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MA Psychosocial Studies by Distance Learning

Course Description

Our students come to us from a variety of backgrounds and jobs and with widely differing undergraduate degrees.

Psychosocial studies is the study of the relationship between individuals and their social worlds. It’s a cross-disciplinary course united by the belief that, to understand the contemporary human world, we need to use ideas from psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, literature, history and cultural studies.

Individuals are psychologically complex and we focus on the interactions between them and the entwinement of that complexity with the social world.

Are human beings best understood as products of biology and evolution with instincts that can be tamed or liberated within different social contexts? Or do characteristics need to be understood as products of more distinctly human cultural processes that are subject to historical shifts? How do we treat each other? How can we live together and understand each other?

We apply these questions to practical applications on a distance learning course which allows you to study in a way that accommodates your work and family commitments and lets you learn at your own pace.


This part-time course begins with a module that introduces the forces which led to the development of psychosocial studies as a distinct area of inquiry and by identifying the subject’s key themes.

The second and third modules include an analysis of the theoretical approaches to individuality and the examination of an influential set of ideas which suggests that individual psychological development can only be understood in terms of the social relationships surrounding it. The fourth module focuses on the application of psychosocial studies.

The course concludes by teaching research strategies in the fifth module, providing you with key skills to help you complete your final dissertation module.

Our students come from a variety of different backgrounds, from teaching and psychotherapy to fashion and social work, and we encourage you to choose a dissertation subject that reflects your individual area of interest.


This MA course started in September 2013 and has already attracted students from a range of careers who are keen to improve their understanding of psychosocial studies and to apply them to their current roles.

Our students have included a psychiatrist, a teacher and an expert in fashion. It’s evidence that the course is relevant to a range of careers.

The trend towards globalisation and an increasingly diverse society is changing the way many people live and work. This course enables you to adapt to these changes and to relate psychosocial developments to your everyday working life and to your management of situations and staff.

It also provides you with an opportunity to change direction in your career and to seek out a new role which requires more psychosocial expertise.

By working closely with our academic staff, you will gain an insight into how they use their psychosocial skills in practical situations.


Framing Psychosocial Studies (core)
Know Thyself? Changing conceptions of the self (option)
Applying Psychosocial Studies (option)
Research Strategies in Psychosocial Studies (core)
Dissertation (core)

Visit the MA Psychosocial Studies by Distance Learning page on the University of East London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first class or second class honours degree. This degree should be in a relevant field of study. Applicants holding an honours degree in a field of study which is not of obvious relevance may also be considered. Applicants who have relevant research or professional experience may also be considered. All applicants with appropriate qualifications will be invited for an interview. In lieu of the interview overseas students may be asked to supply detailed written evidence of their interest in Narrative Research, together with evidence of work of a sufficient standard for successful postgraduate study.

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Recipient: University of East London

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