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Masters Degrees (Existential Philosophy)

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Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Read more
Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Our radical approach cuts across traditional boundaries, fostering dialogue between different schools and disciplines, and we are one of the few universities in the world that bridges the divide between the two great traditions of Analytic and Continental philosophy.

Our MA Philosophy will provide you with a rigorous grounding in modern and contemporary European philosophy. We have leading expertise in critical theory, phenomenology, German Idealism, nineteenth Century German philosophy, aesthetics, existentialism, contemporary French philosophy, philosophy and psychoanalysis, and medical humanities.

You study modules of your choice, develop your research, writing, and employability skills through an intensive Writing Workshop, and prepare an MA dissertation in your chosen area of research.

Our department is widely regarded as among the very best in the UK, having been recognised as one of the top 10 UK universities for research excellence (REF 2014), and being placed in the top 10 in The Guardian University Guide in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

As an alternative to our more flexible MA Philosophy, you can focus your study on a more specific area by following one of the following pathways:

MA Philosophy (Continental Philosophy Pathway)
All of our academic staff work on Continental Philosophy, including classical German philosophy (Kant and German Idealism), Frankfurt School Critical Theory (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), nineteenth-century philosophy (Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche), and phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty). On this pathway you choose from a range of specified topics in these areas, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Continental Philosophy.

MA Philosophy (Critical Social Theory Pathway)
We are the leading centre for Critical Social Theory in the UK with five members of academic staff working on the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), contemporary French thought (Derrida, Foucault, Rancière) and issues in Critical Social Theory, such as activist political theory, theory of recognition, aesthetics and politics, deliberative democracy, and the moral limits of markets. On this pathway you study modules on the Frankfurt School and Contemporary Critical Theory, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Critical Social Theory.

MA Philosophy (Philosophy and Art History Pathway)
Drawing on the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach of the School, our new Philosophy and Art History pathway enables students to get a thorough grounding in philosophical aesthetics. You explore issues in aesthetics and their bearing on other areas of philosophy (such as critical theory or existentialism) and Art History (such as aesthetic practices and curating), and profit from the wide-ranging expertise of our staff in both disciplines. On this pathway you study modules on Philosophy/Aesthetics and Art History (dealing, for example, with Art & Politics, Art, Architecture and Urbanism, or Art, Science & Knowledge), in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Philosophy and Art History.

Our expert staff

Our courses are taught by world-class academics, and over three quarters of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), which puts us fifth in the UK for research outputs.

Our open-minded and enthusiastic staff have an exceptionally broad range of research interests, so whatever questions in philosophy catch hold of your imagination, there is certain to be someone you can approach to find out more.

Recent projects and publications include:
-Béatrice Han-Pile and Dan Watts’ major new research project, The Ethics of Powerlessness: the Theological Virtues Today
-The Essex Autonomy Project, a major interdisciplinary project funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), which aims to investigate the role of autonomous judgment in many aspects of human life
-Peter Dews’ The Idea of Evil, Polity, 2007
-Béatrice Han-Pile, Foucault’s Critical Project: Between the Transcendental and the Historical, Stanford University Press, 2002
-Fiona Hughes, Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: A Reader’s Guide, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
-Wayne Martin, Theories of Judgement: Psychology, Logic, Phenomenology, Cambridge University Press, 2006
-Irene McMullin’s Time and the Shared World: Heidegger on Social Relations, Northwestern University Press, 2013
-Fabian Freyenhagen’s Adorno’s Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly, Cambridge University Press, 2013

Specialist facilities

-Graduate students have access to desk space in the School and many students work there on a daily basis
-A dedicated German-language course for graduate students in philosophy
-Attend our Critical Theory Colloquium
-Attend the Werkstatt, where recent work on phenomenology is presented
-An exciting programme of research seminars, reading groups and mini-courses that help you expand your philosophical knowledge beyond what you learn on your course
-Access a variety of philosophy textbooks and journals in the Albert Sloman Library and in our departmental library

Your future

Many of our philosophy graduates embark on doctoral study after finishing their MA. We offer supervision for PhDs in a range of fields including:
-Continental philosophy
-Critical Social Theory
-History of philosophy
-Applied ethics

Our graduates have also gone into careers in law, the media, local administration, HM Revenue and Customs, and top jobs in the Civil Service.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Dissertation: Continental Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Critical Social Theory (optional)
-Dissertation: MA Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Philosophy & Art History (optional)
-Phenomenology and Existentialism (optional)
-Kant's Revolution in Philosophy (optional)
-Hegel (optional)
-Contemporary Critical Theory (optional)
-Topics in Continental Philosophy (optional)
-MA Writing Workshop (optional)
-The Frankfurt School (optional)
-Philosophy and Aesthetics (optional)
-Collecting Art From Latin America (optional)
-Art & Politics (optional)
-Current Research in Art History (optional)
-Art, Architecture and Urbanism (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-The New Nature Writing (optional)
-Foundations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (optional)
-The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law (optional)
-Human Rights and Development (optional)
-International Trade, Investment and Human Rights. (optional)
-Human Rights for Women (optional)
-Transitional Justice (optional)
-Psycho Analytic Theory (optional)
-Psychoanalytic Methodology (optional)

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The Advanced Diploma in Existential Psychotherapy (ADEP) provides specialist psychotherapy training emphasising the challenges, innovations and re-interpretations of the therapeutic encounter. Read more
The Advanced Diploma in Existential Psychotherapy (ADEP) provides specialist psychotherapy training emphasising the challenges, innovations and re-interpretations of the therapeutic encounter.

The course will prepare you for advanced professional work in both private and institutional practice. Successful completion will bring eligibility for registration with the appropriate professional bodies.

Please note that we are not able to sponsor students on this programme for a Tier 4 visa.

Why should I choose this programme?

Existential psychotherapy is a professional, down-to-earth form of therapy which responds to an inner prompt to find out who we really are and how we really want to live.

The emphasis is on the question of existence rather than just cognitive notions of self, experience rather than psychological theories.

The course contrasts comprehension of existential philosophy within the rational realm and apprehension of philosophy as practice within the phenomenal realm of immediate experience.

You will learn to relate and apply the philosophical underpinnings of existential psychotherapy to your life and work with clients.

Key skills, aims and objectives

‌•Undergo learning experiences in existential philosophy which manifest as ethical, existentially informed psychotherapeutic practice
‌•Engage with philosophical questions to develop a philosophical attitude and openness
‌•Develop a critically reflective perspective on existential psychotherapy from the point of view of other modalities
‌•Develop a critically reflective perspective on other modalities from the point of view of existential psychotherapy
‌•Develop a capacity for informed reflection on clinical practice
‌•Consolidate a capacity to effectively and ethically utilise supervision from peers and supervisors
‌•Gain an understanding of ethical research methods relevant to clinical practice in the field

Future opportunities

The course will prepare you for advanced professional work in both private and institutional practice. Successful completion will bring eligibility for registration with the appropriate professional bodies.

UKCP membership
The Society for Existential Analysis is an accrediting organisation within the Constructivist and Existential College of the UKCP, and registers graduates of the ADEP as UKCP registered existential psychotherapists.

BACP accreditation
At the end of Year 1, you may have enough training hours to apply for individual accreditation with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. Application to the BACP can only be done by the individual and the School is unable to play a role in this process.

Endorsement

Upon completion you are eligible to apply for registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

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The DPsych programme aims to develop highly-skilled, well-rounded, self-aware psychological practitioners and researchers who will make a valuable contribution to the profession, both inside and outside the consulting room. Read more
The DPsych programme aims to develop highly-skilled, well-rounded, self-aware psychological practitioners and researchers who will make a valuable contribution to the profession, both inside and outside the consulting room.

A successful graduate of the DPsych meets the standards and competencies set by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS), and is eligible for registration and chartership with those bodies.

The DPsych programme is committed to producing practitioner psychologists who are well prepared to meet the needs of each client and to utilise individualised formulation and intervention, while never losing sight of the relationship at the core of the endeavour.

To support this, the DPsych gives training in three approaches to therapy: existential-phenomenological, cognitive-behavioural, and psychodynamic. The principal model of the programme is existential-phenomenological psychotherapy, one of the foundational influences in the profession of counselling psychology. Existential-phenomenological approaches and counselling psychology emphasise subjective, lived experience; recognise the importance of dialogue; and take a holistic, relational view of human nature and of psychological difficulties. Irrespective of the modality employed, we encourage and develop a “pervasive existential sensibility” in our trainees’ therapeutic work.

This programme is validated by the Open University, UK. In January 2016, a redesigned DPsych was validated by the OU and accredited by the BPS for a five-year period.

Why should I choose this programme?

Counselling psychology trainees at Regent’s have the opportunity to work towards a professional qualification with a highly experienced programme team who are collegial, passionate about the profession, and who treat trainees as prospective professionals.

Trainees benefit from individual mentorship and support with a dedicated personal tutor; from the chance to undertake teaching and leadership in the third year; from strong research support from both supervisors and the curriculum; and from a newly enhanced course structure that affords more time in the second and third years for research and placement activities. Special attention is given to specialisation and employability, and the training aims to prepare its graduates to work anywhere, from private practice to the NHS to specialised settings. Finally, the training takes place on one of the most beautiful university campuses in London, in the heart of Regent’s Park.

At the January 2016 accreditation visit, the British Psychological Society awarded the programme four commendations and no conditions, a rare circumstance and testament to the strength of the DPsych programme. The BPS panel commended the programme for epitomising the profession by putting the trainee and collaboration and its heart. The programme additionally received commendations for the creative and effective teaching and learning methods employed by the team; the diverse and well-thought-through ways in which competencies are assessed; and the support the programme enjoys from the University’s senior management team.

Key skills, aims and objectives

This programme will enable you to:

‌•Develop as a competent, reflective, ethically sound, resourceful and informed practitioner, able to work in therapeutic and non-therapeutic contexts
‌•Value the imaginative, interpretative, personal and intimate aspects of the practice of counselling psychology
‌•Commit to ongoing personal and professional development and enquiry
‌•Understand, develop and apply models of psychological inquiry for the creation of new knowledge which is appropriate to the multi-dimensional nature of relationships between people
‌•Appreciate the significance of the wider social, cultural and political domains within which counselling psychology operates
‌•Adopt a questioning and evaluative approach to the philosophy, practice, research and theory which constitutes counselling psychology

Completion of this course will enable you to apply for Chartered Membership of the BPS (CPsychol) and full membership of the Division of ‌Counselling Psychology (DCoP). Completion of this programme will enable you to apply to register with the HCPC as a Counselling Psychologist.

Endorsement

This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society for five years, to 2021, and is currently approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Completion of the course will therefore enable you to apply to be chartered with the BPS and registered with the HCPC.

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