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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1-2 years

UK fee

£5,040 (2020/21)

International fee

£5,040 (2020/21)

Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

If you are looking to develop mental health therapy skills and practice as a therapist, a nurse or other roles within the health and social care sector, this course is for you. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is currently receiving the highest funding from the UK government among all the other therapeutic interventions, and is one of the most-well-researched psychological interventions around the world. As a result, the need for learning cognitive behavioural therapies has seen a significant increase in demand worldwide.

Ideal for developing mental health therapy skills

This course will teach you about the foundation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches, research skills, evidence-based practice, the integration of cognitive behavioural therapies into practice, and about contemporary approaches of cognitive behavioural therapies such as compassion-focused therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

By completing this programme, you will have a solid foundation to integrate Cognitive Behavioural Therapies Approaches into your workplace or practice, as well as the ability to implement strong research skills to help clients and patients effectively. You will be given the opportunity to develop key, critical competencies and develop your own area of expertise, developing self-awareness and an understanding of the need for personal professional development.

Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework
100%agree that they are satisfied with the quality of the course**UoD Survey 2020

A high quality online cognitive behavioural course

This online Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) 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

Flexible and supported learning

We recognise health and social care professionals have demanding and busy schedules. Studying this course online enables you to enhance your practice through part-time, online learning while still focusing on what’s important. You can choose to study at a time that suits you, fitting your studies around your commitments, preparing you to integrate CBT into your line of work or supporting your next step to a masters programme.

This two-year, level 6 course enables you to top up your existing qualifications to a bachelors degree while developing your knowledge and understanding of this highly demanded mental health intervention. If you’re looking to become a counsellor or psychotherapist, by completing this course and along with the relevant experience required, you will be well prepared for progressing on to a masters programme, such as our Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy MSc on campus which offers a professional registration.

The flexible and self-paced structure of our top-up course enables you to fit your studies around your professional and personal commitments, giving you the ability to study while developing your professional career.

During the course, you will cover areas such as evidence-based practice, understanding and application of cognitive behavioural therapies, compassionate-focused therapy, mindfulness, research skills and working with people with distress and disorder.

This Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) degree course is delivered fully online with tutoring from our expert academics, who bring a wealth of experience and specialist knowledge to enrich your learning further, helping you to achieve a recognised university qualification.

A talk from our Academic Lead

Our Academic Lead for Counselling, Yasu Kotera, talks about our Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) in this video.

Listen to the course academic talk about the online Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches BSc (Hons) Top-Up degree course

View the introduction to our online Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches BSc (Hons) Top-Up video transcript

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

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.

Stage 1Stage 1

Code: 6CL512

Contemporary Approaches within Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This module will be studied by practitioners who are specialising in integrating insights and skills from CBT within their current practice.

In this specialist module, you will choose one of the contemporary approaches within CBT to focus upon, such as compassion focused therapy (CFT) or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). You will study the approach in some depth and consider the contribution that it has made to our understanding of human problems and distress. Distinctive to this module is the chance to use small learning groups in order to choose and then use some of the relevant skills and knowledge. You will also have the opportunity to create a plan by which you could go on to integrate your use of the skills and insights within your current professional practice.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the contribution that one area of contemporary CBT approaches has made to our understanding of human problems
  2. Critically apply skills and theoretical insights from an area of contemporary CBT approaches into their practice

Module content

During this module you will all briefly study all the contemporary approaches currently available within the module. You will also choose the approach you will focus upon and will both study this in greater depth and then practice with aspects of the approach in videoed sessions with peers, in triads. You will offer each other feedback and also peer supervise for this practice.

The approaches in this module are likely to include CFT and MBCT. Each approach will be presented in terms of (at least):

  • The main concepts, insights and ideas
  • The main aspects available for you to use and practise using
  • Appropriate beginnings and endings
  • Evidence which supports the approach
  • Cautions and limitations 
  • Ethical and legal considerations
  • Planning, monitoring and evaluating use of the approach within your current practice

You will also further develop your focus on yourself, your origins, your attitudes and values, prejudices and biases that influence how you work with different people and groups. You will continue to consider different aspects of your self-awareness, your personal development and reflection, and you will also make sense of integrative helping practice.

You will address what you need to do to ensure you can create healthy boundaries (with others), self-care strategies, and also have adequate forms of mentoring, clinical supervision, personal therapy and continuous professional development, dependent upon your practice area. In addition, you will consider ethical principles and dilemmas and also ruptures to and repairing a helping relationship.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CL513

Integrating Practices

This important module is shared across subject disciplines related to health and social care.

The module attracts a wide range of professionals involved in the provision and delivery of a global, changing and expanding health and social care agenda. One of the ways things are changing is with increased integration. Attempts at integrating practices may bring together various kinds of approaches and services related to diagnosis, therapy, treatment, care, rehabilitation and health promotion. Hence, it is possible that ‘integration can lead to improved services in relation to ones such as; access, quality, user satisfaction and efficiency’ (WHO, 2020). It is advisable to study this module within the first year of the programme as it sets the foundation for developing integrative practices within practice. This is important whether working within therapeutic practice (at micro levels), or integrating care pathways with other practitioner groups and organisations (at more macro levels).

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse person centred integrative care and practice
  2. Critically evaluate contemporary approaches towards, and barriers to, integrative working within own sphere of practice
  3. Reflect on the self-development needed to support integrative working practices.

Module content

During this module you will have the opportunity to work with other learners in order to both learn and collaborate on an assignment. There is a focus on concepts and theory in areas such as: person centred integrative care and practice; ethical (principles and dilemmas); legal duties and responsibilities; professional and organisational contexts; power, communication, subjects, disciplines and the organisation of labour. A wide range of factors will be analysed that support and hinder integrated working such as: philosophical, power based, social, cultural, financial, procedural, legal, relationship and interpersonal factors. You will assess your own working or workplace and will consider and present ideas towards change. There is a focus on self, origins, attitudes and values, prejudices and biases that influence working with different people and groups. Different aspects of ethical principles and codes will be considered as well as personal development, reflection and self-awareness. Also considered will be what needs to be done to ensure the following can be created: healthy boundaries (with others); self-care strategies; to include adequate forms of mentoring, clinical supervision, personal therapy and continuous professional development dependent upon practice area.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CL514

Relationships Informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This module is located within health and social care-related programmes. Thus, the module may be studied by a wide range of practitioners and professionals involved in different caring roles.

In studying this module you will learn some important components of what it is to be a practitioner who can integrate knowledge and skills from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches into your current practice. In short, you are becoming a CBT informed helper who can make safe decisions about when to work using knowledge and skills from CBT and when not to. You will learn about how CBT practitioners make sense of and also the use of therapeutic relationships and skills. In addition, you will analyse in interviewing and assessment skills. You will then go on to determine how you may integrate this knowledge and skills into your current professional practice.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate your participation in self-development and peer supervision activities
  2. Identify how the learned skills and insights from CBT approaches can be integrated safely within your current practice
  3. Critically analyse the use of relational and interviewing skills in work with others that is informed by CBT approaches

Module content

During this module you will work with other learners in order to explore the importance of the therapeutic relationship within CBT approaches. You will discover the crucial role that your own self-awareness and self-development has in this. You will learn about the different skills (informed by a CBT approach) that may be employed in forming and developing therapeutic relationships and also in interviewing, assessing and formulating with people. In addition, you will have the chance to work with peers to critically reflect on your own practice and assess how the above ideas and skills maybe appropriately and safely integrated within your own current practice.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CL515

Working with People with Distress and Disorder

This module is located within health and social care-related programmes. Thus, the module may be studied by a wide range of practitioners and professionals involved in many different caring roles.

In studying this module you will learn about how all people can experience a range of different forms and degrees of emotional and psychological distress and disorder. There is an even wider range of historically, politically and socially, and culturally informed ways of making sense of this experience. You will study a range of the issues and debates in how we have, and now do, diagnose and then treat people. In addition, the module will also enable you to critically reflect on your work role and your workplace and on how you and your colleagues can work with people who experience distress and disorder in a facilitating way.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse a range of different ways of making sense of complex forms of emotional, physical and psychological distress
  2. Critically evaluate the possible causes of, and treatments for people who experience specific distress, disorders or psychopathologies
  3. Critically reflect upon your role, when using insights from CBT approaches to therapeutically support people who are considered to have a mental disorder

Module content

During this module you will work with learners from different health, nursing and social care courses in order to study a range of what we may currently term mental and emotional distress or disorder. You will pay particular attention to a range of historical and cultural ways in which humans have identified and categorised these areas of experience, and reasons why we may have done so. You will study mainstream approaches such as DSM (APA 2013) and ICD (WHO 2010), alongside ideas from critical psychology and anti-psychiatry. Within these, you will consider issues around power, diversity, equality and personal (as opposed to just clinical) recovery. You will analyse a wide range of ideas about what may cause different disorders and distress and an even wider range of possible treatments, medications and therapies that may treat, help and support people in different ways. Finally, you will make sense of what you have learnt in terms of a specific workplace setting. You will focus on information sharing, risk assessment and management, and also referral and signposting.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6HC508

Preparing for Research and Evidence Based Practice

Health and social care practice require good knowledge of high-quality evidence in order to provide evidence-based care and services. Conversely, improving health and social care services is of great importance.

Innovation and creativity in practice can help to improve the quality of care but such change and improvement cannot be made without thorough understanding of evidence and research. This module will enable you to understand and critically discuss the importance of evidence and research in your practice environment. It will enable you to consider the evidence used in your practice and how you decide upon this. It will also allow you to consider the process of research in generation of evidence. Frameworks that underpin the processes of research and evidence-based practice will be presented and you will begin to apply them to a topic of your choice. This module will develop skills in critical appraisal of research and evidence directly related to your chosen area of practice. This ethos forms the basis of the level 6 module: Research and Evidence-Based Practice. The content of the module ‘Research and Evidence-Based Practice’ combined with this module will provide you with the knowledge and structure of research and service improvement that you may employ to improve quality of care and services.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate a body of evidence or research in relation to your chosen environment

Module content

This module will build on your knowledge of evidence and research-based practice. In doing this it will enable you to conduct a short desk-based project that requires you to critically appraise research literature.

By the end of this module you will have covered:

  • The role and importance of research and evidence-based practice
  • The types of evidence and approaches research
  • How evidence-based practice and research are inter-related
  • Debates surrounding the implementation of evidence and research e.g. legal, ethical, and professional issues
  • Methods to critically appraise research and/or evidence-based practice
  • The research processes
  • How to conduct a review of evidence/research literature
  • Appraise the quality of evidence/research literature
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6HC511

Research and Evidence in Practice

You will build on your prior learning and progress through the evidence-based practice cycle or research process.

This module will guide you through the process of writing a research proposal and practical implications. You will not conduct primary research but studying this module will enable you to synthesise theoretical concepts, research and evidence-based practice processes on a topic that is directly relevant to your chosen practice. This will form the basis of the skills and experience required to conduct primary research to improve health and social care practice. The content of the module ‘Preparing for Research and Evidence-Based Practice’ combined with this module will provide you with the knowledge and structure of research and service improvement that you may employ to improve quality of care and services.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Synthesise knowledge of the processes of evidence or research into your chosen practice area
  2. Critically reflect on the process of research or evidence generation, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for your own development

Module content

This module will include the following:

  • Structure and content of a research proposal
  • What makes a good research proposal?
  • What to think about when planning research?
  • Research ethics
  • Application of evidence-based research to practice
  • Self-reflection
  • Identifying and developing research knowledge and skills
More information
20 Credits

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.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

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.

Who will teach you

Yasu Kotera smiling

Yasuhiro Kotera
Programme leader

Academic Lead in Counselling, Yasuhiro Kotera, has been Academic Lead for online Counselling and Psychotherapy courses since 2014 and has been researching into mental health and neuro-linguistic programming.

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

How you will learn online

Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) 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
Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Study Mental Health and Psychotherapy Online Webinar

Friday, 4 December 2020 16.00 - 17.00

Join this webinar to discover more about studying Counselling and CBT online at Derby. The webinar includes a 30 minute presentation from Yasuhiro Kotera, Academic Lead for Counselling.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You will need:

Entry to the programme may be possible subject to the University’s recognition of prior learning (RPL) procedures, which may give credit for prior skills, experience or learning.

English Language Qualifications

Applicants whose first language is not English or who have not studied in an English-speaking institution, will need:

*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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 6 £5,040

2021/22 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 6 £5,040

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:

Undergraduate funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees.

If you already hold an honours degree, and you are looking to re-skill or up-skill, you may still be eligible for a loan to study this course.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*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.

Counselling and Psychotherapy students take part in a discussion

Short courses and CPD

You can easily fit your continuing professional development (CPD) around shift patterns with our online short courses and modules. Keep up-to-date with current practice without attending college or university.

View online short coursesView online short courses

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.


While studying this course, you will be working in a healthcare or social care setting, locally, nationally or internationally. The knowledge and skills gained from this course will enhance your ability to develop your career and enrich your professional practice. Furthermore, the programme may enhance your academic ambitions, which may include progressing on to a masters degree.

Becoming a counsellor or psychotherapist

After completion of this programme, you could move on to a postgraduate programme in Counselling or Psychotherapy, which helps you earn a counsellor or psychotherapist registry. To achieve this, you could study:

Further online learning

After completion of the top-up degree, you could choose to undertake further online study.


You could move on to our masters programme in Psychology or Health Psychology, depending on your academic background. If you don’t have enough Psychology academic background, you can take University Certificate in Psychology to get yourself ready for these online masters programmes.

Health and Social Care

You could move on to our Master’s programme in Integrative Health and Social Care.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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