Undergraduate Course

BA Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

(Including Placement Year)

Now In Clearing
BA Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Overview

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Placement Year)
C89A
October 2024
Full-time
4 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.

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)
  • Freud: Mind, Culture and Society
  • Where the Wild Things Are: Literature, Childhood, Psychoanalysis
  • 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.


Why we're great.
  • We offer you a unique opportunity to study psychoanalytic and psychosocial ideas and their applications with lecturers who are leading researchers and clinicians in their fields.
  • Our course has been repeatedly commended for delivering inspiring content and achieving spectacular academic results.
  • Our graduates go on to pursue exciting careers in many diverse fields including in the national and international charity sectors, policy and social work, clinical settings, as well as pursuing further academic research.

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.

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.

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 the University's Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

Clearing entry requirements

We currently have places available in Clearing across a range of our courses with most offers at BBC-CCD (112 – 88 UCAS tariff points) or equivalent.  We consider each application individually and requirements may be lower for our courses with a foundation year, so please get in touch if your grades are below those outlined here.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

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

Structure

Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website and in line with your contract with us. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

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
Core
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.
Compulsory
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.
Optional
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

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:

HR 100  4  FY

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.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts
(15 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Child, Adolescent and Adult Development: Loss, Conflict and Growth
(15 CREDITS)

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: Loss, Conflict and Growth on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Freud: Mind, Culture and Society
(15 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 04: CORE

The Unconscious: Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society - Jung
(15 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychosocial Approach
(15 CREDITS)

How can we use psychoanalytic theory to understand film, literature and television? What is culture and can it contribute to our understanding of psychoanalysis itself? Examine work by Freud and Jung, as well as more contemporary perspectives, through the lens popular culture.

View Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychosocial Approach on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Assignment and Research Writing for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
(15 CREDITS)

Want guidance in understanding your course? Know how your academic skills will transfer to the world of work? Develop your abilities to undertake independent research. Learn to read critically and to write clearly. Build the employability skills that will help you during your studies and after graduation.

View Assignment and Research Writing for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: CORE

The Psychosocial Imagination
(30 CREDITS)

This introductory, two-term module foregrounds the ‘psychosocial’ in the BA in Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. Whilst deeply rooted in a range of theoretical ideas, the module will be selective in its treatment of the psychosocial, and illustrative of further areas of study to come at later points in the degree. The module’s main point of emphasis will be on ‘imagination’, in a dual sense. Both how we might imagine the ‘psychosocial’ as a discipline, with its specific forms of knowledge, theoretical frames and domains of application, but also in the sense that psychosocial studies might give weight to forms of imagination and representation in their capacity to link subjective and embodied existence with social life.

View The Psychosocial Imagination on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Object Relations
(15 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Advanced Jungian and Post-Jungian Approaches
(15 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Psychoanalysis and the Child
(15 CREDITS)

In this module we examine some of the developments in psychoanalytic theory with a special focus on the figure of the child. We consider some of the debates surrounding the development of psychoanalysis of children through the work of Melanie Klein, D. W. Winnicott, Anna Freud, amongst others. We pay attention to the importance of play and practices of observation to understand how and why the figure of the child has been central to the development of psychoanalytic thought.

View Psychoanalysis and the Child on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Violence
(15 CREDITS)

Why are some people violent towards children? What are the underlying reasons for antisocial behaviour? Examine psychodynamic thinking to issues around aggression, violence and antisocial behaviour, as well wider socio-political topics. Explore psychodynamic applications in social and health care, culture and society.

View Violence on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Lacanian psychoanalysis
(15 CREDITS)

This module explores the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Lacan made links between psychoanalysis and linguistics, anthropology, literature and philosophy. What we consider to be our most intimate features, such as self-image, desire and phantasy, are in fact constituted by something outside and beyond ourselves – the ‘symbolic’ law of language and society. You will learn about Lacan’s theory of the ‘mirror phase’, our constitution through others, and the importance of being a speaking being.

View Lacanian psychoanalysis on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Psychoanalysis and Literature
(15 CREDITS)

This module explored a wide range of children’s fiction, both written for children and about children. You read and analyse popular children’s literature from ‘Where the Wild Things are’ to ‘Matilda’. You will build your knowledge of how the perceptions of childhood have changed over the last century and the types of ideals being projected onto the world of children through literature.

View Psychoanalysis and Literature on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

Care, Intimacy, Vulnerability: an Introduction to Psychosocial Theory
(15 CREDITS)

This second-year undergraduate module provides a grounding in theories of the psychosocial with a special focus on care, dependence, intimacy, and vulnerability. It enables you to critically engage with a range of theoretical approaches from psychoanalysis, sociology, critical theory, postcolonial and decolonial theory. Using ‘care, intimacy and vulnerability’ as its main pillars encourages you to reflect on practices of care, being card for and caring for others, as well as how these phenomena intersect with social and clinical processes. The module encourages you to engage with academic debates in a robust way and strengthen your reflexivity by enabling you to explore your own lived experiences of care. It is suitable for you wishing to work with people in various professional roles such as psychotherapy and mental health, social policy and research, human resources, education, and management. The module tallies with the University’s ongoing commitment to tackling the under-representation of ethnic minority groups and follows the principles of a decolonial curriculum by incorporating scholarship from BAME scholars. Finally, in building a solid, decolonial curriculum, the module also promotes greater visibility and inclusion for BAME students. You may find some of the readings included in this curriculum challenging. Whenever possible readings from non-scholarly sources are included to enable you to engage with ideas written in more accessible ways. The readings will be discussed in the lecture and seminars. You are encouraged to engage with the readings as much as you can manage. Questions considered include: 1. What is care? What is intimacy? Are care and intimacy central to cultivating strong interpersonal relationships? 2. What circumstances and structures – social, political, and personal – enable the emergence of caring relationships? 3. In what ways and to what extent does care play a crucial role in the organisation of socio-cultural and psychic life? 4. At a time of increasing alienation and loneliness, how can we reclaim meaningful, intimate relationships?

View Care, Intimacy, Vulnerability: an Introduction to Psychosocial Theory on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 08: OPTIONAL

Option from list or outside option
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Placement Year
(120 CREDITS)

This module enables you to undertake a full placement year with an external Placement Provider. During the placement, you will be supervised by an academic member of staff to complete a number of assessments which will enable you to utilise and develop the links between the knowledge and skills developed in your academic course and the work-based skills developed in carrying out your placement role.

View Placement Year on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Dissertation
(30 CREDITS)

Throughout the year students will be pursuing a research project based on a subject of their choice. There will be an introductory workshop to help with choosing the project, followed by a series of lectures and workshops and three 30-minute supervision meetings with a named member of staff to monitor progress and offer support. Students will draw on the theory from the three years of the course and apply these to a subject of their choice, exploring the conscious and unconscious dynamics involved.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Current Debates in Psychosocial Studies
(30 CREDITS)

Members of staff from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies will use aspects of their research to open up debates in depth psychology and psychosocial studies. These may touch on issues of continuing importance for the contemporary discipline, or newly emerging questions. The content will vary from year to year so as to remain innovative and attuned to what is most recent in the field, but may include topics such as gender and intimacy, clinical cases, racism and neuro-psychoanalysis.

View Current Debates in Psychosocial Studies on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Madness and its Cure
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Future Pathways and Reflective Practice
(15 CREDITS)

This module allows you to develop your reflective awareness and learn how to use psychodynamic understanding in relation to yourself as well as to the different aspects of the worlds you inhabit. You will develop an appreciation of unconscious and emotional communication in everyday life, and be able to engage critically and reflectively with contemporary topics. You will contribute actively to the design of the module, identifying with your peers areas of interest for psychoanalytic reflection. Reflective practice is represented by the following components: participating in Reflective Groups, maintaining a Reflective Journal and writing an end of year Reflective Report.

View Future Pathways and Reflective Practice on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Organisational Dynamics - Theory
(15 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

Option from list or outside option
(15 CREDITS)

Placement

On a placement year you will gain exciting and relevant work experience within an external organisation, where you can gain the competitive edge you need in the graduate job market, make key contacts in the sector and further develop the competencies and experience needed to build your CV. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.’

Teaching

  • Undergraduate students in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies typically attend a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar for each module per week. There are some variations in place depending on the module.
  • 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/UK fee

£9,250 per year

International fee

£19,500 per year

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

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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.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 17 August 2024 - Colchester Clearing Open Day
  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day

How to apply during Clearing

Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision.

Interviews

We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following courses after a successful interview:

  • BA Multimedia Journalism
  • BSc Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BA Social Work

The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you’ll be able to ask us any questions you might have. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.


Apply now
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