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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

PGCert Psychological Therapies Practice (Severe Mental Health Problems: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Personality Disorder)

1. Programme Details

Programme namePGCert Psychological Therapies Practice (Severe Mental Health Problems: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Personality Disorder) Programme codePCT1PSYPSY07
Study mode(s)Part Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The PGCert Psychological Therapies Practice (Severe Mental Health Problems: CBT for Personality Disorder) programme is aimed at qualified mental health professionals with BABCP accreditable qualification in the  delivery Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for common mental health problems (such as Nurse Therapists,  Clinical/Counselling Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, and Psychiatrists) and with clinical experience of working with people living with a personality disorder. It provides intensive skills training in accordance with British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (BABCP) guidelines for  good practice.

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists working in secondary care services will assess and treat clients with personality disorder using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. CBT is recommended in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines as part of the evidence-based care packages for personality disorder. The approach works to reduce self-injurious behaviours, impulsivity, substance misuse, emotional dysregulation, trauma responding, negative sense of self, and sense of threat from others.

The programme prepares trainees to provide CBT within secondary care mental health services. It is delivered to the competencies and meta-competencies outlined in the Roth and Pilling (2007) competence framework for CBT, the Roth and Pilling (2013) competence framework for psychological interventions with people with personality disorder, and the associated national curriculum (NHS Improvement et al., 2019). The discipline maintains a firm commitment to evidence-based clinical practice and as such we endeavour to ensure all our training programmes are firmly embedded within current research.

Video recordings of clinical sessions are made throughout the clinical work conducted in appropriate clinic settings. Codes of Ethics [e.g. BABCP Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and/or workplace Policies] are strictly adhered to in terms of making the recordings, seeking permission for use and storage of information. Signed consent forms are required to show clients have understood the reasons for and manner of audio recording.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme will have a cognitive-behavioural theoretical base with preference for approaches with the soundest evidence and where cognitive and behavioural techniques are integrated in therapy and fully compliant with competence framework for psychological interventions with people with personality disorder and the associated national curriculum. In addition to providing practical intensive and detailed skills training to facilitate skill development to a defined standard of clinical competency, the programme will aim to increase trainees’ knowledge base of theory, psychological therapy, and research in CBT and intervention in personality disorder and aims to promote a critical approach to the subject. It will aim to equip trainees to become skilled and creative independent CBT psychotherapists, in accordance with BABCP guidelines for good practice and to contribute to the further development of CBT.

The programme will provide opportunities for trainees to develop and demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

  • To develop clinical competency in Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy for personality disorder within the context of secondary care services
  • To develop critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature relating to CBT in the context of personality disorder

The programme is suited to CBT therapists working within secondary care services wishing to develop their skills in CBT for personality disorder.  

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

http://cedar.exeter.ac.uk/programmes/

Stage 1


60 credits of compulsory and non-condonable modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PYCM110 Working with Complexity: Essential Competencies for Working with People with Personality Disorder 20Yes
PYCM111 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Personality Disorder - Theory 20Yes
PYCM112 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Personality disorder - Clinical Practice 20Yes

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Construct maintenance and developmental CBT conceptualisations for personality disorder.
2. Develop CBT specific treatment plans.
3. Practice CBT personality disorder systematically, creatively, and with good clinical outcomes.
4. Deal with complex issues arising in CBT practice and secondary care settings.

Lectures, workshops, small group activities, and group tutorials based at the University.

Guided independent study.

Group clinical supervision of practice incorporating analysis of recorded practice and written supervision feedback.

7000-word personality disorder extended case report

30-minute personality disorder case presentation

2 End of Therapy Letters

CTS-R assessment of four full video-recorded therapy sessions with two clients with personality disorder (two formative and two summative)

4 x 500-word self-practice self-reflection summaries plus 4 x 500-word background and evolving formulation of cases to accompany the assessments of recorded sessions

Clinical practice portfolio including two university supervisor reports (formative and summative), one workplace supervision report, evidence of 30 hours of BABCP Accredited Clinical Supervision, evidence of 80 hours of clinical CBT practice, evidence of completed treatment of 4 clients with personality disorder

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Practice as a scientist practitioner, advancing your knowledge and understanding and develop new skills to a high level.
6. Explain in detail the principles of CBT and the evidence base for the application of CBT techniques.
7. Explain in detail CBT theory and therapeutic models for personality disorder.
8. Describe and critically evaluate the theoretical and research evidence for cognitive behaviour models.

See above.

See above.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Take personal responsibility for clinical decision making in straightforward and more complex situations.
10. Tackle and solve therapeutic problems with self-direction and originality.
11. Adapt CBT with sensitivity, ensuring equitable access particularly with respect to issues of diversity e.g. age, culture, religious beliefs and values.

See above.

See above.

7. Programme Regulations

Programme-specific Progression Rules

You must pass all the modules in the table above. The pass mark for these modules is 50% with an additional requirement to pass all individual assessments within individual modules. If you fail any modules you will not be permitted to continue with the programme and your registration as a student will be terminated with immediate effect.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Within Psychology there is a well-equipped suite of PCs dedicated for postgraduate use, with further support provided by a dedicated IT and statistics helpdesk.

A range of services is available to support your study both from within Psychology. These include:

  • Team development programme.
  • Personal and professional development planning.
  • Student handbooks and programme guides.
  • Range of specialist advisors, including for: women students, non-school leavers, and overseas students.
  • Computing and Statistics Help Desk.
  • Virtual Resource Room and other web-based learning materials.
  • Clinically focused seminars, the ‘Think Tank’, provided by the Mood Disorders Centre.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

Applicants must demonstrate evidence of a qualification in a Core Mental Health Profession or equivalent (KSA), post-qualification experience working with people with personality disorder, the ability to work effectively at Master’s level, and an interest in and enthusiasm for psychological approaches to working with people with personality disorder.  In addition, applicants must demonstrate advanced experience of delivering CBT as would be evidenced by a postgraduate diploma or equivalent in CBT (e.g. may include a High Intensity IAPT Diploma or a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology) including supervised CBT practice and assessment of competence (e.g. using the CTS-R) and presentation of cases.

Staff should additionally have the support of their manager to attend the teaching programme and to deliver structured CBT under supervision for a minimum of one day per week for the duration of the programme.

A workplace clinical supervision structure must be in place to support the non-university clinical work undertaken during the duration of the programme. Clinical training caseloads must be ready prior to commencement of the course.

The workplace is required to provide the trainee with appropriate audio-visual recording equipment for the requirements of the programme, and support the trainee to store the data and transfer it to the university for assessment purposes in line with workplace and national data protection policies/laws. Procedures for gaining and recording consent from clients for recording clinical sessions and taking to university supervision is also required to be in place in time for the programme induction dates which will be about a month before the start of the programme.

Non-standard applications will be considered where applicants can demonstrate the required academic ability alongside existing knowledge, experience and skills developed in the workplace, relevant to this programme. Please contact the Programme Director if you would like to explore whether your prior learning, experience and skills would be acceptable. Candidates will need to undertake an interview and provide evidence of a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. 

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

PGCert Psychological Therapies Practice (Severe Mental Health Problems: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Personality Disorder)

19. UCAS Code

Not applicable to this programme.

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

60

ECTS credits

30

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

16/10/2020

Date of last revision

05/11/2020