Cognitive behavioural therapy is a collaborative, structured approach to helping individuals with psychological difficulties. Prospective candidates pursue a two-year part-time Master of Science course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Emphasis will be on helping participants gain a high level of clinical competence in utilising this approach in hospital-based and community-based health care settings to a level that they will be able to apply for accreditation with appropriate accrediting bodies including the Proposed Registration Board for Psychological Therapists in Ireland. The course offers post-qualification training in the theory and practice of cognitive psychotherapy, as applied in a variety of mental health settings. Competence is developed through a combination of clinical supervision, lectures, workshops and written assignments. Assessment is based on the submission of case studies and theoretical reviews, oral presentations and standardised rating of therapy sessions. Students will complete a research project that is submitted as a dissertation in the Hilary term of the second year.
The Master of Science curriculum emphasizes a deeper knowledge of cognitive behavioural models, concepts and methods; competence in developing cognitive case formulations; devising and implementing individual treatment programmes for a range of emotional disorders and evaluating their effects; understanding the links between cognitive therapy and developmental and cognitive psychology; ethical issues in practising psychotherapy. The development of critical appraisal of research in this area and conducting a research project further deepen students' knowledge of the field. Students are supervised treating a minimum of 12 cases. Formal teaching takes place one full day per week (Friday) during the semesters. In the second year there will be less formal teaching with a focus on supervised research. In addition, students will be expected to take up a part-time CBT clinical placement within a psychotherapy service or within the student's own workplace for a full academic year. Assessment is based on evaluation of the student's clinical performance using the Cognitive Therapy Scale-Revised (CTS-R). Students will submit a research dissertation (circa 12,000 words) at the end of Hilary Term in their second year. Students who satisfy all the requirements of the Master of Science course will be awarded the Master of Science in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy.