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.

It 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 enriching learning experience.

This programme engages with the realities of your current working experience and its emotional demands and complexities, helping you to respond to these more reflectively and effectively, and with increased confidence in your capacity to occupy 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 organizational topics, which makes a valuable contribution to the work of their service and their own professional performance. This 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.

In years one and two, you will attend seminars focusing on systemic psychotherapy enquiry and its relationship to contemporary ideas and research activity in sociology, social anthropology and social psychology including qualitative as well as quantitative approaches. You will undertake an observation from a constructivist perspective and 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.

During the first two years research methods lectures and seminars are shared with students on other Professional Doctorate programmes, making for a rich inter-disciplinary learning experience.
By the end of year two you will have developed a clear 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 and symposia offer opportunities for group data analysis and problem solving, and strong peer support.

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

In years one and two attendance is for one and a half days per. From year three onwards, attendance is more flexible with research seminars once a term and monthly individual research supervision.

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 already hold a Masters degree in systemic psychotherapy, hold a professional registration  want to explore issues further and contribute to 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.


All day Thursday and a half day Friday.


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 on the Editorial Board of Anthropology & Medicine and has been the Assistant Editor of the International Journal of Social Psychiatry.

Britt has taught and consulted widely both nationally and internationally particularly on the topic of cross-cultural psychotherapy and the relevance of social anthropology to psychotherapy research and practice.


£ 5,220 per year


£ 10, 520 per year

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

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

Enquire about this course

Make an enquiry

Course specific open evening Thursday 10 June 5.30-7.00pm

Book now

Share this page

Completed Doctorate Theses

See completed theses