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Foundation Systemic Theory and Practice course

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

Course changes

Updates on our Systemic Theory and Practice course availability.

Our Foundation course in Systemic Theory and Practice at the University of Bath has been postponed until further notice. We will update this page when further details are available.

We no longer offer the Intermediate Systemic Theory and Practice course as CPD at the University of Bath.

Systemic Theory and Practice

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.

Our course is 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.

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 to September at the University of Bath. You are expected to complete 120 hours of independent study.

Teaching days are always on a Friday, once a month.


  • 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 previous students studying this course in 2019/20.


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

Learning environment

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.

You are 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.

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 an intermediate course 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 have not been set yet. Course fees increase annually and you can view the fees for 2022/23 entry as a guide. Fees can be paid in up to 2 instalments.

Professional accreditations

Our foundation course is accredited.

Course entry requirements

Our entry requirements for the foundation course.

Our Foundation course is 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.

Course enquiries

All enquiries about the course and further information should be directed by email.