Postgraduate study

Psychological Therapies MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Part-time


Funding opportunities

Programme website: Psychological Therapies

Each year, mental health problems such as anxiety and depression will affect 1 in 4 people, including 1 in 10 children, at an anticipated global cost of $6T by 2030. Psychological therapies, especially cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), provide a safe, effective solution to many of our most common mental health problems.

This new programme, offered at the University of Edinburgh, provides practitioner and supervisor level training in IPT and CBT. With a special, but not exclusive, focus on childhood and adolescence, the programme is suited to practitioners working with children, youth and adults.

Individual courses are accredited by UK professional bodies, ensuring high quality standards and recognition by employers post-qualification. Teaching and supervision are provided by experienced clinicians and clinical academics. The programme has close links with the NHS and community organisations, ensuring that students learn in a clinically-informed context.


Depending on course choices, graduates may be eligible for accreditation with the BABCP and/or IPT-UK.

All students will enrol on the MSc Psychological Therapies but have the option to exit with a CBT or IPT specialism, denoted by an addition in brackets to the title of the award. Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma exit options are also available.

At certificate level students will complete practitioner level training in CBT or IPT, before going onto either complete practitioner level in the complementing therapy, or to specialise by completing advanced training in the same therapy. A range of course options are available, allowing the student to tailor their therapeutic training towards specific populations in terms of age or condition.

Students will typically complete 60 credits each year, thus completing the MSc over three years, but the flexible programme structure allows students to take between 2 and 6 years, depending on their own needs.

The programme equips students with advanced knowledge and critical understanding of:

  • Psychological models of change as they apply to children, adolescents and adults, including principles of assessment and formulation.
  • Theories of normal and atypical cognitive, social, and emotional development as applied to therapeutic models.
  • The empirical evidence for the effectiveness of psychological interventions with a number of the most common mental health problems within a developmental context.

Graduates can expect to gain employment in clinical services or private practice as mental health practitioners.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in psychology, health or related discipline.

You should be in possession of a UK–recognised core professional qualification (e.g. nursing, special education teacher, doctor, practitioner psychologist, social worker), with substantial current, or recent, work experience with relevant populations in mental health settings, and have access to a clinical caseload. You will be responsible for accessing an appropriate placement and supervisor, which meets clinical governance standards set out by the programme.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may consider your application on the basis of your relevant professional qualifications.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 08/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

NHS Education Scotland (NES) provide scholarships for students employed in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in NHS Scotland. Applicants should contact their CAMHS Learning Coordinator in the first instance.

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Health and Social Science
  • Medical School (Doorway 6)
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
  • You should be in possession of a UK-recognised core profession (e.g. nursing, special education teacher, doctor, psychologist, social worker) and should have substantial current, or recent, work experience with children and young people in mental health settings. This should provide clinically relevant experience which may be acquired in statutory, third sector or private organisations.
  • You will need access to a clinical caseload and will be responsible for accessing an appropriate placement, which meets clinical governance standards set out by the programme.
  • You should have access to an appropriately qualified supervisor. If you are currently employed in an NHS CAMHS post, the University of Edinburgh will provide you with a supervisor. Students from outwith the NHS must make their own supervision arrangements, and the supervisor must meet the course supervision competency requirements. The course fee does not cover any additional costs associated with supervision.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Health and Social Science
  • Medical School (Doorway 6)
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG