Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive & Behaviour Therapies - CBT for Psychosis & Bipolar Disorders Pathway (CBTp)

About the Programme

June 2019 Update: Funding has been agreed for 2019/20 and information about this pathway will be sent to CMHT and EIP services early July 2019 and will be posted on this page. Please liase with your Service Manager if you are interested in applying for this course as participation is dependent on management agreement.

This specialist programme, alongside the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Applications of CBT to Psychosis & Bipolar Disorder: Top-up CBTp training, was originally commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) to help support the new targets for Early Intervention (EI) Services to provide NICE concordant Psychological Interventions to people with psychosis & bipolar disorder. We are now able to offer this training to practitioners working with people with psychosis and bipolar disorder across all secondary services.

This 2 year part-time programme validated by the University of Manchester, is aimed at mental health professionals with generic skills and basic CBT experience and knowledge, to train as a CBTp therapists.

Year 1 covers foundation, fundamental, basic and advanced affective disorders modules made up of four x 15 credit units (2 taught, 2 supervised practice). One day’s training per week is provided over a 10 month period (a total of 46 days including 3 week blocks). The content of curriculum is based on the core CBT competencies framework (Roth & Pilling, 2007).

Year 2 covers specialist psychosis and bipolar disorder modules made up of 4 x 15 credit units (2 taught and 2 supervised practice). The content of the curriculum is based on Roth & Pilling’s (2013) competency framework for psychosis and bipolar disorder and Roth & Pilling’s (2015) curriculum for psychological interventions for people with psychosis or bipolar disorder.


Programme Aims

The formal aims of the programme are as follows:

To provide high quality training in the core therapy skills relevant to cognitive and behaviour therapies for students aiming to work with clients with the disorders relevant to their pathway. For all pathways, the programme aims to ensure that all graduates meet recognised minimum clinical competence standards in working using CBT with clients with anxiety and depression, consistent with the relevant competencies framework for psychological interventions with people with anxiety and depression developed by Roth & Pilling (2008) It aims to do this by presenting the relevant theoretical bases of the therapies alongside research evidence of their effectiveness. It endeavours to enable students to develop an understanding of the links between research in the relevant areas of psychological science and practical applications of these therapies.

To provide training consistent with all key governmental objectives, including training in ‘evidence-based practice’ and the provision of ‘lifelong learning’. As the diploma is a post-qualification programme suitable for health, mental health and social care professionals with suitable knowledge and experience, the programme aims to develop and extend professional competence in all relevant professions.

To be consistent with the National Department of Health priorities for mental health. To create a pool of suitably qualified graduates, trained to standards meeting with the provision of services as specified by the National Service Framework for Mental Health (National Health Service Executive). The National Service Framework promotes the training of staff in cognitive and behavioural Therapies and the need for the increased provision of evidence-based psychotherapy to service users. This programme supports the various national ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ programmes which aim significantly to increase the number of people in the workforce delivering evidence-based psychological therapies.

To provide practical support, guidance and supervision in the practice of therapies delivered to clients with the disorders relevant to the pathway, and to help programme participants to develop the clinical skills necessary for working with this client group.

To ensure that all graduates of the programme meet recognised minimum clinical competence standards in working using CBT with clients with the relevant disorders.

To equip participants with the knowledge necessary to go on to develop skills in the application of cognitive behavioural theory and therapy to a broader range of clinical presentations.

The programme aims to provide high quality training in the application of CBT to psychosis and bipolar disorder

The programme aims to enable students to develop competencies consistent with the competencies framework for psychological interventions with people with psychosis & bipolar disorder developed by Roth & Pilling (2013)

Programme Participants

Applicants for all the programmes will predominantly be current staff within EI Services, who have the support of their EIP Manager/Clinical Lead. Each programme has specific eligibility criteria and service support requirements, which vary across the different programmes and are detailed in the 'Information For Managers' document available on this page. Application Forms are also available on this page.


Priority will be given to staff working within EI Services, however staff outside EI Services (public sector services which specialise in working with service users with psychosis & bipolar disorder) may apply, and any unfilled places will be open to those applicants. 


Participants will be predominantly qualified members of the main mental health professions (Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatric Nurses, Psychiatrists, Mental Health Social Workers, Occupational Therapists in Mental Health, Accredited Counsellors). Please consult the following link for a list of all health, Mental health and social care professions currently accepted by BABCP as a recognised core profession, which will be accepted as entry criteria:


Applicants without one of these recognised core professions will be considered for eligibility via the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA) framework based on that developed by the BABCP.  The KSA requirements for this training programme will be sent out to applicants.  An example of KSA requirements can be found on the BABCP website

Training Component

The training component is in the form of lectures, workshops and supervision of clinical practice. Following the initial 5 day induction week, attendance is weekly, on one day per week, over three 12 week terms. There are two further teaching blocks at the beginning of terms 2 and 3. The training day on a Thursday will be comprised of supervision in the morning and a skills workshop in the afternoon. During term 3, there will be full day Masterclasses on some Mondays or Tuesdays, facilitated by national and international leaders in the development of CBT. On these weeks, supervision only will be provided on Thursdays.

Workshops include theoretical and skills development components, and combine academic presentations, demonstrations and experiential exercises.  Weekly intensive small group video based training supervision, is provided by highly experienced BABCP accredited CBT practitioners (for affective disorders) and CBTp practitioners (for psychosis and bipolar disorder).

Programme Administrator

Karen Sutherland

Please note that we are unable to give advice on what programme is best for you or give career advice.