Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Course details

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is part of a comprehensive CBT training programme, which has been renowned for its consistent record of excellence in CBT practice, training and supervision over the past 25 years. Oxford is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in CBT and the course draws on an impressive body of local specialist skill and knowledge.

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Course aims

The Course seeks to enable students to:

  • Appreciate how theory, research and clinical practice inform each other in cognitive behavioural therapy, contributing to its continued development
  • Establish and practise a repertoire of enhanced cognitive behavioural skills
  • Develop the ability to apply these skills with specialist patient groups and problem areas encountered in their own places of work
  • Establish and maintain warm, respectful, collaborative relationships, and develop the ability to understand and manage difficulties in the alliance (including the student’s contribution) using a cognitive conceptual framework
  • Through consultation, identify and resolve difficulties in practice, whether arising from theoretical, practical, interpersonal, personal or ethical problems

Programme details

Having successfully completed a Postgraduate Certificate in CBT, or Enhanced CBT, students may apply to progress to the Postgraduate Diploma in CBT by continuing their studies with one of the specialist pathways:

Children and Adolescents

Course lead: Dr Joanna Adams

Designed to equip clinicians for work with children, adolescents and their families, this pathway offers specialist supervision and teaching that covers general principles of adapting CBT for children, young people and families, including developmental, systemic and ethical/professional issues. The course will take a transdiagnostic focus, with some teaching on relevant topics shared with students on the Complex Presentations pathway,

Students are expected to carry out CBT with at least three suitable patients during the course and receive two hours of small group supervision on a bi-weekly basis.

The course begins with a two-day induction block and then attendance is required for two days bi-weekly, for training workshops.

Due to the overlap in some areas of study, it is not possible to combine study on the Complex   Presentations pathway and the Children and Adolescents pathway within a single award.

CBT for comorbid, chronic and systemic difficulties (formerly Complex Presentations) 

Course lead: Dr Anne Garland 

This course trains therapists to apply evidence-based treatment to presentations falling outside standard CBT protocols – given that comorbidity and complexity are often the rule, and not the exception, in clinical populations. The course comprises 16 days of teaching over five months including supervision on a bi-weekly basis.

Due to the overlap in some areas of study, it is not possible to combine study on the Complex   Presentations pathway and the Children and Adolescents pathway within a single award.

Psychological Trauma and Personality Development

Course lead: Dr Helen Kennerley

The course covers the impact of psychological trauma and neglect on brain function, memory, sense of self, personality and psycho-social development.  The course explores personality development and the sequelae of a broad range of adverse experiences in childhood and adulthood, going beyond PTSD. It also reviews techniques and adaptations for working effectively with the consequences of psychological trauma and with personality issues.  The course comprises 16 days teaching in four blocks over an academic year, with small group supervision throughout the course.

Psychosis and Bipolar

Course lead: Dr Louise Isham

This specialism seeks to enable students to develop a sound understanding of cognitive behavioural models of psychosis and the related evidence base; competence in engaging, assessing and developing collaborative formulations with individuals with psychotic and bipolar presentations; and competence to deliver high quality, individualised, evidence-based interventions in accordance with NICE guidance and the competence framework for work with people with psychosis and bipolar disorder (Roth & Pilling 2013).

The course comprises teaching over three terms. Term one starts with the ‘September School’ with 5 days of teaching across the month.  There is also a two day block in January. Students are required to keep Thursdays during term time free for the course. Teaching will take place for a full day every other Thursday and supervision and private study time will usually take place on alternate Thursdays throughout the course.

Supervision and Training 

Course lead: Dr Helen Kennerley

The course aims to develop both supervisory and training skills by combining didactic presentation with live teaching and supervision practice. It reflects the increased expectation that clinicians are offered sound supervision and training in CBT in order to achieve adequate standards of CBT. The course comprises 18 workshops (presented in five teaching blocks from October to March)


Please visit the Postgraduate Diploma in CBT page on the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website for details of course fees and costs for this programme.

How to apply

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy builds on credits obtained in the Postgraduate Certificate. Applicants to this award must therefore have already completed, or currently be completing, the Postgraduate Certificate in CBT, or Postgraduate Certificate in Enhanced CBT.

Returning students should apply via the Graduate Admissions webpage for this course. Current Certificate students should contact the course team for information on how to apply.

All applications must have been fully completed before the application deadline in order to be considered.

Visa information

For part-time courses longer than six months with a weekly or monthly attendance requirement you will not be eligible for a Tier 4 visa or the Short Term Student route based on the structure of the course.