Welcome to Education and Training at Clanwilliam Institute

Clanwilliam Institute has been delivering training in Family Therapy for over 30 years now. Clanwilliam Institute is a teaching and learning Institute in which Clinical practice is embedded. There are currently 53 therapists who provide services for Clanwilliam, most of whom are our own course graduates. Clanwilliam is the biggest employer of Family Therapists in Ireland and the only agency-based practice providing the levels of Clinical Systemic Therapy, as we see over 100 clients a week in a wide variety of Clinical settings. Students of Clanwilliam Institute programmes benefit from the fact that Clanwilliam is both an Education setting and an active Clinical practice.

Clanwilliam Institute delivers several courses and offers Supervision/ Reflective Practice to Mental Health professionals, practicing Family Therapists and to Social workers.

The MSc. in systemic Family therapy is very well regarded by employers, it’s students, graduates and stakeholders as is evidenced by feedback received.

How to Apply

Application Procedure

Applications to be submitted by email to and by post.

To apply for Direct Entry to the MSc. In Systemic Psychotherapy we require a completed application form together with Curriculum Vitae including qualifications (awards), personal statement and the names of two referees who are familiar with your work and/or academic abilities, should be submitted to the Training Department.

An application processing fee of €75 is required.

The application will not be processed until the application fee is received. If incomplete applications are received they will not be processed until all documents, forms, etc. are received.

Closing Date for Direct Entry for the academic year 2018/2019 –  June 2018

1. Application Submitted
  • Application Form
  • Personal Statement
  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • Qualifications
  • Transcripts
  • Application Fee
2. Review Application
  • Check all documents are provided
  • Determine if applicant satisifies
  • Make a decision for interview
3. Interview
  • Student invited for interview
4. Checking References
  • CWI will check the references that were provided
  • 1 academic reference
  • 1 professional reference
5. Offer of Placement
  • Student sent acceptance letter
  • To register a registration fee of €500 to be paid to secure place

Entry Requirements

Direct Entry

1. To be considered for admission, applicants should hold an honours primary degree (National Framework of Qualifications Level 8) in a field of study in the human sciences or its equivalent.


2. Hold an Ordinary degree (National Framework of Qualifications Level 7) in a field of study in the human sciences or its equivalent and have obtained a minimum of three years relevant post-qualification experience.

Checklist for Direct Application

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee, €75
  • Personal Statement
  • Please attach a typed, two pages maximum, personal statement addressing the following questions:
  1. What has influenced you to apply for this programme at this time?
  2. Who will support you in your learning and in what ways?
  3. Who will be affected and in what way by your involvement in this course?
  4. What are your career plans?
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Educational Transcripts Copies
  • Certificates/Qualifications Copies
  • Two Referees (one clinical and one academic), with the following details:
    • Name
    • Contact number
    • E-mail Address
  • Upon review of the application the applicant will be informed if they are successful for the next stage, an interview, and this will be arranged between the Clanwilliam Institute and the applicant. The applicant will be sent a letter informing them of the result of their application and interview. If successful, the applicant will receive a registration letter and process for the next steps.

RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) – Indirect Entry

Applicants who are not entitled to direct entry may be considered for entry based on their prior learning, that is their knowledge and skills acquired through life, work experience and study, not attested through formal certification. Applicants will be considered provided they can demonstrate equivalence to Direct Entry Requirements which can be verified through the Clanwilliam Institute RPL process. Applicants will be required to demonstrate an ability to contribute to and benefit from the programme.

Applicants who are considering application through this route are encouraged to make informal enquiries to the Head of Training. Applicants will be required to satisfy the Head of Training and the Programme Committee as to their capacity to contribute to and benefit from the programme.

Note: Under Institute RPL procedures, a Support Person is available to assist RPL applicants

RPL applications take a minimum of 9 weeks to prepare and one week for a decision. Therefore, RPL applications should commence at least 10 weeks prior to the closing date for direct entry applications. Late applications may result in less time for preparation of portfolio.

Fees for RPL applications are available on request.

For non-native English speakers tested evidence of competency in English is required.


All successful candidates will be interviewed to assess their suitability for the programme. At interview candidates are expected to demonstrate:

  • An interest and engagement with the field of psychotherapy and with the Institute’s approach and ethos;
  • A reflexive awareness of their own learning experience;
  • A willingness to engage with supervisory and support structures;
  • A sensitivity to group and team processes.

All applicants are required to or be willing to seek a clinical setting in a work setting or hold a role which will provide opportunities for the student to implement the learning from the programme, such as counselling, psychotherapy, support services, or project/community work in either a paid or voluntary position. Clanwilliam can advise applicants about suitable placements, therefore please contact us for further information.

Following registration, students are required to undergo standard Garda vetting procedures.


The Clanwilliam Institute accepts any of the following payment options identified below:

Debit Card
Bank Transfer
Postal Order

* Note: Credit Cards and Cheques are not accepted

The bank details for bank transfers which are identified below:

IBAN: IE62 AIBK 9336 0015 5330 66

Course Information

Course Information

Course Description

This comprehensive programme in Systemic Psychotherapy/Family Therapy has particular relevance for professionals in the health, social services, education, and related disciplines. This programme, which is recognised as one of the foremost psychotherapy training courses in Ireland has been running, subject to review and revision, for twenty-five years. This programme has recently been modified to fit with academic and professional training requirements emerging from both Irish and European Academic and Professional bodies.

This course is aimed at students who wish to develop their skills and knowledge in working as Systemic Psychotherapists with individuals, couples and families.

Course Features

  • Enables graduates to practice as family therapists in Ireland and abroad.
  • The subjects of Theory, Clinical Practice, Personal Professional Development (PPD), Research and Diversity and Inclusivity are integral to the development of systemic Practice.
  • Live Supervision of Clinical Practice is a unique feature of this course and a mentorship approach to learning clinical skills.
  • Clanwilliam course places a significant emphasis on reflective practices and the key supporting theoretical underpinnings of collaborative dialogical practices and systemic ideas.
  • Students are provided with opportunities to reflect on practice form the outset in multiple domains including PPD groups.
  • Students undertake a dissertation utilising a newer methodology 1st person enquiry which is coherent with the ideas and practices of family therapy and reflective practice.
  • Students are expected to have clinical practices opportunities throughout the duration of the course.

Who should apply

Anyone who has an interest in training as a Psychotherapist. Such as:

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Child Care Professionals
  • Nurses
  • People in Business
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Teachers and Guidance Counselors
  • Those wishing to change career pathway

Direct entry routes are for graduates of the human sciences

Indirect/ Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) routes are available to other applicants who may wish to change career.

Clanwilliam’s Course has had students from a wide variety of disciplines

Accreditation and Awards

Graduates are eligible for registration with the Family Therapy Association of Ireland, the Irish Council of Psychotherapy and the European Association of Psychotherapy.

Year One Year Two Year Three Year Four
Postgraduate Diploma in Systemic Psychotherapy Part 1  Foundation Level Professional Training Programme in Systemic Psychotherapy Postgraduate Diploma in Systemic Psychotherapy Part 2 / Intermediate Level Professional Training Programme in Systemic Psychotherapy (exit award at end of Year 2) Masters in Science in Systemic Psychotherapy Professional Level Training Programme in Systemic Psychotherapy

The Clanwilliam Institute is accredited by EAPTI (European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institutes), which is an accredited Training Institute with EAP (European Association for Psychotherapy). The Clanwilliam Institute is also accredited through FTAI (Family Therapy Association of Ireland). The first three years are accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). The Four-Year Programme is accredited by EAP and FTAI as leading to an award of European Certificate in Psychotherapy.

Meet our Faculty

Training Department

Dr. Aileen Tierney

Course Director

Dr Aine O’Reilly

Programme Advisor

Eileen Vard

Programme Administrator

Core Faculty

Ruth Eustace

Catherine O’Rourke

Catrina Scanlon

Dr Grania Clarke

Dr Valerie O’Brien

Corry de Jongh

Valerie Downes

Ines Collins

Carmel O’Hara

PPD Faculty

Liz O’Sullivan

Maura Leahy

Carmel O’Hara

Ann McDonald

Mary Rose McCormack