Taught course

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy High Intensity

University of Birmingham · School of Psychology

Entry requirements

There are two routes to entry:

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

  • Arts Therapists – HCPC Registered
  • Counselling – Accredited with the BACP, IACP, COSCA, or FDAP (NCAC), or Registered Member CPC
  • Medicine – Psychiatrist or General Practitioner, MBChB or MBBS, and usually PG training with membership of MRCGP, MRCP or MRCPsych
  • Occupational Therapy – BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, MSc Occupational Therapy, or Dip C.O.T and HCPC Registered
  • Probation Services – DipPS
  • Psychology – 1st degree plus a post-graduate qualification (MSc or Doctorate) in an applied area such as clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, health psychology. HCPC Registered as Practitioner Psychologist (HCPC registration alone insufficient)
  • Psychotherapy / Psychotherapeutic Counselling with UKCP Registration
  • Registered Nurse – Mental Health (RMN), or Learning Disability (general nursing and enrolled nursing is insufficient)
  • Social Work – CQSW, DipSW or BA/BSc Hons Social Work
  • Teacher of Special Education / Needs – CertEd, B.Ed, or BA/BSc with PGCE, plus additional specialist training in Special Education, with additional counselling / psychotherapy training

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.

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 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 three days per week clinical placement, with supervision. Placements are most successful within an IAPT service, and funding is available only to those on placement within specified IAPT or IAPT-commissioned services.

Fees and funding

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 IAPT and IAPT-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 2023.

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