Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice – Year 2 Intermediate (Families and Couples or Child Focused)

Following on from the Certificate in Systemic Practice (Year 1, Introductory), the Institute offers this 1-year intermediate level course in systemic practice, leading to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice. This course is made up of two separate streams leading to the same qualification.

In Partnership with the University of BedfordshireThe course meets the Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) criteria as an Intermediate Course, and is validated by the University of Bedfordshire.

Key information

  • Date: September 2019
  • Course length: 1 Year
  • Fee: £2,760 pa
  • Venue: IFT
  • Level: 7

The course consists of two streams from which candidates must choose. They are:

These streams are structured differently, and run on different days, and students are therefore required to indicate at the point of application which stream they wish to attend. However, all students graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice.

Each course consists of two units: Theory and Skills, each 30 credits, which are assessed by four pieces of work to be completed at different stages during the year. There is also a requirement on both courses to satisfactorily complete a log of 60 hours of systemic practice and a journal of learning on the course. Participants will gain their award on obtaining a pass-level or higher for each element of the course.

There is an 80% attendance requirement for both.

Course Work

The two units are assessed by two different assessments making a total of four over the year. There are also two completed components which do not count towards the final mark but which must be completed to a pass standard.

Assessed components

Theory Unit (30 credits)
Essay of 1.500 words due December (30%)
Essay of 3.500 words due April (70%)

Skills Unit (30 credits)
Essay of 3,500 words due in January (50%)
Presentation to small group in June (50%)

Completed components

Practice log of 60 hours of systemic practice
Reflective journal
Minimum of 10 hours of clinical supervision

Learning Portfolio

Students are expected to build up a learning portfolio over this academic year, which can be carried forward into future years should the student continue in systemic training. This should include copies of coursework and feedback, and the learning journal and practice log. The learning journal will be discussed in tutor groups and guidance given.

Applicants must have a relevant professional training or equivalent, and have successfully completed a foundation level training in systemic practice or equivalent. They must also have the opportunity to complete at least 60 hours of systemic practice in the twelve months leading to the end of the course. Trainees must obtain relevant permission for this work to be discussed in a confidential academic environment. Please note, the requirement is for ‘systemic practice’ and not ‘systemic therapy’. We are keen for participants to apply systemic thinking to their everyday practice in their workplace.

An academic reference from Foundation year tutors as well as a professional reference will be required for all students.

If your intention is to pursue your training to MSc level you must be aware that a prior professional qualification will be a requirement for entry. Please see Prior Prof Qualifications and APEL Procs 2018 for further details.

Tutor Information

Course Chair: Hendrix Hammond, MSc, BSc, PGDip
Course Tutors:
Sandie Chatterton, MSc, CQSW
Chip Chimera, MSc, CQSW
John Cavanagh, MSc, AdvDipSystSup, DipHE MHN
Liz Mawle, MA, MSc, BSc


Fee for 2019/20 – £2,760 pa

Payment in instalments available to self payers.

The course fee is due in full by the first day of the autumn term.

A non returnable administration fee of £40 is payable to the Institute of Family Therapy on application.

IFT policy on fees

Once registered with IFT the student (or their employer/sponsor) will remain liable for the full course fee. In the event of students failing to complete a course for any reason (including voluntary withdrawal on notice) they will remain liable for the full fee.


What do our students say

‘There is nothing I do not love about this course:  everything , the reading the learning.  Everything  is a pleasure to learn and think about.’

“Excellent session which I can incorporate and continue in my practice”

“It feels good to know my current skills have been endorsed by today’s presentation, but also can develop further from learning today!”


Open evening

We run open evenings every spring, where prospective students have the opportunity to find out more about the Institute of Family Therapy’s training programme. The evenings commence with a welcome from our Director. During the evening there will be an opportunity to speak with IFT teaching staff.

The dates for 2020 will be confirmed shortly.

Please email Robyn Galloway to reserve your place.

How to apply

IFT Training Prospectus 2019-2020
Download Training Prospectus

The closing date for applications is 30th June. This is a popular course and early application is advised. Late applicants are advised to contact the training department for information on whether late applications are being accepted.

Selection for the postgraduate training is made on the basis of the application form and applicants will not normally be required to attend an interview.

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