Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Psychoanalytic Studies

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 has good links with the British Psychoanalytical Society through its teaching staff and also because the Society's Foundation Course in Psychoanalysis can be taken as an option module by students on the MA. For students with strong clinical interests, this arrangement provides an exceptional opportunity to be taught psychoanalytic theory by some of the most senior and eminent psychoanalysts in the country. Highlights - In the 2014 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 Sa~o 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.

Entry requirements

MA: Minimum upper second-class honours degree (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, the admissions tutor will consider applicants who do not meet this criterion but who have substantial relevant professional experience (for example, in teaching, journalism, social work, counselling and psychotherapy, mediation, development work) and who can demonstrate through interview and a written assignment that they have the required academic abilities to complete a Master's-level course.

Course modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck's online prospectus.

Assessment methods

Written and practical assignments, oral presentations and a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (England) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Wales) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (EU) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Scotland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Northern Ireland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 15,200 per Whole course (International) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (EU) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 15,200 per Whole course (International) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Northern Ireland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Wales) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Scotland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (England) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

Get in touch

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Key information

Contact: 
Department of Psychosocial Studies
Telephone number: 
02030738045