Would you like to build on your clinical training by learning about research methods and then applying this to a topic of your choice? If so, you can study at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic studies at the University of Essex, where we have an established tradition of combining clinical thinking with research expertise.
This allows you to further your own professional development, explore the area of greatest interest to you and make an original contribution to the development of your profession. Our professional doctorates constitute the academic and research component, building on what you have already studied and achieved in your professional training.
The Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is uniquely positioned to offer a professional doctorate of this kind. The department has a long and rich history of bringing clinicians and researchers from a wide range of orientations into fruitful collaboration and has a thriving research community. On this programme you will have access, alongside the specific course content, to all elements of the department’s provision, bringing you into contact with leading practitioners and researchers in your field as well as an exciting group of both staff and student researchers in related areas.
This degree constitutes the academic and research top-up for graduates with a full training in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy .
There are few comparable doctorates available. Some trainings are now doctoral programmes, or have doctorates available to trainees, but there are few routes available for those who trained in the past, and in many current trainings the doctoral top-up does not exist. This course enables those who have already completed a full relevant training to add the academic and research component to gain a doctorate and to contribute to the field.
The course aims to provide you with relevant knowledge and skills so that you can conduct a rigorous piece of original research in your field. This could be theoretical/literature-based or empirical, employing qualitative or quantitative methodologies.
The aim of the taught first year is to enable you, a qualified psychotherapist, to make the transition from practitioner to researcher, to decide on your research question, design and methodology and to prepare for your empirical project. Assignments in the first year are all directly connected to and will provide elements of the final thesis.
In years 2 and 3 you will be supported in supervision and workshops in conducting your individual doctoral research project.
Within our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff (which may include co-supervision from colleagues located in another department).
The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Once each year you will have a supervisory panel meeting involving one or two other staff, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next phase of your work.
If you are studying within our Department, 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.
You will need to have completed a level 8 qualification in a relevant discipline and hold membership of either BACP, BPC, UKCP, ACP or CPJA.With your application you should provide:
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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Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
The research component, normally three years of part-time study, offers a structured programme aimed at enhancing your research skills and contributing to the development of the field. It consists of research and methodology seminars, research workshops and individual academic supervision, leading to a 40,000 word thesis.
The teaching on the course combines a combination, of 1-2 teaching days teaching on Campus during per term during the first year and 1-2 days online live taught classes per term in the first year. There will be a variety of lectures, seminars , workshops, reflective groups and one to one academic supervision monthly throughout the course. There will also be a once yearly Post graduate Conference on Campus and other workshops and events both for the Professional doctoral programmes and for the research student community.
Each supervisory process is unique in its rhythm, style and content and, therefore, you and your supervisor might in discussion agree to vary the nature and timing of each stage of your research.
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
There are essays at the end of the first, second and third terms, all of which have the potential to become chapters in your final thesis. Thereafter you will work towards the 40,000 word thesis, which will be examined in a viva in the same way as a PhD.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four 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.
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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.
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