Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

PCI College

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This master's programme is for practitioners who wish to gain specialist training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

The course is designed to meet the criteria for accreditation with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (BABCP)**.

PCI College MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
The programme sets out to develop practitioners who can work individually in a professional practice setting or as part of a multi-disciplinary team in various settings using CBT approaches. It is designed to provide you, as the learner, with the theoretical knowledge, practical skills and personal confidence to apply strategic protocols of CBT in the area of mental health and general health wellbeing.

Who is this course for?
The MSc CBT is a comprehensive professional training course focused on the acquisition, refinement and application of CBT skills across a variety of presenting issues and settings. The course is subject to validation by Middlesex University and is designed to enhance trainees' existing qualifications. Applicants include counsellors and psychotherapists and those from a BABCP recognised core profession (Psychiatry, Social Work, Psychology, Occupational Therapy). The course is designed to meet the criteria for BABCP accreditation**. The course is not a stand-alone counselling qualification.

What are the benefits of doing this course?
This programme has been developed to meet an ever-expanding need in the Irish market to provide high quality, affordable education to individuals wishing to enhance their qualifications. This Master's in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be regarded as one of the most innovative programmes of its kind in Ireland, with an emphasis on third-wave interventions supplementing more traditional approaches. The programme centres around theoretical knowledge, skills and experiential growth which will instil a sense of competence, confidence and clarity for the developing CBT practitioner. We integrate professional development through self-reflection, emphasising personal capabilities such as self-awareness, integrity, sensitivity, flexibility, insight, compassion, imagination, and personal presence.

What will you learn?
As a student in the MSc programme, you will be immersed in the therapeutic skills required to work with varying complex cases. You will experience practical application of both skills and theory in class and through a clinical placement setting, supported via in class and external supervision. You will be provided with opportunities to evaluate and critically assess appropriate interventions for the client group and develop proficiency in assessment and case formulation skills.

You will develop mastery of CBT application complemented by the efficacy of 3rd wave approaches. You will also have opportunities to create your own specialisation through our CBT in Specialised Areas module and via your dissertation.

This Masters is designed to be participative and experiential and draw on prior professional experience whenever possible. The academic value of the programme is enhanced by a learning environment that is warm, transparent, and genuine. On completion, you will have a range of transferable skills and a deep understanding of this new area of professional practice.

*The course is subject to validation by Middlesex University.

**The course is designed to meet the criteria for BABCP accreditation. The course can be assessed as an accredited course within the first year of the programme cycle.

Subjects taught

Year 1: Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)
• Theoretical Underpinnings of CBT
• Theory, Skills & Research: CBT for Anxiety Disorders
• Theory, Skills & Research: CBT for Depression
• Practitioner Competencies: Teaching & Supervised Skills Practice for Anxiety and Depression

Year 2: Postgraduate Diploma – 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)
• CBT: The New Generation
• Theory, Skills & Research: CBT for Complex Disorders
• Contemporary Applications: CBT in Specialised Areas
• Practitioner Competencies: Teaching & Supervised Skills Practice for Anxiety, Depression and Complex Disorders

Year 2: MSc Component – 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)
• Dissertation

Additional Course Requirements
• 200 hours of clinical placement/client work (50 hours must be completed before the end of Year 1)
• Students are required to attend a BABCP accredited external supervisor for a minimum of 40 hours of one-to-one supervision
• 20 hours of Personal Therapy is a requirement for all students.

Entry requirements

Eligibility Year 1
• Level 6 FHEQ/Level 8 NFQ accredited degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy (final grade 2.2 or above)
• Accredited Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy plus Level 6UK (or equivalent) degree in a related area plus submission of a clinical portfolio
• A BABCP recognised Core Profession (Psychiatry, Social Work, Psychology, Occupational Therapy)

Applicants who do not meet this criterion may be eligible to enter the course on the basis of prior learning and experience in the area. Students applying on the basis of prior learning must provide evidence of their knowledge, skill and ability to pursue this programme of study. This should be in the form of a career portfolio outlining and demonstrating your career path as is relevant to this course (including transcripts of any relevant results, statements of prior learning based on systematic reflection) and be must be submitted with your application.

Application Process Year 1
• Send in Complete Application Form and Deposit (Online / Hard Copy)
• Copies of Transcripts (Confirming 2.2 on relevant Level 8 Degree or higher) or Copy of Career Portfolio
• and 500-word written statement on why you believe you are suitable for the course.
All suitable candidates will be invited to interview

Eligibility Year 2
Students who hold a Postgraduate Certificate in CBT (PCI College or equivalent) may apply for entry to Year 2 of the course.

Students who do not meet these criteria may be eligible to enter Year 2 on the basis of prior learning and experience in the area. Students applying on the basis of prior learning must provide evidence of their knowledge, skill and ability to pursue this programme of study. This should be in the form of a career portfolio outlining and demonstrating your career path as is relevant to this course (including transcripts of any relevant results, statements of prior learning based on systematic reflection) and be must be submitted with your application.

Application Process Year 2
External Applicants – Graduates of the Postgraduate Certificate CBT:
• Send complete year 2 application form and deposit (online/hard copy)
• All suitable candidates will be invited to interview
• Places are limited (18). Selection is based on application and interview.

External Applicants
• Send complete year 2 application form & deposit (online/hard copy)
• Complete course comparison form including:
o Copy of current/previous course prospectus/course outline
o Transcript of results of all assessments/examinations
o Copy of all relevant qualifications
o Completed course comparison form
o Letter from counsellor to verify previous hours of personal therapy (if applicable)
o Letter from supervisor to verify hours of client work with varying presenting issues (must have completed at least 15% of the overall course requirement in the last 12 months)
• Statement on why you feel you have met the Learning Outcomes for Year 1. (approximately 1000 words)
All suitable candidates will be invited to interview

Language Requirements
All candidates are required to satisfy the English language requirement. Candidates whose first language is not English and who are presenting qualifications other than the Leaving Certificate may satisfy the requirement through the completion of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) on the basis that they obtain a minimum band score of 6 at the undergraduate level and 6.5 at postgraduate level or an equivalent score of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or Cambridge, which denotes a very good skill level of English. It should be noted that these are the minimum requirements in English and PCI College may set higher requirements in each case.

Garda Vetting
Students will be requested to participate in Garda Vetting procedures in relation to programme and accreditation requirements.

IT Skills: students require sufficient IT skills to complete the course

Students can expect to be provided with advice and support concerning any learning difficulties that they may encounter. Any diagnosed learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, must be noted on the application.

Application dates

Applications Deadline: 31st August 2022.

Please note that Inductions will be held the week before the start date. You will receive full details with your timetable following your acceptance.

Recruitment will take place as normal, however, please be aware that if it is needed classes will be delivered online in compliance with further updates from the government. The classes will be delivered as live online lessons via Microsoft Teams, which is a platform built on Office 365. It is a secure platform and follows compliance capabilities.

Application Process
Applicants are invited to complete and return the online application form. Applications must be accompanied by an initial deposit of €250, which is deductible from course fees if the application is successful. Applicants are entitled to a full refund of the initial deposit if they decide to cancel within 14 days of receipt of their application. Should an application be unsuccessful or cancelled by the applicant following this 14 day period, an administration fee of €60 is charged and the balance of €190 refunded. Please note that the name used on your application needs to be the same name that you have on your passport.

The balance of fees is payable in full before the course commences. Fees are non-refundable in all personal circumstances. All courses run subject to demand and the formation of a viable class cohort. A full refund will be given to all applicants in the event that the class does not proceed.

Intake interviews will be arranged for suitable applicants. Applicants who are offered a place will be required to confirm acceptance in writing accompanied by a Booking Deposit of €1,020. When an Applicant has accepted a place all tuition fees, including deposits, shall be fully non-refundable in all personal circumstances.

For more information, please visit our Terms & Conditions page.


Two years, part-time

Timetable: Weekends - Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5.30 pm (approx. 1 weekend per month from October to June).

Post Course Info

Career Path
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is in demand as the treatment of choice, across a wide variety of settings, from private practice, HSE, addiction, E.A.P. and general mental health settings. In order to practice as an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist in Ireland, an individual must hold a Masters level qualification with accreditation in this area highly desirable. As the population's need is increasing, stakeholders are looking for qualified and accredited CBT therapists.
On successful completion of this programme, graduates can decide on the course of action most appropriate to their needs and ambitions. The following avenues are open to them:

Avenue 1
Graduates may choose to continue working in employment settings where CBT skills are essential if they are to serve their clients in a more truly comprehensive way.

Avenue 2
Graduates may gain employment in Government-funded agencies and other organisations that prize CBT as a method of counselling and psychotherapy, for example, HSE settings, NHS, GP referrals, EAP organisations, etc.

Avenue 3
Graduates may increase their existing private practice services as psychotherapists who specialise in the area of CBT.

Avenue 4
Graduates may pursue supervision status with BABCP or other accredited organisations.

Avenue 5
A number of graduates choose to use their learning from this programme as a stepping-stone to further study in counselling and psychotherapy or the social sciences and participate in practice only insofar as they need to fulfil requirements in more advanced for example doctoral studies.

Please note that this course is a supplementary qualification. On its own, the course won't enable you to work as a counsellor. If you seek a professional qualification as a counsellor and/or accreditation, we would advise you to first complete our BSc (Honours) Degree Counselling & Psychotherapy. After completing the degree course, you could then specialise in an area of interest with this MSc course. On the other hand, you could enrol in this course, if eligible, and incorporate what you have learnt into your daily working life.

If it is your intention to become a professional counsellor/psychotherapist, accredited by the IACP, please see our BSc (Honours) Degree Counselling & Psychotherapy course for more details.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Weekend

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    Course provider