Course details

Study options

Part-time: 16 days †

Course level



University Advanced Diploma

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

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;

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.

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

UK/EU students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

International students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for an postgraduate degree


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 details

Course: Lesley Novelle (Programme Leader) (0)1332 591167 (0)1332 590500

† Additional information about your studies

Over one year

Download programme specification

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.