UCL Graduate degrees


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. This Master's programme 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 practise in the workplace.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018

Modes and duration

Flexible: up to 3 years

Tuition fees (2018/19)

£4,050 (FT)
£9,570 (FT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 16 October 2017
Close: 31 May 2018

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Please note that the PG Cert and PG Dip must be completed before entry onto the MSc will be allowed. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Hampstead (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families)

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 working with children in education, health or social care settings and a work context that enables them to fulfil the programme requirements (including time to attend, and undertake case work and 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:

About this degree

The programme will develop participants’ knowledge and skills in cognitive behavioural based interventions with children and young people experiencing a range of difficulties in social and emotional aspects of their development. Participants will also develop skills in evaluating the impact of their own work, in order to be able to reflect on and modify practice in future.

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 apply to progress to the Diploma (modules 5–8, 60 credits) and MSc (dissertation module, 60 credits).

Core modules

  • Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context (Certificate)
  • Assessment and Engagement for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context (Certificate)
  • Basic Skills (Developing Understanding) (Certificate)
  • Basic Skills (Methods of Change) (Certificate)
  • Introduction to Disorder Specific Approaches (Diploma)
  • Disorder Specific Approaches (Diploma)
  • Complex Problems (Diploma)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context (Diploma)
  • Research Dissertation (MSc)

Optional modules

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 National Centre for Children and Families, and is taught by leading practitioners in the field. Teaching is a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars. A core component of the programme is videoing of students' CBT practice which is discussed in small practice tutor groups during each teaching day.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children and Young People MSc


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


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


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/Master's) UCL 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 National Centre for Children and Families, the leading national charity supporting young minds through innovative therapeutic practice, training and research. The vision of the centre is a world in which children, young people and their families are effectively supported to build on their own strengths to achieve their goals in life. 

Please note: From 2019 postgraduate teaching will move to a new Centre of Excellence as part of the development of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Teaching will no longer take place at Maresfield Gardens. If you are accepted on to the programme, we will keep you informed of the changes. You can find out more information about the Centre of Excellence here.

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

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Student / staff numbers › 181 staff including 173 postdocs › 780 taught students › 440 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

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.

Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

Current students are in a variety of jobs, both full and part-time, 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
31 May 2018

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 14 November 2017 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing