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Postgraduate study
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy MSc

This programme has been developed in response to local, national and international agendas around the increased role of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in healthcare provision.


Course overview

Gain an understanding of how scientific principles inform CBT clinical practice, and how evidence is generated, retrieved, evaluated and employed. Extend your CBT knowledge and skills, developing competencies in specialist techniques applied to depression and anxiety disorders.

Advance your practice by critical analysing, synthesing and applying relevant underpinning theories. Undertake an academic journey of personal and professional development in a supportive, student-centred environment. Your previous experience provides the platform for you to develop in a global context. The final part of the course is based around enhancing academic credibility through research awareness.

If you already have a postgraduate diploma in CBT, you may apply to be considered for advanced standing to the final part of the MSc in this programme. The course is approved by the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies (BABCP).

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Course details

In the first two terms, you focus on developing your knowledge and skills to apply the fundamental principles of CBT for cases of depression and anxiety disorders, including the underpinning scientific principles and research literature, assessment processes, CBT formulation and related CBT therapeutic processes and interventions.

The second year extends your learning of CBT knowledge and skills to enable you to become a competent CBT practitioner with more complex cases of depression and anxiety disorders. You learn the techniques necessary to carry out literature searches and critically to appraise the literature.

The third year of the programme is based around enhancing your academic credibility through research awareness. The programme consists of two modules - Designing Research Projects and a dissertation. The first module equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills to design and manage a research project relevant to your practice in CBT. The second module, the dissertation, enables you to apply your research-related knowledge to identify a researchable problem, plan and execute a study.

Course structure

Core modules

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

The module aims to develop critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature with regard to CBT and the treatment of anxiety, and to develop competence in delivering CBT for people with anxiety.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Depression

You build on your fundamental skills and knowledge in relation to CBT, focusing specifically on the development of competence applying CBT for depression of varying degrees of severity and complexity.

Developing Research Projects

Develop the knowledge and skills you need to design and manage primary or secondary research, audit or evaluation project relevant to your practice, preparing you for dissertation. You also cover research governance and ethics, to prepare you to apply for ethical approval or release.

You are assessed through a written 4,000-word proposal for a research, audit or evaluation study, which is worth 100% of the module marks and should be submitted in week 13.


Here you consolidate and develop further skills and knowledge from previous modules. More specifically you synthesise learning as you apply your research-related knowledge to identify a researchable problem, plan and execute a study. You use a range of different methodologies for your study, such as quantitative, qualitative or systematic review.

Evidence-based Practice

You enhance your skills as a professional practicing evidence-based health care. This module also helps your transition to postgraduate study. You develop key skills that are transferable to subsequent modules, such as literature searching and using advanced critical appraisal skills as an integral part of decision making in health and social care. You also learn how to apply the principles of change management to implement evidence in practice. We use a variety of approaches to teaching including e-learning, formal lectures, seminars and practical activities.

The Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

We address your learning needs as a mental health practitioner employed to deliver evidence-based cognitive behavioural psychotherapy to people with the common mental health problems of depression and anxiety.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

We use a variety of learning and teaching methods throughout the programme including classroom teaching, clinical practice, clinical and academic supervision, and e-learning strategies. You can study the final 18 months of the programme by distance learning.

How you are assessed

There are a variety of assessment methods depending on the module. These methods include critical reflections on therapy sessions, case studies and a research project. You must also achieve specific practice competencies.


Entry requirements

You should have a health-related degree 2:2 (or above) and be working with clients who have anxiety or depression. Throughout the programme, you need to make arrangements to access suitable CBT clients from referrals made to relevant mental health services, have access to videotaping equipment and have weekly CBT supervision from BABCP-accredited supervisors. You must confirm this before you are accepted on to the course.

If you want to be considered for Advanced Standing, you should have a postgraduate diploma in CBT. If you haven’t undertaken a Level 7 module equivalent to the Teesside University Evidence-based Practice module, you need to undertake this module before you start the MSc in CBT.

Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credits for previous study or related work experience which can be credited towards the course you want to study. Find out more about RPL.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Work placement

Within clinical practice you deliver cognitive behavioural therapy interventions under the supervision of a BABCP-accredited supervisor. You work with a range of service users with depression and anxiety disorders to fulfil all criteria for your final portfolio. Clinical practice enables you to develop cognitive behavioural therapy competence across various mental health disorders. As a candidate you’re expected to work in an appropriate clinical area before applying to the programme.

Career opportunities

The role of the cognitive behavioural therapist is becoming increasingly prominent in modern healthcare. As a graduate you have opportunities in both statutory and non-statutory mental health services.



  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

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Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

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