This programme introduces you to substantial strands of psychosocial theory: theory that proposes different ways of understanding the interrelationship between the development of subjectivity and identity, and historical and contemporary social and political formations. The focus is on psychoanalysis and social theory.
The Graduate Certificate in Psychosocial Studies prepares you to identify and analyse a range of psychosocial phenomena (such as violence, war, trauma, terrorism, intimacies, communities, care, human rights, agency, resistance, and personal and social transformations). The programme will advance your study skills and provide you with the intellectual and academic foundations for postgraduate programmes in psychosocial studies.
The programme will give you access to the exciting emergent new interdisciplinary field of psychosocial studies and offers a pathway to further study: courses run by the Department of Psychosocial Studies, specifically the MA Psychosocial Studies, MA Psychoanalytic Studies and MA Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity. Students on the Graduate Certificate will also be invited to our many extra-curricula events in the department, which include guest speakers, masterclasses and film events.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
Designed for graduates looking to develop an in-depth understanding of the relation between individual subjectivities and identities, and historical and contemporary social and political formations. Department of Psychosocial Studies staff are internationally recognised figures at the forefront of this important new field of studies. You will have access to both the Birkbeck Library and Senate House Library. All postgraduates at Birkbeck benefit from a wide range of advantages related to the central location of the College, its varied and rich postgraduate life and the diversity of overlapping Master's programmes. There are also 3 College research institutes of relevance to students on this degree: Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and Birkbeck Institute of Gender and Sexuality. Each organises regular talks and masterclasses, which our students can attend.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.
Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
Olga was ready for the challenge of postgraduate study, when she discovered Birkbeck: 'While I have never really stopped studying since my undergraduate degree, I have undertaken only short courses or professional qualifications. At this stage of my life and career I desired an intellectual challenge, which an MA course definitely provides.
'Everyone knows Birkbeck is one of the best places to study in London. I had a taste when I was doing a three-month course in History and was really impressed with the quality of teaching.
'The way the course was put together covered most of the areas I was interested in. Other places offer either pure Psychology or Sociology, whereas the MA in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck offers an insight into a very broad and fascinating spectrum of topics and themes.
'I would advise prospective students to realistically assess how much time they can devote to reading, especially if they are working full-time. I saw some people spreading themselves too thinly trying to finish the course in one year. I have been enjoying the course so much, that I am pleased I have another year to look forward to.
'I have met some great people among my fellow students. There has been a lot of socialising, nights out and parties. There is more to the course than just a challenging reading list.'
'Birkbeck was ideal for me because the evening tuition offered meant that I could return to study without having to give up my existing career as a television editor. It has a reputation for high quality research and a really interesting programme of visiting academics. Its central location is also really convenient for me.
'The MA in Psychosocial Studies is an interdisciplinary degree which draws from different disciplines - sociology, philosophy, psychoanalysis - which fascinate me. I think that the combination of subject areas means that the degree has a breadth and relevance that would be impossible within a single traditional discipline. Psychoanalysis in particular is a subject which is important and has a lot to offer, yet is often neglected in academic circles.
'Having teaching staff from different academic disciplines makes for a varied intellectual culture. It's also a really friendly and supportive place, and the staff manage to challenge the students whilst appreciating that we come from varying academic and social backgrounds.
'My biggest achievement is understanding challenging texts. When I am reading Lacan, for instance, I find that he now makes a great deal of sense to me, and I can really see how my understanding has developed in the space of a year. It has also been great to engage with some visiting academics.
'I would advise prospective students to be aware that even though the teaching is in the evening, a full-time course still requires a heavy time commitment, and you will be encouraged to cover a great deal of ground in the course. Talk to the staff if you have any concerns as they understand that most students here have daytime jobs or other time commitments, and they will help you to make it work.
'I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the MA Psychosocial Studies and aside from the academic rewards I have made some good new friends, and had a really sociable and stimulating year. I would recommend it to anyone.'
Minimum second-class honours degree or its equivalent in a discipline relevant to psychosocial studies, which includes most humanities and social science disciplines (such as psychology, sociology, politics, history, cultural studies). If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Part-time home/EU students: £ 2650 pa Part-time overseas students: £ 4825 pa
Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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