Undergraduate Course

BA Psychoanalytic Studies

BA Psychoanalytic Studies

Overview

The details
Psychoanalytic Studies
C890
October 2019
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

How do we become who we are? Is emotion as strong a driver as reason? What explains our stranger compulsions and desires? Does all behaviour have meaning - even when it appears to be irrational?

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.

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Understanding human experience means looking not only at how we act and relate, but crucially also requires looking inside at what is going on below the surface. In this course you look at the psychological factors that influence our emotions, behaviours and relationships and shape our everyday lives. To understand these factors you will learn psychodynamic concepts, applying them to individuals, relationships and organisations and of course, you will study the pioneering works of Freud, Jung and Lacan.

Here are some of the questions we might cover. Why do we fall in love with certain kinds of people but struggle to relate to others? Why do we get stuck, or lose direction in life? What explains our stranger compulsions and desires? Why are some people prone to psychological illness while others seem to thrive in adversity?

Topics include:

  • Psychoanalytic and psychosocial approaches
  • Child, adolescent and adult development
  • Trauma and recovery: A psychodynamic approach
  • Understanding individuals, groups and organisations
  • Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychoanalytic Approach (Freud and Jung)
  • Sex Politics and Religion
  • Freud: Mind, Culture and Society
  • Literature and the Unconscious
  • Current debates in depth psychology
  • Psychoanalysis and the child

Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments for work on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society more generally. We are top 10 in the UK for research (REF 2014), and consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores.

Why we're great.
  • Essex is top 15 for the sixth year running in the NSS (2018, overall student satisfaction, English mainstream universities*)
  • You’ll be taught by lecturers who bring both academic and practical knowledge from years of working with children.
  • Our students learn in small groups with expert practitioners and academics.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Placement year

This course allows you to spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that 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 teaching is deeply grounded in knowledge deriving from clinical practice, to which our highest standards of academic thinking are then applied.

Our staff blend clinical experience and expertise in their field with the academic rigour for which the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies has such a reputation. You will be taught by lecturers who have years of experience, both in working directly with troubled individuals and groups and delivering lectures and seminars on specialist topics.

This gives you the opportunity to work with and be taught by senior clinicians and world-class scholars in their fields.

This course is led by Leonardo Nascimento, whose research focuses on the history and philosophy of psychology, psychoanalysis, and therapeutic practices. His focus at the moment centres on historical and contemporary interrelationship between neuroscience and psychoanalysis.

Our staff specialise in areas ranging from psychoanalysis and neuroscience, to practical therapies and anxiety in criminal psychopaths, to oral history interviewing. More information on their research is available on our staff pages.

Specialist facilities

You will experience a lively, informal environment with many possibilities to pursue your own interests:

  • You will have access to the Albert Sloman Library, which houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives
  • The Department has its own dedicated library of specialist texts which inform and influence our research
  • Free evening Open Seminars on topics relevant to psychoanalysis which are open to students, staff and members of the public.

Your future

In undertaking this course you’ll study a range of psychoanalytic concepts - applying them to individuals, relationships and organisations, which will provide you with a unique perspective of why we are the way we are, on understanding others and knowing how to relate to them, which will make you suited for further clinical training, postgraduate study in different fields, or employment.

With 83% of our undergraduates are in professional employment or postgraduate study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016), this course prepares you to move successfully into your own career path.

Key areas of employment for people with these skills include marketing, advertising, human resources, management, the media, care work, teaching or health care. Our future graduates may go to work in a wide range of careers, including:

  • Therapeutic services
  • NHS Mental Health work
  • Psychoanalytic therapy
  • Education
  • Social Care
  • Therapeutic Consultancy
  • Management Consultancy
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Academia

We also work with our University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

* Non-specialist higher education institutions with a survey population of at least 500.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBB

IB: 30 points. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

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.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

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

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Structure

Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. Below is just one example structure from the current academic year of a combination of modules you could take. Your course structure could differ based on the modules you choose.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.

Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts

How do unconscious dynamics work in individuals, groups and organisations? How can psychodynamic insight be applied to this? Explore how individuals affect one another, how institutions affect those who work there and vice versa. Understand key concepts in psychodynamic thinking and how to apply this to individuals, groups and workplaces.

View Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts on our Module Directory

Child, Adolescent and Adult Development

How are foundations of emotional development laid down in early life? What impact do early experiences have on future social and learning? Study personality development from a psychodynamic and attachment perspective. Examine key development stages to see how work with clients requires understanding of the initial roots of their difficulties.

View Child, Adolescent and Adult Development on our Module Directory

Freud: Mind, Culture and Society

What do you know about depth psychology? How do psychoanalysis and analytical psychology provide new understanding of society, culture and politics? Build your knowledge about depth psychology - psychological thinking that introduces the concept of a deep unconscious. Understand Freud’s theories and their significance in social and cultural analysis.

View Freud: Mind, Culture and Society on our Module Directory

The Unconscious: Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society - Jung

What do you know about depth psychology? How do psychoanalysis and analytical psychology provide new understanding of society, culture and politics? Build your knowledge about depth psychology - psychological thinking that introduces the concept of a deep unconscious. Understand Jung’s theories and their significance in social and cultural analysis.

View The Unconscious: Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society - Jung on our Module Directory

Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychoanalytic Approach (Freud and Jung)

How can we use psychoanalytic theory to understand film and television? What about literature and poetry? How do ideas about the individual and group conscious provide insight into cultural phenomena? Examine work by Freud and Jung, as well as more contemporary perspectives, through popular culture.

View Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychoanalytic Approach (Freud and Jung) on our Module Directory

Sex, Politics and Religion

How are depth psychological approaches relevant to topics about sex? What about politics? Or religion? Engage with primary and secondary sources to explore how psychoanalysis and depth psychology is still relevant in our rapidly changing world. Discuss recent events or issues using depth psychological theory and contemporary psychoanalytic approaches.

View Sex, Politics and Religion on our Module Directory

Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Object Relations

Following your first year modules, this module will build on Freudian theory and introduce more advanced topics. You will explore the work of Melanie Klein and the British Object Relations School of psychoanalysis and learn how they have used and interpreted Freudian concepts.

View Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Object Relations on our Module Directory

Advanced Jungian and Post-Jungian Approaches

This module builds on analytical psychology and develops your insight into Jungian theory. You explore how Post Jungians have applied Jung’s theories and ideas to various topics such as gender, art, literature, religion and politics.

View Advanced Jungian and Post-Jungian Approaches on our Module Directory

Psychoanalysis and the Child

Examine how object relations theory can relate to the psychoanalysis of children. Explore the difficulties of pursuing psychoanalysis of children and some of the controversies around working with children. You will learn how it should be done, how it is practically and also learn about the theoretical distinctions from building psychoanalysis of adults.

View Psychoanalysis and the Child on our Module Directory

Lacanian psychoanalysis

This module explores the work by French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. You will explore his work on the unconscious, desire, subjectivity, dreams, symptoms, sexuality, and social relations. Freudian concepts and also his theories related to anthropology and what it is to be human. You will learn what Lacan believed was the evolution of an infant into a civilised ‘speaking being,’human and how our ideas and perception of ourselves are formed.

View Lacanian psychoanalysis on our Module Directory

Literature and the Unconscious

This module explores novels from mid-19th century to present and how the notion of the ‘unconscious’ is illustrated throughout literature. You will explore a variety of aspects related to the unconscious such as dreams, superego, phantasy and more.

View Literature and the Unconscious on our Module Directory

Preparing for my Future

This module prepares you for the next step after graduation. You develop an understanding of the possible careers and opportunities available to you within the field of psychoanalytic studies. You will have the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops alongside professionals in a variety of areas to gain hands on experience and a unique insight into work within psychoanalytic studies.

View Preparing for my Future on our Module Directory

Trauma and Recovery: A Psychodynamic Approach

What place does trauma have within psychoanalytic thinking? What impact does loss have on children? Or on adolescents and adults? Explore human development and organisational dynamics by studying themes of child abuse, deprivation, loss and trauma. Understand the implications for organisations working with traumatised people.

View Trauma and Recovery: A Psychodynamic Approach on our Module Directory

Dissertation

Throughout the year you’ll pursue a research project based on a subject of your choice. This can be either theoretical or empirical, involving interviews or observations. There will be an introductory seminar to help you choose your project, followed by a proposal presentation, and two or three meetings with a member of staff who will monitor progress and offer support. You’ll draw on the theory you’ve gained from three years of the course, and will produce a 2,000-word proposal and a 7,500-word dissertation.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

Organisational Dynamics - Theory

What happens when people get together and work in groups? This module aims to help you understand the conscious and unconscious dynamics at work in organisations and the effect that this can have as a result. You will a deeper understanding of organisational dynamics and a greater capacity for psychodynamic observation, enabling you to apply psychodynamic insight to a wide range of settings.

View Organisational Dynamics - Theory on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Teaching takes place in relatively small seminars and fora, with a focus on group discussion
  • Discussion in seminars includes both discussing other peoples’ work and discussing your own experiences in the workplace
  • You also undertake supervised clinical practice, participate in skills based workshops, and teach others through presentation of theoretical readings and clinical cases

Assessment

  • Your grade is made up of coursework marks, including essays and reflective reports and exam marks.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£15,000

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have 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

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Tuesday, December 18, 2018
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Thursday, April 11, 2019

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

Applicant Days and interviews

Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our applicant days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.

Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your applicant day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.

If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email visit@essex.ac.uk so we can help you plan a visit to the University.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

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.

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 tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see 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.

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