Postgraduate Course

MA Psychoanalytic Studies

MA Psychoanalytic Studies

Overview

The details
Psychoanalytic Studies
October 2018
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. 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 Department of Psychosocial and 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.

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

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 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree.

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.

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.

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

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.

View Psycho Analytic Theory on our Module Directory

Research Skills and Methods in Depth Psychology

What research methods will you be using for your dissertation? What research skills do you want to improve? Develop your dissertation ideas with support from our expert staff. Build your research skills and receive guidance on best practice in academic writing before starting work on your dissertation.

View Research Skills and Methods in Depth Psychology on our Module Directory

Psychoanalysis of Groups and 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.

View Psychoanalysis of Groups and Organisations on our Module Directory

Psychoanalytic Methodology

Why do we believe psychoanalytic theories about the unconscious? Or about childhood sexuality? How did Freud and others convince us their work is correct? And what arguments suggest their theories are not? Debate the nature of psychoanalytic evidence. Analyse work by psychoanalytic writers to critically assess their observations and conclusions.

View Psychoanalytic Methodology on our Module Directory

Freud in Contexts

Does the context of psychoanalysis explain theories of psychoanalysis or do they stand beyond their context? Is a biography adequate without a psychoanalytic dimension? Was psychoanalysis a product of its culture or did it change the culture in which it developed? Explore the intellectual, cultural and social context of psychoanalysis.

View Freud in Contexts on our Module Directory

Thinking Psychoanalytically

How do you critically assess psychoanalytic theories? Or extend psychoanalytic knowledge outside the psychoanalytic setting? Expand your knowledge of key psychoanalytic concepts by exploring their use in various situations, clinical and non-clinical. Test the limits of these theories on a contemporary topic, building skills that you use in your dissertation.

View Thinking Psychoanalytically 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

£7,560

International fee

£16,225

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.

Applying

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.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.

Home to over 13,000 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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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.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder 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 a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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