Short Course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Research Skills


This course will prepare you to develop a comprehensive proposal for research that can be carried out in their clinical setting.

The short course in advanced skills, Research Skills, is a standalone course, making the training an affordable way to update CBT skills and reflect closely on practice.

Students can apply to take the course as:

  • an attendance only course or
  • an examined, credit-bearing course of study

Students taking the course for credit will submit a research proposal as an end of course assignment. Successful candidates will be awarded 15 University of Oxford Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points.

Students taking the course as an attendance-only course will be awarded a certificate of attendance from the University of Oxford.

As a student, you will be offered the opportunity to develop ‘real-life’ research skills for CBT practitioners. You will gain familiarity with a range of research approaches and statistical analyses relevant to CBT practitioners and researchers,  and you will learn how to critically review research papers. Ultimately you will be able to devise a viable CBT project relevant to your place of work.

During the teaching sessions, you will engage in discussion and in a range of practical exercise, applying what you learn to actual research of real CBT issues and topics. You will receive immediate feedback from tutors and peers which will be helpful in shaping up your research ideas.

Programme details

Course Structure

The Research Skills  short course comprises 5 days of teaching. This takes the form of highly interactive, practical workshops that reflect ideas on effective research and CBT practice.

Days 1-3 (21-23 September 2020)

An introduction real world research (including the purpose of research pragmatic research design, threats to validity and critical evaluation of empirical evidence)

Day 4 (2 November 2020)

Qualitative and Quantitative research methods

Day 5 (3 November 2020)

Refining research projects: fine tuning,  trouble shooting and preparing for ethical approval

Students taking this course for credit will submit their assignment in December 2020.


Description Costs
Research Skills (for credit) £945.00
Research Skills (not for credit) £845.00

Course aims

This course is designed to help you achieve certain aims. All students are experienced CBT practitioners with a wealth of knowledge. The course is thus a cooperative enterprise: we provide a forum for development, and your task is to take full advantage of it, while contributing actively to your own and to others’ learning.

By the end of the short course you will be expected to:

  • Display knowledge and understanding of general research principles and methodology, and demonstrate how these may be used within their own clinical work, and in the design and completion of an independent research proposal
  • Interpret and evaluate theoretical literature relevant to the provision of cognitive therapy or cognitive therapy services
  • Use established bodies of knowledge as a basis for developing their own ideas for research
  • Understand the value of an evidence-based approach to psychological treatment, including the distinctive contributions of efficacy and effectiveness research trials to clinical practice, and the use of clinical audit and other service evaluation approaches
  • Show evidence of the capacity to apply knowledge of research principles and practice in designing an independent research project with appropriate methodology and  analyses.
  • Write clear and literate research project proposal that comply with established conventions of presentation and referencing

Teaching methods

Teaching of the short course in Research Skills 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.

Formal teaching

This covers theoretical and practice, enhancing knowledge while encouraging its application in practice. A workshop format is normally used involving active participation, strong experiential elements and clear relevance to practice. Teaching is provided by local experts with specialised knowledge of particular topics.

Guided reading

Students need to set aside time regularly for reading. Guidance on references will be provided by tutors and supervisors.

Assessment methods

(Credit-bearing course students only)

Assessment is designed to determine whether the aims of the Course have successfully been met. Students who have enrolled for the credit-bearing Course and who successfully complete the assessment will be awarded 15 CATS points from University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education.

Evaluation for this course, where relevant, takes the form of a research proposal of no more than 1500 words.


Application deadline: NO APPLICATIONS FOR 20-21

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This course requires you to complete the application form and the additional information form below, and submit them alongside a copy of your CV to If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also need to complete section two of the reference form and forward it to your referee for completion. Please note that if you are not applying to take the course for academic credit then you do not need to submit a reference.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes before completing the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

Selection criteria

Applicants are normally expected to:

  1. Be qualified members of one of the main National Health Service professions (such as clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, general practitioners, occupational therapists), or other recognised professions (for example, social workers).
  2. Have at least one year’s post-qualification clinical experience and be qualified as a CBT therapist. Applicants would normally be expected to have CBT training to a Postgraduate Diploma level.