Professional doctorate in advanced practice and research: systemic psychotherapy (M10)

Course overview

This course is the longest standing systemic doctorate in the UK and offers experienced practitioners, managers, and educators the opportunity for advanced professional development, and an applied research training.  

The course is uniquely arranged with other professional doctorates covering consultation and the organisation and social care and social work, making for a multidisciplinary student body and an enriching learning experience (this is referred to as the Integrated Professional Doctorate part of the course). The teaching staff are research active, diverse, and collectively hold a wealth of experience of research and scholarship including fields such as cross-cultural qualitative research, cross-cultural clinical practice, social anthropology, systems of care, autism, clinical practice and research into groups and group dynamics.  We are proud to attract a high proportion of European students onto the course.

Want to hear more? Join this course information session at our virtual open day on Saturday 25 June. Book your place using our booking form here.

This programme engages with the realities of current working experiences, its emotional demands and complexities, to enable a more confident, reflective response that increases the capacity to fulfil your role. We aim to help you find direction in your career, in a manner that connects with your professional passion and curiosity, but also enhances your abilities for reflexive leadership both practically and intellectually. Doctoral students consistently feedback the relevance of participation in this programme for the development of their thinking and practice in their work setting. 

Many students have the support of their employers to conduct research on clinical or organisational topics, which makes a valuable contribution to the work of their service and their own professional performance. 

The course comprises two years of ‘taught’ work and a minimum of two years applied research leading to submission of a 40,000 word doctoral thesis. The course is renowned for the care and support students receive from their supervisory teams. 

The course staff take pride in the breadth of our engagement and teaching. Whatever type of research you would like to carry out, we will encourage and help you do so in the most comprehensive innovative and ethical way possible. We consider the development of research methods as an opportunity for self-scrutiny and reflexivity and encourage frank and critical consideration of research assumptions and positions. The course includes teaching in quantitative, qualitative, critical qualitative, mixed methods, diffractive, post-structuralist, anti-colonising, psychoanalytic, and systemic research methods.  We encourage you to develop your own mix and style to suit you as a person and your particular research project. We place high value on creativity throughout the study.

Year one

You will attend seminars focusing on systemic psychotherapy enquiry and its relationship to contemporary ideas and research activity in sociology, social anthropology, ethnography, social psychology and art. We consider research to rely on experience and knowledge as well as skill.  You will undertake an observation from a constructivist perspective. You will be encouraged to place yourself inside the observation and through an appreciation of art and drawing you will be helped to develop embodied, observational, contextual and linguistic research skills drawing on contexts and experiences unique to you. These two first modules lay the foundation for the second year and for the subsequent thesis writing.

Year two

You will participate in seminars on data analysis and methodological reflexivity. You will also engage with theory and research around the contemporary systemic psychotherapy context and complexity in practice- based enquiry. Throughout you will be encouraged to place difference and complexity rather than similarity and unity at the centre of your practice and thinking.

During the first two years the research methods lectures and some seminars are shared with students on other Professional Doctorate programmes in Social Work and Social Care and Organisational Consultancy making for a unique and rich inter-disciplinary learning experience.
By the end of year two you will have developed a clear Research Proposal for your research, and in subsequent years you will be regularly supervised on your project by an experienced team of systemic psychotherapy academics and practitioners. Research data analysis seminars, Systemic Doctorate Special Events and symposia offer opportunities for networking, group data analysis and problem solving, and strong peer learning and support.

Each year you will be entitled to attend the annual Tavistock Doctoral Student Conference where students present work in progress, display posters, and learn from the experience of doctoral graduates. 

You will be joining the longest standing systemic psychotherapy doctoral programme of this kind in the UK. Many of our alumni have gone on to publish and make significant contributions to the international field of systemic psychotherapy research and practice.

This course uniquely combines relationship based with therapeutic practice principles and an emphasis on social science, including social anthropology, and issues of diversity and reflexivity. You will benefit from a staff team who are experienced current practitioners, as well as leading academics and researchers. 

This course is for you if :

  • You want to enhance your ability to place diversity and difference at the heart of your practice
  • You would like to complement your curiosity with research inquiry
  • You would like to contribute to systemic research. 

The course uniquely combines therapeutic practice principles and an emphasis on social science, including social anthropology and issues of diversity and reflexivity.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:

  • have a Master’s degree in systemic psychotherapy or equivalent - this must include specific knowledge of systemic psychotherapy theory and practice
  • hold a professional systemic registration (e.g. AFT or UKCP)
  • have some prior knowledge of research.

As part of our application process we ask that you submit a proposal as we are interested in the thoughts and ideas that you have about your research interests. Please note that this does not need to be a fully worked out proposal, just an idea at application stage.


In years 1 and 2,  attendance is one and a half days per month on a Thursday (all day) and Friday (half day)

From year three onwards, attendance is more flexible with research seminars once a term and monthly individual research supervision.


All seminars lead to assessment by assignment. There are two 3000 word assignments and one 5000 word assignment in each of the first two years. You will only be able to go onto Year 3 in which you begin your independent research if you have passed all assignments.

Dr Inga-Britt Krause

Dr Inga-Britt Krause BSc, Dip Fam Ther, PhD studied Philosophy and later European Ethnology at the University of Copenhagen. This was followed by Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, UK where she received a BSc and later a PhD. Britt trained to be a Family Therapist in 1989.

Britt joined the Tavistock Clinic in 2001 in the post of Training & Development Consultant (Race & Equity). She is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, a member of the Association for Family Therapy and registered with UKCP both as a systemic psychotherapist and as a supervisor. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Anthropology & Medicine.

Britt has published several books and many articles on the topic of cross-cultural psychotherapy and race and equity. Britt has taught and consulted widely both nationally and internationally on these topics and the relevance of social anthropology to psychotherapy research and practice. She is currently Visiting Professor at University of Oslo where she advices and supervises on a research project situated in the Department of Social Anthropology, funded by the Norwegian Research Council, into the impact of the development of psychotherapy on personhood and conceptualisations of ‘the self’ in Russia, China and India.

Other staff on the course include:


£ 5,415 per year


£ 10,830 per year

For more information about how Brexit may affect your fee status, please see Brexit information for EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals

We are considering offering this course as a fully online option.  If you would like to know more about this, please contact us at

Please note that course fees are subject to a 3% or CPI uplift each year, whichever is greater.

We are happy offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses. 

Professional Doctorate
Course length:
4 years
Thursday and Friday, once per month
The Tavistock Centre, London
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
Course lead:
Dr Inga-Britt Krause

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Completed Doctorate Theses

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