Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Applications of CBT for Psychosis & Bipolar Disorder - Topup CBT Training

About the Programme

June 2019 Update: Although funding is available for CBTp programmes for 2019/20 it is unclear whether we will be able to offer places on this programme in the Autumn. The final decision will be made by the end of July 2019 at the latest. Updates will be posted on this page.

This specialist programme, alongside the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive & Behaviour Therapies: CBT for Psychosis & Bipolar Disorder (CBTp) pathway, 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 hope to offer them to practitioners working with people with psychosis and bipolar disorder across all services.

This part time CBTp Top-up training, which runs over one academic year, is validated by the University of Manchester and is aimed at CBT practitioners who can demonstrate competency in CBT for affective disorders, and wish to develop their CBT skills for psychosis & bipolar disorder.

Teaching is on one day per week (a total of 24 days) over one academic year made up of four x 15 credit Units (2 taught and 2 supervised practice). Course content 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 basic skills relevant to cognitive and behavioural therapies for students aiming to work with clients with the disorders relevant to their programme. 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 postgraduate certificate are post-qualification programmes, 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 workforces delivering evidence based psychological therapies.

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

To ensure that all graduates of the programme meet recognised minimum clinical competence 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

To provide high quality training in the application of CBT to psychosis and bipolar disorder.

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. Attendance is weekly, on one day per week over the academic year, with 26 teaching days (there are likely to be additional days for supervision only). After the initial two full teaching days, subsequent days will be comprised of weekly supervision in the morning and a weekly skills workshop in the afternoon (Tuesday). These workshops will include those delivered by local, regional and national leaders in the field of CBT for psychosis and bipolar disorder.

Workshops include theoretical and skills development components, combining academic presentations, demonstrations and experiential exercises, and training days include weekly intensive small group video based training supervision delivered by highly experienced BABCP accredited CBTp practitioners

Programme Administrator

Vickie Molyneaux