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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Flexible learning

Distance learning approach allows study anytime and anywhere

Top up your PG Dip

Turn your Diploma knowledge into MSc expertise

Get connected

Study under the expertise of industry connected professionals

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Part-time, top-up, distance learning
7 Months
Start date:
School of Life Sciences and Education
Book onto a Virtual Open Event Enquire about this course Apply now

Course changes for 2020/21

We are changing the way we deliver our courses from September 2020 to ensure a great student experience within a COVID-secure environment.

Find out more

The MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) will provide you with an understanding of research theory, practice, and give you an opportunity to explore CBT’s empirical status. This award will be a ‘top-up’ to your BABCP accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Our MSc top-up course provides a focused and critical examination of CBT practice, policy and research. Through two specialist modules, you’ll broaden your knowledge of the issues and practices that are developing within the field of CBT to an expert level. You’ll learn to critically appraise current and new CBT developments, as well as evaluating the policies and directives that may have sparked their emergence, in order to develop your capacity to provide constructive input and bring about change in the health service.

The course has been designed to give you the opportunity to develop competencies in the processes of systematic and analytical enquiry into the theories and practices of CBT, to improve your own practice. The specific programme has been designed to support individuals whose work, home commitments or location make it challenging to physically attend university. This course provides an opportunity for you to collaborate with staff and your peers in a dynamic learning environment, engage with content directly via video lectures, synchronous and asynchronous text and audio discussions supported by 24/7 access to a range of online resources.

The Master of Science in CBT award has been designed to provide attractive, flexible CPD opportunities for professionals who have already undertaken a British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) level 2 accredited Postgraduate Diploma, who are working in health service organisations or private practice.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Part-time study

During part-time study, the two compulsory full-time modules will be spread out over two years.

Distance learning

This course provides an opportunity for you to collaborate with staff and your peers in a dynamic learning environment, engage with content directly via video lectures, synchronous and asynchronous text and audio discussions supported by 24/7 access to a range of online resources.

Course content

Throughout each stage of the award, there is a strong emphasis on participants becoming critically aware of their own learning as CBT professionals and the achievement of academic outcomes in their practice.

As a postgraduate qualification, participants are not only required to demonstrate evidence-based competence in CBT practice but are also expected to critically reflect on their own developing practice.  In addition, participants are required to demonstrate a greater capacity for self-directed learning than is necessary at undergraduate level. Therefore, in order to successfully complete the award, participants need to be motivated and independent, self-directed learners. 

All modules are supported with learning materials accessible via BlackBoard, the University’s electronic virtual learning environment.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Standard route

The entry requirements for the award are:

  1. Evidence of successful completion and award of a BABCP level 2 accredited postgraduate diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Level 7) from an institution of Higher Education.
  2. A contractual role (full-time or fractional) or long-term voluntary placement that sees you working as a CBT practitioner in a healthcare organisation or private CBT practice.
  3. For all stages of the award, it is necessary for participants to have access to a PC with Internet connection (to allow Blackboard access and e-mail contact for communication with award tutors and administrators).
  4. Access to Skype (or similar) to participate in online supervision and tutorials.      

If your first language is not English, you need to evidence:

  • a minimum score of 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the writing and listening modules) in IELTS (International English Language Testing System) as administered by the British Council in most countries


  • a minimum score of 550 in TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or 213 in the computer-based test. [TOEFL results must include a minimum score of 4.5 for the TWE (Test of Written English)


•        Cambridge Proficiency Grade C



As with many postgraduate taught qualifications, students use the qualification to enhance an already existing career as part of CPD activity. This qualification may be used for career progression and to stand out amongst professionals within the field. In addition, graduates may consider using the qualification to go on to further study by commencing a PhD.

Teaching and assessment


Staffordshire University holds a Gold Award for its learning and teaching in the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This is awarded for delivering high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

You will be taught and supervised by staff who are BABCP Accredited CBT Practitioners and are experienced researchers.

As a distance learning student you will be an active learner interacting with content, your fellow students and your module tutors

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are, on desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  This includes discussion forums where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students. It also includes webinars, video lectures and podcasts.


This course is assessed 100% via coursework that is submitted, graded and returned to you electronically. Coursework takes the format of an individually written literature review and research proposal (Module 1), and research analysis and findings (Module 2).

You receive a set of guidelines and a set of specific grading criteria outlining the standards expected.

Learning support

You’re supported throughout the course by specialist tutors within the modules you study.  In addition, you’re carefully introduced to the online learning process and have access to a subject specialist librarian.

You are allocated a personal tutor during your time with us. We have a well-developed personal tutorial system and staff are only a phone call, e-mail or Skype chat away.

You can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking, presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. Your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.

We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.


You'll be taught by staff who have a range of academic and industry experience. 

Dr Zachary Parker
Dr Zachary ParkerLecturer

Zachary joined Staffordshire University in 2019 as the course leader for the MSc of Foundations in Clinical Psychology. In 2016 Zachary completed his PhD and graduated in 2017. Since 2014 he has taught research methods and since 2016 he has work…

Read full profile

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 60 credits within 1 year of study.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Applications are not currently available for this course.

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

21/09/2020 04:39:31 / Cognitive Behavioural Therapy / Part-time, top-up, distance learning / 24.0 / 29.0 / SSTK-12155 / Direct link