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This MSc gives students a grounding in the nature, history, content and context of psychoanalytic theory, as used by practising psychoanalysts. It provides a comprehensive introduction to current psychoanalytic thinking, rooted in the history and development of ideas and with attention to the application of psychoanalytic ideas to other fields.

About this degree

Students learn about the medical and cultural context in which psychoanalysis began, through to contemporary clinical and theoretical perspectives. The teaching programme has a firm basis in the works of Sigmund Freud, but represents the breadth of the British psychoanalytic traditions, as well as major international contributions, the interface with the arts, and how psychoanalysis fits in with modern science.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core taught modules (120 credits) and a conceptual research dissertation (60 credits).

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Major Schools of Psychoanalysis
  • Special Topics in Psychoanalysis
  • Applications of Psychoanalysis

Students accepted on to the Foundation Course at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London can request to be assessed on the Foundation Course by UCL as part of the Foundation Course Optional Pathway. This assessment will count as one module of the MSc Theoretical Psychoanalytical Studies programme.

Those given approval can choose to register for the PSYC0001 Foundation Course MSc module in place of the Applications of Psychoanalysis module.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules on this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation (12,000 words).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. The various seminar series are organised by experienced psychoanalysts or academics who are experts in the field concerned. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination, coursework in the form of essays, and a dissertation.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This MSc provides a very good background to formal clinical training in psychoanalysis, adult or child psychotherapy or counselling and nearly half of our graduates pursue these options. A similar number continue with their academic studies either at UCL or elsewhere, often registering for a PhD in either psychoanalytic theory or empirical research. Some graduates progress to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, often at UCL which has the largest programme in the UK.

Employability

This programme acts as a springboard especially for further clinical or theoretical training in the field, although it is not itself a clinical qualification. The teaching is organised and provided by eminent academics and psychoanalysts with international reputations. The option to take the Institute of Psychoanalysis Foundation Course, part of which counts towards the degree, helps with that career path. Many other students go on to research posts in the unit or with our large network of clinical research collaborators in London and around the world.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Psychoanalysis Unit is a thriving academic centre for psychoanalytic research, with its own MPhil/PhD programme alongside the MSc. It has affiliations with the International Psychoanalytic Association, the Institute of Psychoanalysis and the Anna Freud Centre. The unit is based within UCL's Division of Psychology & Language Sciences which undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour and language.

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc welcomes students from very diverse backgrounds. We accept good degrees in any subject, and many students come from overseas. Some come after psychotherapy clinical training to deepen their psychoanalytic knowledge. Many have little background in psychoanalysis, but are perhaps considering clinical training in the future, or a related PhD.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies at UCL
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Visit the Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies (Non-Clinical) MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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