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Systemic Practice (Foundation), PG:Foundation

University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

University of Leeds

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
PG:FoundationPart-time12 monthsSeptemberGBP 2750 per totalGBP 5500 per total

About Systemic Practice (Foundation), PG:Foundation - at University of Leeds

The Foundation Course in Systemic Practice introduces systemic principles, models of family therapy and their application to practice. You will be introduced to key theoretical approaches in family therapy and the skills and techniques associated with them. The course is multi-disciplinary and is delivered through a combination of lectures and practical teaching, followed by theoretical and application discussions and skills practice in small groups facilitated by qualified family therapists. It offers opportunities to observe and to practise key skills in a class room setting.

The course is available as a stand-alone module or as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice and is suitable for professionals working in psychology, nursing, psychiatry, social work, counselling, voluntary organisations and related fields.

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: Family Therapy (Intermediate), Systemic Practice PGCert, and Systemic Family Therapy MSc.


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

  • Course content

    The programme will introduce you to:

    * the basic theory and concepts of systemic family practice

    * theories of change and "schools" of systemic practice, from structural and Milan through to post-Milan constructionist and narrative approaches

    * family life cycles, developmental tasks and inter-generational patterns

    * approaches to systemic practice in different settings and with different client groups.

    The course will also provide opportunities for you to examine your own personal and professional context from a systemic perspective and to acquire basic systemic practice skills. You will demonstrate through role play, a range of systemic skills such as genogram construction, circular questions and offering reframes or alternative perspectives.

    On successful completion of this course you should be able to describe a range of systemic approaches to family and other relationships and give examples of their application, particularly in your own areas of work. You will be able to take a critical stance to systemic ideas and their value, and place systemic therapy in a historical context.

    You will be able to use systemic ideas to promote anti-discriminatory practice and demonstrate an awareness of the impact of wider social context, with particular reference to race, gender and disability.

    Course structure

    The course runs on approximately 18 Wednesday evenings (5pm to 8.30pm) in September-July, plus up to three full days. It takes place on the University's main Campus.

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

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Foundation Course in Systemic Practice 30 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Systemic Practice (Foundation) 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.


    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 year of the course.

    The two written assignments focus on summatively assessing all learning outcomes relating to theoretical knowledge and application to your 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.

  • 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 area 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 professional accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL). Further details can be found in the APEL document.

    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

    If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

    • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
    • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

    Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks). 

    How to apply

    Applications to the course will be open in January 2018. Please revisit this page for update.

    • Apply

    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.

    Admissions policy

    School of Medicine Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: £2,750 (total)

    International: £5,500 (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

    Although there is no obligation to do so, students may wish to undertake systemic supervision of their clinical practice at this stage in their own work agency. In most situations the costs of supervision would be met by your employer, e.g. in NHS settings.

    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.

    Specialist Skills and Post Registration Development (SSPRD) funding through the University of Leeds

    If you are an NHS employee working for an approved provider in the Yorkshire & the Humber region or your employing organisation offers service directly to the NHS, you may beeligible for the Specialist Skills and Post Registration Development (SSPRD) funding for the cost of your course fees. Subject to availability, the funding is provided by NHS Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber within the University. The SSPRD provision within the University is not available to medical staff, e.g. GPs and Psychiatrists.

    To apply for the funding, please complete the SSPRD funding application form in the Supplementary Information Document.

    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.

    Please note that NHS Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber has not confirmed the SSPRD funding available for 2018-19 so this advice is subject to change.

  • Career opportunities

    Students who complete Foundation level training in Systemic Practice add theoretical knowledge and practical skills to their professional range, developing the extent to which they can work with clients in family and other relational settings. Past students have progressed to training on our Systemic Practice (Intermediate) and Systemic Family Therapy MSc programmes. Students who complete the MSc in Systemic Family Therapy are eligible to register with the UKCP as Systemic Psychotherapists and to practice as qualified family therapists 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.

  • Related courses

    Systemic Practice (Intermediate) ND (Part time)
    Systemic Practice PGCert (Part time)
  • Entry requirements

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

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

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