ProfMasters Systemic Psychotherapy (Ind, Couple, Families)

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 180)

This four year part-time ProfMasters in Systemic Psychotherapy degree is delivered in UCD School of Medicine.

Established in the 1980s this Programme has developed both a national and international reputation as a centre of training excellence.

Our experienced faculty of teachers and trainers has ensured that the programme offerings at M.Sc. level invite student engagement right at the cutting edge of developments in systemic therapy. Alongside course faculty, a continuing flow of clinicians and teachers of international renown contribute to the education and training of Masters level students.

This course will appeal to those people who are interested in training as a Psychotherapist to a high level of knowledge and skill. Systemic Psychotherapists work with relationships in the context of families, couples and other groups. It is a creative, innovative and thought provoking model of Psychotherapy which places ethics at the heart of the work.

Careers & Employability

Areas in which Systemic Psychotherapists have previously secured employment or developed experience in independent practices include:

  • Primary Care Settings
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • Adult Psychiatric Services
  • Voluntary Agencies providing Couple and Family Therapy
  • Family Resource Centres
  • Family Court work
  • Private Practice

Graduates from the programme have a qualification that is recognised within Europe, which facilitates employment mobility.

With regard to the anticipated deployment of Psychotherapists throughout the Health Services  (Ref. Vision for Change 2006 Dept. of Health and Children) Psychotherapy graduates from this programme will have met all the requirements for employment as registered Psychotherapists

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This Programme is for graduates of the human sciences or suitable candidates applying under the APL (Approved Prior Learning) System who have relevant experience of working with people in a responsible caring role and who wish to develop  their theoretical and clinical skills and qualify as Systemic Psychotherapists. 

The Programme will appeal to:

  • Psychiatrists in training who are required to undertake psychotherapy training in some modality
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Nurses whose task in mental health requires specialist training in couple and family therapy
  • Child care professionals whose task requires preparation for the management of complex treatment plans in the delivery of child care strategies
  • Addiction counsellors desiring to extend their therapeutic repertoire to include family and couple therapy skills
  • A range of other individuals who are re-directing their career pathways towards psychotherapy

This course is directed at a broad range of health and social care professionals who wish to develop their skills and knowledge in working as Systemic Psychotherapists with individuals, couples and families.  Live supervision of Clinical Practice is central to this training supported by core subjects of Theory and Methodology, Research and Personal/Professional connections.  The integration of Clinical Practice, Systemic Theories, Psychotherapy Research and Self reflection is key to this training.

Students on the programme will develop an understanding of systemic theory and methodology and its application in clinical practice.  Students will practice their clinical skills in live supervision sessions and will have opportunities to develop their ability to reflect on personal and professional connections in the therapeutic context. Through the completion of a Dissertation, students will develop skills in Research methodology and practice.

The Professional Masters in Systemic Psychotherapy (Ind, Couple, Families) aims to progress students along a path leading towards responsible creative therapeutic practices as independent practitioners in both Health/Social Care and Private Practice settings.  Through a mixture of skill development, theoretical education and enhanced capacity for self reflection, the course facilitates the growth and development of students as practitioners concerned with an extensive array of clinical presentations.

The ProfMasters in Systemic Psychotherapy is an academic and professional qualification that includes the theory of Systemic psychotherapy, Systemic clinical practice, personal/professional development and research. Teaching is in the form of seminars, peer groups, tutorials and as part of a clinical team. Live clinical supervised practice is a core element of the training and is recognised by all students as a key contribution to their learning and development as Systemic Psychotherapists. Students are assessed through written assignments, review of supervision portfolios, case presentations and a Research Thesis. The training is offered in a spirit that respects the unique abilities, aspirations, professional history and prior learning of all students and teachers.The programme promotes the development of Systemic and therapeutic skills that can be applied across employment contexts in the health, community and business sectors. The programme sets a high standard in academic rigor, empathy, self-reflexivity and ethical awareness in order to encourage the development of clinically and scientifically competent practitioners. The programme presents itself as an excellent evidence based clinical training.

This programme is informed by developments towards the Statutory Recognition of the title psychotherapist in Ireland. Currently, with their MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy students can register with the Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI), the Irish Council for Psychotherapy and the European Association of Psychotherapy.

  • Enables clinicians to practice as family therapists in Ireland and abroad
  • Covers theory of systemic psychotherapy, clinical practice, personal professional development, and research
  • Clinical experience in years 2 and 3 in established family therapy services
  • Live Supervision of clinical practice is a central and unique feature of this course
  • Analyse and critically evaluate a wide range of systemic theories and relevant research findings.
  • Apply Systemic theories and models with a high level of clinical competency when working with families, couples and individuals in a live setting and in retrospective practice.
  • Communicate, through case presentation and written assignments, an integrated understanding and knowledge of the Theory and Methodology of Systemic Family Therapy.
  • Conduct a piece of qualitative research and present it in a thesis format.
  • Make links between professional, personal and theoretical experiences in a self-reflexive manner and present these in Supervision, in Group and within their written assignments.
  • Reach a sufficient academic and clinical level to meet the criteria to allow for registration with the Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI), the Irish Council for Psychotherapy and the European Association of Psychotherapy.
  • Show, through supervision and in their portfolios, an awareness and understanding of the personal and cultural knowledges that inform their clinical practice.
  • Understand, anticipate and reflect on ethical concerns for clinical practice and thesis research.

View All Modules Here

Course Content

  • The Professional Masters in Systemic Psychotherapy (Individual, Couple, Families) is a four year part–time training Programme comprising a total of 20 modules which translate into 180 ECTS

  • Years 1 and 2 together lead to a Graduate Diploma in Systemic Psychotherapy which comprises 75 ECTS

  • The four year training seeks to facilitate the formation of a fully trained and accredited Systemic Psychotherapist who has integrated four core training elements into an approach to practice


The four elements of the training are as follows:

Theory and Methodology

Students will be learning about the emergence of the Systemic Family Therapy tradition from its origins in the 1950’s to current time.  Topics covered will include Systemic Theories and Practice; Social Constructionism; Narrative and Dialogical Therapy; Socio-cultural and Ethical issues in Systemic Practice; Psychopathology and its critiques; Theories of Human Development; and an introduction to Research in Systemic Practice.  The learning will occur in weekly lectures / seminars and will be based upon relevant prescribed readings.

Clinical Practice  (based on live supervision and retrospective supervision)

Students will undertake weekly clinical work as part of a supervised training group.  In year 4 of the programme students will obtain their clinical practice outside of the training context and will receive retrospective supervision for this within the training programme.

Personal Professional Development and Integration (PPDI)

This training element is realised through a weekly facilitated group experience in addition to weekly written exercises.

Research Design and Methodology

Each year the training provides teaching in Research Design and Methodology. This element of the course culminates in the student production of a Dissertation (12,000 –15,000) words.


Modules in the four main strands of the programme are delivered over the four years. Each year of the programme is divided into the following modules:

  • Year One: four modules             

  • Year Two: six modules            

  • Year Three: six modules

  • Year Four: four modules

Each of the modules are core modules. There are no electives.

ProfMasters Systemic Psychotherapy (Ind, Couple, Families) (XA01) Part Time
EU          Year 4 - € 6300
nonEU    Year 4 - € 12100
EU          Year 1 - € 6600
nonEU    Year 1 - € 12100
EU          Year 2 - € 8400
nonEU    Year 2 - € 14400
EU          Year 3 - € 8400
nonEU    Year 3 - € 14400

***Fees are subject to change

The minimum four-year ProfMasters in Systemic Psychotherapy is accredited by the Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI) a constituent member of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP) which is a member of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) 

  • International applicants should contact the academic programme director for a full list of entry requirements.

  • A list of FAQs for international applicants is available here. 

The following entry routes are available:

ProfMasters Systemic Psychotherapy (Ind, Couple, Families)PT (XA01)
4 Years
Part Time
  • Applications are now being accepted for this programme

  • The next intake will be September 2024

  • Applications for this course must be made on-line at