Year 1 Post-Graduate Certificate in Systemic Family Therapy – foundation level

Gain an in depth understanding of systemic principles and their application to multiple contexts, in an interactive and diverse learning environment


How long: Jan- July 10 days of teaching Tuesdays monthly (2 consecutive days at the beginning and end of the course)

Where: Face to face at Warneford Hospital and Oxford-Brookes University

Award: Post-Graduate Certificate (allows progression to the intermediate Post-Graduate Diploma level)

Cohort: 2024/2025  Begins Jan 13th 2025


This course will support you in developing a broad and in depth understanding of systemic ethical principles, theoretical foundation and clinical techniques stemming from different modalities within the systemic-relational framework.

We embrace the idea that being a systemic therapist does not translate necessarily into working with families in the therapy room. Conversely, we believe that a systemic point of view can be applied to all sorts of clinical situations, be them with families, couples or individuals.

As such, our course will train you to work with people’s problems presenting across the whole life span, from children and young people issues to elderly people’s transitions and crisis, and to support and promote change in different contexts.

As part of our core values, we embrace diversity and the richness of difference.

This element is reflected in our students, coming with their own unique personal and professional background, and in our team, constituted of professionals who trained in different places and came together to plan and deliver a course respectful of cultural differences and personal goals.

While we rigorously follow the AFT recommendations for training, we are also committed to tailoring our teaching to the uniqueness of each cohort, taking our students’ needs and resources into account.


Who can apply?

The course is open to all health and social care professionals, professional counsellors. Unregistered staff e.g. support staff are able to be considered for the Foundation Course only.


How do I apply?

Please register your interest at, you will be emailed details regarding open events during the week commencing 20th May. Application forms will also be emailed to you once you have registered your interest.


Fees: £2500


Is the course funded?

The course is open to NHS Staff and social care staff funding might be available, please be in touch with your line manager.


Can I enrol on the course if I am self-funding?

The course also welcomes self-funding trainees, provide they hold a core profession (See above).


Will I be a systemic therapist if I pass the course?

The foundation course is year 1 of 4 years of systemic therapy training. It can be a stand alone course or upon completion, students can progress onto the Year 2 Intermediate level course if they have a registered health and social care profession. Following completion of year 2, students can progress years 3 and 4 which are the qualifying Masters level course. We do not offer years 3 and 4 with OST.


Who can benefit from the course?

Being a foundation level, the Post-Graduate Certificate in Systemic Therapy has mainly a theoretical focus with some skills workshops.

As such, the course can be beneficial for students who wish to begin their journey toward qualifying as systemic therapists, but also to all professionals who want to develop an in depth awareness of social and relational factors, as well as issues of power and marginalization, within their clinical practice, and who are interested in developing reflexivity as part of their professional development.


What our alumni say about the course

“This course and its focus on family inclusive practice has reconnected me to the clinician that I want to be. Transformative, personally and professionally”


“ I’ve developed awareness of working with relationships to address symptoms and to step away from medicalising”


“A rich learning experience that has made me a better clinician to understand ways of working with families and individuals and with more awareness of myself within my work”


Annette, course trainee cohort 2022/23

Having worked in Mental Health for over 40 years, I have always been very interested in the systems that we work in; the groups, institutions, society, globally and within families. As a CBT therapist by background, I enrolled on to the PG Cert in Systemic family therapy at Oxford-Brookes because I hoped to learn more about the theories of systemic processes and how they evolved. I also wanted to enhance my practice as a therapist as well as understanding more deeply how my own systems: me, my family, my friendship network, my workplace and myself in the world functioned.


The course has been wonderful. Enriching, challenging, nurturing, honest. There was a sense of collaboration and demonstrably an atmosphere of family within the teaching setting.

I immediately brought new ideas into my team and used them in supervision. It has definitely broadened my understanding in a therapeutic setting. I am more curious about the wider context.