The back of a students head in a group discussion
An informal group discussion
(Image Credit: Martin Prechelmacher / Graduate Photography Competition)

MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

About the course

This course aims to provide students with a high-level of expertise in applying evidence-based findings to clinical practice.

Students are admitted to the MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy via one of two strands: 

Research strand (TM_GT9P9C3)

The strand guides students through the process of developing and implementing an independent research project in their own clinical setting. This two-year, research-based award is an extension to the PGDip in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and provides a foundation for carrying out research and publishing an academic paper.

This strand is designed to help you achieve certain aims. If you are admitted to this strand, by the end of the course you should be able to:

  • display knowledge and understanding of general research principles and methodology, and demonstrate how these may be used within your own clinical work, and in the design and completion of an independent research project
  • 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 your 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 and carrying out an independent research project, using appropriate methodology and analysing and discussing results
  • use and interpret a variety of appropriate psychometric instruments to assess patient pathology and evaluate progress and outcome in treatment
  • write clear and literate assignments (research project proposal and final dissertation) that comply with established conventions of presentation and referencing.

The teaching element of this strand of the course is provided through tutorials. These are spread out over two years with an initial three-day meeting followed by one- or two-day tutorials several times during the year. Supervision is additionally provided on a one-to-one basis throughout the course. 

Some of the teaching days on this strand of the course may be made available to a wider audience as publicly bookable workshops via the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre. All participants will be expected to have an appropriate level of competence to participate fully.

Field supervisors, or local supervisors, give practical guidance in the workplace and advise and support students in carrying out the research. Students should have ready access to local supervisors for guidance regarding research practicalities in their area. 

Each student will be allocated a supervisor from Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre staff during the academic year, although the practical emphasis for supervision rests with the field supervisor. 

Further details

The official course title of this strand is "MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Part-time)" and its course code is TM_GT9P9C3. If you apply to be considered for this strand of the course, this title and/or course code will be visible in the Graduate Application Form, Graduate Applicant Self Service and on official documents and correspondence.

Clinical strand (TM_GT9P9C4)

This strand allows students to benefit from the range of specialist teaching available in the new course structure and to obtain a high-level of proficiency in implementing evidence-based treatment across a wide range of clinical presentations, and in disseminating these treatments as trainers and supervisors to other practitioners.

As a student undertaking this strand of the course, you will need to have already completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the University of Oxford/Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre. Your Postgraduate Diploma will be subsumed by the MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. 

This strand is designed to help you achieve certain aims. If you are admitted to this strand, by the end of the course you should be able 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 your own places of work
  • establish and maintain warm, respectful, collaborative relationships, and develop the ability to understand and manage difficulties in the alliance (including your own contribution) using a cognitive conceptual framework
  • through consultation, identify and resolve difficulties in practice, whether arising from theoretical, practical, interpersonal, personal or ethical problems. 

There are currently five pathways for this strand representing different specialisms: Children and Adolescents, CBT for comorbid, chronic and systemic difficulties (formerly Complex Presentations), Psychological Trauma and Personality Development, Psychosis and Bipolar and Supervision and Training. You will choose one specialist pathway, which you will follow for the duration of your course. You will have already completed one or two of these specialist pathways while undertaking the University of Oxford Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and you will need to choose a different specialism for this course. The duration of each specialist pathway will vary but will not exceed one year.

You will be expected to have access to treatment settings with regular clinical and CBT supervision where cognitive behavioural therapy skills can be practised and refined on a regular basis. These arrangements should be described in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview, should you be shortlisted.

1. Children and Adolescents

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 CBT for comorbid, chronic and systemic difficulties pathway.

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

The pathway begins with a two -day induction block and then attendance is required for two days bi-weekly, for training workshops. The duration of this course is five months and it runs from March to July.

Please note, the teaching of the Children and Adolescents pathway overlaps with that of the CBT for comorbid, chronic and systemic difficulties pathway and students will share some of the study days. However, students are either registered for the C&A pathway or the CCSD pathway, this is not a combined award. Due to the overlap in course content, students cannot progress from the C&A course to the CCSD course to achieve a PG Diploma (and vice versa), nor can a student combine C&A and CCSD courses as part of the Clinical MSc pathway. 

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

This specialism seeks to enable students to add to their existing knowledge of cognitive behavioural therapy, models, concepts and interventions specific to working with clinical presentations which are characterised by issues associated with co-morbidity and/or chronicity of emotional disorders or where systematic factors play a role in maintaining current problems. There is an emphasis on developing CBT knowledge and skills in delivering formulation driven CBT interventions, this includes using CBT when working with chronic and recurrent depression, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder; developmental trauma, harmful behaviours, personality disorder, psychosis and bi-polar disorder and adapting CBT to work with neurodiversity. The course aims to enable students to establish and practise a repertoire of cognitive behavioural skills for use with comorbid, chronic and systemic problems. Some teaching on relevant topics is shared with students on the Children and Adolescent pathway.

During the course students are expected to carry out CBT with at least three suitable patients presenting with problems impacted by chronicity, comorbidity or systemic factors and will receive, on a bi-weekly basis, two hours of small group CBT clinical supervision facilitated by an experienced CBT therapist.

The course begins with a two-day induction block and then attendance is required for two days bi-weekly, for training workshops. The duration of this course is five months and it runs from March to July.

Please note, the teaching of the CBT for comorbid, chronic and systemic difficulties pathway overlaps with that of the Children and Adolescents pathway and students will share some of the study days. However, students are either registered for the CCSD pathway or the C&A pathway, this is not a combined award. Due to the overlap in course content, students cannot progress from the CCSD course to the C&A course to achieve a PG Diploma (and vice versa), nor can a student combine CCSD and C&A courses as part of the Clinical MSc pathway.

3. Psychological Trauma and Personality Development

This innovative programme offers comprehensive, specialist training in CBT with a strong grounding in current psychological and CBT theories and research. It is designed to offer an in-depth understanding of the range of difficulties experienced by those who have suffered adversity and psychological trauma, alongside an in-depth understanding of the development of personality traits. The course highlights the CBT principles, theory and research that can guide optimal treatment delivery to people struggling with the legacy of trauma and/or with personality issues.

Twenty-one days of training and supervision are spread over an academic year, between September and July. A five-day foundation block in September (a combination of taught material and self-directed study), is followed by four intensive four-day teaching blocks. There are four summative assignments spread out over the period of training. Over the duration of the course, students are normally expected to engage in CBT with at least one patient with a trauma history and at least one patient with personality issues. Students are also expected to complete therapy with at least one patient over the duration of the course, although we encourage students to complete CBT with more than one patient before the end of this training. Therapy with patients must demonstrate the specialist CBT skills and knowledge relevant to working with patients who have experienced psychological trauma and/or struggle with personality issues. Supervision from specialists is offered within each block and between training blocks (10 supervision session in total).

One training day in each block is open to a wider clinical audience. This enables course participants to interact and share with a broader group of specialist practitioners.

4. Psychosis and Bipolar

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), and the Health Education England national curriculum for CBT for severe mental health presentations.

The course comprises teaching over three terms: five days in September, four days teaching in October, then one day per fortnight (Thurs) during November and December, followed by a two-day teaching block in January and one full day per fortnight (Thurs) from February to June.

Non-teaching Thursdays will be used for small-group supervision and self-directed study throughout the year.

5. Supervision and Training

This specialism aims to prepare students to teach and to supervise CBT. The emphasis is on acquiring, practising and communicating specialised dissemination skills, within an explicit theoretical framework. The course also prepares students for dissemination in a range of settings (eg individual and group supervision, small and large group training).

The course is informed by established and contemporary theory and research concerning learning principles and the practice of high-quality CBT. The content of the course is highly experiential with opportunities to engage in supervision and training practice during training sessions and to obtain live feedback on practice and performance.

Students are normally expected to carry out CBT supervision in at least three supervision settings or formats over the course and to present at least one training event in that time. There are three summative assessments over the period of training.

The course comprises 18 days, presented in five teaching blocks beginning in October and finishing in July. It begins with a four-day induction, followed by further three-day or four-day blocks. Formal teaching comprises full or half- day workshops and a half-day Practice of Supervision (PoS) session is regularly integrated into the course. Six of the training days are open to a wider professional audience. This enables course participants to interact and share with a broader group of specialist practitioners.

Further details

The official course title of this strand is "MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (taught)" and its course code is TM_GT9P9C4. If you apply to be considered for this strand of the course, this title and/or course code will be visible in the Graduate Application Form, Graduate Applicant Self Service and on official documents and correspondence.

Supervision 

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre and this role will usually be performed by the Course Director. Research strand students will meet with their Supervisors, when required, and Clinical strand students will meet as part of the small group supervision required in each specialism.

It is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. A supervisor may be found outside the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre.

Assessment

Research strand (TM_GT9P9C3)

To complete the Research strand of the MSc in CBT , you will need to submit a dissertation, which comprises:

  • a research paper, which is prepared to a standard that is acceptable for submission to a peer reviewed journal; and

  • a reflective critique of the research experience.

The reflective critique is an opportunity for you to look back over your experience of carrying out a piece of research and taking it to the point of submission. You will need to demonstrate what you have learnt from your experience, what you would do differently with hindsight, and how your experience will inform your practice from now on.

Clinical strand (TM_GT9P9C4)

For the Clinical strand, summative assessment requirements vary according to the specialism that you have chosen.

1. Children and Adolescents
  • Two clinical recordings
  • Two case reports
2. CBT for comorbid, chronic and systemic difficulties
  • Two clinical recordings
  • Two case reports
3. Psychological Trauma and Personality Development
  • One assignment demonstrating knowledge of CBT theory
  • One clinical recording
  • One clinical assessment report
  • One case report
4. Psychosis and Bipolar
  • A research presentation based on the theoretical content
  • One clinical recording
  • One case report
  • One case presentation.
5. Supervision and Training
  • One assignment demonstrating knowledge of supervision and training theory
  • One video recording of supervisory practice and supervision critique
  • One training report

Graduate destinations 

Research strand (TM_GT9P9C3)

Completion of the course provides access to a growing network of course graduates and to an ongoing programme of follow- up workshops on CBT and related topics. Further supervision through OCTC may also be negotiated, for example, for participants wishing to achieve accreditation by the British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies as a therapist, supervisor and/or trainer. 

Clinical strand (TM_GT9P9C4)

The clinical strand of the course was a new strand for entry in 2021-22. Students who previously completed the research strand have used their MSc project as the foundation for further studies at a doctoral level.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

Entry requirements for entry in 2023-24

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:

  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a relevant subject; and
  • have successfully completed the PGDip in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the University of Oxford provided in collaboration with the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre. Applicants to the clinical strand (MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (taught) - TM_GT9P9C4) are normally expected to have achieved at least a merit in this award.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Applicants are also normally expected to:

  • have at least two years' post-qualification clinical experience; and
  • be qualified members of one of the main National Health Service professions, eg clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, general practitioners, occupational therapists, or other recognised professions, eg social worker.

Publications are not expected.

Requirements specific to the research strand (TM_GT9P9C3)

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have:

  • a research proposal which can be implemented in their clinical setting. It is imperative that applicants have developed a realistic proposal; therefore, applicants are required to submit their proposal with their MSc application so that it can be reviewed prior to interview;
  • a ‘field’ supervisor for their research, ie a supervisor who is local to the student and the project, and who is sufficiently experienced in research to oversee the work; and 
  • maintained their continued professional development as CBT practitioners, as is required by the BABCP, since completing their Postgraduate Diploma.

Requirements specific to the clinical strand (TM_GT9P9C4)

Specific requirements for this strand vary according to the chosen pathway:

1. Children and Adolescents pathway

Applicants should:

  • demonstrate commitment to developing CBT skills for use in clinical practice; and
  • have access to treatment settings with regular clinical and CBT supervision where cognitive behavioural therapy skills can be practised and refined on a regular basis. This should include the option for face-to-face delivery of CBT. Where CBT is being delivered online, appropriate duty of care arrangements will be expected to be in place, including that students, patients and field supervisors reside in the same country. These arrangements should be described in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview, should you be shortlisted.
2. CBT for comorbid, chronic and systemic difficulties pathway

Applicants should:

  • demonstrate commitment to developing CBT skills for use in clinical practice within this specialism; and
  • have access to adult treatment settings with at least monthly clinical and CBT supervision where cognitive behavioural therapy skills can be practised and refined on a weekly basis. This should include the option for face-to-face delivery of CBT. Where CBT is being delivered online, appropriate duty of care arrangements will be expected to be in place, including that students, patients and field supervisors reside in the same country. These arrangements should be described in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview, should you be shortlisted.
3. Psychological Trauma and Personality Development pathway

Applicants should:

  • work in an environment that enables them to offer CBT-based interventions to patients with clinical presentations following exposure to psychological trauma and / or personality trait issues;

  • have access to adult treatment settings with regular clinical and CBT supervision where cognitive behavioural therapy skills can be practised and refined on a regular basis throughout the course; and
  • have support from their employer for providing the time and suitable clinical opportunities necessary for completing the course. This should include the option for face-to-face delivery of CBT if possible.

Appropriate duty of care arrangements should be in place, for all patients. Where CBT is being delivered online, students, patients and field supervisors should reside in the same country.

These arrangements should be acknowledged in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview if you are shortlisted.

4. Psychosis and Bipolar pathway

Applicants should:

  • be competent in using a cognitive behavioural approach to treat anxiety disorders and depression;
  • have access to adult treatment settings with regular clinical and CBT supervision where cognitive behavioural therapy skills can be practised and refined on a regular basis throughout the course;
  • have support from their employer for providing the time and suitable clinical opportunities necessary for completing the course. This should include the option for face-to-face delivery of CBT. Where CBT is being delivered online, appropriate duty of care arrangements will be expected to be in place, including that students, patients and field supervisors reside in the same country. These arrangements should be described in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview, should you be shortlisted; and
  • demonstrate commitment to developing CBT skills for use with clients with psychosis and bipolar.
5. Supervision and Training pathway

Applicants should:

  • demonstrate commitment to developing CBT dissemination skills;

  • have access to CBT supervisees and trainees. This should include opportunities for face-to-face delivery of CBT teaching and /or training, if possible;
  • be competent in using cognitive behavioural approaches with a variety of common mental health problems;
  • have support from their employer for providing the time and suitable dissemination opportunities necessary for completing the course.

These arrangements should be acknowledged in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview if you are shortlisted.

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

Minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level requirement
TestMinimum overall scoreMinimum score per component
IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713) 7.57.0

TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'

(Institution code: 0490)

110Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
C1 Advanced*191185
C2 Proficiency191185

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

References

You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including an official transcript and a CV/résumé. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

Applicants will be shortlisted in accordance with their ability to meet the criteria for admissions. Interviews will usually be held four to six weeks after the application deadline. 

Interviews will normally be held in person, but may be conducted via video-conferencing, and will be conducted by two members of the course team. They will usually last about 45 minutes and include questions about your professional background and submitted research proposal for the research strand, and either a role-play to assess clinical skills or a brief presentation on a relevant topic for the clinical strand.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements published under that heading. References and supporting documents submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about how applications are assessed

Shortlisting and selection

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of the University’s pilot selection procedure and for scholarships aimed at under-represented groups;
  • country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about processing special category data for the purposes of positive action and using your data to assess your eligibility for funding, can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the About section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our After you apply pages provide more information about offers and conditions

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.

Resources

The department is committed to supporting you to pursue your academic goals. 

The Rewley House Continuing Education Library, one of the Bodleian Libraries, is situated in Rewley House. The department aims to support the wide variety of subjects covered by departmental courses at many academic levels. The department also has a collection of around 73,000 books together with periodicals. PCs in the library give access to the internet and the full range of electronic resources subscribed to by the University of Oxford. Wi-Fi is also available. The Jessop Reading Room adjoining the library is available for study. You will have access to the Central Bodleian and other Bodleian Libraries.

The department's Graduate School provides a stimulating and enriching learning and research environment for the department's graduate students, fostering intellectual and social interaction between graduates of different disciplines and professions from the UK and around the globe. The Graduate School will help you make the most of the wealth of resources and opportunities available, paying particular regard to the support and guidance needed if you are following a part-time graduate programme. The department’s graduate community comprises over 600 members following taught programmes and more than 70 undertaking doctoral research.

The department provides various IT facilities, including the Student Computing Facility which provides individual PCs for your use. Many of the department's courses are delivered through blended learning or have a website to support face-to-face study. In most cases, online support is delivered through a virtual learning environment. 

Depending on the programme you are taking with the department, you may require accommodation at some point in your student career. Rewley House is ideally located in central Oxford; the city's historic sites, colleges, museums, shops and restaurants are only a few minutes’ walk away. The department has 35 en-suite study bedrooms, all with high quality amenities, including internet access.

The Rewley House dining room has seating for up to 132 people. A full meal service is available daily. The department operates a Common Room with bar for students. 

Funding

The University expects to be able to offer around 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2023-24. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2023-24

Research strand (TM_GT9P9C3)

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home£5,045
Overseas£5,045

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Clinical strand (TM_GT9P9C4)

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home£5,045
Overseas£5,045

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Information about course fees

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding section of this website provides further information about course fees, including information about fee status and eligibility and your length of fee liability.

Additional information

Research strand (TM_GT9P9C3)

This course has residential sessions in Oxford. You will need to meet your travel and accommodation costs in attending these sessions. Further, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Clinical strand (TM_GT9P9C4)

This course has residential sessions in Oxford. You will need to meet your travel and accommodation costs in attending these sessions. You may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2023-24 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,290 and £1,840 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2023-24, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of 5% or more each year – although this rate may vary significantly depending on how the national economic situation develops. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

College preference

All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs). 

For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges. 

The colleges accepting students on the MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may vary according to your specialism:

MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Research strand) - TM_GT9P9C3

MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Clinical strand) - TM_GT9P9C4

Before you apply

Our guide to getting started provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines in our Application Guide. We recommend that you submit your application well in advance - two or three weeks earlier. 

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver before you apply.

Contacting the department

You do not need to make contact with the department before you apply but you are encouraged to visit the relevant departmental webpages to read any further information about your chosen course.

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents. If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Referees:
Three overall, at least one professional and one academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

A professional reference from your current clinical supervisor is required and at least one of your references should be academic.

Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, ability to work in a group and clinical ability.

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Statement of purpose/personal statement
A maximum of 500 words

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford. You should explain your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you.

For the clinical strand (TM_GT9P9C4), you should state which of the five specialisms you are applying for. You should also describe how you will gain access to suitable training cases and regular CBT supervision during your time on the course. These arrangements should be described in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview, should you be shortlisted.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

Your statement will be assessed for your motivation for applying to this particular programme of study; your relevant academic, research, or practical experience; and the areas of study within the subject that interest you.  

Research proposal
Required only for MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Research strand) - TM_GT9P9C3
A maximum of 1,500 words

Your research proposal should be appended to your personal statement and uploaded as one file during the application process. 

It should be an outlined proposal for a research study, written in English, that is appropriate to the aims of the course, well-designed and feasible.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

Your proposal should identify your proposed research project and outline the scope and treatment of the project. It will be normal for your ideas subsequently to change in some ways as you investigate the evidence and develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment. 

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please refer to the requirements above and consult our Application Guide for advice. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application Guide  

Students are admitted to this course via one of two strands, so you must decide which strand you would like to follow:

MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Research strand) - TM_GT9P9C3

Apply

MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Clinical strand) - TM_GT9P9C4

Apply

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