Systemic Practice PGCert

Year of entry

Masters subject talks

Explore our recorded Masters subject talks to discover how you can take your knowledge to the next level. Find out more

Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
24 months part time
Entry requirements
Professional qualifed in mental health/social care discipline + in related employment
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component
UK fees
£7,000 (Total)
International fees
£14,000 (Total)

Course overview

Family therapy session

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.

Develop and connect

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 as such fulfils the training requirements for Foundation and Intermediate level training in systemic practice. Successful completion of the programme will lead to registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Read more on the Association's website.

The Leeds Family Therapy and Research Centre has been training therapists for over 28 years to help individuals, couples and families find ways of tackling their problems. You’ll develop an array of skills and insight needed to make a positive difference through your work.

Course details

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

In the first year (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 (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.

The course runs on approximately 16 Wednesday evenings (5pm to 8.30pm) between September and July plus approximately three full days. The course is delivered on the main University campus, although some elements may be taught online.

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

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Foundation Course in Systemic Practice 30

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Intermediate Course in Systemic Practice 30

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.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We monitor your progress through attendance, participation in lectures and tutorials, feedback on written assignments, a group presentation on an area of interest and a reflective learning journal completed during the first year of the course.

During the foundation year, the two written assignments focus on the summative assessment, combining all learning outcomes related to your theoretical knowledge and practice. The group presentation and reflective learning journal in which you discuss and critique your personal and professional development and skills will receive formative feedback.

Assessment in the second year (Intermediate) involves two written assignments and a learning portfolio which comprises:

  • A systemic practice log in which you keep a record of at least 60 hours of systemic practice in your own agency / work setting.
  • A record of at least 10 hours of clinical supervision received to support you in your practice.
  • A transcript and accompanying reflective commentary on a recorded piece of your work, which you will use as part of a case discussion in your tutorial group.
  • A reflective learning journal completed during the year of the course.

The written assignments and learning portfolio will provide a summative assessment of how you work meets the course learning outcomes relating to theoretical knowledge and application to your practice. The learning portfolio is submitted in stages at the end of each term and you will receive formative feedback following the first two submissions to aid your learning and inform your subsequent work.


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 (Intermediate) year. The practice requirement must be supported by the agency and have suitable clinical supervision arrangements and the facility to record, with client consent, one session (visual or audio) of clinical practice for assessment purposes.

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

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)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Please complete and upload the course Supplementary Information Pack as part of your application.

Applications for this programme will open in January 2024.

Applications are considered on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications and experience. Applications may close before the deadline date if numbers accepted reach capacity.

Deadline for applications is two weeks prior to the course commencing but all applications received within the last four weeks prior to course commencement must have all elements of the application completed.

You will need a professional reference from your current employer. This is a standard requirement and should be submitted at point of application. If it would be problematic to request a reference from your current employer you should contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team at for advice. The reference should be provided on a headed document with either a stamp from the institution or an electronic signature.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

Selection principle

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

Please note the receipt of a satisfactory professional reference from your current employer is a standard requirement before an offer can be made for this programme. If it would be problematic to request a reference from your current employer you should contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team at for advice.

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.

This course is taught by

School of Medicine

Contact us

School of Medicine Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £7,000 (Total)

International: £14,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses 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.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

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.

Career opportunities

Once you’ve completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice training you’ll be recognised as a Systemic Practitioner. This is not a formal qualification but is a recognised professional development indicating the knowledge and skills developed in this training. Our graduates have progressed to our MSc 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 practice 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 about Careers support.