Taught course

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy High Intensity

University of Birmingham · School of Psychology

Entry requirements

Before you train in CBT, you must have a degree or an equivalent level 6 qualification.

There are two routes to entry:

Either, applicants must be qualified in one of a list of BABCP determined core professions:

  • Arts Therapists – Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered
  • Counselling – Accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP Accred), Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP), Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA), Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals’ National Counsellor Accreditation Certificate (FDAP NCAC) or National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society (previously National Counselling Society) - Accredited Professional Registrant (PNCPS Accred)
  • Medicine – Psychiatrist or General Practitioner, MBChB or MBBS, and usually PG training with membership of MRCGP, MRCP or MRCPsych
  • Nurse - NMC Registered Mental Health Nurse, or NMC Registered Learning Disability Nurse
  • Occupational Therapy – BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, MSc Occupational Therapy, or Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists (DipCOT) and HCPC Registered
  • Psychotherapy/ Psychotherapeutic Counselling – United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) Registered
  • Social Work – Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW), Diploma in Social Work (DipSW), MA Social Work, or BA/BSc Hons Social Work. Registered with one of four UK regulators - Social Work England (SWE), Social Care Wales (SCW), Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) and Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) *or previously registered with HCPC
  • Postgraduate Doctorate in Clinical/Counselling Psychology - Post-graduate doctorate in clinical or counselling psychology and HCPC Registered as Practitioner Psychologist
  • Educational Psychology - Doctorate or Qualification in Educational Psychology Stage 2 (QEPS) - must have BPS Chartership (CPsychol) and HCPC Registration as Practitioner Psychologist
  • Health Psychology – Qualification in Health Psychology Stage 2 (QHP) - must have BPS Chartership (CPsychol) and HCPC Registration as Practitioner Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychology – Qualification in Forensic Psychology Stage 2 (QFP) - must have BPS Chartership (CPsychol) and HCPC Registration as Practitioner Psychologist

Or, applicants must satisfy the criteria of the Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes (KSA) framework, as described by the BABCP:

  • It is recognised that the core Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA) expected of an individual as a precursor for undertaking formal postgraduate training in CBT may be acquired by alternative routes to acquiring a traditional relevant recognised Core Professional qualification or training. An individual meeting the relevant recognised Core Professional qualifications or trainings will usually have undertaken a first degree or foundation course, followed by postgraduate level of study. It is therefore reasonable to expect that someone evidencing how they meet the KSA criteria should demonstrate equivalent levels of knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and experience
  • Evidence of meeting the KSA criteria can be demonstrated by assembling a Portfolio of Evidence for Course Assessment, which can be made up of formal qualifications, formal and informal training, self-directed study, formal assessment of knowledge, skills and attitudes as demonstrated by course or job entry requirements, work related experience, and references attesting to knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes
  • See the BABCP website KSA page for detailed guidance on the KSA criteria and assembling a KSA portfolio

Applicants must also have access to a work setting in which it is possible to undertake three days per week of face to face, supervised CBT practice and audio/video record client sessions for assessment in the academic setting.

Months of entry


Course content

This High Intensity Diploma is joint funded by Health Education England and local NHS Commissioners and is designed to provide a postgraduate training for NHS Talking Therapies High Intensity Cognitive Behaviour Therapists.

babcp-accreditation-logoThe 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 NHS Talking Therapies initiative in primary care mental health services, work is in progress to maintain existing NHS Talking Therapies 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 three days per week clinical placement, with supervision. Placements are most successful within an NHS Talking Therapies service, and funding is available only to those on placement within specified NHS Talking Therapies or NHS Talking Therapies-commissioned services.

Fees and funding

UK students
NHS funded

For the applicant to qualify for Health Education England funding, this placement must be within an NHS Talking Therapies or NHS Talking Therapies-commissioned service.

Health Education England (HEE) and local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) offer the opportunity for NHS and NHS-commissioned services in the Midlands region to access High Intensity CBT training for their staff. This comprises payment of the course fees and payment of a salary at Band 6 of the NHS pay scale.

A number of posts will be funded across the West Midlands region:

  • This comprises places at Higher Education Institutions including The University of Birmingham
  • Funding is available to NHS Talking Therapies and NHS Talking Therapies-commissioned service providers within the West Midlands region
  • To access the funding, you must be an existing member of staff working in an eligible service, or be recruited to a trainee CBT therapist post. These posts will be advertised by service providers as soon as funding arrangements are finalised. We anticipate that these adverts will come out in Spring 2024.

Please be aware that, at the time of writing, precise numbers of places and funding arrangements for High Intensity CBT training have not been finalised. We do not anticipate being able to offer places to self-funders.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions