Course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

Course level



PG Cert

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Compassion Focused Therapy will:

  • Provide the opportunity for you to develop a critical and in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) 
  • Give you the opportunity to gain integral knowledge of the assessment and formulation and interventions in CFT
  • Enhance your skills through intensive clinical supervision that examines clinical practice to ensure transfer of knowledge into the clinical setting 
  • Give you the opportunity to receive expert training throughout the course

Compassion focused therapy, developed by Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, is a psychological approach that was originally developed to help people with high shame and self-criticism.

Compassion Focused Therapy is a rich integrative model rooted in evolutionary, neuro and psychological science models. There are also influences from Buddhist philosophy, and the course aims to develop your understanding of the various theories and philosophies that inform this approach. The CFT approach pays particular attention to the key role of the therapeutic relationship and the course aims to enhance the skills and competencies required to work effectively with this model.

This course is for you if you’re in a mental health profession and you are trained to form and develop psychotherapeutic relationships. It may therefore be of particular interest to health care workers working within psychiatry, psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, counselling or psychotherapy.

By studying this course, you’ll develop your clinical and theoretical knowledge in compassion focused therapy. You will have the opportunity to network with like-minded, dynamic individuals and be taught by leading academics and professionals in your field of expertise.

You will study this course via blended learning. This will involve the following:

  • Two five-day blocks of study at the University. Your first study block is usually held in September followed by a second study block in March/April. The first block study includes the introductory three day workshop delivered by Professor Paul Gilbert. This provides the opportunity to meet others who are working with CFT. The second block study week is exclusively for course participants and is focused on skills development.
  • Weekly live supervision via our virtual classroom, and the opportunity to receive feedback on recordings of clinical work via our secure file transfer system. Please note costs for clinical supervision are not included in this course.
  • Regular live lectures/seminars that are recorded for later viewing and will include presentations from key experts in the field of CFT. 
  • Rich sources of data and video recordings to study 
  • Use of discussion boards. 

We’re proud to say that our courses are closely mapped against the health and social care sector. This ensures that our curriculum is up-to-date, providing you with the assurance that your learning is current and relevant. This does mean that we do have to respond to national changes such as government policy. 

What you will study

The course is designed to facilitate your learning and experience, by creating a balance of theory and practice elements. Assessments also reflect this balance, to ensure your learning is meaningful to your everyday practice. The course also places great emphasis on your own personal practice of using CFT.

You’ll study modules such as:

The module includes the following themes:

This is a double module thatruns concurrently and builds on the work in Compassion Focused Therapy 1.

The module includes the following themes:

How you will learn

This course is based on real world learning. Students will be practicing the skills they learn on this course within their existing clinical practice. 

How you're assessed

You will be assessed by a portfolio, written case study and assessment of practice.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need a postgraduate or an equivalent qualification in a psychological health related profession such as mental health nursing, clinical psychology, therapeutic counselling. You will need to be accredited (or working towards) as a therapist. You will need to have access to clients to be able to provide one-to-one or group compassion focused therapy. You need to be It literate as this is a blended learning course, and involves a great deal of work online.

Interview information

Fees and funding

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)



£1,133 per 20 credits*



*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply


People who take this course are already employed as therapists within organisations such as the NHS or third sector organisations or are self-employed therapists. Developing knowledge and skills in CFT is seen as a valuable addition to their practice.

Programme leader

Martin Brock

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.