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MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Study Mode: Part Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2023

You can also study this course:

Please note: This course is subject to reaccreditation status with the BABCP.
This course enables you to develop your skills and qualify to practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Throughout your time on the course you will develop your understanding of CBT and the theory, research and complex issues you may have to face in a professional environment. We will help you gain the necessary skills to support, provide care and improve the psychological wellbeing of others.
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

Actively promoted by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), CBT is an evidence-based therapy recommended to treat a range of mental health problems. The techniques can be applied in general medical, nursing and psychological practice.

So, whether your goal is to become a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist or you want to apply the techniques in a broader context, this course gives you the skills and practical training you need to be confident in theory and practice. 

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

We value our partnerships within the local community, including the West London NHS Trust, one of the largest mental health providers in the UK. The Trust is responsible for well-known institutions such as Broadmoor and other clinics treating more specific illnesses, like personality disorders.

BNU offers flexible study spread over two years, allowing you to study alongside employment and fit things around your lifestyle. Whether you're training to build skills to apply in your current role or looking to change your career path, this course ensures you can immediately apply Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques in a professional setting.

Our MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is ideally suited for those who are seeking accreditation and the completion of a master’s level project on a CBT topic. You will have met the national training standards through completion of the PGDip element and would also complete a master’s level thesis as well, in your second year.

What facilities can I use?

Our library is packed with all the information you need for your assessments and there’s plenty of room to knuckle down for some quiet study.

Whilst studying with us you will also use our BucksAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. BucksAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location.

What will I study?

This course demonstrates how CBT can be used effectively to tackle a diverse range of mental health disorders, from depression and panic attacks to workplace stress and anger management. You'll analyse how individuals think, in order to encourage and support the implementation of positive behavioural change.

By the time you finish the course you'll have the ability to put theory into practice. You'll begin by learning how to treat mild depression and anxiety and progress towards the treatment of more complex cases making you a confident and able practitioner of CBT.

We focus on applied practice and being able to transfer theoretical knowledge to the field while developing the interpersonal qualities required for therapeutic environments. You will be encouraged to develop independent learning skills and abilities to stay abreast of the latest developments in CBT, the wider domain of mental health and therapeutic approaches. 

How will I be taught and assessed?

As well as being supported by expert tutors, you'll benefit from specialised workshops delivered by guest speakers to help bolster your understanding and contribute to your learning. Their expertise and real-world experience will emphasise how your qualification will benefit the improved mental health of others.

You'll be taught in lectures, workshops, with supervised practice and through practical use of our psychology laboratory. You'll contribute to group presentations and have individual tutorials meaning you'll learn different collaborative and autonomous ways of working. You'll also have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) throughout the course where you'll be able to access online resources and participate in group forum discussions with your peers. 

We encourage all of our students to spend time on personal therapy and self-reflection which is often a requirement of some placement providers to ensure any personal issues do not interfere with client work. As a practitioner, this is a helpful practice to develop and maintain throughout your professional career. 

During your time on the course, you'll complete 200 hours of clinical practice for which you'll receive supervision from an external supervisor and from the course team to ensure safe and ethical practice.

MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Typically students on this course have a relevant degree in psychology or equivalent from another field.

You must also have at least two year's post graduation experience working with vulnerable adults and/or those with mental health problems.

Some supervision is provided on the course. However, applicants will need to have access to a British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) accredited therapist for additional support and a clinical placement to enable them to put training into practice.

If you are shortlisted for a place you will be invited to an interview.

Applicants wishing to apply for full time or part time:

  1. Have a good undergraduate degree – 1st, 2:1; 2:2 (we advise this be in a Psychology / Mental health related area  - Psychology, psychological therapy (such as counselling or CBT), Mental Health Nurse at degree level etc).
  1. (a) Have completed training in an eligible core mental health profession, as featured on the BABCP eligible professions list.


  1. (b) Meet BABCP KSA portfolio requirements (If the applicant does not belong to a core profession, recognised by the BABCP).
  1. The student will need to have completed 1 year accountable practice in a mental health setting, following the attainment of skills and competencies required for the KSA portfolio or following core professional training. The one-year accountable practice would have been completed prior to commencing the course (this can be the year leading up to the course).
  1. Clinical supervision will need to be in place prior to acceptance on the course – Clinical supervisors will need to provide assurance letters that they are contracted or have agreed to provide clinical supervision and they are BABCP accredited therapists or posses additional accreditation in CBT clinical supervision (e.g.  BABCP accredited supervisor).
  1. Clinical placement agreements need to be in place prior to commencing the course. Assurance letters from placements will need to be in place, prior to starting the course. Clinical skills training commences immediately and cases need to be focussed on common mental health problems – anxiety, trauma and depression. Psychological trauma training is in year 2 for part time students or half way through the course for full time students – we do not recommend working with trauma at the start of the course.

Applicants wishing to apply for the full time route only:

  • For full time applicants, the student will need to have a firm clinical placement in place already with access to at least 5+ cases. This can be a placement in which the applicant is familiar with and they may already work or volunteer. This needs to be in place prior to commencement on the course. Work based assurance letters will be required as evidence this is the case, detailing the number of cases the student will have access to and the problems will be single episode common mental health problems. Cases that present with complex symptoms are not advised.
  • The full time route would ideally suit organisations wishing to second their staff for training or self funding students who already work in a psychological therapy setting, with access to people seeking help for common mental health problems (e.g. an IAPT service or self employment as a therapist trained in a different therapeutic modality).
  • All other students would need to apply for the part time route.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024



Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024


  • Year 1 fees*: £3,550
  • Year 2 fees*: £7,120

* These fees are for those staring Year 1 in Academic Year 2023-2024.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

As a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist you will be ready for a rewarding career within the NHS, private or commercial sectors. You will immediately have the ability to apply your knowledge to improve the wellbeing of others.

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Dr Mallika Sharma
  • Programme Director
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