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MA Management and Organisational Dynamics

Why we're great

  • Close links with health, education and social care services ensures our courses are highly credible.
  • We take an interdisciplinary approach with links to sociology, philosophy, literature and business.
  • We have excellent student satisfaction and attract students from around the globe.

Course options

Duration: 1 year
Start month(s): October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Psychoanalytic Studies
Fee (Home/EU): £6,950
Fee (International): £14,950

Duration: 2 years
Start month(s): October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Psychoanalytic Studies
Fee (Home/EU): £3,475
Fee (International): £7,475

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719

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About the course

The contemporary organisation is characterised by complexity and change. Our unique MA in Management and Organisational Dynamics, offered jointly by the Essex Business School and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, aims to equip you with powerful tools to support your development as a future leader, manager, organisational consultant, researcher or executive coach.

Drawing upon both critical management theory and the developing field of systems-psychodynamics, this innovative course will be of particular interest to anyone who wishes to understand the complex processes that impact on change in organisations.

The integrated approach provides a deep analysis of the way organisations function, the nature of leadership and the way organisational structure and dynamics contribute to the operation of groups and systems.

Learning is through taught and experiential elements, providing a platform for both further academic study and creative intervention in organisations. There are five taught modules, including an organisational observation and a residential group relations event. Those who are new to psychoanalytic approaches are required to attend a short pre-sessional course on Freud.

The course is offered one year full-time, two years part-time or modular (up to five years). Teaching takes place on Wednesday during term-time in the first year and Tuesday in the second year for part-time students. Full-time students attend both days for one academic year.

Our expert staff

Our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading centres for work that focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society generally. Our research and teaching is deeply grounded in knowledge deriving from clinical practice, to which our highest standards of academic thinking are then applied.

The Centre consistently achieves top ten rankings in the UK's research assessments, most recently in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Being located within the UK’s leading university of the study of social sciences means you are surrounded by strong departments that fully support and enhance our work. This allows you to gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by senior clinicians and world-class scholars in their fields.

Specialist facilities

If you are studying within our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, you will have access to our extensive facilities to aid your learning and research. In particular, our Albert Sloman Library is well stocked with books, journals, electronic resources and major archives relevant to our work and, in addition, we have our own library of specialist books and journals.

In addition, our strong connections to the local NHS and other organisations facilitate placements and institutional observations for our students.

Your future

Our graduates go on to a number of different destinations, including further study and training in psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis, or psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Many of our students are already professionals, clinical and non-clinical, so return to their existing fields, either in jobs or further training, and use study with us to deepen their understanding of their work.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

Evaluate the various approaches to understanding organisational phenomena and the complexities of the organisational and social world. You are introduced to alternative perspectives on various dynamics found in and around organisations, such as structure, culture, power and politics, and ethical issues. You question what management is about, what it is for and what it seeks to do, challenging many of the taken-for-granted assumptions of the conventional undergraduate management text book.

Discover how people construct and account for themselves in relation to organisations. You explore the implications of technology and bureaucracy in the formation of consciousness, challenging taken-for-granted assumptions about organisations and offers insights into the meaning of work. The course uses a variety of media including film and video and the use of novels, art and theatre in order to illustrate the various concepts used.

What are the major developments since Freud? How did the British object-relations school pioneer research and treatment of primitive states of mind? Explore key developments of psychoanalytic thought following Freud, with emphasis on the British object-relations tradition. Understand the problems when comparing different analytic and psychoanalytic schools.

What is the unconscious? And how does it influence the behaviour of groups? Explore how a psychoanalytic approach can illuminate the dynamics of groups and organisations. Understand the classic theories of Freud and Bion, then develop perspectives on how psychoanalytic ideas explain individual and group behaviour.


  • Teaching takes place in relatively small seminars and fora, with a focus on group discussion
  • You also have a personal tutor who advises you about your work on an individual basis
  • We run an open seminar series that you can attend and hold an annual research conference in November


  • For most modules, assessment is by coursework only, typically an essay of between 3,000-5,000 words


  • You develop a dissertation of 12,000 words, in which you define and research into an area of special interest to you
  • We provide you with advice and guidance on researching and writing your dissertation
  • Your dissertation is submitted mid-September in your final year of study

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UK entry requirements

A degree with an overall high 2:2.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

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Visit us

Open days

We host an Open Evening for those interested in postgraduate study with us. Here you’ll be able to discuss our courses with academics, tour the Campus and accommodation and get the answers to all your questions about studying at Essex. Find out more and book your place online.

We also hold several Open Days throughout the year so that you can visit our Colchester Campus and find out more. These Open Days are geared towards undergraduate applicants but whilst you won’t get specific information on your course, you’ll still be able to tour our Campus, meet our students and get a feel for life at Essex. You can get more information and book a place online.

If our dates don’t work for you then don’t worry, you can always book a campus and accommodation tour on a weekday to suit you. Just email to get booked in.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. We have a comprehensive list online so take a look and see if we’ll be near you in the future.


You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

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Although great care is taken in compiling our course details, they are intended for the general guidance of prospective students only. The University reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University.

The full procedures, rules and regulations of the University are set out in the Charter, Statues and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.