Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children and Young People MSc

Options: PG Diploma, PG Certificate

This programme provides training for individuals in outcomes-based CBT interventions to promote psychological wellbeing in children and young people. The course is aimed at professionals already working in the field of children's services, including social care, education and health, who hope to gain skills they can practice in the workplace.

Mode of study

  • Flexible up to 3 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £3,600. Please note that the PG Cert and PG Dip must be completed before entry onto the MSc will be allowed.
  • Overseas Full-time: £8,500. Please note that the PG Cert and PG Dip must be completed before entry onto the MSc will be allowed.

Application date

  • All applicants: 2 June 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students learn about the relationship between the mind and the brain in patients and healthy individuals, alongside the ideas, methodology, and current state of knowledge in cognitive neuroscience. They receive case demonstrations of brain-damaged patients, insights into transcranial magnetic and direct current stimulation, and experience with functional neuroimaging techniques.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The programme is based and taught at the Anna Freud Centre, a national charity with a worldwide reputation for its commitment to the emotional wellbeing of children.

As well as a centre of learning and training for mental health professionals, the Anna Freud Centre's clinical services help young people with mental health problems. The centre also carries out pioneering research into effective ways to help young people suffering emotional distress.

Students benefit from the centre's collaboration with UCL; they gain the advantages of studying within the intimate and vibrant environment of the Anna Freud Centre, together with access to the facilities and resources of UCL – an internationally renowned university.

All candidates should initially enrol for the Postgraduate Certificate (modules 1–4, 60 credits). On completion they should make a decision to terminate their studies at that point or enrol to take further modules for the Diploma (modules 5–8, 60 credits) and MSc (dissertation module, 60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Certificate:
  • Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context
  • Assessment and Engagement for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context
  • Basic Skills (Developing Understanding)
  • Basic Skills (Methods of Change)

  • Diploma:
  • Introduction to Disorder Specific Approaches
  • Disorder Specific Approaches
  • Complex Problems
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context

  • MSc:
  • Research Dissertation (see below)


  • There are no optional modules for this programme.


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered at the Anna Freud Centre, and taught by leading practitioners in the field. Teaching is a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars. A core component of the course is video practice which is discussed in small practice tutor groups during each teaching day.

Further details available on subject website:

Scholarships available for this department

Sully Scholarship

For current students in their final year of a research programme in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences. This award is based on academic merit. Students must contact the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences for application information.

Linguistics Departmental Award

Awarded for academic merit

MRes Speech, Language and Cognition Awards

To reward academic merit.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a relevant subject (e.g. psychology) and/or professional qualification in a relevant subject. Additionally, applicants must have experience of work with children in education, health or social care settings and a work context that enables participants to fulfil the course requirements (including time to attend the course and undertake case work and undertake CBT with children). Please see 'who can apply' for further information.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

The deadline for applications for this programme is 2 June 2014. The application must include two references, one from a line manager, confirming the statements and evidence supplied by the applicant. Please check with the Programme Administrator if you have any queries.

Who can apply?

Current students are in a variety of jobs, both full and part-time, and both paid and voluntary. The types of work include: educational psychology, clinical psychology, primary care mental health, counselling, social work, behaviour support in schools, and various others. The job must allow the student access to children with whom they can practice CBT, and must provide the student with supervision. The supervisor must be an experienced child practitioner, with experience of therapeutic work with children and knowledge of the CBT model.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study this programme at graduate level
  • why you want to study this programme at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your qualification
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The programme is aimed at applicants in relevant employment and supports career progression.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • London Borough of Camden, Head of Virtual School, 2011
  • Raynes Park High School, Learning Support Assistant, 2011
  • Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust, Nurse Therapist (CBT), 2011
  • Hampshire Partnership Trust, High Intensity Trainee, 2010
  • Islington NHS, Speech & Language Therapist, 2010


CBT for children and young people is one of a number of evidence-based interventions for common childhood problems and disorders. The demand for professionals with skills in this area in known to be high and is likely to grow. Students will have a (Certificate/Diploma/Masters) qualification in CBT with children and this will be much valued by employers looking to develop this type of intervention within their service. Several of our students have been funded by employers who want to increase their supervisory capacity in CBT and this is likely to be a trend that will continue.

Next steps


Ms Sara Greenwood

T: +44 (0)20 7443 2246


Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

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Prospectus subject

Psychology and Language Sciences

Faculty overview

Brain Sciences


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Student View

"Participating in some observership clinics with my supervisor was extremely helpful for me, and writing the dissertation with all the new things I learned from this experience. Ophthalmology is one of the fastest evolving medical specialties, and dealing with vision was always my dream."

Abbas Fahem

Degree: Clinical Ophthalmology MSc

Subject: Ophthalmology, Faculty: Brain Sciences

Student View

"A particularly valuable aspect of my degree is that I am part of UCL’s vast neuroscience community. This provides great networking opportunities and gives me the chance to learn from world-leading academics and experts in my field."

Seetal Chavda

Degree: Visual Neuroscience PhD

Subject: Ophthalmology, Faculty: Brain Sciences