Taught course

Psychosocial Studies by Distance Learning

University of East London · School of Law and Social Sciences - LSS

Entry requirements

A written application outlining your interest in and reasons for choosing the Psychosocial Studies programme at UEL. Two supporting references, one of which is preferably academic. An undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent) in psychology, sociology, or a related degree in the social / cultural studies or the human sciences. In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required. International qualifications will be checked for appropriate matriculation to UK Higher Education postgraduate programmes.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Psychosocial Studies is a cross-disciplinary programme that uses ideas from psychology, sociology, literature, history and cultural studies to understand the shaping of human identities and our experiences and relationship to the social world around us. The University of East London has been a pioneer in the area of Psychosocial Studies and has run a unique undergraduate degree programme since 1985. Interest in the approach taken in Psychosocial Studies has grown and there are now teaching and research centres across the UK. This growth is due to the developing awareness of the inadequacy of the traditional division between sociological and psychological disciplines. Drawing on key ideas and cutting-edge research in the field, this new postgraduate programme is seeking to re-frame Psychosocial Studies for the 21st century. Against a social and cultural backdrop of change and uncertainty, questions about the nature of the relationships between the individual and society have become increasingly significant. Whilst new technologies and the spread of wealth improved lives for many in the 20th century, this has not been the case for others, for whom the social and political discourses and practices of modernity have come at a cost. Whilst the forces of globalisation can broaden opportunity and understanding, they have also done little to decrease conflict, inequality and poverty.

Yet alongside scepticism about the social and political projects of the 20th century, there has been growing interest in notions of personal development and self-fulfilment. In more recent decades, more people have had rising expectations about emotional satisfaction within their lives, and the language of emotion and therapy are now central in defining identity and experience. Do such desires and expectations reflect a positive psychosocial shift towards a more tolerant society that allows for emotional vulnerability and the complexities of subjectivity. Or does the therapeutic turn, with its focus on the emotional needs of the individual, have more in common with the superficial quick-fix solutions of consumer culture. The complex relationships between emotion, fantasy, identity, and experience, are key in helping us to understand how individuals are shaped psychosocially in the contemporary late modern world. The MA in Psychosocial Studies will enable students to explore such issues in depth, to acquire a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them, by focusing on how identities are shaped and experienced in different social, psychological and historical contexts.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24 months


distance learning
16 months


distance learning
8 months

Course contact details

Applicant Enquiries
+44 (0) 208 223 3333
+44 (0) 208 223 2978