Taught course

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy High Intensity

University of Birmingham · School of Psychology

Entry requirements

Core funding for this Diploma comes from West Midlands NHS and the course is designed to provide postgraduate training for a group of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) high intensity cognitive behavioural therapists, and, as such, is only primarily to West Midlands NHS staff. Enquiries and applications are welcome from privately funding individuals and organisations, provided certain criteria relating to access to appropriate clinical work and CBT supervision can be met.

Months of entry


Course content

This High Intensity Diploma is core funded by West Midlands NHS and is designed to provide a postgraduate training for a group of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) High Intensity Cognitive Behaviour Therapists.

The Diploma aims to teach students to achieve the level of knowledge and clinical skills to operate effectively as psychological therapists, using evidence based cognitive behaviour therapy methods routinely in their work.

Following the success of the IAPT initiative in Primary Care Mental Health Services, work is in progress to maintain existing IAPT services and to extend into other services whose users could benefit from psychological therapies. This may include a range of mental health services, addictions services, and physical health care services. For trainees to be successful, they will attend university two days per week and two days per week clinical placement, with supervision. Placements are most successful within an IAPT service, so it is hoped that provider sites will be able to work in partnership with IAPT to foster this mutually beneficial arrangement.

Details of training

  • There are three courses, each of one year’s duration, based at the Universities of Birmingham, Coventry and Staffordshire providing a Postgraduate Diploma in CBT. Each course starts week commencing the 18th January 2016. The awards provide an excellent foundation for achieving accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.
  • Individuals successfully completing these awards develop the theoretical knowledge, reflective abilities and practical skills to become skilled and independent CBT practitioners. These aims are achieved through a combination of didactic teaching, skills practice with feedback and supervised clinical practice.
  • To enter training, individuals must hold a relevant core mental health profession or be able to demonstrate the equivalent knowledge and experience. They must also have access to a work setting in which it is possible to undertake at least two days per week of face to face, supervised CBT practice and audio/video record client sessions for assessment in the academic setting.

Key Features

  • To equip practitioners to offer ‘high intensity’ CBT for people with moderate and moderate to severe depression and anxiety at Step 3 within the primary care settings.
  • To equip practitioners to function as skilled, and relatively independent cognitive behaviour therapists, in accordance with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) guidelines for good practice.
  • To equip practitioners to reach the necessary standards required for provisional accreditation as a CBT practitioner to the BABCP on successful completion of the course.
  • To facilitate the development of a critical knowledge of the theory and research relating to CBT.

The Diploma will provide a significant component of the current requirements for accreditation as a cognitive behavioural therapist by the BABCP – but those applicants who may eventually wish to take this path should note that there may be additional requirements to fulfil BABCP accreditation criteria.

All prospective students are strongly advised to look at the BABCP website PRIOR to applying to ensure that they understand the Minimum Training Standards for the Practice of CBT in particular those relating to the core professional qualification requirements. Applicants without a core profession will need to satisfy the requirements of the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA) framework, details of which can be found on the BABCP website.

NB. this advice applies whether a potential applicant intends to apply eventually for BABCP accreditation or not, as the BABCP Training Standards information provides a good overview of CBT related skills and competences in general – which is relevant to ALL those even considering applying for a Diploma in CBT.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days. Register to attend at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Fees and funding

For more information, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiry Service
0121 414 5005