Taught course

Psychoanalytical Observational Studies

Northumbria University · Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Entry requirements

An Honours degree in a related subject. Occasionally students are accepted without a first degree if they can give evidence to show that they are capable of work of degree standard

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is offered to experienced professionals working with children, young people and their carers who are interested in applying detailed observation and a psychoanalytic framework in their professional work.

The Psychoanalytic Observational Studies course was pioneered by the Tavistock Clinic in the early 1970’s. It is now available in several locations throughout the country, including Northumbria University. It is usually taken in its own right to enhance the work of the student within his or her existing profession.

Programme content can be broadly divided into two areas. Firstly, there are opportunities for experiential learning through the weekly observation of newborn babies in their homes, in the Infant Observation modules. Secondly, students are concurrently offered larger seminar discussions based on reading selected psychoanalytic theory, in particular Freud and Melanie Klein, and recent child development literature. This is in order to compare models of healthy development and to place observational data in a wider academic context. For those wishing to qualify as Child Psychotherapists, this programme forms appropriate pre-clinical training.

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score in each component of 5.5. Pearson Academic score of 62 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51.

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months


part time
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office
0191 243 7900