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Queen's University Belfast: Systemic Practice and Family Therapy

Institution Queen's University Belfast
Department School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
Study type Taught


Systemic practice and family therapy helps people in close relationships to better understand and support each other. It enables individuals and family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on family strengths, and work together to make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.

Systemic family therapy has been found to be effective across the life course in helping children, young people, adults, couples and families struggling with a broad range of difficulties and circumstances.

Systemic practitioners and systemic family therapists work in many health and social care settings such as children’s services, older people’s services, physical health and disability, substance misuse, justice and mental health services.

Our multidisciplinary Systemic Practice and Family Therapy programmes are suitable for professionally qualified staff who wish to enhance their skills of working with families, couples, individuals, other systems and relationship networks.

There are three levels of systemic practice training: Foundation (PG Certificate), Intermediate (PG Diploma) and Qualifying level training (MSc Systemic Practice and Family Therapy).

If you have completed the PG Diploma in Systemic Practice and Family Therapy then this MSc gives you the opportunity to achieve a Master's degree by undertaking a research dissertation. Please note this MSc is not equivalent to Qualifying level family therapy training which takes a further 2 years (MSc Systemic Psychotherapy).

The Postgraduate Diploma is designed for those who have completed Foundation level training and who wish to further enhance their ability to work systemically with families, individuals and organisations. The programme aims to develop reflexive and ethical practitioners who have a solid knowledge of the theories and research underpinning systemic family practice and its application to their specific area of work.

The one-year Postgraduate Certificate is the entrance programme to all levels of systemic training and must be undertaken before applying for other programmes. The Postgraduate Certificate seeks to help practitioners in different settings and roles understand the core concepts of contemporary systemic practice and utilise systemic skills and techniques to maximise the therapeutic benefit for individual service users or relationships groups in their everyday work.

NB All students entering systemic training must first complete the Postgraduate Certificate Systemic Practice and Family Therapy.

Please note that this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.


Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

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