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.
"Academically, I felt that my ideas were challenged and that I was able to challenge the ideas presented by my teachers. My supervisor was always helpful and his ideas are fascinating."
Janne Lillenes, MA Management and Organisational Dynamics.
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.
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.
We hold free evening Open Seminars on topics relevant to psychoanalysis which are open to students, staff and members of the public.
In recent years, our graduates have taken up positions as senior managers in a variety of sectors, developed career paths as organisational consultants, or pursued doctorates in the field of organisational studies. The course aims to deepen your understanding of the psychological processes at play in the work setting. In this sense, the course will lay the foundations for the next step in your career.
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.
What interests you? Do you want to deepen your knowledge, build invaluable research skills and develop your academic freedom? Your dissertation lets you study a topic of your choosing, in depth, with supervision and guidance from our world-leading academics.
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.
You’ll explore the points of convergence and divergence, between critical management theory and systems-psychodynamic approaches to organisations. You’ll develop the means to compare and debate issues relevant in both psychoanalytic and management discourses; will consider and evaluate the relevance and the limits of psychoanalytic thinking for understanding organisations; and will discern and explore what is unique to a psychoanalytic, an academic and a professional understanding of organisations.
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
- 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
UK entry requirements
We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
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.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
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. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.