Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) PGDip

Why choose this course

Our postgraduate diploma in Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) offers training that will develop your core counselling skills and (subject to successful programme accreditation) gain a full therapy qualification in working with adults using this model.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommends interpersonal psychotherapy as a treatment for depression, and it’s also part of the Government’s provision to increase the availability of talking therapies through the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) scheme. This programme is designed to train therapists in this specific approach.

At the moment, this is the only course in the UK that can give you interpersonal therapy training in order to work with adult clients with no previous therapy qualification, as long as you have appropriate experience. You’ll also have the option to complete a third research year after this two-year PGDip to obtain an MSc.

What you will study

This psychological intervention programme has been designed to meet your needs if you don’t already have a therapy qualification, but aspire to become a qualified practitioner in NICE-recommended psychological therapy.

The PGDip Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) will train you in the theoretical understanding of mental health issues, and develop your skills in using the IPT model with adult clients.

You’ll learn through a rich range of learning experiences, including the opportunity to integrate theory with practice. After completing the programme, you’ll be able to provide high quality therapy to adults.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Placement Start date
PGDip Part-time 24 months October 2018

Programme leader

DEACON LA Ms (Psychology)

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.

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


Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. 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). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

Educational: First or second class Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), preferably in a relevant subject. 

Experiential: Minimum of nine months' experience (or part-time equivalent) of working directly and in a helping role with people who are experiencing psychological distress and or who have mental health difficulties in either the statutory or voluntary sector. Examples of roles are psychological wellbeing practitioner, psychiatric nurse; bereavement counsellor, support worker; Samaritan; social worker; psychology assistant; occupational therapist.

View entry requirements by country

Selection process

The application process will also include an interview.

A satisfactory check by the Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS), formerly known as the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB), is also required.

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 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.


Study mode Start date Placement UK/EU fees Oversees fees
Part-time October 2018 £4,900 £9,800

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018/19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this programme:

  • General/ programme additional costs: £2,400 approx. - Trainees will be expected to pay separately for individual supervision of three of the four pieces of IPT client work they will undertake in the Diploma year. 

Grand total: £2,400 approx.

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.

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University of Surrey
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