Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

School of Health and Society





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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In a nutshell

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has a crucial role to play in health and social care provision today. This course is delivered by a highly qualified team of psychotherapy and counselling staff from a variety of professional backgrounds.

On this course, you will gain insight into how to use CBT creatively and collaboratively with clients and how to assess, formulate, provide interventions and evaluate your own practice.


You will:
  • Study new developments in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Focus on interventions with clients who have anxiety and depression right through to people with personality disorder and schizophrenia as well as other complex needs

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You have one year's experience in a mental health setting and an active interest in cognitive behavioural work


You have the ability to understand people's reactions


You have patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations

Course details

All about the course

You will gain insight into how to use CBT creatively and collaboratively with clients and how to assess, formulate, provide interventions and evaluate your work with clients. This course focuses on interventions with clients who have anxiety and depression right through to people with personality disorder and schizophrenia as well as other complex needs. There are opportunities to study new developments in CBT, related to mindfulness and compassion focused therapy.

MSc: one year full-time; three years part-time
PgDip: one year full-time; two years part-time
PgCert: one year part-time

This course involves a range of half day and full day sessions. Optional modules on the part-time route may be delivered in a series of block sessions. You will also have the chance to exit with the following awards: 

Depending on your level of experience and professional interests you can choose to study a variety of modules.

Full-time study option: 

The course requires the completion of:

Semester 1: one module 

Semester 2: two modules

Semesters 1 and 2: one module spanning both semesters

Semester 3: Dissertation

For module descriptions, please see below:

Part-time study option: 

The course requires the completion of two modules in year one, two modules in year two and the dissertation in year 3. 

Year 1, Semester 1

Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (30 credits) 

Year 1, Semester 2

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Anxiety Disorders and Addictive Behaviour (30 credits)

Year 2, Semester 1

CBT Protocols and Skills Part 1

Year 2, semester 2

CBT Protocol and Skills Part 2 plus

Choose one of the following modules: 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Complex Cases (30 credits)

Compassion Focused Therapy (30 credits) 

Military Veterans and Emergency Service Personnel (30 credits) 

Mindfulness-based Approaches with CBT (30 credits) 

CBT for Children and Young People (30 credits) 

Year 3 

Dissertation (60 credits) 

Semester one

Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Develop a comprehensive understanding of the theory and practical application of CBT, together with the critical evaluation of its use in addiction and associated depression and anxiety disorders. 

CBT Protocol and Skills Part One

This module will provide you with a rigorous theoretical and evidence based understanding of specific protocols related to key disorders where CBT can be demonstrated as a therapy in a practice area. It will enable you to critically assess the use of cognitive behaviour therapy skills for practical application.

Semester two

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Anxiety Disorders and Addictive Behaviour

Assess treatment methods for clients with anxiety disorders and/ or addictive behaviour, and use a conceptualisation methodology to evaluate courses of therapy. 

CBT Protocol and Skills Part Two

This module will build on 'Part One' to further develop your understanding of specific protocols related to key disorders where CBT can be demonstrated as a therapy in a practice area.  


Choose from one of the following optional modules: 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Complex Cases

Develop and enhance your skills in the use of CBT, enabling you to work with clients with complex and/ or long-term needs. 

Compassion Focused Therapy

This module aims to focus on the development and use of compassion in therapy. It uses work from Paul Gilbert, Chris Irons and Elaine Beaumont; focusing on the principles of compassion towards care and understanding. 

Military Veterans and Emergency Services Personnel

This module aims to engage people in the exploration of psychologically based interventions in varying environments with people who are commonly experiencing some form of trauma. 

Mindfulness Based Approaches with CBT

Explore your practice of mindfulness with the context of CBT.

CBT for Children and Young People

Enhance your knowledge, skills and interpersonal awareness in order to provide CBT for children and young people. You will be required to use CBT within your work/ voluntary placement setting and you will need to access CBT supervision for at least one hour per month. 

Semester three


Provides you with the opportunity to pursue an area of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy that directly relates to your own work or interests.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


Learning is delivered via blended learning methods including seminars and master classes, critical analysis of case studies, relevant literature and research and reflection on practical applications.

Use of video/audio, role play and skills assessment are essential to this course in years one and two and the  Blackboard as a learning resource is also an important element in all of the modules on the course.

It is anticipated that a generous part of your work will be focused on enhancing self-awareness and using CBT tools and techniques on the self-using self-help texts and interactive activities prior to using them with clients. 


  • Tutor and peer practical in-class assessment
  • Case studies
  • Reflective assignments and portfolios of learning

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

Teacher profile

Dr Neil Murphy:

My current work engages me in the use of Behavioural Family Interventions. I was trained to use Family Interventions (using the Barrowclough and Tarrier Model) and engaged in CBT and PSI with a population of complex clients within a community setting. I have taught and supervised staff on a variety of modules related to cognitive and behavioural approaches over many years and as inferred I still practice with a small number of families.

My main interest lies in research and the way that the mentally ill are represented. This has an impact on my work and teaching as many of the people I engage with have experienced the range of representations made about their presenting problems. I sit on an editorial board for a mental health nursing journal and am in touch with the current factors that are influencing care delivery on a local and national level. I review prospective articles for two other journals with a specialist interest in practice-based research, CBT and representations of the mentally ill. I regularly work with grassroots workers who experience many of the problems associated with implementing cognitive and behavioural interventions and offer clinical supervision to such workers.

My publication and activity profile is available on the University of Salford SEEK site.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This Master's course has been designed to meet the growing need for people to have the skill set to work with clients with complex needs or mild to moderate mental health issues.

Many of our students are already in employment, but inform us that this course enhances their career prospects or offers a new career pathway.

Career Links

This course has been created after a request from the North West Strategic Health Authority. Some students will be able to use the Service Level Agreement to fund these modules. Other students will self-fund or request funding from their employer.


What you need to know

Applicants must have one year’s experience in a mental health setting and an active interest in cognitive behavioural work. Applicants must have an active placement where they can work with clients and have the approval to use clients as part of their coursework. Overseas students must be able to complete placements and have access to clients.

Students should access supervision from someone with experience of CBT. If the student does not have a core profession, then the KSA (see BABCP guidance) will need to have been commenced and be available to support any application.

This course is not accredited, supervision or placements are not provided. The course attempts to meet BABCP core curriculum guidelines, but not all. As guidelines change, further study may be needed to gain such accreditation.

DBS equivalent for international students is required.

English language requirements 

A candidate whose native tongue is not English must possess a current qualification deemed acceptable by the University as evidence of proficiency in the English Language. Such a qualification must equate to a minimum average score of 7 or above (and for each component 5.5 or above) from the Cambridge / British Council English Language Testing Service (IELTS). This is broadly comparable to a classification of C1 under the Common European Framework (CEF). The NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) stipulates that IELTS minimum score must be at 7.0 (and for each component 5.5 or above).

Please note: Due to the structure of this programme, it is not available to applicants who require a Tier 4 visa.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

An upper second class honours degree in psychology or other health/social care related discipline, e.g. counselling, health sciences, nursing. Or
An honours degree (in any discipline) (2.2 or above) and a diploma in counselling or its UKCP or BPS equivalent.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/ traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully. 

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course. 

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).


How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £7,776per year
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £7,920per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £14670per year
Part-time 2020/21 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship. For information, go to International Scholarships.

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All Set? Let's Apply

Start Date(s): September

Duration: One year full time or three years part time 

Enrolment dates

September 2020