PGDip in Children and Young People’s CBT

The CBT route of this programme has been designed specifically for staff whose role routinely includes working with children and young people presenting with emotional disorders such as: generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, social anxiety, specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder and panic disorder.

Training will cover the evidence-base for CBT, and assessment and cognitive behavioural treatment strategies for managing anxiety disorders and depression in children and young people.

Entry requirements
Postgraduate Diploma in Evidence-Based Psychological treatments for C&YP:

CBT route



  • Relevant Honours Degree (e.g. psychology, mental health, etc.) graded at 2.2 or above or;
  • If a candidate has a core profession (see below) but does not have an Honours degree or has an award of 2.3 or below, they will be asked to provide evidence of successful study at Level 6 or equivalent and be required to pass a pre-entry essay, marked at Masters level prior to acceptance on the training programme.
  • Experience of working with children, young people and families.
  • Access to appropriate cases during and after training.
  • To apply, you must meet the criteria for CBT training as shown in person specification, and also have a BABCP-recognised professional background in mental health or related areas. This means having a recognised Core Profession. You can find out whether you have a recognised Core Profession at


  • Completion of KSA (Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes) portfolio prior to entry onto the programme. Criterion 4 will be inspected at interview, and the final KSA must be formally submitted in March 2022. A workshop is available to support candidates in completing their KSA once the training course has started. More details can be found on the BABCP website. Any offer to a KSA route student is on this condition being met.
  • For any candidates who have previously completed a low intensity training programme (CWP or PWP for example), two years of qualified practice (after graduation) are required before undertaking any high intensity training programme (e.g. CYP PT or CYP CBT).

  • Each candidate will have at least a core profession or a relevant Honours degree marked at (2.2 or above) and meet the additional requirements as laid out above.
  • Students cannot be accepted onto any training programme if they are currently undertaking studies elsewhere. Any offer would be on condition of evidence of withdrawal from any other current studies.
  • We do not accept candidates who have previously studied for the same (or equivalent adult IAPT) award at another institution.
  • The University of Reading has a requirement that candidates who have English as an additional language (EAL) have achieved a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. (Further information available on University of Reading website)
Course structure
  • Following the mandatory induction day(s), teaching commences with 3 and 4 day blocks where you will be required to attend classes from 09.30-16.30.
  • After these teaching blocks, all students attend the University of Reading in term-times on Wednesdays (09.30-16.30) and on Thursdays (09.00-16.30); exact times dependent on supervision group size. Wednesdays consist of high quality teaching sessions and Thursdays involve supervision and clinical skills sessions.
  • The university plans to offer ‘blended learning’ where some teaching will be delivered on campus at The University of Reading, and some will be delivered remotely using Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate. This may be affected by covid restrictions, and the expectation is that students are able to study either remotely or on campus.
  • In addition to university supervision, all students will also receive weekly workplace supervision delivered locally within their service.
  • Teaching themes on the course include:
    • The fundamentals of working with children, young people and their families;
    • CBT for anxiety disorders in children and young people;
    • Theory and research in CBT for depression.
  • Course teaching typically finishes with ‘top-up school’ taking place towards the end of the month for those students needing additional supervision or teaching hours for example.
  • A range of support services is on offer to students and access is encouraged. This includes individual and group tutorials, study skills support, an allocated academic tutor, and access to student counselling services.
Service commitment and materials

CBT trainees and supervisors require client and therapist manuals of the Coping Cat and The CAT Project protocols; ISBN numbers below

  • 978-1888805215 – Coping Cat Workbook (Kendall et al.)
  • 978-1888805222 – Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Anxious Children (Therapist Manual; Kendall et al.)
  • 978-1888805185 – The CAT Project Manual (Kendall et al.)
  • 978-1888805178 – The CAT Project Workbook (Kendall et al.)

All (including supervisors) need recording equipment (capable of three functions; recording of multiple uninterrupted 1 hour-long sessions without battery change, quick review of sessions either on the recording device or a laptop).

All (including supervisors) require access to be able to upload recordings to Microsoft Teams/Share Point (we have recently moved away from students submitting recordings on USB sticks)

All existing staff trainees need to have plans to wind down their current caseloads (if successful at interview) and have planned access to appropriate.

Diploma trainees (CBT and PT) are entitled to an allocated 20 study days over the course of the year (including Autumn School). Students are told that these must be negotiated with their line managers but it certainly helps for all parties to be aware ahead of the conversation.

Requirements to pass

The programme is a Postgraduate Diploma, and does therefore include a significant academic component. Students complete academic assessments (1 essay, 1 process report and 2 extended case reports), clinical assessments (3 video recordings) and a case presentation. All academic and clinical assessments must achieve pass standard (50%) and all supervisor assessments and student portfolios (which include evidence of self-directed learning, client outcomes and student reflections on training) must be deemed to be at pass standard.

It is expected that students will attend 100% of teaching, which will be a minimum of 200 hours over the duration of the course.  There is a requirement for a minimum of 80% attendance across all individual modules. If a mandatory face-to-face teaching session is missed (e.g., due to illness), students will be required to watch a video recording of the session. Ideally, this will take place before the end of the corresponding module. Once attendance falls below 80%, it is no longer possible to top up using video recordings of teaching and a course progression meeting will be needed to plan replacement face-to-face teaching; this may delay the student’s graduation. During the course, students must also meet the required number of hours for the following:

  • Supervision: 70 hours (35 at workplace and 35 at university)
  • Clinical work: 200 hours
  • Self-directed study: 250 hours
What to expect

The CYP MH course offers an exciting opportunity to learn about evidence-based approaches for working with children, young people and their families. The CYP MH training is a postgraduate level course which does require students to use their own initiative and time outside of work when studying. It is likely that you will need to spend several hours a week of your own time on course-related work including preparing for supervision and coursework deadlines.

As well as being rewarding, it can be a challenging year juggling competing demands of coursework, workplace commitments and home-life, and getting the right balance between all three can be tricky at times.  The CYP MH course team is there to help ensure students maximise opportunities for learning and provide support where needed. We hope you enjoy your time with us.

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