Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

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Postgraduate study in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), or talking-based therapy, can enable you to make a real difference to the mental health and wellbeing of our communities.


On average, 1 in 5 New Zealanders will experience significant mental illness or distress in their lifetime, according to He Ara Oranga, the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a psychologically informed talking therapy with strong evidence of efficacy in treating alcohol and substance problems and common mental health issues including depression and anxiety.

UC offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (PGDipCBT) (120 points)

The degree is delivered by UC’s Te Kura Mahi ā-Hirikapo | School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing. Kaupapa Māori is integrated into the degrees, and there is a strong emphasis on addressing Māori and Pasifika mental health and wellness.

This programme is designed for registered allied health professionals and practitioners in primary care and government and non-government health and social service organisations.

Applicants must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Psychology or a related degree with a B- grade point average
  • At least 0.5 FTE in a clinical health-related field with opportunities for CBT practice, and access to CBT supervision
  • Dean of Science approval

A limited number of places are available each year in the postgraduate training programme in cognitive behaviour therapy. Good academic ability is required, as well as competence in interpersonal interactions. The main criteria for selection are:

  • Current employment (at least .5 FTE) in a health setting
  • Access to CBT supervision and opportunities to use CBT and complete CBT-focused clinical assignments
  • Academic record
  • Letters of recommendation

Selection Process

  • Applications are reviewed for prerequisites.
  • Grades are a contributing factor in the selection process. Applicants must have previously completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology or a related area, with a B- Grade Point Average in 300-level courses.
  • Letters of recommendation from nominated referees will be reviewed.

How to apply

From August 2023 applications for the 2024 intake will be accepted via MyUC.

Applicants must also complete this additional information CBT Application form, and upload this as part of your enrolment in MyUC.

Application deadline

The closing date for applications is 30 November in the year preceding entry.

The programme will be delivered by seminars, lectures and student presentations.  Each 30 point course will be delivered in one five day block (35 hours).  Assessments will comprise of student presentation, practical assessments, clinical supervision and case study assessments. 

CoursesPoints    Semester   
PSYC 442 Clinical Practice Guidelines and Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Assessment 30 S1
PSYC 443 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Case Conceptualisation and Intervention  30 S2
PSYC 446 Frontiers of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy I 30 Full year
PSYC 447 Frontiers of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy II 30 Full year


PGDipCBT comprises the four courses listed above. PSYC 442 is a prerequisite for PSYC 443, and these two courses must be completed before PSYC 446 and PSYC 447 can be undertaken.

PSYC 446 and PSYC 447 will be offered in alternate years, and can be taken in any order.

A typical structure is as follows:

  Semester 1 Semester 2 Other Requirements
Year 1  PSYC 442  PSYC 443  Relevant employment of minimum 0.5 FTE*


  Whole Year Other Requirements
Year 2  PSYC 446 or PSYC 447  Relevant employment of minimum 0.5 FTE*
Year 3  PSYC 446 or PSYC 447  Relevant employment of minimum 0.5 FTE*

* As approved by the CBT Programme Coordinator.

These qualifications will equip you with the skills to use CBT to assist people with mental health and addiction issues. They are ideal for current health professionals–including nurses, counsellors, mental health professionals and social workers–wanting to upskill and add to their existing skill set.