A Systemic Practice Research Community

The University of Bedfordshire has played a central role in the training of systemic practitioners over two decades. It was the academic partner for KCC School of Systemic Practice and now approves the portfolio of the Institute for Family Therapy in London. It developed the Frontline systemic training for social workers and now runs highly successful social work programmes with training in systemic practice.

The Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice is often described as one of the jewels in the crown of both the University and the systemic community. This innovative research programme for practitioner to conduct first person practitioner research which takes place within the complex movements of everyday practice.

The programme's course team comprises systemic practitioners with professional doctorates and experience in first person practitioner research. They all regularly present their work or publish in leading journals. Read more about our faculty

The programme is located in the Institute of Applied Social Research which undertakes important and award winning research in the areas of child sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, systemic practice in social work settings, alcohol and substance use.

Research Degrees

Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice

Applications suspended for academic year 2022 - 2023

This five year PhD equivalent doctorate by research offers systemic practitioners an opportunity to study in-depth an aspect of their practice. Find out more about the programme, our faculty, how to apply and events

MA/MSc by Research

Applications suspended for academic year 2022 - 2023

MA/MSc by Research is a University wide programme. We have a few spaces for systemic practitioners keen to undertake first person practitioner research in the areas of organisational practice, leadership, therapy, training, supervision and coaching. Please apply via the Research Graduate School and mark for the attention of Dr Gail Simon.

Public events for the systemic community

The Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice hosts a leading edge programme of workshops, conferences, reading seminars, symposia and festschrifts for the systemic community.

The Bedfordshire International Practice and Research School is an annual residential community event in the Lake District of Cumbria. Guest presenters and doctoral supervisors and researchers host workshops which connect their research or practice with a wider, naturally systemic environment.

We have co-hosted the Autism and Systemic Practice Conference and the biannual Systemic Postgraduate Research Conference

Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice

Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice is a systemic practitioner research journal edited by the course team of the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice. It offers high quality and innovative writings from within the doing of systemic practice. The journal is peer-reviewed and fully open access with strong, well-connected Editorial and International Advisory Boards.