Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 0.5-1 year

UK fee

£2,520 (2022/23)

International fee

£2,520 (2022/23)

Course level



University Advanced Diploma

Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is designed to help people who may be experiencing a range of mental health difficulties to manage emotions and behaviour that may be causing distress or ill health.

This University Advanced Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Studies and Skills is one of a few CBT qualifications that can be studied online. With a focus on therapeutic relationships, it is a perfect entry level course if you are looking to apply up-to-date, evidence-based theoretical approaches and practical skills informed by cognitive behavioural theory into your practice, or if you simply want to learn more about cognitive behavioural theory.

Our course could be your first step toward becoming an accredited psychotherapist. This qualification alone will not give you a licence to practice but may help you decide if this is a career you wish to pursue. Alternatively, as a mental health nurse, social worker or occupational therapist, you can bring an additional dimension to your role, benefiting both you and your patients.

This diploma course consists of three 20-credit modules that will enable you to learn the most up-to-date applications of cognitive behavioural theory, ensuring the needs of practitioners working in this field of study are met. It also incorporates mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and compassion-focused therapy, allowing you to learn how these new interventions have developed, as well as how these approaches can be applied within the mental health field.

A high quality online cognitive behavioural course

This online Cognitive Behavioural Studies and Skills (Not a license to practice) University Advanced Diploma course is Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society (NCS). This course alone is not a route to the Accredited Register nor does it fully equip a graduate to practice as a qualified counsellor.

The NCS is a not for profit organisation whose primary purpose is the advancement of counselling and psychotherapy.

The National Counselling Society Quality Checked Course logo

An ideal introduction to CBT

A diverse range of people take this course, which makes for interesting online discussions and debates. Students are typically from mental health, nursing, social work and occupational therapy backgrounds and education, from all over the world. You will need a related qualification but you might be an aspiring therapist or counsellor or already have years of experience in such a role.

Learn practical transferable skills

Through studying this course, you will learn the theoretical, ethical and legal underpinnings of cognitive behavioural approaches and their application to practice settings. This will give you the ability to appraise CBT in the wider context of psychopathology and as an alternative or adjunct treatment to pharmacological approaches.

Whether you are studying this course for personal interest or to enhance your practice, you will learn to critically reflect on your own personal values, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs within the context of cognitive behavioural theory. The module content has been designed specifically to enable you to evaluate the clinical application of cognitive behavioural theory within a social and cultural context.

Plenty of opportunities to practice

You may be surprised to learn that CBT can be studied online. However, through our use of specially designed, interactive teaching methods, you’ll participate in virtual classrooms and online discussion forums where you can discuss and debate relevant topics with fellow online students. So, in many ways, it can feel a less daunting environment in which to learn.

Studying online gives you the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. Course modules still operate within a fixed 10-week trimester but you can choose to study during the day, in the evenings or at the weekend rather than having to attend fixed lectures.

Student Mo Aledeh sat smiling

Helping Mo to improve patient care

Online student Mo Aledeh helps patients on their journey to recovery in a hospital psychiatric department in Austria. Gaining a deeper understanding of his patient’s issues would help him in his role.

Read Mo's storyRead Mo's story

Find out more about the course

Find out more about our mental health and psychotherapy programs as Dr Yasuhiro Kotera, talks about our online Counselling and Psychotherapy courses.

Find out more about the online Counselling Studies and Psychotherapy courses

View the online Counselling Studies and Psychotherapy courses video transcript

If you have any further questions you can contact-us.

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

man listening and taking notes

Online Counselling and Psychotherapy courses Q&A: July 2022

Tuesday, 5 July 2022 15.00 - 15.30

If you're interested to find out more about our online Counselling and Psychotherapy courses, join the live Q&A to hear from Robert Maxwell-Jones, Programme Leader, and get your questions answered.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

How you will learn

Pace of study

The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Should you decide to study on the accelerated rate you should ensure that you have the capacity to fully engage with your studies and achieve the best grades and final award. If you choose to study on the accelerated rate, you will need to balance approximately 40 hours of study per week alongside your professional and personal life and commitments.

It may be useful to consider studying one module at the standard rate of study before deciding whether to then increase to the accelerated rate of study.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Student support and guidance

Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:

All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.

Who will teach you

Lecturer Robert Maxwell-Jones

Robert Maxwell-Jones
Programme leader

Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy with a focus on online learning, Robert Maxwell-Jones previously worked in the university as an Online Learning Adviser which has enabled him to develop a very student focussed approach to teaching. He teaches across a range of Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural and Clinical Supervision Programmes.

View full staff profileView full staff profileExplore all staff on this courseExplore all staff on this course

Get a taste of the course content

Our Cognitive Behavioural Studies and Skills University Advanced Diploma course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster

Entry requirements

You will need:

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

*If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5, you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes, which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.

Fees and funding

2022/23 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 3 £2,520

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

Documents to support your application

In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


Becoming an accredited cognitive behavioural therapist

In order to become an accredited cognitive behavioural psychotherapist with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), you'll need to complete four years of training. This University Advanced Diploma course is the first step and accounts for one year of that training.

To complete the final three years of training, you may apply to undertake our Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy MSc. Many of our students who have chosen to stay on to do this course find it helps them become highly skilled cognitive behavioural psychotherapists.

As a mental health nurse or practising counsellor, this course can provide you with additional skills to enhance your current job, as well as CPD (continuing professional development) credits. 

What our students say

"This course provided me with a very good introduction to the world of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, and it has helped me to reassess my career options and where I want to take my life." John Aitken, who has now progressed on to our Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy MSc 

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It provided a sound introduction to the world of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy and confirmed my desire to become an accredited cognitive behavioural therapist.” Farishta Jalal

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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