Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children and Young People MSc

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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Flexible: up to 3 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
1 June 2015
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Fees note: Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. The tuition fee schedule for 2015/16 entry can be viewed on the UCL Current Students 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.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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.

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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children and Young People MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

MRes Speech, Language and Cognition Awards

£500 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Sully Scholarship

c. £2,200 but may be split between students.(1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


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

Top career destinations for this degree

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

Why 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.

Student / staff ratios › 145 staff › 661 taught students › 457 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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