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Low Intensity Psychological Therapies, PG Cert

Newcastle University, the United Kingdom

Newcastle University

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About Low Intensity Psychological Therapies, PG Cert - at Newcastle University

This course provides you with the skills to asses and treat patients with brief, evidence-based psychological approaches for the treatment of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. It is part of the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme which trains Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) for NHS employment.

The Department of Health's IAPT programme is an innovative approach to address common mental health problems. Through this course you are trained as a practitioner to help those who experience depression and anxiety through use of evidence-based psychological therapies.

Low intensity treatments employ brief, cognitive behavioural therapy approaches through use of vehicles such as guided self-help, forming part of the stepped care system recommended for depression and anxiety disorders. After meeting and assessing a patient, the practitioner supports a therapeutic intervention to help patients with their problems and/or engage with other services that will facilitate them in their recovery.

Our Low Intensity Psychological Therapies Brochure 2017-18 (PDF: 1,130 KB) provides more information about this course. FAQs, links to IAPT resources and information about a 'week in the life of a psychological wellbeing practitioner' and are also included in the publication. 

After completing this course, you are eligible to apply for Band 5 PWP posts in NHS organisations.  These posts also exist in the private and voluntary sectors. 

The programme director is Dr Mark Papworth, lead author of the core text regarding Low Intensity Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy.

Delivery and Placements

Most campus based teaching takes place on Mondays, and for the rest of the week you are on placement.

Placements are currently provided around the north east of England in services that treat individuals experiencing common mental health problems through implementation of evidence-based psychological therapies.

On completing this course you can work towards Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) accreditation.


We have excellent general learning resources are available. They include access to the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here you'll find all workshop and lecture slides, and programme and module handbooks.

The School of Psychology is in the Dame Margaret Barbour Building.

You'll work in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. This is part of our city-centre campus.

The Faculty is also home to:

  • dentistry
  • medicine
  • psychology
  • pharmacy

It is on the same site as Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary hospital. We are one of the largest integrated teaching/hospital complexes in the country.

Our facilities include:

  • individual research laboratories where students carry out their projects
  • a dedicated medical library with a wide range of specialist books and journals
  • hi-tech computer clusters and study spaces
  • dedicated facilities for a range of key bioscience applications. This includes flow cytometry, bioinformatics, imaging, genomics and proteomics

    How to Apply

    NHS-funded places: application and selection are made in partnership, with the NHS Trusts advertising the vacancies.

    Self-funded places: you can apply online through our website. We have a step-by-step guide to help you. You will also need to complete the additional information sheet (Word Doc: 76.1 KB) to be submitted in line with the application deadline date.

    The application deadline for self-funded places is Friday 26 May 2017 for October 2017 entry.

    Interviews are being held on the 3, 4 and 5 July 2017. We may consider late applications if places on the course are available.

    Notes about fees for this course

    See our course fees and funding webpage -

    Entry requirements

    An NQF 4, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject. You will be also be required to submit a portfolio to ‘credit’ other academic and life experience and also confirm that you are able to perform at the appropriate academic level.


    An NQF 5, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject. You will not be required to submit a portfolio.

    We will also consider your application on an individual basis if you have relevant experience, voluntary or paid, of working with individuals who experience mental health difficulties.

    We expect you to have a high standard of:

    • written ability
    • computer literacy
    • the ability to develop good therapeutic relationships

    You also need to meet the trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) national person specification and be able to demonstrate good communication skills and other core requirements. The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) website has examples of PWP specifications.

    International Students

    To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

    Direct Entry: IELTS 7.O overall (with at least 8.0 reading, 7.0 in speaking and listening and 6.0 in writing)

    Pre-sessional English Language courses are not accepted as an alternative entry to this course.

    Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

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