Family and Systemic Psychotherapy - MSc



About the course

Critical and reflective examination of systemic theory is at the heart of this course, and you will also focus on the application of a systemic framework to practice and research.

You study different approaches to therapeutic work across a range of subjects and client groups, including adult mental health, individuals, couples, children and families.

You will also sharpen your own critical responses to discourses relating to power, difference and diversity, and develop the skills needed to address issues of discrimination.

This course is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Family Therapy in London.

Intermediate qualifications available:

  • Postgraduate diploma – 120 credits at Masters level

Choose Family and Systemic Psychotherapy MSc and:

  • Study through a combination of lectures, group exercises and activities, and in addition to focusing on research and theory, benefit from the programme’s clinical practice component
  • Explore a range of qualitative methods for conducting research, before designing and conducting a piece of work in an area of your own interest and practice that you will write up for your final dissertation
  • Develop systemic practice skills through weekly attendance of a supervision group where you will work directly with clients assessing risk, safety and vulnerability, the therapeutic relationship, interventions, and theories of change
  • Gain an opportunity to develop your professional interests and contribute to the development of knowledge within the systemic field
  • Benefit from power and diversity group plenaries which will support you in the development of a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding power and discrimination.





Family and Systemic Psychotherapy - MSc - Institute of Family Therapy, London

  • Apply Via - DIRECT ENTRY
  • Course level - Postgraduate
  • UCAS Code -
  • Campus Location - Institute of Family Therapy, London
  • Start dates - Oct
  • Duration - 2 Years
  • Attendance - | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications



Why choose this course?

The Research component of the course encourages independent learning, providing you with an opportunity to develop your own professional practice interests in initiating and taking responsibility for a research project and dissertation, contributing to the development of knowledge within the systemic field. The course aims to help you develop your work with families and couples, to increase and consolidate your theoretical and clinical skills and your understanding of the use of the self in practice. The inclusion of a wide range of approaches is an important characteristic. It is part of the course philosophy to encourage you in the development of a critical approach to theory and practice examining the inequalities and differences for example of race, class, gender, and to encourage an ethical and anti-discriminatory approach to clients. Use of self and self-reflexive practice is a core aspect of training,


A particular feature of the course are the Power and Diversity group plenaries, which support you in developing your understanding of issues of power and discrimination. These plenaries supplement and support the acquisition of these skills in your supervision group to apply this understanding in your therapeutic practice.


Subject to the agreement of your agency, you will be expected to bring your own case material for discussion and video or audio recordings of your work. Where appropriate signed, informed consent will be obtained from families for this purpose. For review of work during the course through DVD consultation, the consent forms for therapy include consent to record and review for the purposes of training. The academic and experiential learning provided encourages you to develop a broad critique and to apply a range of interventions in family and other related contexts in which you have a professional role. .


The course is the final stage of training leading to qualification as a family / systemic psychotherapist and eligibility to register with the UKCP.


The part time structure of the course enables you to continue in your employment while you study. The combination of evening and day time study and its central location make it accessible geographically to students from different parts of the UK. Tutors and supervisors are all registered systemic psychotherapists and systemic supervisors, many of whom have a PhD, combining academic rigour which is also grounded in clinical practice, contributing to a rich learning experience.

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

Units

  • Advanced Theory In Context (ASS044-6) Compulsory
  • Clinical Practice: The Developing Therapist (ASS042-6) Compulsory
  • Clinical Practice: The Maturing Therapist (ASS045-6) Compulsory
  • Research Dissertation (ASS043-6) Compulsory
  • Research Methods (ASS040-6) Compulsory
  • Theory In Context (ASS041-6) Compulsory

How will I be assessed?

The spirit of the course is developmental learning and the promotion of connections between different aspects of the course and modes of learning. You will build on the skills and learning achieved in your Foundation and Intermediate level courses, taking them to a greater level of complexity.


The course employs a range of assessment strategies which respond to the learning outcomes of the course. The strategies include written assignments that give you the opportunity to show your systemic writing skills and critical use of the literature, particularly in the Research and Theory Units. In extending this assessment strategy, in different units on the course you will produce written analyses of your systemic work with clients showing the development of your application of theory to practice in both your course and agency-based places of work, as well as in vivo presentations. The strength of this strategy is that it draws on a range of strengths, and applies equally well to organisational dilemmas as well as case consultations and gives you the chance to extend your systemic thinking beyond the frame of direct work.


The comparative Critical Analysis and the Research Proposal in Research Methods provide an opportunity for you to develop and refine the skills you will need for your Research Dissertation in Year 2, with an opportunity for formative feedback in the presentation in Year 2, while other parts of the course will contribute to the knowledge and skills base that will support you in your research enterprise.


Within the Theory in Context and Advanced Theory in Context Units you are expected to demonstrate your ability to make cogent links between theory and practice in direct work with clients as well as to show reflexive abilities and attention to issues of power and anti-discriminatory practice. More traditional written assessments, in the form of a systemic analysis of a fieldwork interview with a non-clinical family and a theory paper in year one, and a case study in Year 2 give you the chance to apply systemic ideas in different contexts, and to use your own client work to show theory in action and to give examples of creative responses in unexpected situations.


The Theory in Context and Advanced Theory in Context Units of the course also include presentation opportunities in each year in the Tutor (Reading) Group and in the Workplace Consultation and Skills group. These are formative assessments that enable you to develop your own systemic voice as well as receive written feedback from your tutor. You will contribute to the process of peer feedback and commentary, receiving verbal feedback and commentary on your presentation from other students. This encourages you to take seriously the potential effects of your comments on others and to attend to appreciative and respectful ways of talking that draw out the best in others. This strategy builds on the small group experience in which a small number of students and one consistent tutor discuss and debate papers in a collaborative way, and also consult to each others practice. It also requires you to consider your ethical positions in relation to one another.


The Advanced Theory in Context Unit concludes at the end of the course with a marked assessment in which you will apply systemic ideas to present on a topic of your choice to a group of students and tutors.


One of the key aims of the course is to equip you with the skills to work directly with families and to enable you to show evidence of this ability. The primary context for this assessment strategy is the supervision group. Here you have an opportunity to work directly with families with the benefit of live supervision. Within the group, you will receive continuous feedback on your performance and contribution to the work of the group. You will formulate hypotheses and apply systemic ideas in making decisions about how to work with families, identifying theories used and contribute to the process of therapy. When you are not the therapist in the room, you will bring ideas from your own reading and practice experience as part of the reflecting team with an opportunity to give and receive feedback in an active experiential process of learning. You are encouraged to actively consider the possible influences of the wider social and professional system and gradually to develop and enhance your self-reflexive skills, including yourself and the identity and privileges you embody as part of the system. This work is further promoted and supported by the Power and Diversity Group.


In each year, the continuous informal feedback will be punctuated mid-year with a written report and feedback from your clinical supervisor, and at the end of the year by a report which will award a mark for your clinical practice in the group. In extending the assessment strategy, you will produce a written analysis of your systemic work with clients showing the development of your application of theory to practice in clinical work in the form of a case study within the Advanced Theory in Context Unit. You will also maintain a reflective journal / portfolio of your learning, and will include in this an assessment of 2 pieces of agency-based work in each year (see Teaching Strategies: Personalised Learning above).


The strategy provides you with opportunities actively to reflect on your learning as you move through the course both in your reflective journal and in other assessments, and to identify gaps and aspects of your practice and knowledge that you wish to expand or change. Throughout this assessment strategy, you are expected to show evidence of reading beyond the course requirements and to access and review current research in relevant subject areas, as well as in your chosen research. The journal itself becomes a narrative of your learning journey and gives you and your tutors the chance to note the shifts in thinking, action and reflexivity.


Throughout all the assessment strategies, you are expected to demonstrate the following:


1. links between theory and practice, and the ability to identify, consider and evaluate current research and ideas that contribute to better outcomes for clients.

2. show reflexivity in relation to your development and use of feedback, including evidence of adherence to ethical frameworks and respectful practice;

3. Ability to incorporate wider social and cultural contexts when reflecting on systemic practice, demonstrating sensitivity to social and cultural diversity and inclusion of issues of race, gender, class, disability, sexuality, religion and age into practice

4. Assessment of learning and development with clear signs of progress and improvement in the context of systemic learning over time


The assessment strategy incorporates all marked components, and will also form the basis for feedback on all assessments. The different assignments provide you with a range of opportunities to demonstrate your learning on the course and its application to practice.


The small groups provide good opportunities for flexibility and creativity, enabling you to bring specialist practice skills as well as making use of and developing systemic approaches to consultation; and to contribute continuously to enhance each others understanding and appreciation of the roles and constraints within which other professions work.

Entry requirements

  • Relevant First Qualification or equivalent;
  • Successful completion of an accredited Foundation & Intermediate Level Training or equivalent;
  • 4 years experience working in / closely with mental health and / or social welfare settings, a minimum 2 years of which should be post-qualifying;
  • Grounding in child development & psychology

There is an APEL /APL route for those applicants who do not have a relevant first qualification or who have not completed an accredited Foundation and Intermediate systemic course. (accreditation of prior experience and learning)

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

You are expected to carry out 200 hours of agency based practice, making use of systemic theory and practice. You are thus able to demonstrate the application of your new skills to your current practice. The Workplace Consultation and Skills group, as well as the role you play in contributing to the development of each others learning also help you to develop skills which will enhance your career management skills and which transfer directly to the workplace. Evidence of the 200 hours of practice will appear in your Reflective Journal. Your tutor will offer advice about the format of this evidence.



Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.



Fees and funding

  • The standard fee for a Postgraduate Diploma for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £4,660

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

  • The standard fee for a Postgraduate Diploma for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £8,000

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

  • The full-time standard fee for a taught Master's degree for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £6,990 per year. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees and living costs. Visit www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

  • The full-time standard fee for a taught Master's degree for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £12,000 per year

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

UK/EU

See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

International

A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.

Facilities

Bedfordshire is a small county with lots to offer.

However you enjoy spending your free time, you won’t have to look far in Bedfordshire to find somewhere to relax, socialise or explore the great outdoors. 

We are also conveniently located around 30 minutes by train from London, offering you the city experience with a homely feel.

Bedfordshire offers:

  • A range of pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • High street and independent shopping
  • Museums, galleries and theatres - and our own University Theatre
  • Entertainment centres
  • Stunning countryside
  • Professional sport and world-class facilities
  • Headquarters of a number of notable UK and international companies
  • Luton International Carnival and Bedford River Festival

Campuses in Buckinghamshire

We also have campuses in Aylesbury and Milton Keynes

How to Apply

  • UK students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form

  • EU students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or apply online

  • International students applying for a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country.

    You can also apply online

    Find out more about how to apply

Bedfordshire University

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