Family and Systemic Psychotherapy Qualifying Level: MSc Equivalent

Applications for September 2024 have closed.


There will not be any difference with regards to the quality or standard of training received between IFT’s qualifying Master’s equivalent course and other Family Systemic Psychotherapy Masters courses. The main difference will be that the course will not be affiliated to a university and therefore cannot be called a Masters. All the robust elements of systemic psychotherapy trainings as identified by the UKCP Standards of Education and Training: The Minimum Core Criteria for Family and Systemic Psychotherapy standards (Systemic ‘SETS’) are met, and there will be no lowering of academic standards or assessment of knowledge or skills.

The IFT qualifying course is however accredited by the UKCP, who have recently reviewed our course and highly recommended IFT as an Organisational Member and accredited the course wholeheartedly. They commended how IFT ‘was embedding EDI in everything they do’ and that ‘the amended programme is a positive step in the organisation’s evolution and systemic psychotherapy community overall and is to be celebrated’.

Read our update here.

Key information

Start date: September 2024
Course length: 2 years
Fees 2024/25: £7,300.00 per year
Venue: IFT
Level: 7

Course Overview

The course is accredited by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

Aims of the Training

To ensure that graduates of the course have developed sufficient knowledge and skills to enable them to practice effectively and ethically as independent family and systemic psychotherapists, equipped to work with a range of presenting issues and in a way that is sensitive to difference, culture, power differentials and the variety of ways that people choose to live their lives. The course specifically aims to equip therapists to work in health and social service settings as well as in voluntary and community settings, and draws on a wide range of theories and ideas.

Course Structure

The course is made up of 5 units over the two years:

Theory in context
Research methods
The developing therapist
The maturing therapist
Research, practice and the evidence base

Entry Requirements

  • Professional qualification in psychology, social work, psychiatry, nursing or education (this list is not exhaustive)
  • Please see Prior Professional Qualifications and APEL Policy for further details of Qualifying level entry criteria.
  • Successful completion of foundation and intermediate levels of training in systemic practice or equivalent (NB. intermediate training must be no more than 5 years ago).
  • A grounding in child development and psychology.
  •  A degree level education in the above or other area of academic work. If an applicant does not have a prior degree they must be able to demonstrate ability to study at level 7.
  • The possibility of completing 100 hours per year of systemic practice outside the course

Criminal Records Bureau
Applicants must provide an Enhanced Certificate of Disclosure, which many will have through their work settings. If students do not already have one they will be required to obtain one and be responsible for the cost.

Course Content

1. Supervision Groups

  •  Weekly sessions for 4.5 hours
  • Groups of 4 and lead by an experienced therapist, qualified as a systemic supervisor.
  • Groups could be at IFT or external group arranged by IFT
  •  Additional time is required for reviewing and preparing video tape and for personal/professional development sessions.
  •  Groups also meet as peer groups without the supervisor.


2. Academic programme

  •  Monthly academic blocks on a Thursday evening and all day Friday.

Assessed components
Year 3:

Theory Unit:

  • Theoretical essay (50%)
  • Family Fieldwork interview (50%)


Research Unit:

  • Critical analysis / literature review assignment (50%)
  • Research proposal (50%)


Clinical Unit:

  • Portfolio of Learning (30%)
  • Supervisors Report (70%)

Year 4:

Research Unit:

  • Evidence based practice assignment on a work-related topic (30%)
  • Research Dissertation (70%)


Clinical Unit:

  • Case study (20%)
  • Clinical assessment panel (30%)
  • Supervisors Report (50%)


Formative Assessement:

  • Research presentation (0%)
  • Portfolio of Learning (0%)

How to Apply

Applications Open: 11 March 2024

Applications Close: 5pm on 12 April 2024

Interviews will be held in May 2024.

Thank you for a very inspiring course. I feel I have really benefited in terms of work and personal relationships.