Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapy

Postgraduate certificate and diploma

This part time postgraduate programme in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy enables mental health professionals/practitioners develop specialist skills and competencies in CBP to provide effective psychological interventions for variety of clinical disorders.

The course was established in 1995 and alumni includes a wide range of professionals who have developed their knowledge and skills in CBT. In 2008 the programme was granted Level 1 and 2 accreditation by the British Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies (BABCP).

The programme will enable participants to teach basic CBP skills, supervise other practitioners, critically appraise research in CBP and conduct basic audit and clinical research.

Successful completion at the Cert and Dip levels of the programme allows participants to apply for personal accreditation by the lead organisation for CBT in the UK,  the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

To learn about the Staff contributing to the course, please click here


  • Fundamental Principles and basis therapeutic competencies (cert yr)
  • Core Treatment Strategies (cert Yr)
  • CBP and specific disorders (dip year)
  • Critical Appraisal and Meaning from Data (dip year)

Entry Requirements

Applicants should be working as mental health professionals e.g. as psychiatric nurses, trainee psychiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists and counsellors.  Applicants should have a degree or equivalent.

The programme recruits to the Certificate in even years (e.g. 2014) and to the Diploma year in odd years (e.g. 2015).


The main focus of this programme is on common mental disorders in adults such as depression, anxiety,eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder but also considers CBP in more complex areas such as chronic depression.

The programme covers the following themes 

Theory and Research

  • General Issues: Diagnosis, models of psychopathology, pathways to care, social/interpersonal context of psychotherapy, professional and ethical issues.
  • Cognitive-Behavioural Models/Treatment of Psychological Disorders with a focus on core clinical competencies in the first year and disorder specific competencies in year two.
  • Research and Evaluation: Critical appraisal and Meaning from Data

Development of Clinical Skills

  • Therapeutic Relationships: Basic counselling skills, structuring contact, motivational interviewing, transference issues, overcoming obstacles to progress, ending treatment.
  • Assessment/Conceptualisation: Functional analysis, motivational interviewing, observational methods, standardised scales, developing and presenting formulations and treatment rationales.
  • Treatment/Intervention: Reducing arousal, exposure methods, interpersonal skills, cognitive therapy, self-awareness and self-control, imagery techniques, group methods.

Flexibility for career and study

The programme allows students to combine work and study : participants attend teaching in Dundee one day a week from September to May whilst remaining in practice a vital component in allowing them to develop and apply the knowledge and skills gained on the programme.

The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, clinical demonstrations and peer-learning through group discussion as well as the completion of case studies within the students’ own workplace.

A distinct benefit  for students is the teaching of skills through structured role-playing exercises to develop clinical /counselling skills. In addition all students undertake supervised clinical practice with a range of different disorders.

Teaching Faculty  

The programme is a collaborative venture between the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside.  All staff teaching on the programme are experienced practicing CBP practitioners.The programme also draws on specialist clinical contributors from elsewhere in Scotland.

Dundee University has a broad portfolio of research activities in clinical and neurobiological research in the affective disorders, including the effectiveness of CBP with affective disorders and generalised anxiety disorders.