Postgraduate Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

All OCTC Postgraduate Courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are run in collaboration with the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education. Our DPhil is an opportunity to conduct high quality CBT research under expert supervision, consistent with the values OCTC has honed since its inception over two decades ago.

Course Lead: Alison Croft

Applications closing dates:

19 January 2024, 12 noon

17 May 2024, 12 noon

NB. Application window for HEE funded applicants from 1 February until 12 noon on 17 May 2024


Further information is now available on the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website

The course aims to equip practitioners with the CBT skills necessary to implement evidence-based treatment for the most common psychological disorders.  The course is open to all mental health professionals with at least one year’s experience of supervised clinical practice.  It comprises 21 days of teaching over two terms, including weekly supervision groups.

The Course takes full advantage of the high levels of theoretical knowledge and clinical expertise available among practitioners of CBT in Oxford. The design, organisation, training and supervision are by BABCP accredited therapists and/or supervisors and trainers, who have extensive experience in the practice of CBT and in related training and research.

Dates of term:

Induction 18, 19, 20 September & 26 & 27 September 2024 (5 days)
Term I 4 October – 13 December 2024 (11 days)
Term II 10 January – 7 February 2024 (5 days)


While it is important to cover the main methods and concepts of CBT we recognise that room must be made for differences in skill, experience and areas of interest. Teaching and supervision take account of students’ needs and interests so far as is consistent with the aims of the Course.

Broadly, the first part of the course will concentrate on the acquisition of basic concepts and skills. The second part focuses on developing these skills in relation to particular client groups and problem areas.

Part I: Basic concepts and skills

These sessions provide a theoretical and empirical basis for the practice of CBT. There is a strong emphasis on observation of CBT in action and on experiential learning with participation in role-play and other practical exercises,

Topics include:

  • Beck’s cognitive model of emotional disorder
  • CBT assessment and formulation
  • The structure of CBT (agenda setting, goal setting, pacing, homework etc.)
  • The style of CBT (collaboration, explicitness, feedback)
  • Socratic methods
  • Identifying and re-evaluating automatic thoughts
  • Identifying and re-evaluating rules and assumptions
  • The role of behavioural experiments
  • Process and ending therapy issues in CBT


Part II: Special applications – Developing the basics

This part of the course covers the use of CBT with common mental health problems (anxiety disorders and depression,). Sessions focus on consolidating and developing basic knowledge and skills and on emphasising concepts and methods especially relevant to each problem area. Teaching practical CBT skills is grounded in current and emerging evidence base derived from related empirical research.

Workshops focus on problem areas such as:

  • Depression and suicidality
  • Simple phobias
  • Panic disorder and agoraphobia
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Health anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • An introduction to trauma



  1. Formal teaching

This covers theoretical and research issues as well as clinical skills. A workshop format is normally used involving active participation, a strong experiential element and clear relevance to clinical practice. Teaching is provided by local experts and by invited speakers with specialised knowledge of particular topics. 

  1. Small group supervision of clinical casework

Supervised clinical practice is organised to encourage exposure to a variety of client groups and problem types and to a range of therapeutic styles within CBT. All supervisors are BABCP accredited CBT therapists and are trained and experienced supervisors. Students are expected to follow through practice cases during the course and to routinely record treatment sessions to review in supervision groups.  Supervisors will also provide feedback on recordings of students’ therapy sessions.



The course will be taught online. However, there will be two in-person skills training days, which we strongly recommend that students attend. Clinical practice is carried out at the student’s normal place of work.



“The student group have been great.  The teaching and content is second to none.  Top class.  I feel very privileged to be taught by the people we had.  I liked the course structure and content.  It was very well organised and the information readily available.  Communications were really good.  Would love to do it all again.”

“I enjoyed every single one of the presentations without exception.  I felt they were delivered by experts and exceptionally clear.”

“The teaching and support was always to a very high standard.  I liked getting a broad overview of so many CBT approaches.  I liked the idiosyncratic approach – tailoring treatment to individual preservations.  Also being encouraged to find my own individual style as a therapist.”

“Excellent inspirational lectures and supervision.  Very down to earth and approachable – warm, friendly tutors.  Set in beautiful historical Oxford.”

“Supervision in small groups was a very positive and affirming learning experience.’ 
 Feedback from PG Diploma students of 2016-17