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PGCert Systemic Practice

Key facts

Start date September 2017

Duration/mode 24 months part time

UK/EU fees £5,000 (total)

International fees £10,584 (total)

Additional cost information

Entry requirements Professionally qualified in health/social care discipline + in related employment.

Language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component


The Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice covers the first two years of family therapy training and combines both Foundation and Intermediate level training in systemic practice. Each level of training is accredited by the Association of Family Therapy.

The programme is multi-disciplinary and covers aspects of working with families in clinical settings, as well as wider applications of systemic thinking and practice. It is suitable for professionals working in psychology, nursing, psychiatry, social work, counselling, voluntary organisations and related fields.

The programme is accredited by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice and successful completion meets the training requirement for application to the qualifying course in Systemic Family Therapy leading to UKCP registration.

More information

The Leeds Family Therapy and Research Centre has been training therapists for over 20 years to help individuals, couples and families find ways of tackling their problems.

You can study this subject at other levels:

  • Foundation course in Family Therapy
  • Family Therapy (Intermediate)
  • Systemic Family Therapy MSc


This course is accredited by the Association for Family Therapy and as such fulfils the training requirements for Foundation and Intermediate Level training in Systemic Practice. Read more on the Association for Family Therapy website.

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Course content

The programme runs over two years, combining the Foundation course in Family Therapy and Family Therapy Intermediate programmes.

In the first year, at Foundation level, you will be introduced to key theoretical approaches in family therapy and the skills and techniques associated with them.

The second year, at Intermediate level, builds on your knowledge and use of theory and practice in systemic family therapy and concentrates on the development of your therapeutic skills with families, couples and individuals, and the application of systemic ideas in your work context. You will be required to undertake 60 hours of systemic therapeutic practice in your own work agency. In the second year themes are followed each term, with an initial focus on your personal and professional development as a systemic practitioner, followed in the second term by further study of the theory of systemic practice and related skills. The final term considers the application of systemic theory and practice in a range of health and social care settings and to your own therapeutic practice. Throughout the programme you will be encouraged to develop a commitment to actively promote ethical, anti-discriminatory practice and to highlight and critique culturally-based assumptions in their practice.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and practical teaching followed by theory and application discussions and skills practice in small groups facilitated by qualified family therapists.

The programme runs on approximately 20 Wednesday evenings each year (5pm to 8.30pm) in September-June, plus up to three full days. It takes place on the University's main campus.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information on typical modules, read Systemic Practice PGCert in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught through lectures, practical classes, and group tutorials. We make extensive use of IT and a wide range of material to enable students to study at their own pace and in their own time to enhance and extend the material taught formally. In the second year you will develop your learning in systemic skills and practice based upon your systemic practice in your own work setting.


We monitor your progress through attendance, participation in lectures and tutorials, feedback on written assignments, exam (second year) and a learning log. You will be required to complete 60 hours of systemic practice and provide evidence completion.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

This course is specifically designed for graduate professionals with a first professional qualification in a relevant mental health or social care areas such as social work, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, counselling, occupational therapy, art therapy and similar professions.

If you are a professional working in a mental health or social care setting without a first professional qualification, you are welcome to apply for admission via our professional accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL). Further details can be found in the APEL document.

Applicants must also have the opportunity to complete at least 60 hours of systemic practice in the second year of the programme and must therefore be working in a health or social care setting where this is supported.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.


How to apply

The application period for this course has now closed please contact the programme team to discuss the options currently available to you.

Documents and information you’ll need

  • Authorisation of your manager for the required 60 hours of systemic practice and arrangements for clinical supervision (please upload to the "Supporting Documentation Upload" area of your online application a scanned copy of signed manager support form in the Application Pack)
  • A professional reference
  • An academic reference (or a 2nd professional reference)
  • If applicable a sponsor letter (for students whose training fees are paid in full or part by their work agency) OR if you seek HEYH (Health Education Yorkshire and Humber) bursary (please refer to the Application Pack), you must upload to the "Funding Document Upload" area a scanned copy of signed HEYH bursary application form.
  • Before applying, please read the Application FAQs.


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Selection principles

We select candidates on the basis of their professional experience and academic background.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


UK/EU fees: £5,000 (total)
International fees: £10,584 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

Students are required to ensure that the required 60 hours of clinical practice are supervised in their own agency. This is usually provided by employers but students may wish to supplement this or make their own arrangements for systemic supervision.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Health Education Yorkshire and Humber (HEYH) funding through the University of Leeds

If you are employed by an organisation providing NHS services in Yorkshire and the Humber, you may be eligible for the funding through the University. Psychiatrists and GPs are not eligible but may contact the Deanery.

If you are eligible please upload to your online application a completed HEYH bursary application form (Please refer to the Application Pack).

This funding is limited and is allocated shortly after the application closing date. If you want to be considered for funding, please make sure that we receive your application well before the deadline.

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Career opportunities

Students who complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice training can describe themselves as Systemic Practitioners. This is not a formal qualification but is a recognised professional development indicating the knowledge and skills development in this training.

Past students have progressed to training on MSc in Systemic Family Therapy programme. Students who complete the MSc in Systemic Family Therapy are eligible to register with the UKCP as Systemic Psychotherapists and to practise in the public and voluntary sectors, as well as privately.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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