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PGCert Systemic Practice

Key facts

Start date September 2019

Duration/mode 24 months part time

UK/EU fees £5,500 (total)

International fees £11,000 (total)

Additional cost information

Entry requirements Professional qualifed in mental 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 for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.

The course 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 nursing, psychiatry, social work, clinical psychology, voluntary organisations and related fields.

The course 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.

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.

Please scroll down and read the essential Application Guidance before applying.


This course is accredited by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice and as such fulfils the training requirements for Foundation and Intermediate level training in systemic practice.

Read more on the Association's website.

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Course content

The course runs over two years, combining the Foundation and Intermediate level training in systemic practice.

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

The second year, at Intermediate level, builds on the theory and concentrates on the development of 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. One session of this practice is to be recorded and transcribed for formative review of your clinical progress. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to develop a commitment to actively promote ethical, anti-discriminatory practice and to highlight and critique culturally-based assumptions in your practice.

The course 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.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Systemic Practice PGCert in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You will 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 through the required systemic therapeutic practice (of 60 hours including one recorded session) in your own professional agency and through a mixture of experiential exercises (e.g. roleplay) and clinical case discussion.


We monitor your progress through attendance, participation in lectures, and performance within small group tutorials in which formative feedback is provided by your tutor.

Your progress is also monitored in feedback on written assignments and the learning portfolio, as well as on your progress in recording at least 60 hours of systemic practice during the second year of the course.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

This course is specifically designed for graduate level professionals with a first professional qualification in a relevant mental health or social care related discipline such as nursing, psychiatry, social work, clinical psychology or similar professions.

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

Applicants must be working in a setting suitable to undertake the Systemic Practice requirement of 60 hours of systemic practice during the second year. The practice requirement must be supported by the agency and have suitable clinical supervision arrangements and facility to record, with client consent, one session (visual or audio) of clinical practice for assessment purposes.

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.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

  • Essential reading before applying: Application Guidance Systemic Practice & Family Therapy 201920 (available from January 2019)
  • Download PGCert Supplementary Information Document for completion (avalaible from January 2019)

Application Deadline: Friday 7th June 2019


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 principle

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: £5,500 (total)
International fees: £11,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

In the second year, 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.

Specialist Skills and Post Registration Development (SSPRD) funding by Health Education England in Yorkshire and the Humber

If you are an NHS employee working for an approved provider in the Yorkshire & the Humber region, you may be eligible for the Specialist Skills and Post Registration Development (SSPRD) funding for the cost of your course fees.

For more information about the funding, please refer to the Application Guidance Systemic Practice & Family Therapy 201920.

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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 developed 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 and Family 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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