PGCert in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy | University of Oxford
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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 the past 27 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 with a four-day teaching block followed by one full-day per week (Friday) over two terms, beginning in September. Students receive two hours of small group supervision weekly. One of the full teaching days will also be given to individual meetings with supervisors to review formative clinical submissions.

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.

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.

Students 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 throughout the course.

Course 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
  • complete a 4,000-word case report of one treated case
  • complete a 2,000-word essay on CBT theory, research and 
  • submit audio/video recordings of CBT sessions for formative and summative assessment.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre and 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.

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. 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 sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information, please see our page on 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 2020-21

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

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

  • 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 mentioned 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;
  • 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;
  • 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 throughout the course. These arrangements should be described in your personal statement and will be discussed in detail at interview if you are shortlisted. 

Publications are not expected.

English language requirement

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.

Detailed requirements - higher level

The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are:

IELTS Academic7.5Minimum 7.0 per component
TOEFL iBT110

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or C1 Advanced191Minimum 185 per component
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or C2 Proficiency191Minimum 185 per component

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

Supporting documents 

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need 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 in exceptional circumstances may be conducted via video-conferencing, and will be conducted by 2 members of the course team. They will usually last about 30 minutes and include questions about the applicant's professional background and role-play to assess clinical skills.  

Supervision

Any offer of a place is dependent on the University’s ability to provide the appropriate supervision for your chosen area of work. Please refer to the ‘About’ section of this page for more information about the provision of supervision for this course.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published entry requirements for the course. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background. Whether you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

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.

After an offer is made

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, you will 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. Wifi 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 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

There are over 1,100 full or partial graduate scholarships available across the University. You will be automatically considered for over two thirds of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant January deadline, with most scholarships awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. To help identify those scholarships where you will be required to submit an additional application, use the Fees, funding and scholarships search and visit individual college websites using the links provided on our college pages.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2020-21

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home/EU (including Islands)£4,265
Overseas£4,265

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 likely increases 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 section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

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 2020-21 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,135 and £1,650 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 2020-21, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.

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.

Colleges

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.

How to apply

You do not need to make contact with academic members of staff before you apply.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

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:
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.

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.

References/letters of recommendation:
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.

Start or continue an application

Step 1: Carefully read the entry requirements on this course page to make sure you meet all the criteria.

Step 2: Check above what documents are required and prepare to apply by reading our Application Guide.

Step 3: Apply as soon as possible. Consult the Application Guide for more information about deadlines.

Application GuideApply

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