Systemic approaches to working with individuals, families and organisations

Course overview

The course will provide you with a well-developed understanding of systemic theory and practice which will underpin your work with diverse families and organisations.

This course will allow you to develop practice skills which can be applied to your own work contexts.  You will learn how to reflect upon the personal and professional dimensions of your work.

The course also provides you with the capacity to recognise multiple contexts including political and political discourses that inform your work. 

This course consists of the following elements:

  • theoretical seminars
  • application seminars
  • whole-day events
  • peer group projects
  • personal tutorials

Theoretical seminars combine theoretical and experiential learning with an emphasis on interactional learning. In smaller application groups, you will be expected to present your own experience using systemic theoretical concepts.

You will undertake presentations on personal and professional issues, illustrating an aspect of systemic theory. Preparatory work will be carried out in consulting partnerships and presentations will be made to groups.

You will attend a whole-day workshop run by a well-known systemic clinician, author or occupational therapist. You’ll also attend a day conference which includes presentations and workshops by systemic clinicians.

We are happy to offer students direct access to the second year of this course if you have fulfilled the learning outcomes of our first year - please see the entry requirements below and indicate on your application form if you would like to be considered for entry into the second year of the course.

We offer a high level of training delivered in an NHS setting by experienced clinicians and supervisors who work in child, adolescent and adult mental health service. We also have an excellent library which supports students’ learning, a significant resource appreciated by our students.

What our students say:

"I like the fact that they are practitioners who can bring experience from current practice as well as academic rigour."

"I have found ways to use systemic ideas in my practice and joint working."

This course is for you if you are a professional who is working with, or would like to work with, couples, families or other organisational systems in mental health trusts, social and health care or voluntary agencies. 

You may be a social worker, teacher, psychologist, psychiatrist, nurse, learning mentor, GP, counsellor or researcher.

In order to be eligible for entry into year one, we ask that you:

  • Have a first degree in social work, psychology, medicine, nursing, education or any allied field, or to be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of relevant experience. 
  • Are working or volunteering in a setting that will allow you to apply and develop systemic ideas.

In order to be eligible for entry into year two, you must have completed either:

  • An AFT accredited Foundation systemic training


If you have not completed one of the above, you will need to demonstrate how you meet the learning outcomes of our foundation course. After having submitted an application, please send a document detailing how you meet these to Katie Oliver.

If invited to interview, you will be asked to bring a portfolio demonstrating your systemic learning and experience.

  • You must also be either working or volunteering in a setting that allows you to complete 60 hours of work with families, where you are permitted to use film or audio to record some of your work.

The annual fee for this course is £2610 for Home/EU students and £5220 for International students. 

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

Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Please note that course fees will increase by 2% each year.

The previous code for this course was D4.

Postgraduate Diploma
Course length:
2 years
Foundation year: Tuesday evenings OR Friday afternoons. Intermediate year: Friday mornings.
London, Brighton, Kent
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
Course lead:
Rukiya Jemmott

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