Taught course

Couple and Individual Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Birkbeck, University of London · Birkbeck Centre for Counselling

Entry requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) or an equivalent international qualification,

Professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience are also taken into consideration positively and may be accepted in place of a degree.

You will also need to have:

  • a minimum of six months' voluntary or paid work experience in emotional and mental health wellbeing
  • Tavistock Relationships Foundation Certificate in Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy or an equivalent level (Foundation/BACP Stage 2) psychodynamic or psychoanalytic counselling skills training.

It would be an advantage to have undergone previous psychotherapy, preferably psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

We will request a short assignment from applicants without our standard requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

Our new MA and Postgraduate Diploma in Couple and Individual Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy are offered in collaboration with Tavistock Relationships, a leading training and research centre in therapeutic and psycho-educational approaches to supporting couples.

The courses will provide you with the skills and knowledge required for a career as a psychodynamic therapist for couples and individuals. You will gain both an academic qualification and the clinical training requirements for accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Through experiential learning and your own experience of personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy, you will develop an analytical understanding of self and other, and interpersonal dynamics. A diverse range of family structures are also studied on this course and we encourage an inclusive approach to couple relationships through reading, discussion groups and self-reflection.

Key areas of study include:

  • how to assess the core issue that can be presented by clients
  • the principles of working psychodynamically with a focus on unconscious processes and transference
  • key psychoanalytic models of the mind
  • the historical development of psychoanalytic thought
  • complex theoretical concepts and how they are applied to the couple relationship.

Working with experienced practitioners in the helping professions, you will attend tutorials, weekly clinical seminars, online seminars and supervision, and undertake in-person clinical placements. Teaching and clinical work is based at the Tavistock Relationships' premises in central London, close to Liverpool Street station, with occasional sessions at Birkbeck's Bloomsbury campus.

You will be required to undertake clinical placements in Years 2 and 3 and be in a minimum of once-weekly personal therapy within two months of starting the course.


  • Tavistock Relationships is the leading couple therapy centre in London. It has a long history in training, research and best practice.
  • You will become part of Tavistock Relationships' alumni group, enabling you to take advantage of its CPD and conferences that will keep you up to date with recent developments in the field and further develop your clinical practice.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue the following career paths and opportunities:

  • as a professional couple and individual psychoanalytic psychotherapist, qualified to work in the statutory, voluntary or private sector
  • registration with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • a Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy and registration with the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT)
  • entry into the clinical qualification in psychoanalytic couple psychotherapy which leads to registration with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • Tavistock Relationships and Birkbeck-run CPD courses for qualified clinicians
  • progressing your studies to PhD level at Birkbeck.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700