Course at a glance


This course addresses personalised treatment focusing on negative patterns of thoughts about the self and how these can be addressed, even changed. A historic time-plan of developments in this field end with the American Aaron Beck, 1960s who expanded on the growing Cognitive therapy, CT field which is based on the cognitive model, this states that thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all connected, and that individuals can move toward overcoming difficulties and meeting their goals by identifying and changing unhelpful or inaccurate negative thinking, problematic behaviour, and distressing emotional responses. Therapists work with individuals to identify negative and distorted thoughts, and then begin to change their internal thoughts, feelings and behaviour. This course examines the historic influence on the modern day development and growing popularity of CT. Initially Beck developed CT to address Depression, and later included anxiety-related disorders.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated by awarding body. Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Course Content

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 1 – Carl Gustav Jung – Analytic Psychological: Part 1

The course starts by looking at Jung. A Swiss born in 1875, Jung began questioning religion, was highly academic and knew he was destined for great things! He developed tests based on analysis which he used on his patients and which are now precursors to the lie detector tests used today. Jung believed that problems in adults were often related to an ‘old wound’ in the psyche, and by addressing these a person could be healed, but also that some things could never be totally cured. He has influenced a range of issues contributing to psychoanalysis treatment today from using analysis, e.g. of personality and dreams, to understanding problems due to chemical imbalance in the brain. He also worked with Freud. Jung was the first therapist to use Art in his work.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 2 – Carl Gustav Jung – Analytic Psychological: Part 2

Here we expand on the theories of Jung, c1900s, on the psyche. He talked about the ego, the conscience mind and also about the archetypal unconscious so things like buried or suppressed memories. He wrote about effects of past influences, what a person is born with to present influences of e.g. the mother, gender differences, and sexual inference. He believed that the most important archetype was ‘the self.’ His work on people lying, white lies and how it is almost impossible not to lie is discussed and has given rise to modern tests e.g. the Myers-Briggs Indicator test that categorise people using characteristic traits. Today, Jung’s theories are as widely acclaimed as they are criticised.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 3 – Sigmund Freud – Psychoanalytical Psychology: Part 1

Freud, c1880s, published widely on theories around Sexuality, how these theories were developed and what influenced his beliefs are explored in this module. Born almost 20 years before Jung in Czechoslovakia (but raised in Vienna), and the favourite son of his father Freud accounted this to his confidence. He gained notoriety by his controversial views about the theory of sexuality during the repressive Victorian era. Freud believed that childhood was the foundation stone of development that laid down patterns for the rest of your life. Jung and Freud worked together for years, but then fell out badly due to professional differences on the mother-child relationship.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 4 – Sigmund Freud – Psychoanalytical Psychology: Part 2

An investigation of Freud’s theories based on there being a conscious or what one is aware of at the present, preconscious (available memories) and unconscious mind are discussed. Freud believed that the unconscious is what drives and motivates, and often contains traumas and emotions. He felt that behaviour was shaped by forces over which we have no control. Freud was a medic and he developed many of his theories through his work with patients. Freud often saw his patients sitting on a couch behind them so that his presence did not distract from his analysis of them. Thus Freud started the beginning of cognitive psychotherapy as practiced today. Psychotherapy requires much training and experience, and how Freud helped to develop this technique is introduced here.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 5 – Behaviourism

John B. Watson is the founder of this field of study, and he believed that behaviourism is shaped by environment. He became disillusioned by science being unable to measure the inner mind states, and so developed his own theory asking what conditions in the environment shape our behaviour. Behaviourism is introduced here. Burrhus Skinner, c1960s, developed theories on how subjects responded to or operated in their environment, his famous experiment involved rats pressing a lever when they wanted to be fed (conditional association). Pavlov also did similar research. Further research continued to look at how behaviour and learning can be changed and shaped. How counselling using learned Behaviourism by asking questions such as how behaviour is produced, affected, changed and influenced is discussed here.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 6 – Humanistic Psychology

The 1960s saw the freedom of the individual, and rejected that a person was the product of their circumstance and psyche. This type of counselling is discussed in detail as it involves the individual and their experience, motivation or lack of. Maslow was tired of focus being on the negative aspect of humanity and was more interested in learning from high achievers. He built a model called the Hierarchy of Needs in c1943. Maslow believed it was better to live a modest life-style with little, then one of achievement and plenty but which was unhappy. He also believed that instead of simply trying to correct deficiencies, personal growth should be encouraged. Carl Rogers, c1940s believed that much of our self-worth came from our childhood influenced by parental and societal requirements. We all want a path in life, and when we cannot achieve this we develop issues and problems. Rogers counselled by making sure the client was aware of what it was they needed to address, change or adapt as they are the best to judge themselves rather than finding excuses. Discussion in this module will also involve theories on the influence of life development by Erik Erikson, 1959, and Levinson, 1986.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 7 – The Cognitive Approach

Initially Albert Ellis, 1957, believed in the psychoanalysis model, but he later changed and started to address irrational and negative beliefs in patients and started to help them adopt rational beliefs. Ellis defined cognition based on perception, awareness and judgment, and thus the way we think determines how we behave, and this is turn affects our health by leading to anxiety, stress and illness. Much of modern practice teaches ways of coping through activities and methods to prevent relapse, and these techniques are addressed here. A catalogue of the most common ailments e.g. panic attacks, eating and personality disorders are listed, and how the cognitive approach in all its guise can help combat these is discussed.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 8 – Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky

This module continues the discussion of key theorist and the practice they gave rise to today. Piaget, born in Switzerland, was a structuralist philosopher and a Systems Theorist who started work with his wife by observing his own children in the 1920s. He was the first to talk about schema, the various developmental stages in humans and how this affects how information is filed in our brain. As children develop so these schemas expand, assimilate, accommodate and reach equilibrium. He believed that we know what is right and wrong from an early on. Vygotsky, a Belorussian, believed that culture was the most important part in development in 1920s, but overlapped much with Piaget though neither knew of each other’s work because of the conflicts between Russia and the West. Both have huge impact on the issues that affect development and cognitive therapy.

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 9 – Cognition and Therapy

Cognitive psychology is one of the most dominant forms of therapy used in the UK today and how it is practiced is covered in this module. It focuses on the mind, how we think and what we think of our self. Thoughts can be positive or maladaptive and so it is important that in order to develop a healthy self-concept, we think positive thoughts. However when we are low and depressed, maladaptive and negative thoughts come to our forethought, and it is this that needs to be tackled, and this is done by using brief therapy. The blame is put not on the individual but on the negative and maladaptive thoughts

Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma Module 10 – Social Constructionism

Social reality arises from the world in which we live. Here we understand and measure the self, to get an idea of how it functions in the world and what influences how we think, what we believe and how we behave. This is turn is linked to self-esteem. This final module brings together all the various theories that affects Cognition. Psychometrics is introduced as a valid tool of measurement and analysis. As with all the fields within psychology, great controversy exists such as are the tests and analysis fair for all, for different ages, gender and cultures? So other approaches are covered, such as using case study, or integrating methods and techniques is often the best solution.


This Accredited Level 3 Cognitive Therapy Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.