Our four-year BA Psychoanalytic Studies (including foundation year), will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills in order to support your academic performance.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study three academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module, with additional English language for non-English speakers.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies.
From year one you will continue developing your academic skills alongside discovering the different schools of psychoanalysis and explore its applications to different settings and objects of study – from individual clinical work, to groups, culture and society. At its core, psychoanalysis believes that understanding human experience is not just about looking at external factors, from the places we live and work to the people we talk to, but also at internal ones – our inner motivations, fantasies, and defence mechanisms, to name a few.
Beginning with an introduction to psychodynamic concepts as applied to individuals, relationships and organisations, the course goes on to provide a comprehensive account of child and adult development and critical overviews of both Freudian and Jungian psychology. From this foundation, psychodynamic approaches are then applied thematically to diverse areas including:
- The psychological factors that influence our emotions, behaviours and relationships
- The forces that drive human behaviour and interaction
- Literature and film
- War and trauma
Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments for work on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society more generally. We are top 10 in the UK for research (REF 2014), and consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores.
Our expert staff
We have some of the best teachers across the University in our Essex Pathways Department, all of whom have strong subject backgrounds and are highly skilled in their areas.
Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments for work that focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society generally. Our teaching is deeply grounded in knowledge deriving from clinical practice, to which our highest standards of academic thinking are then applied.
Our staff blends clinical experience and expertise in their field with the academic rigour for which the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies has such a reputation. You will be taught by lecturers who have years of experience, both in working directly with troubled individuals and groups and delivering lectures and seminars on specialist topics.
This gives you the opportunity to work with and be taught by senior clinicians and world-class scholars in their fields. From year one, this course is led by Julie Walsh, whose current research projects include Face-Work; investigating the changing role of the face in therapeutic encounter, and Not Mother; a creative-critical writing project that explores what the figure of ‚not-mother’ may have to offer a world that seems in such dire need of mothering.
Our staff specialise in areas ranging from psychoanalysis and neuroscience, to practical therapies and anxiety in criminal psychopaths, to oral history interviewing. More information on their research is available on our staff pages.
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our Academy to support you:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
- Our Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends
Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies provides excellent on-campus facilities:
- You will have access to the Albert Sloman Library, which houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives
- The Department has its own dedicated library of specialist texts which inform and influence our research
- Free evening Open Seminars on topics relevant to psychoanalysis which are open to students, staff and members of the public.
In undertaking this course you’ll study a range of psychoanalytic concepts – applying them to individuals, relationships and organisations, which will provide you with a unique perspective of why we are the way we are, on understanding others and knowing how to relate to them, which will make you suited for further clinical training, postgraduate study in different fields, or employment.
Key areas of employment for people with these skills include marketing, advertising, human resources, management, the media, care work, teaching or health care. Our future graduates may go to work in a wide range of careers, including:
- Therapeutic services
- NHS Mental Health work
- Psychoanalytic therapy
- Social Care
- Therapeutic Consultancy
- Management Consultancy
- Marketing and Public Relations
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
* Non-specialist higher education institutions with a survey population of at least 500.
Why we’re great
- We are top 10 in the UK for research (REF 2014), and consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores.
- You’ll be taught by lecturers who bring both academic and practical knowledge from years of working with children.
- Our students learn in small groups with expert practitioners and academics.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
- Teaching takes place in relatively small seminars and fora, with a focus on group discussion
- Discussion in seminars includes both discussing other peoples’ work and discussing your own experiences in the workplace
- You also undertake supervised clinical practice, participate in skills based workshops, and teach others through presentation of theoretical readings and clinical cases
- Your grade is made up of coursework marks, including essays and reflective reports and exam marks