Psychological Intervention (CBT) PGDip – 2023 entry

Key information

Start date: September 2023

Study mode and duration
Full-time: 1 year

Why choose this course

  • Study a curriculum designed to meet standards set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and underpinned by core NHS values, to help people use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to understand and manage their own thoughts and feelings in their daily lives
  • Spend part of your training in clinical placements, to practise your skills in healthcare settings, under the supervision of qualified practitioners
  • Learn from lecturers who are experienced CBT practitioners
  • Get the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies’ (BABCP) minimum training standards for the practice of CBT, to become eligible to apply for accreditation and work as a high intensity CBT practitioner.

Meet the academic: Dr Sarfraz Jeraj

What you will study

You’ll learn how to effectively deliver CBT to help patients improve their emotional and mental wellbeing. We'll challenge you with current issues in therapeutic practice and you’ll benefit from clinical presentations and input from people using CBT services. You'll be exposed to a range of learning experiences, ensuring theory is integrated with practice.

You’ll learn about assessment and formulation for common mental health problems and the CBT framework used to treat these. You’ll explore some of the challenges and dilemmas in working with more complex, chronic or co-morbid presentations of anxiety and depression, and you’ll be introduced to the theory, research and practice of some of the newer third wave approaches to CBT.

You’ll receive expert clinical supervision and learn how to use this effectively within a professional and ethical framework. You'll also be supported to apply CBT to your own experiences as a therapist to enhance your practice. Upon completion of the course, you’ll be a confident and competent therapist, able to provide effective, informed psychological treatment.

Please be aware: the course content and modules listed for this course are subject to change for the 2023/24 academic year, whilst we undertake a curriculum design review. Please contact the programme leader if you have any queries about the course.

Clinical placements

You’ll complete a clinical placement as part of this course. This will usually be with an NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression service (formally IAPT), in the local area, where you will typically be employed. Throughout your placement, you’ll have an educational supervisor who’s a senior clinician. They'll guide you through your experience and feed into your evidence portfolio. You’ll be evaluated on your clinical competence as part of these practical learning experiences.

You’ll be required to complete 200 clinical hours by the end of the year, and a minimum of 70 hours of this will be supported by a clinical supervisor on the course and within the service setting. You’ll also complete six weeks of clinical workshops across the year.


Our facilities have recently undergone a £5 million investment, giving you access to the latest equipment, including a six-room virtual reality suite to simulate real-life scenarios and two observation labs. You’ll also have access to an extensive library of psychometric and clinical tests, 20 bookable project rooms, a breakout space, equipment lockers and a computer lab.

Teaching staff

You’ll be taught by lecturers who are active clinicians, ensuring everything you learn is up-to-date and relevant to employers. These may include:

We also have a host of expert external speakers that visit us and run CBT workshops.

Research groups

You’ll be invited to join one of our research groups, where you’ll participate in discussions about research topics, findings and publications, and you’ll benefit from our links with renowned research institutions across the world. We also have a host of external speakers that visit us and present their work, and a collection of seminars and workshops, allowing you to network with like-minded individuals.


We use a variety of methods to assess you, including coursework, essays, examinations and presentations.

Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.


Professional recognition

PGDip - British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychologies (BABCP)
Accredited by BABCP as providing all the necessary training so that on graduation from Level 2 courses, individuals will have received the training required to fulfil BABCP's Minimum Training Standards.

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.

The Department of Health’s NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression (formally IAPT) programme looks to improve access to evidence-based talking therapies within the NHS and through other qualified healthcare providers, by continuous growth of the psychological therapy workforce and its services. As a graduate of this course, you’ll become part of this workforce.

On successful completion of this course, you’ll meet the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies’ (BABCP) minimum training standards for the practice of CBT. This means you’ll be eligible to apply for accreditation and work as a high intensity CBT practitioner. 98 per cent of our psychology postgraduate students go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2022, HESA). Our alumni work for NHS trusts and mental health organisations throughout the UK.

Learn more about psychology careers on the BPS website.


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:


The course has six block teaching weeks throughout the year and on other weeks the teaching will be on a Thursday and Friday. You’ll be provided with a timetable at the beginning of the course. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 in a relevant UK honours degree.

You must have a minimum of two years post-qualification mental health experience and relevant core professional training in applied psychology, psychiatry, nursing, counselling, psychotherapy, occupational therapy or social work, or relevant clinical experience and training demonstrated by a successful KSA portfolio to apply.

All offers will be made subject to receiving evidence of health screening and DBS checks provided by your employer.

This is a regulated course that requires declaration of criminal convictions at the application stage, please visit our criminal convictions web page for more information.

Do I meet the requirements for this course?

We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).

International entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall with 7.0 in each element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Selection process

Self-funded applicants

If you’re a self-funded applicant, you’ll need to have arranged a clinical placement where you can access patients with moderate to severe anxiety disorders and depression as their main presentation.

You’ll need access to the placement for two or three days a week (other than on Thursdays and Fridays) and have weekly supervision from a BABCP accredited CBT therapist.

Please note that in addition to completing the standard online postgraduate application form, when you apply for the PGDip in Psychological Intervention (CBT) you’ll also need to submit your CV, personal statement and copies of your degree certificates, transcripts and professional registration (if applicable).

If you’re interested in joining the next cohort in September 2023 as a self-funded applicant, these will be considered from May 2023. For any other related queries, please contact our Admissions team for further details.

Funded applicants (NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services, formally IAPT)

If you’re interested in applying for an employed position as a High Intensity CBT trainee as a funded applicant, you should apply directly through NHS Jobs (search for 'trainee high intensity CBT therapist' under the keywords section and Surrey under the location section). Find further information on each of the local NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression service providers (formally IAPT):

We hold joint interviews between the University and the local service provider.

The training programme is made up of three working days within the NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression service, and two days at the University each week.

Please note: If you’re applying to work in an NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression (formally IAPT) service, your training course fees will be fully funded by the NHS. You’ll also receive a salary from the service where you’ll be doing your three day a week placement over the year of the course. This is likely to be a full-time NHS band 6 or equivalent salary, as it has been in previous years, but salary details won’t be finalised until June or July. If you’re shortlisted, we’ll let you know details of the agreed salary and training grant when you’re offered an interview.

Credit transfer

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.

In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.

Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions ( with any queries.

Fees per year

Start date: September 2023

Full-time - 1 year

To be confirmed
To be confirmed

The fee for the training year for self-funded applicants is: £9,810.

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
  • If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
  • Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this course:

  • Commuting (local travel expenses): Unable to specify amount - Students are required to attend taught sessions at the University two days a week. Students will be expected to meet the travel expenses of commuting between their practice location and the University
  • General/ programme additional costs: Self-funded applicants will also have to arrange additional supervision from a BABCP accredited supervisor which is likely to incur additional costs.

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy* provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.

Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Additional information

You’ll be expected to attend clinical placements off campus. Please see the placements section for more details.

University of Surrey Admissions

Contact Admissions Team


University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH