Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
23 August 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA LCJ8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA LJ8C Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA LJC8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies,
FDA LX51 Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations,
BA C847CO Psychodynamic Practice,
BA C848CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Foundation Year),
BA C849CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Year Abroad),
BA C890 Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies,
BA C89A Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA C89B Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L520 Childhood Studies,
BA L521 Childhood Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA L522 Childhood Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L333 Criminology with Counselling Skills,
BA L334 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Year Abroad),
BA L335 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Placement Year),
BA L332 Sociology with Counselling Skills

Module description

This module will introduce and familiarise students with the key concepts of psychodynamic thinking. In particular, they will become aware of unconscious dynamics at work in individuals, groups and organisations. The module aims to establish a theoretical foundation for the rest of the programme. As such students will study the basis of a psychodynamic approach, the key theoretical ideas and their place within the discipline. The importance of the unconscious and early experience will be emphasised. Students will explore the way individuals affect one another, institutions affect the people who work in them and vice versa, and what impact this has upon therapeutic practice.

Module aims

The aim of the module is:
* To familiarise students with the key concepts of psychodynamic thinking applied to individuals, groups and organisations
* To build on students' understanding of the psychodynamics of human behaviour by applying these ideas to groups and organisations.
* To become aware of the unconscious dynamics at work in individuals, groups and organisations.
* To begin to understand how psychodynamic insight can be applied to groups and organisations.
* To begin to understand the unconscious psychodynamics of institutions.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have:
1. Understanding of key psychodynamic concepts and their place within discipline
2. Basic understanding of key psychodynamic concepts as they apply to individuals
3. Awareness of unconscious processes in relationships and interactions
4. Basic capacity to apply psychodynamic ideas to their workplace roles and relationships
5. Capacity to apply psychodynamic thinking to group and organisational dynamics
6. Basic understanding of the ways in which organisational dynamics have an impact on effective functioning

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly one-hour lectures by staff, followed by one-hour seminars led by GTA’s


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay    100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Chris Nicholson, email:
Dept of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Student Administration 5A.202; telephone 01206 874969;



External examiner

Dr Anthony John Faramelli
Lecturer in Visual Cultures
Available via Moodle
Of 64 hours, 40 (62.5%) hours available to students:
24 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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