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Family Therapy Grad Cert

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Join us for Mental Health in the 21st Century, a series of online lectures hosted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

Our Family Therapy Grad Cert course enables mental health professionals to develop useful theoretical knowledge and practise skills to enable them to work effectively with couples and families in the context of their own professional practice.

The focus of the course is in working in mental health settings, and the teaching draws from a range of different approaches. This integrative approach ensures that students have a solid grounding which enables them to adapt their practice to different client groups.

At the end of the course students will have gained confidence in working with more than one person in the room and be able to use a number of approaches to help people towards positive change. There is a focus on evidence-based practice and on the development of good therapeutic relationships.

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


Key benefits

  • Introduces students to the field of systemic theory, practice and research.
  • Introduces basic practice skills and their application to clinical practice.
  • Enables students to begin to develop a stance of self-reflexivity and prepare for entry to qualifying level training.


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


(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 Division of Academic 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


Our Family Therapy course is designed for professionals working in a mental health setting, such as mental health nurses, GPs, paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.

At the Graduate Certificate level, the course provides an introduction to the field of systemic theory, practice and research and will begin to develop your clinical skills and practice. This is an ideal course for entry into qualifying-level training. 

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 Systematic 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 (120 hours) | Project work (20 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. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.  To meet accreditation requirements, students are required to accumulate 60 hours of clinical practice during the course and acquire 10 hours of clinical supervision arranged by the student.

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.


The primary methods of assessment for this course are written examinations, coursework and practical work (presentation of clinical work- Viva Voce).  The study time and assessment methods typically give an indication of what to expect. However, these may vary depending upon the modules.

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.

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


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: 

  • Theories informing Systematic practice with Families and Couples (15 credits)

  • Systemic Practice with Families and Couples (30 credits)

  • Clinical Practice (15 credits)

  • Personal and Professional Development (15 credits)

Optional Modules

In addition, there is a 0 credit optional module:

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

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

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 B 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 £70 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 is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). 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 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.
For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

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 fees: £5,985 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £9,350 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £2,995 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £4,670 per year (2021/22)

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days 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
  • 10 hours to clinical supervision- arranged by student
  • DBS checks
  • clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • library fees and fines
  • personal photocopies
  • printing course handouts
  • society membership fees
  • stationery
  • 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

Students can go on to study the qualifying level training (MSc in Family Therapy) Or use their knowledge and skills to incorporate systematic work in existing clinical practice.  Graduates of this course are eligible to apply to the Association for Family Therapy for System Practitioner membership status.

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.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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