Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

The BACP-accredited Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP) is aimed at those who are interested in a professional training to become a psychotherapist, with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as the core theoretical orientation.

The Postgraduate Diploma CBP is the most comprehensive CBT training in South Wales and the curriculum and requirements of the course have been designed to equip individuals to apply for individual accreditation with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

USW's Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. BACP accreditation for a course which is CBT in orientation highlights the emphasis the course gives to the therapeutic relationship and the development of core psychotherapy skills whilst equipping students to work effectively as CBT practitioners.

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: Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

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 generic competences and used in psychotherapeutic work and in professional practice.

Evidenced Based 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 knowledge and competence to work in professional practice.

Year Two: Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

Evidenced Based 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 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.

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 awareness and self-practice, specialist workshops with outside expert speakers, seminars and research skills exercises.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is a two-year part time course.

Students must also allow time for work in their practice placement, which is likely to be approximately three to four hours 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 are used at the PG Diploma stage of this course to test your knowledge, skills, self-awareness and practice ability.

These include essays, case studies, practice portfolios and an in-class test. Practical assessments include in-class skills assessments, recordings of your client work 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 find your own placement, although the staff team will be happy to help with this. Any placement needs to provide one-to-one counselling with adults, 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 at 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.

See more information about placement requirements.


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 in Counselling Skills 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:

  • Enhanced DBS check
  • Two 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.

  • Thursday, 20th June 2019
  • Wednesday, 10th July 2019
  • Thursday, 18th July 2019
  • Thursday, 15th August 2019

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 2019 - July 2020 Fees

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

August 2020 - July 2021 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 £76
Each year
DBS £57.20
This cost includes the DBS check, Post Office verification service and online administrative fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Year 2
Other: Supervision £0 - £1500
Dependent on whether supervision requirements available at placement student secures. Total is across Year 1 & 2

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 focussed on work 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 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.