PG DIP - IAPT psychotherapeutic counselling

Postgraduate School of Psychology

This programme provides the education for trainee Psychotherapeutic Counsellors to become qualified High Intensity IAPT Practitioners. Entry onto this programme is suspended.

PG DIP - IAPT psychotherapeutic counselling
Entry Tariff

3 years (Trainees will be studying part-time while being employed full-time in their IAPT service).


120 credits

Degree Type




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This programme is funded by Health Education England (HEE) (NHS) and offers a new training pathway that provides trainee Psychotherapeutic Counsellors with advanced conceptual understanding and skills in the practical application of psychotherapeutic counselling and a defined standard of competency in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) for depression.

You will train to work as psychotherapeutic counsellor delivering Brief Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) for adults with depression in NHS IAPT services. During training, you will be employed by an IAPT service in England and you will be expected to carry out an average of two to three days per week of clinical practice in the IAPT service. The 20-Day Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy training component will be provided by the Anna Freud Centre in years 2 and 3 of the PGDip.

Trainees will develop the qualities and skills to engage in and sustain strong therapeutic relationships and work effectively with IAPT service users with depression.  

This includes developing core psychotherapeutic counselling practitioner competencies and the integration of Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), in line with the needs of service users, families and carers.  

The training will also promote personal and professional development and self-awareness essential to successful psychotherapeutic counselling.

In the first year, trainees are expected to:

  • Study topics including initiating, maintaining, and developing the therapeutic relationship, the nature of depression and its impact on wellbeing, the range of counselling and psychotherapy modalities, safeguarding, and developing personal resilience.
  • Complete three non-credit bearing modules covering the fundamental principles and practice of psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapeutic counselling and an overview of the principles and practice of the IAPT modality (DIT) they will be training in.
  • Undertake a minimum of 30 hours of skills practice in assessment and therapy, before being assessed individually for readiness to work with service users.
  • Following sign off, trainees will undertake a minimum of 100 supervised client hours working with adults with mild to moderate depression in an IAPT service.

In the second year, trainees are expected to:

  • Build their knowledge and understanding of their chosen theoretical base and develop ways of working with simple and more complex presentations of human distress and depression.
  • Complete three 20 credit modules, aiming to extend and refine the application of psychotherapeutic counselling theories to gain a deeper understanding of the therapeutic process.
  • Continue the development of the skills required to provide a therapeutic service to service users with depression within IAPT services.
  • Gain critical knowledge and understanding of the theories and principles underpinning Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT).
  • Undertake a minimum of 150 supervised client hours working within the selected modality with service users with depression in an IAPT setting in line with the IAPT Manual.

In the third year, trainees are expected to:

  • Complete another three 20 credit modules to prepare to work as High Intensity Therapists working in IAPT services delivering Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT).
  • Complete the teaching and learning hours, required period of supervised clinical work, supervision requirements and assessment of competence in line with the national curriculum for Brief Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy. This will include a minimum of 200 supervised client hours, thereby achieving a minimum of 450 hours over the three years.

How you'll learn

Teaching is online-lead blended learning, with on-campus teaching delivered in block weeks. This may include clinical simulation in small groups, viewing and discussing video recordings of therapy delivered by experts, supervised practice with service users in the workplace, lectures, seminars, discussion groups, feedback, guided reading, independent study, experiential processes in large and small group settings, peer feedback and personal therapy.

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Career options

At the end of the three-year training, graduates will be High Intensity IAPT Practitioners.

You can find out more information at:

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Application Info

How to apply

Postgraduate programmes

If you need any help or advice with your application, or just want to ask us a question before you apply, please do not hesitate to contact us.

International students
Please note that most international applicants have to pay a deposit before securing their place.

  • See our Finance pages for more details

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Tuition fees and funding

September 2023 entry tuition fees

This programme is funded by Health Education England (HEE) (NHS). 

Students will need to self-fund 50 hours of personal therapy.

Specific Entry Requirements

This is a Health Education England (HEE) (NHS) funded psychological professions training programme.

The entry requirements are:

  • All candidates entering the programme should hold evidence of academic credit or equivalence allowing entry to the Level 7 programme. A degree at 2:2 or above in any relevant subject, or equivalent, should be considered the minimum requirement for entry. Candidates without a degree at 2:2 or above may be able to secure a place by demonstrating competency via a portfolio of evidence, which meets specified academic equivalence requirements.
  • All candidates should have completed a Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills, which ordinarily involves a minimum of 10 days or 60 hours of face-to-face tuition at level 2 or level 3. Online courses are not acceptable. Please note: L2 Award, Helping Skills and Introductory courses are not accepted.
  • Candidates should show proficiency in reading, writing and spoken English of a standard necessary to support academic study and professional practice at Level 7 - IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each element.
  • Training providers will be encouraged to apply contextual recruitment and to support the equivalence framework to widen participation.

Potential trainees will also be assessed for the following attributes or the potential for developing them in their interview by the IAPT service providers:

  • Warmth, kindness, compassion, empathy
  • Authenticity, self-awareness, maturity and stability
  • Ability to listen, be present and attentive
  • Ability to come alongside people experiencing emotional and psychological distress
  • Capacity for reflexivity
  • Ability to be vulnerable and make use of and reflect upon own life experience
  • Capacity to cope with the emotional demands of the course
  • Ability to cope with the intellectual and academic requirement
  • Ability to be self-critical and use both positive and negative feedback
  • Awareness of and ability to explore issues of difference and equality and the nature of prejudice and oppression
  • Ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support and self-care

Validation and curriculum review

What is validation?
Validation is a formal process through which the University approves a programme (content, teaching, learning and assessment) as being of appropriate standard and quality. This is a normal process used throughout the university sector.

The University expects to publish details of the validated programme in the academic year prior to the start date of the programme. You are advised to check the University website at that time to ensure that you have up-to-date information. In the meantime, if you require information you should contact 0208 392 3232.

What is curriculum review?
Curriculum review is the regular and systematic monitoring and reviewing of programmes. It is a normal process in the sector and it is the way by which the university ensures that your course remains up-to-date and relevant. The process may result in changes to the content, structure and/or assessment of the programme.

The University expects to publish details of the re-validated programme by 31 March in the academic year prior to the start date of the programme. You are advised to check the University website at that time to ensure that you have up-to-date information. In the meantime, if you require information you should contact 0208 392 3232.

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