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Course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK/EU fee

£950 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

Course level



PG Cert

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description


This course runs for the last time in January 2021.

Systemic practice emphasises the importance of relationships. It considers the interactions of couples, families, other relationship groups and their patterns of behaviour and dynamics. It recognises the way in which social interactions shape a person’s life and addresses these relationships both directly and indirectly.

The ideas are also applied to working with individuals. If you’d like to develop your knowledge in this aspect of therapeutic practice, this course is for you.

Professionally Accredited course

This course is accredited by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice at Intermediate level, so you can be confident that you’ll gain the skills you need in the field of systemic practice.

If you’ve already completed the Advanced Diploma in Systemic Thinking and Practice or you’ve passed an equivalent introductory level course, this is the ideal next step for you. As it’s a part-time course studied over on 17 days over one year, You will have the flexibility to continue your professional development without taking a break from your career.

During the course you are required to complete 60 hours of systemic practice, therefore you must be working in an area where you can apply the ideas you are learning.

Opportunities for networking

We have close links with Derbyshire Association for Family Therapy (DAFT) and twice yearly, course participants join the local family therapy and systemic practice network for a day conference. These opportunities mean that we can ensure course staff and students are informed of contemporary practice developments and this can also provide you with continued professional development opportunities beyond your formal study at the University of Derby.

You will cover theoretical principles of working with systems which can be immediately applied to your thinking about your current practice. You will be expected to complete 60 hours of supervised systemic practice in your practice setting, developing your skills directly within your practice role.

Visit the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) website here for more information.

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Postgraduate prospectus

Explore your digital postgraduate prospectus and find out what you need to know about studying with us. When you sign up, tell us what you're interested in and we'll send you a link to information put together just for you.

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What you will study

The course aims to synthesise theory, practice, and reflective skills as well as extending your knowledge in the development of research in the field. We pay careful attention to ethics, power and difference and these themes are explored across all aspects of your learning. We aim to model key systemic practice ideas through teaching and opportunities for skills practice.

There’s an emphasis on creating a safe group context in both the academic and clinical aspects of the course. This will help your learning, your application of ideas, and your ability to be self-reflexive. Our teaching is focused on enhancing your learning experience, so you’ll take part in workshops, small personal and professional development groups and undertake skills practice exercises.

You’ll study modules such as:

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

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How you will learn

Our teaching team works in a variety of agency settings and many are active researchers too. The team will help you to apply the theory to practical situations. You will study alongside professionals from a range of disciplines, so you can share challenges and learn from one another’s experiences.

You'll learn in different ways:

How you're assessed

You'll complete assignments to demonstrate learning and application of ideas.

Entry requirements

You'll need to have successfully completed the University Advanced Diploma in Systemic Practice and Family Therapy or equivalent Foundation level training.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)



£950 per 20 credits*




*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

How to apply


This course is suitable for you if you wish to extend your knowledge and practice of systemic theory and family therapy ideas in the workplace. It's suitable for people who work in a variety of agency settings in statutory and non-government projects and across all age groups.

It can be studies as a standalone course or as the second year of a four year programme.

Contact us

Kath Williamson (Programme Leader) +44 (0) 1332 591469 

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.