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Doctoral training


Proficio is our innovative doctoral training scheme. Our University gives you funding to spend on a variety of courses, from research skills to personal development and career management.

Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments 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 grounded in knowledge deriving from clinical practice, to which our highest standards of academic thinking are then applied.

The Department enjoys an outstanding reputation for research and consistently achieves top ten rankings for research quality in the UK's research assessments, most recently in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. We also achieved a 94% student satisfaction rate in the most recent National Student Survey 2017.

Being located within one of the UK's leading universities for social sciences means we 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.

Postgraduate taught courses

Our graduate diplomas, pre-Masters and Masters courses have consistently achieved excellent student satisfaction ratings and our students' feedback is testimony to this. Our Department offers a lively and friendly learning environment, with most teaching taking place in small seminars and fora, with a focus on group discussion.

See our Postgraduate Student Satisfaction Survey results

Postgraduate research courses

Our Department offers a number of routes to study at doctoral level, including PhD by research (including non-UK students), and a taught PhD in Refugee Care .

Your research degree gives you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. You will develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks.


There are a number of funding opportunities available to postgraduate research students both from the University and the Department. Our Department is part of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Doctoral Training Centre that offers a total of 16 fully-funded studentships to postgraduate students. The University of Essex Doctoral Scholarship supports Home, EU and Overseas students to study at our University.

Learning resources

In our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, you will have access to our extensive facilities to aid your learning and research. In particular, our Albert Sloman Library is well stocked with books, journals, electronic resources and major archives relevant to our work. In addition, we have our own library of specialist books and journals. Our strong connections to the local NHS and other organisations facilitate placements and institutional observations for our students.

MA courses

MA courses

Our MA courses offer in-depth study of a range of specialisms including psychoanalytics, Jungian and post-Jungian studies and refugee care, and are an excellent preparation for PhD study.

How to apply

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for a course at the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. We can provide help and advice, and guide you through the application process.

PG events

Book a place at a postgraduate event to find out about studying at a top 20 UK research university. Staff will be available to answer your questions and you can speak to students about life at Essex.

PhD study

Postgraduate research study

By undertaking PhD study at Essex, you will become a member of an exciting and active research community, and benefit from the expert supervision of our internationally recognised staff.