Course details

Study options

Part-time: 16 days

Course level



University Advanced Diploma


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

This course is no longer accepting applications for 2020 entry.

The course is aimed at multi-agency and multi professional participants who work with a range of client groups presenting a range of challenges, symptoms, issues or difficulties.

This course will provide you with essential knowledge of the use of systemic ideas in practice with individuals, families and agencies. You'll develop an understanding of the connections between your personal history, beliefs and ideas and your current practice within your agency and professional contexts. Our staff are qualified practicing psychotherapists and they’re up to date with what’s going on in practice. They’ll use lots of clinical practice in their teaching, ensuring that what you’re learning will help you in your workplace, and will keep your career moving forward.

During this course we'll encourage you to build upon your knowledge, beliefs and experiences within your own work context and develop a theoretical understanding of systemic thinking and practice. You'll also explore a range of presenting problems and contexts spanning the lifecycle from birth to old age.

This is a foundation level course which will prepare you to go on to study at masters level later on. It marks the first step of a four year pathway to become a qualified systemic psychotherapist.

During this course you’ll:

You’ll cover theoretical principles of working with systems which can be immediately applied to your thinking about your current practice.

We’re proud to say that our courses are closely mapped against the health and social care sector. This ensures that our curriculum is up-to-date, providing you with the assurance that your learning is current and relevant. This does mean that we do have to respond to national changes such as government policy. As a result, some of the information about our courses may change.

What you will study

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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Open Days

Register your interest for a future Open Day and we'll be in touch as soon as we are able to welcome you on campus.

Register nowRegister now

Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

Explore our Virtual Open DayExplore our Virtual Open Day

How you will learn

You’ll be assessed through assignments, which will demonstrate your ability to apply the ideas and theories you learn to the workplace, by written assignments, group learning and presentations.  You’ll also produce a personal and professional development portfolio.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Lesley Novelle
Programme leader

Lesley Novelle is Programme Leader for Systemic Courses at the University of Derby, teaching and leading on the University Advanced Diploma Systemic Thinking and Practice (Foundation level) and MSc Systemic Psychotherapy courses. Lesley also works as a Senior Family Therapist.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You'll usually need a professional qualification at Diploma in Higher Education level, such as social work, nursing, youth work, teaching, psychology or medicine. If you don't have the relevant qualifications you might still be able to study this course, so contact us to find out. You'll also be assessed by references and an interview.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

How to apply

This course isn't currently accepting applications. This page will be updated with future start dates when confirmed.


Our staff are qualified practising psychotherapists and they're up to date with what's going on in practice. They'll use lots of clinical examples in their teaching, ensuring that what you're learning will help you in your workplace, and will keep your career moving forward.

You could go on to study for a masters degree such as our PG Cert Systemic Thinking and Practice subject to you satisfying the entry requirements. You could then move on to our MSc Systemic Psychotherapy (incorporating PG Cert/PG Dip), which will enable you to register as a systemic psychotherapist or family therapist when you've completed the course.

Contact us

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

Over one year

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.