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Postgraduate Taught

MSc Psychological Therapies Practice
and Research (Systemic Therapy)

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 2 years part time
Entry year 2024 (September start)
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Psychology
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

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

Contextual offers


  • 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.
  • 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 eligibility 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.

View 2024 Entry

Clinical Education Development and Research (CEDAR)

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Programme administrator: Hannah Petrie


Phone: +44 1392 724644

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.

Competency-based training, delivered according to the latest evidence-informed clinical pedagogic approaches

Dedicated training facilities equipped with video and audio recording

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

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 and intermediate 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.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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Course content

75 credits of compulsory modules.

105 credits of compulsory modules.

How to apply

Before applying

You are strongly advised to speak to Programme Lead Bob Williams, 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 (.docx) ‌and return this to the Programme Administrator. The closing date for applications is 17 April 2024.

We reserve the right to close this process if we receive large numbers of applications. If this occurs, then you can continue to apply and we will put your application on a reserve list.


Home/EU students

Part time (2 years): £8,000 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.


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

I believe using a systemic framework can help us tackle some of the difficulties we face generally. Almost all the young people I work with are responding appropriately and understandably to incredibly difficult life circumstances. We need to contextualise mental health, within both the family and wider society.

Hannah Sherbersky

Co-director of Systemic Portfolio, Senior Lecturer, Researcher and Systemic Psychotherapist/Academic Lead for MSc PTPR Systemic Therapy

Teaching and research

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.

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This programme is training people already in a career within the NHS or NHS Talking Therapies service. It will provide you with an outstanding opportunity to develop your 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.