Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Pre-Masters and Masters study

Two students using iPad looking at screen

Uniquely combining clinical and academic approaches

Our wide range of Masters courses cover both the development and the current applications of psychoanalytic and Jungian thought, and also address how these can inform and deepen social and political enquiry.

You're taught by lecturers who are world-class scholars and also by clinical practitioners, so you learn different ways to look at the world, based on real-world experience, up-to-date and applicable knowledge. Our strong connections to the local NHS and other organisations give you the opportunity to go on placements and institutional observations, to help you put theory into practice.

Our teaching

We want participation - we don't just talk at you, we want to hear your stories and understand how you see the world so everyone can learn more about the human experience. We support you throughout your course through regular catch ups with your personal tutor.

You develop your research skills by working on your own project focusing on the topic that fascinates you most. We give you a good grounding in psychoanalytic theory, both traditional and contemporary work, so you can go on to further training, train as a psychoanalyst or have a successful career in many other fields.

 

Explore our Masters courses 
Why choose us?
  • Top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014).
  • Located within one of the UK's leading universities for social sciences (REF 2014) - you work with senior clinicians and world-class scholars.
  • Participative teaching - we want to hear your stories and look at how you see the world.

Pre-Masters

Our Graduate Diplomas are an entry route onto our Masters courses and are designed to help you develop the necessary academic skills and knowledge to progress to postgraduate study.

Our pre-sessional courses provide you with an introduction to our Masters courses. They can also be taken as a free-standing introductory course.

Basic Jungian Concepts

This is a series of face-to-face seminars suitable for all those with an interest in C.G. Jung’s psychology.

The aim of the course is to give you an introduction to analytical psychology’s key concepts and to explore areas onto which Jung applied his theories. The course also serves as a pre-sessional if you have enrolled on MA Jungian and Post-Jungian Studies.

We concentrate on Jung’s model of the psyche, with special attention paid to the definitive concepts differentiating analytical psychology from psychoanalysis:

  • the collective unconscious
  • archetypes
  • complexes
  • psychological types
  • individuation
  • the self and synchronicity.

We also explore Jung’s evaluation of, and writings related to, the arts, religion and society.

Find out more

Basic Freudian Concepts

This is a series of reading seminars designed for students with little or no previous knowledge of Freud.

The aim of the series is to give you an introductory historical overview of the development of Freud’s thinking as a preparation for later study of his works on our MA Psychoanalytic Studies, or to serve as a free-standing introduction to Freud’s work.

We will look particularly at the interaction between Freud’s clinical discoveries and his metapsychology: how does his model of the mind determine what he observes and how in turn do clinical phenomena cause him to change his model of the mind.

Topics will include:

  • the theory of dreams
  • infantile sexuality
  • instinct (drive) theory
  • the economic (affect-trauma)
  • the topographical and the structural models of the mind
  • narcissism and object relations
  • the theory of anxiety.

Find out more

"Essex gave me such a strong theoretical background, I'm still going back to my notes because it was a really intense year. The University has a great reputation and everyone is there to help you find your own way."
Marina Christoforidou Psychotherapist and ma psychoanalytic studies alumna

Access to Freud's work

You can use Freud's original letters and papers in your work through the Freud Archive.

This collection of his work was donated to Essex and presides in the University's library. You also have access to our own library of specialist books and journals, to help with your learning and research.