FdA / BA Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic
How can you best help a troubled child in your agency? How can
you work more effectively with your colleagues? How can you use your
understanding to support others in their role with adolescents? How
can you make your organisations for adults more therapeutic? Our
Foundation Degree offers a theoretical understanding and practical
grounding in emotionally aware and therapeutic work with children,
adolescents, and adults, whatever your role.
Using a psychodynamic framework, you develop a thorough
understanding of the dynamics within and around both troubled
children and the adults who are trying to help them learn. We also
equip you with an awareness of the wider dimension of organisational
dynamics, to ensure that you become an effective and perceptive
member of your staff team.
- psychodynamic theory
- child and adult development
- issues of trauma and violence
- the dynamics of therapeutic interventions in organisations.
You also have the opportunity to develop your insight as a
reflective practitioner. We combine theoretical seminars and
practical workshops on campus with a degree of work-place learning,
to ensure that your understanding of the material covered is
The Foundation degree is a two-year, full-time course which you
can top up to a full BA with an additional year of study.
Our courses benefit both our students and their employers, Dr
Chris Nicholson describes the
benefits of the TCTO course for people working with young people
(.pdf). You can also hear
from our TCTO students.
For an informal discussion about these courses please contact the
Programme Lead, Dr Chris Nicholson by email at
BA Psychoanalytic Studies
Psychoanalysis is an interdisciplinary field of studies and clinical
practices, gathering over 100 years of theorization and clinical experience in
framing its ideas and concepts about the mind, emotions, social relations,
motivation, psychopathology and psychotherapy.
Building upon the work initiated by Freud, Jung, Melanie Klein and others,
psychoanalysis has had a major impact on such distinct fields as psychiatry,
philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and the humanities, as well as having an
impact on popular culture (in films, TV-series, novels, theatre, and more)
which, in turn, affects the way in which we see and understand ourselves and our
relationship to the world around us.
In this course, you'll look at the different schools of psychoanalysis as
well as explore its applications to different settings and objects of study -
from individual clinical work, to groups, culture and society. At its core,
psychoanalysis believes that understanding human experience is not just about
looking at external factors, from the places we live and work to the people we
talk to, but also at internal ones - our inner motivations, fantasies, and
defence mechanisms, to name a few.
BA Therapeutic Care
Are you fascinated by relationships and personality development, or intrigued
by people’s behaviour, what can cause them to act as they do and what can lead
to emotional or psychological difficulties?
Do you want to learn about and to develop ways of helping those who are in
need? Laying the foundations for a career in a caring profession, whether
education, health or social care our course will give you a solid basis in
psychodynamic thinking, child and adult development, and the dynamics of
therapeutic interventions in organisations.
We will equip you with what you need to take up a post in a range of
education, health and social care settings.
BA Sociology with Psychosocial Studies
What holds societies together? Do people pull together because they have to
or because they want to? How do we understand the relations between individuals
and their emotions, and wider cultural and political identities? Why do people
think like they do? What factors – conscious and unconscious – motivate them to
behave as they do?
Our course combines sociological and psychoanalytical approaches to the study
of society, and the different kinds of social tensions, interactions, networks
and emotions that make up everyday life. We bring together expertise from our
top-ranking Department of Sociology and our Centre.
How to apply
To apply to study BA Psychoanalytic Studies, BA Sociology with Psychosocial
Studies and BA Therapeutic Care please make your application through UCAS.
To apply to study the Foundation degree Therapeutic Communication and
Therapeutic Organisations, you need to make your application directly to our
Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies (not through UCAS). For further information or
to apply please contact our Student
"The long term benefits are that I can now see a different
career path, this course has certainly opened up different
avenues for me."
on FdA Therapeutic Communication and
Each year undergraduate students are invited to complete student satisfaction
surveys to tell us about their experience while studying with us.
National Student Survey (NSS)
The National Student Survey (NSS) results show the University of Essex is in the national top 10 for overall
student satisfaction for the fourth year running. In CPS we achieved 94% for overall student satisfaction.
Dr Chris Nicholson, our Director for Education comments “I am delighted to see that once again the National Student Survey (NSS)
results for the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies are competitively high. This is a testament to the commitment our
administrative and academic staff demonstrate towards their students. We continue to take a very personal and
human interest in each student, their progress, and their journey with us. Nevertheless, we intend to improve
this score over the coming years and are taking a number of measures to achieve this such as developing our
audio-visual resources, putting on even more extracurricular social and academic events for students and staff
to enjoy together, and, as always, enhancing the research-led teaching ethos which forms the backbone to
contemporary psychoanalytic studies. Thank you to all the members of CPS, whether students or staff,
for helping us to achieve these excellent results.”(NSS 2016).
Student Satisfaction Survey (SSS)
The TCTO teaching team are delighted to see that students in Southend have
given 100% to their overall satisfaction with the quality of their degree, while
Colchester students have given a still very high 94%.
Overall the scores across a range of areas were very high, especially in
areas such as teaching and personal development.
There are also some specific areas for development:
Assessment and feedback
- Feedback sheets have been revised to ensure greater congruence between
feedback and the specific assignment
- Feedback from students has been separated from the reflective groups to
ensure those distinct tasks do not become confused
- Essay writing workshops have been implemented to ensure first-year
students are better prepared for assignments and understand the assessment
and feedback procedures
Organisation and Management
- Third-year induction day has been development to fully prepare for the
practical assignments, and this is now followed up by preparatory seminars
for each module
- Third-year teaching has been restructured. Fewer tutors teach and have
responsibility for these modules which are now better more cohesively
planned and organised
- Outside option students are taught theory separately
- Reflective groups are better integrated into the programme to enhance
experiential learning on available, to improve employability skills and to
provide a space to process the impact of the course learning upon students
academically, professionally and personally
Our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme gives you the chance to help an
academic with a research project. You'll learn new skills which will enhance your CV and be paid a bursary. We're
taking applications now.
UG Open Days
Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff
can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.
Careers and skills
We offer a variety of careers support to help with professional development during
your time at Essex and with finding employment or further study after you graduate.
How to apply
Find out more about how to apply for a course at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies. We can provide
help and advice, and guide you through the application process.