The side of the Radcliffe Camera through a black gate
The Radcliffe Camera, seen from the Bodleian Quad
(Image Credit: Christopher Wills)

PGCert in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

About the course 

This course aims to equip practitioners with the CBT skills necessary to implement evidence-based treatment for the most common psychological disorders. It comprises 21 days of teaching over two terms, including weekly supervision groups.

The Postgraduate Certificate 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 more than 30 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.

The course aims to provide students with:

  • a sound knowledge of cognitive behavioural models, concepts and methods
  • an understanding of issues of importance relating to the theory and practice of CBT, including:
    • the relationship between CBT theory and therapy 
    • the use of CBT with a variety of client groups and disorders
    • related research on outcome and process. 
  • competence in assessing and treating patients using CBT:
    • in assessing patient suitability for CBT
    • in developing CBT case-formulations
    • in devising and implementing individual treatment programmes 
    • in evaluating their effects.
  • the ability to convey clearly the central concepts of CBT and to communicate basic treatment skills.

The course does not aim to prepare students to teach and supervise CBT. The emphasis is on acquiring, practising and communicating specialised clinical skills, within an explicit theoretical framework in relation to associated empirical research.

Course structure

The course begins in September, with five days teaching over the first two weeks of the course followed by one full-day per week (Friday) over two terms. Students receive two hours of small group supervision weekly focussing on CBT skills development. In teaching sessions, emphasis is placed on observation of CBT in action and on experiential learning with participation in role-play and other practical exercises.

Students will be expected to have access to adult treatment settings where they can access training cases suitable for novice CBT therapists (i.e. mild-moderate presentations of common mental health problems) and where cognitive behavioural therapy skills can be practised and refined on a regular basis throughout the course. Students will also be responsible for arranging regular CBT supervision in the treatment setting from a qualified CBT practitioner. 

Reading and completion of written assignments will be undertaken in addition to the teaching day outlined above. Many students find it effective to set aside six to seven hours a week for private study.

Some of the teaching days on this 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.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre. Small group supervision takes place weekly, prior to teaching on Friday mornings.

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

To complete the PG Cert in CBT you will need to:

  • take an active part in teaching and supervision sessions, and carry out CBT with the required number of patients;
  • term one: complete a clinical assessment report;
  • term two: complete a case report of one treated case; and
  • submit audio/video recordings of CBT sessions for formative and summative assessment in both terms.

Graduate destinations

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. 

This award forms the foundation for further professional and clinical development, which can be pursued within the larger framework of the OCTC/University of Oxford CBT programme. The programme offers specialist training and can lead to a Postgraduate Diploma or MSc in CBT.

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.

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 normally expected to:

  • 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; and
  • have at least one year's post-qualification clinical experience.

Applicants should:

  • be competent in general clinical skills, such as forming a therapeutic relationship and communicating effectively. A foundation of basic clinical competencies is an important prerequisite as the course provides specialised training in CBT and does not focus on developing the basics of good clinical practice;
  • 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. 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 if you are shortlisted;
  • be 'psychologically minded'. Applicants should be used to working within the framework of psychological explanations of behaviour and using psychological treatment methods to achieve change. This does not imply commitment to any particular psychological model;
  • have some knowledge of cognitive behavioural therapies. Applicants do not need to have extensive practical experience of CBT, however, preference is given to candidates who can demonstrate some knowledge and experience of CBT approaches. Prior CBT experience and knowledge can be pursued through personal reading, attendance at workshops, membership of appropriate professional organisations or having a basic supervised CBT practice; and
  • demonstrate commitment to developing CBT skills for use in clinical practice.

Publications are not expected.

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 the applicant's professional background and role-play to assess clinical skills.  

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.

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

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2023-24

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home£4,995
Overseas£4,995

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

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.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees and Funding section of this website, which includes detailed fee status information.

Additional information

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.

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

Matriculation confers membership of the University on students. Students who enrol on this course will not be matriculated and will not become a member of an Oxford college. Although not formally members of the University, non-matriculated students are expected to observe the same rules and regulations as matriculated students. Further information about matriculation is available on the Oxford Students website.

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:
A maximum of 500 words

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in. You should also describe how you will gain access to suitable training cases and regular CBT supervision during your time on the course.

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

This 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.

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 Apply

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