Taught course

Psychoanalytic Studies

University of Essex · Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies

Entry requirements

Good first degree (first, upper second class or good 2.2) or an equivalent professional qualification, plus a sample of written work demonstrating academic ability. Applicants without such qualification, but who can otherwise demonstrate relevant experience and academic ability will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

How has the notion of 'Freudian unconscious' shaped Western culture and been transmitted around the world? How does the unconscious affect us individually and socially? How is an individual and their culture viewed from a psychoanalytic perspective? Our MA Psychoanalytic Studies will give you a unique and fascinating way of exploring how the unconscious affects both individuals and societies and cultures.

Our course will be relevant to those working in the mental health field or those with an interest in psychoanalysis. It gives you a thorough grounding in psychoanalytic theory through which to explore its application both to the clinical setting and to culture and society.

Starting with the cultural milieu from which psychoanalysis emerged, you begin with Freud and follow on through the development of object relations, focusing on the 'British School', including theorists such as Klein, Winnicott, Bion and others. By encouraging your critical attitude, we foster an engagement with psychoanalysis - both historically and comparatively - always keeping in mind its methodological link to the clinical experiences from which psychoanalysis itself was developed. Applications of psychoanalysis are considered in the clinic, the group, and wider settings.

This course is offered one year full-time, two years part-time or modular (up to five years). Attendence of our short pre-sessional course on Freud is compulsory (except under special circumstances). This is a specially designed intensive course in the most important of Freud's writing which will give you an introductory historical and theoretical overview of the development of Freud's thinking. Our Freud pre-sessional allows students to start the course proper 'running' with a firm foundation in Freudian concepts.

Whether you continue to study for a PhD in psychoanalytic studies or go to work in a clinical or non-clinical setting, you will graduate from our internationally recognised Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies having been taught by world-leading scholars and highly experienced practitioners.
Our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading centres for work that focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society generally. Our research and teaching is deeply grounded in knowledge deriving from clinical practice, to which our highest standards of academic thinking are then applied.

We enjoy an outstanding reputation for research and have consistently achieved the highest rating in the UK's Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), most recently in December 2008. Being located within the UK's leading university of the study of social sciences means you are surrounded by strong departments that fully support and enhance our work. This allows you to gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by senior clinicians and world-class scholars in their fields.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5.

Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, visit our website at: www.essex.ac.uk.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment67
Dissertation33 (12000 words)

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872719