About the course
How has the notion of 'Freudian unconscious' shaped Western culture and been transmitted around the world? How does the unconscious affect us individually and socially? How can an individual and their culture be viewed from a psychoanalytic perspective? Our MA Psychoanalytic Studies will give you a unique and fascinating way of exploring how the unconscious affects both individuals and societies and cultures.
Our course provides you with a thorough grounding in psychoanalytic theory through which to explore its application both to the clinical setting and to culture and society. Starting with the cultural milieu from which psychoanalysis emerged, you begin with Freud and follow on through the development of object relations, focusing on the ‘British School’, including theorists such as Klein, Winnicott, Bion and others.
By encouraging your critical attitude, we foster an engagement with psychoanalysis - both historically and comparatively - always keeping in mind its methodological link to the clinical experiences from which psychoanalysis itself was developed. Applications of psychoanalysis are considered in the clinic, the group, and wider settings. You will also write a dissertation.
Our course will interest you if you work in the mental health field or have an interest in psychoanalysis. You will graduate from our internationally recognised Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies having been taught by world-leading scholars and highly experienced practitioners.
Our course is offered one year full-time, two years part-time or modular (up to five years). Attendance of our short pre-sessional course on Freud is compulsory (except under special circumstances). This is a specially designed intensive course in the most important of Freud’s writings, which will give you an introductory historical and theoretical overview of the development of his thinking. Our Freud pre-sessional option allows you to start our MA course in a working cohort of students, with a firm foundation in Freudian concepts.
“A year went by so quickly, but I still enjoyed my time at Essex a lot. I am currently working for a large corporation, with the aim of getting into human resources. A module in the course developed my interest in how people relate within working environments, how groups choose leaders, and how to increase productivity. I learnt a lot from my excellent lecturers."
Iliana Juarez Sandoval, MA Psychoanalytic Studies.
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.
You will develop key employability skills including thinking analytically, evaluation, essay-writing, research methods in psychoanalysis and an understanding of psychoanalytic thinking, applicable to clinical and academic work. Our course could lead you to study for a PhD in psychoanalytic studies or to work in a clinical or non-clinical setting.
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.
UK entry requirements
A 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree.
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.