2020 applicants
Postgraduate Course

MA Psychoanalytic Studies

MA Psychoanalytic Studies

Overview

The details
Psychoanalytic Studies
October 2020
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

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.

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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. Whether you work in the mental health field or have an interest in the application of psychoanalysis to groups, to literature, or to wider social and cultural issues, our programme offers a fantastic and lively opportunity for personal, academic and professional development.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Reading Freud
  • Psychoanalytic theory
  • Psychoanalysis in contexts
  • Psychoanalysis and the Psychosocial
  • Psychoanalytic Epistemology
  • The Psychic Life of Gender
  • Clinical and Critical: Contemporary Debates in Psychoanalytic Theory
Why we're great.
  • Work with world-leading scholars as well as highly experienced practitioners
  • 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
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments 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 Department 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 Department of Psychosocial and 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.

Your future

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.

“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.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree or international equivalent.

With your online application you must submit a personal statement; this should detail the reasons for wanting to study the course, including any relevant experience (work or voluntary) that may support your application.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

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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.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

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.

The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.

MA Dissertation

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.

View MA Dissertation on our Module Directory

Psycho Analytic Theory

In this module we will explore the main theoretical developments since Freud, with emphasis on the British school. Amongst the authors studied you will find: Sandor Ferenczi, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, Donald Winnicott, John Bowlby, Michael Balint, Jacques Lacan, and Heinz Kohut. The aim of the module is to understand the developments while comparing different analytic and psychoanalytic schools.

View Psycho Analytic Theory on our Module Directory

Clinical and Critical: Contemporary Dialogues in Psychoanalytic Theory

The module provides an exploration of contemporary issues and debates in psychoanalytic theory, focusing on some of the main post-Freudian clinical revisions that constitute the psychoanalytic imaginary of our times, but also on the development of a critical take on psychoanalytic theory. While the clinical context is the main site of observation, the module is also committed to take psychoanalysis outside the clinic and to allow it to illuminate societal processes that mobilise our critical reflection.

View Clinical and Critical: Contemporary Dialogues in Psychoanalytic Theory on our Module Directory

Psychoanalytic Epistemology

Psychoanalysis is an intrinsically interdisciplinary field. This module aims to debate the nature of our discipline. After an initial analysis of Freud’s methodology for theory construction, we will analyse different arguments and criticisms made by both psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytic scholars as to what type of discipline psychoanalysis is and what sort of methodologies it should utilise to gather and validate its theories.

View Psychoanalytic Epistemology on our Module Directory

Psychoanalysis in Contexts

This module explores intellectual, cultural, social and interdisciplinary contexts of the development of psychoanalysis and its theoretical and clinical ideas. The aim is firstly to provide a better understanding of how certain concepts and issues arose in a particular historical and cultural climate, and secondly to foster a critical approach to the history and theory of psychoanalysis.

View Psychoanalysis in Contexts on our Module Directory

Reading Freud

Much of the clinical and theoretical work you will study in the MA derives from, reworks, or reacts to Freud’s writing. This module is designed to introduce you to Freud’s thinking, looking at a variety of his texts; some classics you may have encountered before, and some that are likely to be new to you. Topics will include the theory of dreams; infantile sexuality; Freud's first and second 'topography of psychical systems; narcissism and the internalisation of the object in mourning.

View Reading Freud on our Module Directory

Psychoanalysis and the Psychosocial

This module is designed to explore the relationship between psychosocial studies and psychoanalysis. You’ll be introduced to a range of significant psychoanalytic ideas, not only on their own as abstract theory, but also through their use in various fields, clinical and nonclinical. Such an approach will help you understand the utility and limitations of psychoanalytic ideas more deeply and critically.

View Psychoanalysis and the Psychosocial on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • 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

Assessment

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

Dissertation

  • 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

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£8,340

International fee

£17,900

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2020 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 19, 2020
  • Saturday, October 24, 2020

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

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.

Exhibitions

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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of 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. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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