Taught course

Advanced Practice and Research: Systemic Psychotherapy

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust · Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
PhD by taught

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to: hold an MSc in Systemic psychotherapy or its equivalent, and will have carried out research at Masters level; need to submit your previous Masters level dissertation; be interviewed prior to being accepted on to the course; need to provide three references (one referee should be the research supervisor of the Masters research work).

Months of entry


Course content

This reconfigured 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 feed back 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 make 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.

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 fortnightly alternating with a full day monthly and half a day every other fortnight, totaling approximately 9 or 10 full days and 9 or 10 half days a year. Subsequently, attendance is more flexible with research seminars once a term and monthly individual research supervision.

Fees and funding

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

Qualification and course duration

PhD by taught

part time
48 months

Course contact details

Katie Oliver
+44 (0)20 8938 2213 / 2214