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Family Therapy Grad Cert

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Looking to take your career in a new direction? Or maybe you want to enhance your skills with some specialist knowledge. This course is the ideal first step into family therapy, whether you’ve just graduated or you’ve been working professionally for decades. 

During lectures and tutorials, you’ll learn from clinicians with experience in a wide range of approaches. Their focus is on evidence-based practice and good therapeutic relationships. You’ll have the chance to apply your new knowledge during your placement.

Interested in the Family Therapy MSc? find out more on the Family Therapy MSc course page

The course information sheet is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here.


Key benefits

  • Make the most of our extensive library and electronic access to all the major journals 
  • The course is accredited by the Association for Family Therapy so you can choose to register as a systemic practitioner 
  • You’ll have lots of contact time with clinical experts experienced across mental health and social care for all ages 
  • Learn the practical and theoretical skills you’ll need for the next step of qualifying level training 
  • Suitable for students of any clinical or care background, with any level of experience


Our teaching staff are the same across the PG Cert and the MSc. Many students choose to apply for the MSc after they graduate, so there will be plenty of familiar faces. 

You’ll be taught by clinicians with years of experience in their areas of practice. Many are active researchers – our Faculty has particular expertise in eating disorders. 

As well as King’s staff, we regularly bring in outside experts to deliver lectures. That means you’ll hear the latest thinking from real specialists in each subject area.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, September to June; two years PT.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 75/ECTS 37

Programme accreditations Accredited at intermediate level by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (member organisation of the UK Council for Psychotherapy).

Course intake 8 FT; 10 PT.

Course leaders

Joan Lewis, Programme Leader

Charles Bell, Programme Administrator


(0)20 7848  0693

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Programme email: 


Programme tel: (0)20 7848  0693 


Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry



Explore campuses

Why study at the IoPPN? Here's why!

In the heart of London

Find out more about the Family Therapy at the IoPPN. Hear from Course Leader, Dr Grace Heaphy, and current Family Therapy students and Alumnus of this fantastic course.

Watch more videos

Course detail


Family therapy is about helping people work towards positive change. Whatever area of health or social care you’re working in, this course is your first step on the path towards qualifying-level training. 

During clinical workshops, you’ll learn the skills you need to work with couples and families. In lectures and tutorials, we’ll introduce you to systemic theory and the latest research in areas like child health and social care. And on placement, you’ll put what you learned into practice, growing in confidence every day. 

For full-time students, your placement option is a chance to explore your practice area in real depth. Our partner organisations specialise in areas like child mental health, eating disorders, social services, and adult services like psychosis. You’ll complete at least 60 hours of practice you need to progress to the next stage of your training. 

We’ll support your development throughout the course – both at King’s and during your supervised practice. Your tutors will help you work towards your career goals and help with any stumbling blocks along the way. 

“Our course is suitable for students at all levels of their career. Sometimes we get clinical psychologists who have just finished their training and want to work with families. Other times people are social workers for 30 years and decide to do some more training.” 

Dr Grace Heaphy, Course Director

Further literature


For information on open events visit http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/study/prospective-students/opendays.aspx

Course format and assessment


Theories Informing Systemic Practice with Families and Couples

Lectures (30 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (50 hours) | Project work (20 hours) | Self study time (50 hours)

Systemic Practice with Families and Couples 

Lectures (0 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (60 hours) | Project work (100 hours) | Self study time (140 hours)

Clinical Practice

Lectures (0 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (0 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (140 hours) |  Self study time (10 hours)

Personal and Professional Development

Lectures (0 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (25 hours) | Project work (75 hours) | Self study time (50 hours)

Contact time is based on 30 academic weeks.  The expectation is that clinical practice takes place in work over the 30 weeks.  To meet accreditation requirements, students are required to accumulate 60 hours of clinical practice during the course

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


We’ll assess your work in different ways for each module. Overall you can expect around 25% of your work to be assessed by exam, and 75% by coursework.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.

Extra information

Course accreditation

The Family Therapy Grad Cert is accredited by the Association of Family Therapy as a foundation and intermediate course in systemic practice with families and couples and fulfils the first part of the recognised training in family therapy.


Year 1

Required Modules

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 75 credits.

Students on this course are required to take: 

Optional Modules

In addition, there is a 0 credit optional module:

  • An Introduction to Adult & Child & Adolescent Mental Health (0 credits)

Entry requirements & how to apply

Family Therapy Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  2:1

A Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in a relevant subject e.g. psychology, medicine, social work, social science, mental health nursing studies or education and/or professional qualification in a mental health-related programme. Significant clinical experience is required.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £60 applies. Selected applicants will be interviewed in April and May.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Family therapy gradcert checklist
Personal statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required. Please detail your reasons for applying for the course and your future goals.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Yes  Please also include a CV with details of your clinical experience.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline is the 29 March 2019.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. 

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £5,500 per year (2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: £8,500 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £2,750 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time overseas fees: £4,250 per year (2019/20)

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2019, payment is due by 27th April 2019.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2019 and 31st July 2019, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2019, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.


Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • DBS checks
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationary
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Many graduates from the course choose to apply for the Family Therapy MSc after completing the Graduate Certificate. The MSc counts as the intermediate level training you’ll need to register with the UK Council for Psychotherapy as a systemic family therapist. 

If you choose not to continue your studies, your knowledge will be useful in lots of areas of clinical and social work. You can use your systemic skills to advance your existing career, whether you’re a GP, occupational therapist, or a psychiatrist.

Career destinations

Students can go on to study the final part of the training (MSc in Family Therapy) or use their knowledge and skills to incorporate systemic work in existing clinical practice.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

View online

Sound like the course for you?

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