Postgraduate study

Psychological Therapies MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time

Accreditation

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), provides a safe, effective solution to many of our most common mental health problems.

The programme offers two options:

  • a two-year, full-time, 240 credit option*
  • a part-time, 180 credit option

(*Revised 15 March 2021 with message about full time programme.)

Full-time programme

The full-time programme is aimed at applicants who are recent graduates or those looking for a change in career who do not hold a core clinical qualification or equivalent.

We take applicants from graduate status and provide general clinical skills training and specific CBT training.

The programme incorporates a clinical placement based at the Centre for Psychological Therapies which is led by applied psychologists with extensive clinical experience.

The first 60 credits of the full-time programme provide explicit training which covers the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes (KSA) requirements.

You will be required to attend an interview as part of the selection process.

Part-time programme

The part-time programme is aimed at applicants who already hold a core clinical qualification or equivalent and provides practitioner training in CBT and other therapies.

With a special, but not exclusive, focus on childhood and adolescence, the programme is suited to practitioners working with children, youth and adults.

For students who do not have access to their own clinical caseload the Centre for Psychological Therapies is able to provide placements and supervision at the on campus clinic for an additional fee.

Teaching and community links

Although the Programme is not currently professionally accredited, 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.

*(Revised 26 February 2021 with updated programme information on full-time versus part-time study, structure and accreditation.)

Accreditation

Graduates of the programme are eligible to make individual applications for accreditation with British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP).

Full-time programme - 240 credits

You will enrol for the MSc in Psychological Therapies, but depending on chosen pathway may exit with a PG Certificate, PG Diploma, or MSc in Psychological Therapies, or with a specialism in CBT, denoted in brackets after the main programme title (for example, PG Dip Psychological Therapies (CBT)).

Part-time programme - 180 credits

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

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

*(Revised 30 March 2021 to move information on flexible programme structure into part-time programme section.)

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2020/21

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.

Full-time Programme - Two years - 240 Credits

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in psychology, health or related subject. Your transcript should show evidence of learning in developmental psychology.

Your application must include evidence of basic experience of working or volunteering in a health, social care or justice setting.

You will be required to attend an interview to assess your personal competencies, experience, and suitability for the programme as part of our selection process.

Prior Learning and Exemptions

If you have completed postgraduate study in a related area elsewhere, you may be able to use your credits towards a programme of study here. Please contact the admissions team to discuss any prior learning.

Part-time Programme - 180 Credits

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

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MSc2 YearsFull-timeTuition fees

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:

  • Programme Director, Professor Elizabeth Gilchrist
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3037
  • Contact: msc.therapies@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Health and Social Science
  • Medical School (Doorway 6)
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

  • 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

  • Programme Director, Professor Elizabeth Gilchrist
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3037
  • Contact: msc.therapies@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Health and Social Science
  • Medical School (Doorway 6)
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG