Taught course

Systemic Family Therapy

University of Leeds · Leeds Institute of Health Sciences

Entry requirements

  • You will already have professional training (normally at graduate level) in mental health or social care, eg social work, nursing, clinical psychology, psychiatry, or relevant equivalent professional experience. Further details can be found in the APEL document (Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning).

  • You will already have successfully completed Intermediate level training in Systemic Practice or equivalent.

  • While you are studying with us, you will be required to undertake 200 hours in your own agency setting during the two years of the course and are advised to participate in systemic supervision by a qualified family therapist/supervisor. Your work place may be able to provide or support this. If this is not possible you need to ensure that your supervisor and manager are supportive of your practice developments and your work is supervised in general clinical terms.

  • You are advised to plan for the study requirement of the course which amounts to an estimate 635 hours of private study, 18- 20 course days and 40 x 5 hour (weekly) clinic placements per year. Additional time may be required to fulfil statutory and mandatory training in your placement NHS service and travel to and from your clinical placement.

  • You will need the support of your current manager in enabling your study and in consent to undertake your systemic practice requirements and reference this work in your assessments (with full attendance to client confidentiality) . Our experience is that this training offers considerable benefits to your work place and population you serve. The support of your manager is an important contributor to this process and the MSc Professional Application includes a letter for your manager which outlines the training and asks for their support for your application. It you are unable to gain support at this stage, it is important that you contact the course team to discuss this as early as possible.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Part of the training includes clinical practice with families in NHS training clinics and you will be working by honorary contract. It is important to note that the NHS cover would not cover all aspects of any claim made against you. It is therefore a requirement that you have professional indemnity cover or other appropriate insurance and you can demonstrate this on commencement of the course.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Systemic Family Therapy is a part-time course over 24 months, accredited by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. The MSc is the qualifying level of training and successful completion of the course confers eligibility to register as a Family Therapist / Systemic Psychotherapist with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

The course is designed for those who wish to train to work in the NHS, social care agencies or independent practice as a Family Therapist/Systemic Psychotherapist.

Training as a Family Therapist

The Leeds Family Therapy and Research Centre has been training Family Therapists for over 25 years to work with individuals, couples and families experiencing distress in life and relationships across the lifespan You will develop theoretical knowledge, skills and the personal professional development needed to make a positive difference through your work as a Family Therapist.

The MSc Systemic Family Therapy is the final two years of training and is preceded by Foundation and Intermediate level systemic practice training courses, which can be combined at the University of Leeds in the PGCert Systemic Practice. Foundation and Intermediate level can also be studied as standalone courses for professionals to develop systemic practice and to determine. Entry to the training programme for all professionally qualified students is at Foundation / PgCert level.

For qualified Family Therapists the Advanced Training in Systemic Supervision is also offered – contact us for more information

Information for international students

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks).

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

Fees and funding

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Health Education England have supported NHS students undertaking this course with sponsorship to cover fees when supported by their NHS Trusts as part of workforce development. More information for the 2023 cohort will be available when applications open.

For more information about the funding, please refer to the Application Guidance Systemic Practice & Family Therapy which will be made available here in October 2022.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

School of Medicine Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0)113 343 0806