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Family Therapy and Systemic Practice
PgCert

2019/20 Part-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Postgraduate Certificate

Faculty:

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School:

School of Psychology

Campus:

Coleraine campus

Start date:

September 2019

Overview

AFT-accredited foundation level training in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.

Summary

The programme is fully accredited for Foundation Level Training with the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. It therefore forms the first step in training to become a fully qualified Family Therapist. Graduates of the course can go on to undertake the next stages in this training - that of Intermediate Level and Masters Level. In addition to this, students working in a variety of work contexts will also benefit from supplementing their own professional skills with the systemic theory and skills learned on the course. Given the broad appeal and applicability of systemic therapy principles, this course will inform and enhance students' understanding and approach to supporting individuals, couples and organisations, as well as families.

*Please note: This PgCert programme is the same PgCert Family Therapy and Systemic Practice programme that has run on the Magee campus of the University - it is moving to the Coleraine campus and will run there from September 2018 onwards.


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About this course

About

The course aims to:

  • Introduce the participants to the field of systemic theory, practice and research;
  • Introduce the participants to the basic skills, applicable to their work settin;
  • Increase participants’ awareness and acceptance of the need for professional practice to be characterised by respectfulness and reflexivity;
  • Provide a basis from which the student may proceed towards intermediate level training.

At the end of the course, successful students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the development of systemic theory in the context of other therapies
  • Evaluate the various schools of thought pertaining to family therapy
  • Identify how stages in the family life cycle can impact on family dynamics
  • Reflect on the impact of culture on families
  • Define and apply the theories underpinning the Milan/ Post-Milan school of family therapy
  • Reflect on their personal and professional stage of development and the impact of systemic theory on these
  • Identify ways in which systemic theory/ practice can be used in other settings

Attendance

Duration

The course runs from September to June.

The course is taught as two modules:

Module 1 is conducted as one full day (Thursdays) of teaching and seminar work per week across Semester 1 (September to December).

Module 2 runs in Semester 2 (January to June). It is composed of 6 teaching/workshop days (10.00am – 4.30pm), and 5 Peer Group/seminar days (9.30am – 1.00pm). The teaching days and Peer Group days alternate each week (on Mondays).

Placement activity

In addition to the above days on campus, you will be expected to spend at least one day per week throughout the programme in your placement or work context (pre-arranged by you), where you will apply the theory and skills from your training.

Please note:While unlikely, the above details are subject to change.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, and student-led peer groups. The peer groups promote experiential learning on the programme via role-play and group tasks, designed to develop students' clinical skills and understanding.

Assessment takes the form of essays, reflective diaries, and presentations. There are no written examinations on the programme.

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    Content

    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    • the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
    • the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
    • the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

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    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Coleraine campus

Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health.


Accommodation

A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.

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Sports Facilities

Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.

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Student support

At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

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Coleraine campus location info

  Find out more about our Coleraine campus

Address

Ulster University
Cromore Road
Coleraine
County Londonderry
BT52 1SA

T: 028 7012 3456

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Family Therapy and Systemic Practice 1

Year: 1

In this module students will be introduced to family therapy and systemic practice theories and will be able to understand how problems, mental ill health and distress may be explained through the lens of systemic thinking. The main models of structural, strategic and Milan theories, along with their historical development will be explored. The process of systemic psychotherapy will be explained with opportunity to practice a systemic assessment, hypothesising and use the relevant intervention techniques, with example case studies. Issues relating to culture, the therapeutic relationship, power and gender in systemic practice will be discussed, along with case examples of how family therapy and systemic practice can be applied in various clinical settings.

Family Therapy and Systemic Practice 2

Year: 1

In this module students will be introduced to family therapy and systemic practice theories and will be able to understand how problems, mental ill health and distress may be explained through the lens of systemic thinking. The main models of structural, strategic and Milan theories will be reinforced, and key practice-related issues will be explored. The process of systemic psychotherapy will be explained with opportunity to practice systemic skills and use the relevant intervention techniques, with example case studies. Issues relating to bereavement, domestic abuse, and child-focused practice will be discussed, along with case examples of how family therapy and systemic practice can be applied in various clinical settings.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a degree or equivalent (either an existing health and social care qualification, or have completed a psychology degree) or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior learning. In order to maximise access to training in systemic practice, entry requirements for foundation level training are kept to a minimum. They are:

  • a relevant professional training, or equivalent
  • an opportunity to apply systemic ideas to a current work setting, either voluntary or paid – students must arrange this for themselves

Applicants are required to provide two satisfactory references, outlining their suitability to undertake the course.

All applicants, regardless of qualifications, are advised to use the space provided in the personal statement/additional information section of the online application process, to detail any experience that may be relevant to studying a PgCert in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Applicants may be exempt from certain elements of the course if they have already undertaken some professional training in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. Any application for the accreditation of prior learning can be discussed with the course team.

United States of America flagAdditional information for students from United States of America

Postgraduate

Typically we require applicant for taught programmes to hold the equivalent of a UK first degree (usually in a relevant subject area). Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course of study as outlined in the online prospectus. We consider students who have good grades in the following:

Qualification
Bachelor degree

English Language


Financial Information

In addition to the scholarships and bursaries open to all international students, US students may apply for Federal and Private US loans

Qualification
Level 12 English Lang in HSD

View more information for students from United States of America  

Careers & opportunities

Career options

This course is fully accredited for Foundation Level Training with the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. It therefore forms the first step in training to become a fully qualified Family Therapist. Graduates of the course can go on to undertake the next stages in this training - that of Intermediate Level and Masters Level. In addition to this, students working in a variety of work contexts will also benefit from supplementing their own professional skills with the systemic theory and skills learned on the course. Given the broad appeal and applicability of systemic therapy principles, this course will inform and enhance students' understanding and approach to supporting individuals, couples and organisations, as well as families.

Work placement / study abroad

The clinical placement associated with this programme is arranged by students themselves. The training presents a number of opportunities to connect clinical placement with studies on campus, through exploring and assessing students' clinical experiences in this area of practice.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information

The tuition fees stated are for Academic Year 2020/21 for NI/ EU excluding GB*

*GB applies to a student who normally lives in England, Wales, Scotland and the Islands (Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).

Academic Year 2020/21 International and GB fees are not currently available. Further fees will be published when approved.

Correct at the time of publishing. All fees are subject to an annual increase. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.

Northern Ireland & EU: £4,395

Additional mandatory costs

Travel Expenses associated with placement – placements are arranged by students themselves on this MSc route (as opposed to being arranged by the course team), and so travel costs will depend on where their placement setting is located.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Course Director: Professor Gerry Cunningham

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5589

E: g.cunningham1@ulster.ac.uk

Admissions Services

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5678

E: admissionsce@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Psychology

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

From graduates of Foundation Level training:

“I think one of the things that I found most helpful about this course is the fact that it is conveyed in such a way that it can be applied in real situations. It’s one thing learning family systems theories, but it is another thing altogether when it’s applied. Hearing stories, told with a sense of humanity (and humour) made it easier to make up my mind about where I might apply it.”

“I think family therapy and systemic practice continues to influence my assessment, formulation and intervention in clinical practice. I think this training enabled me to be more flexible in sessions, more aware of the power dynamic of therapy and to more fully appreciate the family as experts of their own experience.”

“I think that the reflective elements of the course really allowed me to grow and develop personally and as a therapist. I also feel that I particularly benefitted from the videos we watched of Family Therapy in practice and from the role-play scenarios… The Foundation Course has given me great confidence in this way of working.”