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Postgraduate study

Course overview

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

Gaining an understanding of how scientific principles inform CBT clinical practice, you develop an understanding of how evidence is generated, retrieved, evaluated and importantly, employed within practice. The second year extends your CBT knowledge and skills to enable you to develop competencies in specialist techniques applied to depression and anxiety disorders.

You develop the range of skills and knowledge needed to facilitate the advancement of practice through critical analysis, synthesis and application of relevant underpinning theories. You undertake an academic journey of personal and professional development in a supportive, student-centred environment. Your previous experience provides the platform on which you will develop within a global context. The final part of the course is based around the enhancement of academic credibility through research awareness. If you are already in possession of a postgraduate diploma in CBT you may apply to be considered for advanced standing to the final part of the MSc in the CBT programme. The course is approved by the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies.

Where you study

You study at Darlington campus and Middlesbrough campus. The final part of the programme may be studied from home or work through the use of electronic media.


Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

In the first two terms you focus on the development of the knowledge and skills required for the application of 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 also learn the techniques necessary to carry out literature searches and critically to appraise the literature.

The third year of the programme is based around the enhancement of 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 a 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

You gain the knowledge and skills you need to design and manage a primary or secondary research audit or evaluation project that’s relevant to your practice. You also cover research governance and ethics, and prepare for applying for ethical approval or release. And we prepare you for your dissertation if you choose to progress to the master’s course.


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

Applicants should have a health related degree 2:2 or above and be working with clients who have anxiety or depression. Throughout the course of the programme, applicants are required to make arrangements to access suitable CBT clients from referrals made to relevant mental health services, to have access to video-taping equipment and to have weekly CBT supervision from BABCP accredited supervisors, confirmation of this is required before you are accepted on to the course.

Applicants wishing to be considered for Advanced Standing should have a postgraduate diploma in CBT. Applicants who have not undertaken a Level 7 module equivalent to the Teesside University Evidence-based Practice module need to either undertake this module prior to commencement of 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 British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (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 are 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


2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£680 for each 20 credits

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