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.
- Access our state-of-the-art psychology facilities, including a six-room virtual reality suite and two observation laboratories, and use the latest equipment to conduct experiments.
- 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.
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.
You’ll complete a clinical placement as part of this course. This will usually be with an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service in the local area, where you’ll 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 £5m 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.
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.
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.
Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Group work (e.g. discussion groups)
- Online learning
- Role plays
Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study (150 hours), including coursework, essays and reading.
Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Supervised practice
You’ll be expected to keep a log of your clinical activity and your supervision.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
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 Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (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. 99% of our psychology graduates go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2020, 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.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2022/23 This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
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:
This course begins one month before the University semester, with block teaching weeks which are timetabled 9am to 5pm. You’ll be provided with a timetable at the beginning of the course. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
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.
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 a 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 webpage for more information.
International entry requirements by country
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).
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.
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 PG Dip 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 2022 as a self-funded applicant, these will be considered from May 2022. For any other related queries, please contact our Admissions team for further details.
Funded applicants (IAPT services)
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). For further information on each of the local IAPT service providers, please see below:
We hold joint interviews between the University and the local IAPT service provider.
The training programme is made up of three working days within the IAPT service, and two days at the University each week.
Please note: if you’re applying to work in an IAPT service, your training course fees will be fully funded by the NHS. You’ll also receive a salary from the IAPT 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.
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 this applies to you, 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, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and 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.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
Start date: September 2022
Full-time - 1 year
UK To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2022-23 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or 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.
There are associated costs with this programme:
- 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.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and 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 an example of our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: 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 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 more.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2022/23. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2022/23. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
You’ll be expected to attend clinical placements off campus. Please see the placements section for more details.