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Foundation and Intermediate Systemic Theory and Practice courses

Gain a solid foundation in systemic theory, practice and research, and develop systemic skills you can use in your own work setting.

Our systemic theory and practice courses

We offer two courses at the University of Bath. These course will next run in September 2021, with applications opening in January 2021.


Systemic therapy is an evidenced-based approach to family therapy, increasingly used in statutory services. More than just a method for working with families, it provides a hugely valuable way of working with individuals, couples, teams and inter-agency institutions.

Taught by systemic therapists and professionals from different service contexts, the course at Bath attracts many visiting lecturers, including prominent experts, authors and practitioners, keen to share their insights with you.

Our courses are grounded in reflexive and ethical ways of working, as well as providing the classic systemic texts and latest research outcomes that inform and shape the field.

We offer two systemic courses at the University of Bath:

  • Foundation course in Systemic Theory and Practice
  • Intermediate course in Systemic Theory and Practice

Both levels are accredited by the Association of Family Therapy (AFT), and taught alongside Doctorate in Clinical Psychology trainees, to add to the richness of learning.

You will be able to access University of Bath resources and facilities, including a range of workshops to improve your academic skills.

You will leave the course with:

  • a clear overview of the history of the development of systemic therapy to the present day
  • an understanding of the different schools of systemic therapy, how they fit in historic and contemporary contexts, the theories and concepts that underpin them, and key therapeutic interventions championed by each approach
  • awareness of the latest developments in the field
  • an understanding of, and the ability to apply, systemic theory in your own work context

Foundation in Systemic Theory and Practice

This foundation level course introduces you to systemic theory, practice and research and allows you to develop basic practice skills you can apply to your own work.


The course involves 11 days teaching days (one per-month) between September 2021 to September 2022 at the University of Bath. You are expected to complete 120 hours of independent study.

Course dates to be confirmed, but the teaching day will always be on a Friday, once a month.

Topics

  • Systems theory
  • Genograms and mapping
  • Policy, key concepts, code of conduct, research and evidence base
  • Structural and Strategic approaches
  • Milan and post Milan approaches
  • Narrative, Solution Focused, Social Constructionist approaches
  • Convening, assessment and systemic formulation
  • Adapting systemic interventions to working with children
  • System interventions with older adults

View further information about unit content and learning outcomes for current students studying this course in 2019/20.

Assessment

There are four assignments:

  • a 4,000 word case report
  • two problem-based learning group exercises that are run during a lecture day
  • completion of a Reflexive Log

Career prospects

By the end of the course, you will have a firm understanding of the different schools of systemic therapy, know how they fit in historic and contemporary contexts, the theories and concepts that underpin them and key therapeutic interventions championed by each approach.

On successful completion, you will be awarded 12 University credits. You can study the foundation as a standalone course or progress onto our intermediate course (subject to approval) or at any institution where this is offered.

Many of our students are successfully selected to complete qualifying master's level training in systemic psychotherapy courses (not available at the University of Bath) and go on to become registered family and systemic psychotherapists and supervisors.

Course fees

The course fees for 2021 have not been set yet. Course fees increase annually and you can view the fees for 2019/20 entry as a guide. Fees can be paid in up to 2 instalments.


Intermediate in Systemic Theory and Practice

There is an emphasis on skills practice, as well as an introduction to a range of work settings that use systemic approaches, methods and techniques. You'll discuss research and legislative frameworks and adapt theories and skills to your own practice.


The course is delivered across a 12-month period. You will undertake 12 teaching days between September 2021 to September 2022 at the University of Bath. You will also need to complete 180 hours of independent study.

Course dates to be confirmed, but the teaching days will mostly be on a Thursday, once a month.

Topics

  • Narrative Therapy
  • Working with child complex cases
  • Eating disorders in children
  • Systemic couple therapy
  • Using systemic ideas in learning disability
  • Working with families with physical illness
  • Working systemically with teams
  • Systemic supervision

View further information about unit content and learning outcomes for current students studying this course in 2019/20.

Assessment

There are a range of assessment strategies, all of which include a theory and a practice element:

  • 1,500 word essay
  • 2,000 word therapy transcript
  • 4,000 word case report
  • presentation of 10 minutes of videotape from your practice
  • obtaining a suitable rating by your supervisor on the Systemic Family Practice Session Rating Scale

Career prospects

On successful completion, you will be awarded 18 University credits and the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Theory and Practice.

It can also lead to the opportunity to progress onto a Masters in Systemic Therapy (not available at the University of Bath).

Course fees

The course fees for 2021 have not been set yet. Course fees increase annually and you can view the fees for 2019/20 entry as a guide. Fees can be paid in up to 3 instalments.

Progression from the Foundation course

If you're enrolled on the Foundation course and wish to progress to the Intermediate level at the University of Bath, you will need to request a Continuing Students Application Form by emailing systemic-therapy@bath.ac.uk

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited.


Course entry requirements

Our entry requirements for the foundation and intermediate course levels.


Both our Foundation and Intermediate courses are designed for graduate level professionals with a first professional qualification in a relevant mental health or social care related discipline. These professions include nursing, psychiatry, social work, clinical psychology, psychiatry and other medical specialties, teaching, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and counselling.

This is an AFT requirement to progress to years three and four, the systemic psychotherapy qualifying years. You can find further information about the Dual Qualification and Equivalence Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL).

If you are working in a mental health or social care setting without a first professional qualification, you are welcome to apply for admission through our accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) route.

Intermediate course requirements

You will need to have completed a Foundation Course or equivalent in systemic therapy, accredited by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. If you have not completed an accredited Foundation Course but wish to claim equivalence for prior study of systemic practice, you can apply by completing the APEL section of the application form.

You must be working in a setting suitable to undertake the Systemic Practice requirement of 60 hours of systemic practice during the year. The requirement is for ‘systemic practice’ and not ‘systemic therapy’. We would like you to apply systemic thinking to your everyday practice in your workplace. The practice requirement must be supported by the agency and have suitable clinical supervision arrangements and facility to record, with client consent, one session (visual or audio) of clinical practice for assessment purposes.

You need to be able to complete at least 60 hours of supervised systemic practice over the time period of the course. This involves the application of your systemic learning to your direct work with client systems in a professional capacity.

You should obtain permission from your clients to discuss them on the course and supervision must be from a qualified systemic family therapist. It is your responsibility to organise this systemic supervision, the minimum of which should be one hour for every ten hours of practice (ten hours in total).

Approved Prior Experience and Learning requirements

We expect that you will be aware of the different schools of systemic therapy and be able to place them in historic and contemporary contexts.

If you would like to apply to the Intermediate course without having done an AFT accredited Foundation course, but feel you have the relevant knowledge and skills from previous training and experience that equates to a foundation course, then please complete the Approved Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) section of the Application Form and obtain references.

If you completed your Foundation Course more than five years ago, please also complete the APEL section of the Application Form but for information only.

Course enquiries

All enquiries about the course, requests for application forms and further information should be directed by email.