Systemic practice and family therapy helps people in close relationships to better understand and support each other. It enables individuals and family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on family strengths, and work together to make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.
Systemic family therapy has been found to be effective across the life course in helping children, young people, adults, couples and families struggling with a broad range of difficulties and circumstances.
Systemic practitioners and systemic family therapists work in many health and social care settings such as children’s services, older people’s services, physical health and disability, substance misuse, justice and mental health services.
Our multidisciplinary Systemic Practice and Family Therapy programmes are suitable for professionally qualified staff who wish to enhance their skills of working with families, couples, individuals, other systems and relationship networks.
There are three levels of training: Foundation (PG Certificate), Intermediate (PG Diploma) and Qualifying (MSc Systemic Psychotherapy).
This Postgraduate Diploma is designed for those who have completed Foundation level training and who wish to further enhance their ability to work systemically with families, individuals and organisations. The programme aims to develop reflexive and ethical practitioners who have a solid knowledge of the theories and research underpinning systemic family practice and its application to their specific area of work.
Please note that this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.
Closing date for applications: Friday 29 July 2022 at 4pm.
Systemic Practice and Family Therapy highlights
On successful completion of the PG Diploma, you will be considered to have achieved the status of 'Systemic Practitioner'.
- The Systemic Practice and Family Therapy programmes have been accredited by the Association of Family Therapy (AFT) and recognised by the relevant professions’ continuing professional development frameworks.
- On these pathways there will be restricted access to relevant data by employers, the NISCC, DHSSPS, HSC Boards and any successor bodies.
“We aim to provide students with excellent learning experiences to enhance their skills in both child and adult service settings. We hope students will leave the courses feeling better equipped to work compassionately and effectively with the many struggles individuals and families seek help with.”
Suzanne Mooney, Lecturer
Three modules are taken, providing a balance of academic theory, skills development, personal development and application to the student’s work setting. It requires a minimum of 360 study hours, including direct contact with QUB staff, supervised systemic practice in the student’s workplace or other suitable setting and independent study.
The PG Diploma has 15 taught days, organised as one day per fortnight during the academic year from 9.30 to 4.30 each day.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Systemic Practice and Family Therapy is awarded to students who successfully complete taught modules amounting to 120 CATS points.
Course Details The PG Diploma is accredited at Intermediate Level (Year 2) by the Association for Family Therapy (UK).
Systemic Practice Skills and Their Application to the Work Setting
Theory, Practice and Research in Family and Systemic Practice
Personal and Professional Development in Systemic Practice
People teaching you
9.30am-4.30pm, one day per fortnight.
This course provides knowledge and skills which are highly valued in both child and adult services across health and social care.
Systemic practitioners and systemic family therapists work in many health and social care settings such as children's services, older people's services, physical health and disability, substance misuse, justice and mental health services.
On successful completion of the Diploma, you may use the professional title of 'Systemic Practitioner'.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:
Consolidation of Learning
Students have regular small group sessions lead by a facilitator to consolidate and apply course learning.
Lectures and seminars are provided by a range of experienced Systemic Psychotherapists.
Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
Assessment is by written assignment and oral presentation, including a case study and learning portfolio.
Students must also demonstrate 60 hours of supervised systemic practice in a current work setting or placement and access a minimum of 10 hours of individual or small group supervision by a qualified Systemic Family Psychotherapist. 20 of these systemic practice hours must be with more than one person, i.e. conjoint work.
The School is situated across a suite of three buildings in Belfast's Queen's Quarter. We provide student and staff common rooms, computer suites and designated study spaces.
Explore the teaching and social spaces in our School through our 360 Virtual Tour:
The Graduate School
1. This is a multidisciplinary pathway with applications welcome from applicants with prior relevant professional training in a mental health or social care related discipline or equivalent as designated by the Association of Family Therapy (e.g. Social Work, Nursing, Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology). Normally one year's post qualification experience is required.
2. Applicants must have already completed AFT accredited Foundation level Systemic Practice training (PG Certificate Systemic Practice and Family Therapy) or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.
3. Applicants must have the opportunity to apply systemic ideas to practice totalling 60 hours in a current work setting or placement with satisfactory arrangements for supervision of practice under the AFT Code of Ethics and Practice (10 hours individual or small group supervision). Where systemic supervision is not available in their place of work/placement, students may access independent systemic supervision to meet this requirement. The Programme Director will provide additional guidance and support in these circumstances. Please note that this programme is only open to applicants who are working in suitable contexts within NI/UK/RoI.
4. All Social Work applicants from NI/UK must have a recognised social work qualification and have successfully completed the Assessed Year in Employment. Social work and social care applicants must be registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and should include their NISCC Social Care Registration Number in the Additional Information section of the application form.
3. Applicants should normally have a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent recognised qualification. Equivalent qualifications include the Pre-2007 Post-Qualifying Award in Social Work. Where this is not met, applicants must show their ability to study at postgraduate level through evidence of previous postgraduate training or completion of a reflective practice assignment.
4. At least two references will be sought, one of whom must be the applicant’s current employer. At least one referee should be professionally qualified and be able to comment on the applicant’s current practice.
N.B. Please note there are different entrance requirements at each level of the suite of Systemic Practice and Family Therapy programmes at Queen’s. Should you be accepted onto the PG Diploma programme (Year 2 Intermediate) this does not automatically guarantee entry to the MSc Systemic Psychotherapy Qualifying level training. Further information may be sought to ensure eligibility.
Closing date for applications: Friday 29th July 2022 at 4pm.
An interview will form part of the selection process for this course.
Late applications may be considered.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal prior to the deadline stated on course finder. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,300 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,300 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,834 EU Other 3 £11,800 International £11,800
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Fees for 2022-23 will be published in December 2021.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Systemic Practice and Family Therapy costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
When to Apply
The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding