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. 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:
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.
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.
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.
A 2:2 degree or 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.
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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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.
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.
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.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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