Taught course

Psychoanalytic Studies

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · Psychosocial Studies
Qualifications
MA

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Entry requirements

At least a second-class honours degree (2:2), or equivalent, in any discipline relevant to the programme, including most humanities and social science disciplines, such as psychology, history, English, languages, sociology, politics, philosophy and cultural studies.

In exceptional circumstances, you will be considered if you do not meet this criterion but have substantial relevant professional experience (for example, in teaching, journalism, social work, counselling and psychotherapy, mediation, development work) and can demonstrate through interview and a written assignment that you have the required academic abilities to complete a Master's-level course.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

October

Course content

The MA Psychoanalytic Studies is jointly run by the Departments of Psychosocial Studies and History, Classics and Archaeology, which allows you to study the origins of psychoanalysis, its history over its first 120 years of life, its main ideas and their applications, both within and outside the therapeutic context, and in particular how it has been taken up and contested in different social and cultural situations.

Taught by a wide range of leading academics and psychoanalytic practitioners, the programme explores how psychoanalytic thought has been used to illuminate pressing social and political concerns, and examines the controversies that have always surrounded it. It focuses on the interface between psychoanalysis as an evolving clinical practice, as a form of knowledge, and as a mode of critique. The programme examines key psychoanalytic concepts in detail and places those concepts in context. It will enable you to closely study the numerous modern developments within psychoanalysis, from Freud through to contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice. You will also explore the methodological, epistemological and ethical issues that have resulted from diverse elaboration and extension of psychoanalytic ideas, not only in a clinical setting, but also in social and cultural inquiries, and in the interpretation of the historical past.

The programme asks how far modern thought on war and other forms of violent conflict, fascism, terrorism, racism and xenophobia has had an influence on the way we think about the unconscious mind, and vice versa. It also investigates how psychoanalytic accounts of inter-personal and intra-psychic relationships have shaped - or been shaped by - wider cultural attitudes to love, intimacy and destructiveness, and about the place of these accounts in discussions of gender and sexuality, racism and postcolonialism.

This programme links with the British Psychoanalytical Society through events, teaching staff and also through the Society's Foundation Course in Psychoanalysis, to which you may apply. For those with strong clinical interests and the necessary experience, this arrangement provides an exceptional opportunity to be taught psychoanalytic theory by some of the most senior and eminent psychoanalysts in the country. Work on the Foundation Course can count as an option, and contribute towards your MA grade.

Highlights
  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
  • The Department of Psychosocial Studies has a formal link with the University of São Paulo, Brazil. This link enables students on this programme to undertake an option module at the university as part of their programme of study at Birkbeck.
  • As well as the core programme staff, lectures on our summer programme are likely to be given by internationally renowned Birkbeck associates.
  • See our film Spaces of Psychoanalysis (2016), directed by Bartek Dziadosz and produced by Lily Ford of Birkbeck's own Derek Jarman Lab.

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 no less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700