MSc Psychological Therapies Practice and Research (Systemic Therapy)

Duration Part time 2 years
  • Psychology
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


This MSc Psychological Therapies programme has been developed to equip you with the ability to assimilate and understand psychological therapeutic practice in general and in your chosen therapeutic modality in depth. This includes an appreciation of the relationship between different forms of psychotherapeutic practice.

The programme is designed to constitute a qualifying programme for you to become an independent professional practitioner in family/systemic psychotherapy. As long as all requirements are met the programme will give you eligiblity to apply for registration with the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice as a family/systemic psychotherapist with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

The programme is split into academic and clinical sets of modules. The clinical modules will enable you to become a competent family/systemic psychotherapist and run alongside the academic modules. All modules must be passed for you to complete the programme successfully.

Programme structure

Year 1

Year 2

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Teaching will include lectures, supervision and tutorials, seminars and discussions within the whole group. There will be practical classes, reading and preparation in preparation for presentations and assessments.

There will also be guided independent study: you will design, recruit, prepare and submit an ethics application, conduct data collection, analyse data, write up and disseminate.

Assessments for year 1 include:

  • essays
  • research proposal
  • critical analysis
  • commentary
  • group presentation
  • case study
  • and completion of a placement and accompanying placement report, written by supervisor and student.

Assessments for year 2 include:

  • research project
  • DVD of presentation (15 minutes) and placement report
  • a book review
  • essay
  • case study of your own practice
  • and a final presentation of a specific model of therapy, including presentation.


This programme is training people already in a career within the NHS or an IAPT service. It will provide you with an outstanding opportunity to develop their competencies and knowledge associated with practice as a Practitioner.

A strong emphasis throughout the programme is placed upon your personal and professional development.

Advantages of the programme are that:

  • You will study within a vibrant, stimulating and internationally-recognised research environment, where members of your teaching team have first-hand experience within the clinical setting.
  • Your learning experience will be enriched by nationally-recognised, innovative, clinical teaching approaches, designed to develop you on your terms.

Entry requirements

This programme will cover core and advanced theories and skills, and will not be taught at a basic or introductory level. It is intended for trainees who have such basic knowledge and skills who wish to become more specialised or advanced practitioners and or researchers.

Successful applicants to the course will need to have met the following criteria:

1. Preliminary training in systemic practice.

Normally this would mean at least a year’s preliminary formal systemic psychotherapy training (successful completion of a foundation course or equivalent).

2. Clinical experience using a systemic approach.

Normally this would mean an intermediate level course that includes a minimum of 60 hours of supervised practice. Applications will be considered from those who have not completed a formal intermediate level training but who can provide evidence of appropriate clinical and educational experience.

3. An undergraduate degree, or a previous qualification at an equivalent level.

This is required by the University of Exeter for enrolment in a postgraduate programme and is important to ensure capacity to complete academic course work, most of which will be done through self-directed assignments.

4. A recognised qualification in a profession involving the care of people with mental health problems.

A qualifications such as Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, Mental Health Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Counselling (with membership of BAC). The programme will assume basic knowledge of topics such as the diagnosis of mental health problems, ethical practice and the trainee's capacity to observe basic ethical, safety and reporting procedures in carrying out a course of therapy.

5. Normally the applicant will also be working in settings in which they can be working systemically with clients.

Trainees must have the approval of their manager in releasing them from some of their normal duties for the duration of the Programme.

How to apply

The next intake on this programme will be in September 2019 to finish in July 2021.

Before applying

You are strongly advised to speak directly to the Programme Director, Mark Rivett, to discuss your particular situation before applying. We may also be able to help you gain any necessary experience to meet prerequisites, therefore please make contact well in advance.

Complete an application form

To apply, please download and complete a ‌Systemic Application Form and return this to the Programme Administrator.

The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday 31st July 2019.

Please note that interviews for places usually take place in the late spring. Late applications may only be considered if places remain available and all prerequisites have been met.

Fees and funding

Home/EU students

Part-time (2 years): £7,000 per year

Due to clinical placements and supervision requirements our programmes are not normally available to students who are not based in the UK. For further details please contact the programme administrator.

Contact us

Programme administrator:

Christina Gkatzioli
College of Life and Environmental Sciences,
Washington Singer,
Room 001,
Perry Road,

Tel: +44 (0)1392 723122

Clinical Education Development and Research (CEDAR) Ask a question Print course

This programme is delivered by Clinical Education, Development and Research (CEDAR): an applied psychological practice centre of excellence, focussed on training the new psychological therapies workforce of the future.