a degree or, where relevant, evidence of working at degree level
  • Have a completed a minimum of 96 direct teaching hours in counselling theory and skills (some of which is CBT)* 
  • Have completed 60 hours training in professional practice issues *
  • Evidence relevant experience in the health and social care field in the public, private or voluntary areas

* This is equivalent to the Postgraduate Certificate Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Skills course at USW.


  • Relevant professional qualification (e.g. registered mental health nurse; occupational therapist, counselling psychologist; clinical psychologist; qualified social worker; accredited/registered counsellor/psychotherapist; psychiatrist; General Practitioner or other profession recognised as core by the BABCP
  • Have completed an introductory training in counselling theory and skills, including CBT, as part of their previous training

In addition, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Adult Workforce and Adult Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Services. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants) 
  • Two written references uploaded with your application. One from your current/previous Counselling tutor
  • A confirmed suitable placement for counselling practice. Please note that this is essential and you will be asked to provide details of your placement before the course begins. The criteria for a suitable placement will be discussed at interview and we will be able to provide you with a list of placements previously used by students studying on the PGDip CBP


We have four interview sessions each year, see dates below, at the interview we will tell you more about the course and give you the opportunity to ask questions.

We will explore your motivation, suitability and readiness for the Programme through observation of skills, a group exercise, a written assessment and an individual interview. Applicants are asked to allow half a day for this process. If you are selected to attend an interview we will contact you by e-mail to make a booking. We strongly advise that you book yourself onto the earliest interview date to avoid disappointment as the numbers are limited for each date and are filled on a first come first served basis.

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 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £45 - £55
Recording device and Encrypted USB Stick
Additional assessment or memberships: Professional Body Membership * £81.5 - £105
Each year
DBS * £53.20
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.
Other: Supervision
Dependent on whether appropriate supervision requirements are available within the placement student & if not the external supervisors cost.
Professional indemnity insurance £40
Students are encouraged to hold their own insurance but they may be covered within their placement. Total is each year.

Having successfully completed the formal training hours and assignments, graduates of the course will be ready to look for work in the field of counselling and psychotherapy with CBT as their core approach and to prepare for accreditation with BABCP.

The profile of CBT in the UK has grown significantly over the last 12 years and is widely used in NHS mental health services.

CBT 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) is the treatment of choice for many presenting psychological problems. 

CBT is also used with children and young people with psychological and behavioural difficulties although this course is focused on working with adults. 

Former students from the course have found positions in many settings within the NHS, Higher or Further Education and in the voluntary sector. It is also possible to undertake further specialised training, for example, master's level, in order to work with children and young people, or to apply for a research PhD. 

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, 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 the "Ask a Question" service. We also have 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.