UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Psychosis Postgraduate Diploma


This two year, one day a week diploma provides training in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis (CBTp).

It is designed for health and social care staff working with people who experience psychosis, who have no or limited training in delivering formal CBT interventions.

Students on the course need to be seconded on to the course by their employer and be working in a setting with people with psychosis and have access to a CBTp clinical supervisor, as a key element of the course is be be able to practice CBT and CBTp under supervision.

Programme starts24th September 2019
Modes and durationPart time: 2 years
Application deadlinesClose: TBA

Note on fees: Students are not able to self fund.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Course Aims and Principles

Cognitive behavioural interventions have a well-established evidence base for a wide range of mental health problems. This evidence extends to the use of CBT for psychosis, an intervention that is recommended by the National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The need to train more practitioners in CBT was recognised by the government in establishing the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) Services programme in England in 2008. More recently, the need for increasing the number of trained practitioners in CBTp within Early Intervention Services for Psychosis was set out in the government’s Implementation plan for the Five Year Forward View in Mental Health (2016).

The aim of this course is to train people to provide NICE concordant CBTp to people experiencing psychosis. The course will also provide a comprehensive grounding in the fundamentals of CBT and also in CBT for anxiety disorders and depression, which with further supervision could lead to accreditation as a CBT therapist with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).


Objectives and Outcomes
The course will provide students with:
1. An awareness of key cognitive behavioural models of mental health problems, associated theoretical underpinnings and the related evidence base, focusing on psychosis.
2. Competence in engaging, assessing and developing collaborative formulations with individuals with mental health problems, and in particular with those experiencing psychosis and bipolar disorder.
3. Competence to deliver high quality, collaborative, evidence-based interventions in accordance with NICE guidance and the competence framework for work with people with psychosis and bipolar disorder (Roth & Pilling 2013).

Why Study at UCL?
UCL is among the principal research and training centres in the UK for mental health and psychological therapies and offers an ideal environment to study CBT. The UCL course is run and taught by experienced practitioners in the field, and therefore a balance is achieved between the teaching of the theoretical knowledge needed and the practical skills necessary in training as CBT therapists

Who is the programme for?
The programme is for candidates interested to develop their CBT skills in order to provide CBT to practitioner level of competence. It will particularly suit mental health professionals wanting to provide CBT to people with psychosis, but the training is also relevant to those interested to broaden their range of skills as part of wider professional and career development.


The training programme lasts two years during which trainees study one day a week at the UCL campus during UCL term times (30 teaching days a year). Students will need in addition to spend at least one further day a week seeing clients with psychosis and other mental health problems, practicing CBT and CBTp under supervision. A minimum of 8 clients need to be seen to completion under course supervision over the two year duration of the programme.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, skills practice, clinical supervision groups, directed reading and e-learning. Most teaching days comprise a combination of lectures, skills practice and a supervision group.

The course is modular. All modules are compulsory, and the module titles are listed below.
• Fundamentals of cognitive behaviour therapy
• CBT for anxiety
• CBT for depression
• CBT for people with psychosis – fundamentals
• CBT for people with psychosis – implementation
• Portfolio

The programme is delivered one day a week, over 5 terms (two years). There are a total of 60 taught days in total: 30 per year in term time.

Most teaching days include a small group supervision group where 4-5 students meet with an experienced CBT or CBTp supervisor to discuss the cases they are seeing for CBT and CBTp as part of their training. This course provided supervision is in addition to CBTp supervision that students will receive in their workplace.

Outside the teaching days, students will be allocated reading and e-learning tasks. E-learning includes access to a library of training video vignettes of CBT and CBTp. The e-learning package was designed and produced by UCL, to demonstrate specific CBT and CBTp competencies and help students develop these skills.

Course required clinical work
In addition to the teaching and reading, students will need to see people with mental health problems in CBT and CBTp under supervision. In the first year, CBT treatment will be focused on anxiety disorders and depression, either as the only problems or comorbid with psychosis. The second year will be focused on CBTp interventions, so the clients seen will need to be people experiencing psychosis and bipolar disorder.

Students will need to receive supervision for the clients they see from a CBT/CBTp supervisor from the service where the client is being treated.

This is in addition group supervision provided by the programme. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange their service supervision, although the course can help liaise around this.

The assessments are a combination of written and oral assignments in each module. Written assignments include essays, case reports, reflective accounts and clinical and supervision logs. Oral assignments are audio or video recordings of sessions of CBT treatment. All assessments need to be passed and contribute to the award of the Diploma.



Entry Requirements
Applicants for a UCL postgraduate programme are normally expected to hold at least a 2.2 in a UK undergraduate degree (or equivalent overseas qualification). But other academic qualifications of an equivalent standard, including professional mental health qualifications, and substantial work experience and achievements at work demonstrating ability to study successfully at a postgraduate level can be taken into account. Overseas applicants need to provide evidence of proficiency in English.

In addition, applicants for this programme are required to have:
• A core mental health practitioner qualification (e.g. in mental health nursing, occupational therapy, social work, psychiatry, clinical psychology)
• Post qualification experience of working with people with psychosis
• Evidence of basic knowledge of CBT
• Interest in and enthusiasm for psychological approaches to working with people with psychosis
• Evidence of current employment or other work in a setting with people experiencing psychosis and access to a local site CBT supervisor

The UK/EU tuition fees for this programme will be funded by the NHS - students should speak to their NHS employer about this funding.

What we are looking for?
When we assess your application we would therefore like to learn via your personal statement:
• Why you are interested in CBT and CBTp training
• What knowledge you already have about CBT
• Why you want to undertake this training at UCL
• How you would be able to carry out the required one day a week CBT and CBTp practice on people with mental health problems including psychosis in your current employment or work context
• Whether you have a local experienced CBT supervisor who could supervise your work

Together with essential academic and core mental health professional qualification requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Deadline for Applications
Closing date: TBA
Apply Now


This Postgraduate Diploma will equip people to provide NICE concordant CBT for psychosis in NHS and other health and social care settings. It will also provide a thorough grounding in CBT for treatment of a broad range of mental health problems, which with further supervision would lead towards accreditation as a CBT therapist with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

Contact Email:pals.cbtenquiries@ucl.ac.uk
Department:Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Course Staff

Joint Programme Directors

Dr Joe Oliver
Joe Oliver is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist working within Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust psychosis services. He has research interests in the development of psychological interventions to promote psychological health and well-being and has co-authored several books in this area. He is a leading UK trainer in behavioral and cognitive therapies and is committed to making training engaging, practical and fun.

Dr John Cape
John Cape is Director of Psychological Therapies Programmes at UCL, responsible for developing training courses in evidence-based psychological therapies and behaviour change interventions. He is an Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust where, prior to joining UCL, he was Head of Psychology and Psychotherapy for over 20 years. He has a longstanding interest in research and service development in primary care mental health and the organisation and delivery of psychological therapy services between primary and secondary care. He is a member of the NICE standing guidelines updates committee and chaired development of the NICE Generalised Anxiety Disorder guideline. He was also clinical lead and chair of the steering group for the first national clinical audit of psychological therapies.