Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year)

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants should have, or expect to have:

72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP

Essex Pathways Department accepts a wide range of qualifications from applicants. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Prof Barry Richards

Professor of Political Psychology

Bournemouth University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 0 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  IA121-3-PS  Philosophy: Fundamental Questions, Major Thinkers  Core  30 
02  IA195-3-PS  Research and Academic Development Skills  Core  30 
03  IA118-3-PS  Becoming Enlightened Citizens: Foundations in Politics and Government  Core  30 
04  IA111-3-PS  Major Writers in English Literature  Core  30 

Year 2 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  PA401-5-AU  Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Object Relations  Core  15 
02  PA402-5-SP  Advanced Jungian and Post-Jungian Approaches  Core  15 
03  PA403-5-SP  Psychoanalysis and the Child  Compulsory  15 
04  PA223-5-AU  Trauma and Recovery: A Psychodynamic Approach  Compulsory  15 
05  PA405-5-AU  Lacanian psychoanalysis  Compulsory  15 
06  PA231-5-SP  Where the Wild Things Are: Literature, Childhood, Psychoanalysis  Compulsory  15 
07  PA325-5-SP  Preparing for my Future  Compulsory  15 
08    Option from list or outside option  Optional  15 

Year 3 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  PA987-6-FY  Dissertation  Core  30 
02  PA407-6-FY  Current Debates in Depth Psychology  Compulsory  30 
03  PA408-6-SP  Contemporary Therapeutic Practice  Compulsory  15 
04  PA409-6-FY  Reflective Practice  Compulsory  15 
05  PA229-6-SP  Organisational Dynamics - Theory  Compulsory  15 
06    Option from list or outside option  Optional  15 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

This course aims to provide students with solid understanding of a range of schools within psychoanalysis and psychodynamic thinking, the problems they address, as well as their applications to a number of fields. It provides a theoretical foundation for further training in a career in psychotherapy or counselling, as well as in the humanities or social sciences. It also provides a solid basis in psychodynamic thinking, child, adolescent and adult development, and the dynamics of therapeutic interventions in organisations.

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 of personal and cultural life such as literature, film, sexuality, war, and trauma, with substantial attention placed upon findings and approaches from clinical work and therapeutic practice.

More particularly, this programme aims:

1. To provide a solid psychoanalytic vocabulary and understanding of unconscious dimensions of human experience, relationships, communication and culture
2. To provide students with a good understanding of the history of the discipline, and the different schools of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic thinking
3. To provide a psychodynamic perspective on child, adolescent and adult development and difficulties
4. To understand the role of emotions in learning, behaviour, and social development
5. To understand the concept and significance of trauma and its effects
6. To understand the psychodynamics of groups and institutions
7. To provide a space and process by which students can explore and reflect upon the intersection between their academic, personal and professional selves

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

Learning methods

Assessment methods

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods

C: Practical skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods

D: Key skills

Learning methods

Assessment methods


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: