msc psychodynamics of human development

jointly run with birkbeck

  • starting September 2018
  • British Psychotherapy Foundation, 37 Mapesbury Road, London NW2 4HJ
  • Birkbeck University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX

A pre-clinical course providing preparation for training as a child and adolescent psychotherapist, psychoanalytic psychotherapist or Jungian analyst, personal and professional development for those working in Social Care, Counselling, Social Services, Primary Care, Mental Health and Education, exploration for a career change to therapeutic work or psychotherapy.

who is it for

The course is designed to provide professional and personal development for those working in settings such as community care, counselling, social services, primary care, mental health and education.

It also gives a foundation, including accredited infant observation, for those considering psychotherapy training and it fulfils the entry requirements for a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Doctorate.

course content

Two year infant observation, following an established practice for learning about the psychodynamics of human development through detailed weekly observation of an infant from birth with support from seminar discussion.

Work study seminars, following an established model of close observation of the work setting including personal and interpersonal responses and organisational dynamics.

A dissertation based on independent research into the psychodynamics of human development using a psychoanalytic or Jungian analytic theory and research methods taught by the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. A post-graduate diploma is available for those not taking the research component.

For more information, please see the course handbook.

download handbook (pdf)
You can choose:
psychoanalytic approach
  • An introduction to selected core concepts of psychoanalytic thought from the work of Freud and Klein
  • Pregnancy and the origins of the relationship between the mother and her baby. The development of the infant as a social human being’
  • the emotional, social, cognitive and perceptual and especially communicative skills and attributes of the baby’s development as it becomes a toddler
  • adolescence and young adulthood and the of core tasks of adult life – the capacity for intimate relationships and establishing a family
  • An examination of how strains and stresses experienced in development impact on adult life
  • Recent research topics include: how teachers understand children’s aggression; the appeal of computer gaming for adult men; post-natal depression in British-Chinese mothers; the impact on feelings of identity in adults raised in a religious cult; the emotional impact of growing up in a boarding school; the experience of palliative care workers in working with the dying
jungian analytic approach
  • Jungian model of the psyche: the self, individuation, collective unconscious, archetypes, transcendent function, symbol formation and dreams
  • Jungian baby and child: Fordham’s development of Jungian concepts and psychoanalytic theories of Klein, Bion and Winnicott
  • Jungian life cycle: the unfolding of the self in individuation through developmental stages and archetypal contexts including adolescence, mid-life, old age and death
  • Contemporary Jungian thought: gender, sexuality, racism, spirituality, neuroscience, synchronicity, culture and collective experience
  • Work discussion includes contemporary Jungian concept of the cultural complex
  • Past research topics: individuation and early retirement; contemporary views on the animus; midlife in the workplace; homeopathy and sickness as symbol; the sense of Self in male to female transsexuals; Jungian perspectives on work with adolescents; spirituality and individuation; the feminine in the cultural unconscious


Wednesday evenings over 6 academic terms. During the first year seminars take place at the bpf, during the second - at Birkbeck College.


term dates 2018/19

Autumn Term (Term 1): 26 September – 5 December
Half Term: 24 October

Spring Term (Term 2): 9 January – 20 March
Half Term: 13 February

Summer term (Term 3): 24 April – 3 July
Half Term: 29 May


For more information about the times and location of classes see the course handbook:

download handbook (pdf)

entry requirements

Normally a first degree; non-graduates with academic and professional experience may be considered.

Experience of working with children, adults or families is an advantage.

international entry requirements

Please visit Birkbeck College's page

go to website


Home/EU students: £6,150 pa
International students: £9,000 pa

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

new information about postgraduate loans

Student Finance England's new postgraduate loan application service is now open and SFE is encouraging students to apply as early as possible to make sure their loan is ready for the start of their course. These loans are not means-tested (they are not linked to household earnings, savings or investments) and are available for new courses from 2016/17 for those who have not previously completed a Master’s.

how to apply

For information about how to apply visit Birkbeck College's page

go to website

access information

The bpf building has limited access - please call us on 020 8452 9823 to discuss your needs.

contact us

Katerina Sarafidou (Director) welcomes enquiries and are available for informal conversations before you make an application at

Alternatively, please contact course co-ordinator: Sandra Pereira on 020 8452 9823 or email:

Being taught seminars by many well known names within the field was a privilege; the infant observation component brought alive the theory being studied; and the academic support of my tutor enabled me to write a thesis that was later published.


The MSc has helped me to develop a new way of thinking about people and interactions. I have found the opportunity to observe an infant from birth for the first 18 months of their development a real privilege which has allowed the theory to be brought to life. The course strikes an excellent balance between theory and practice and is a great foundation for many careers.


This course has undoubtedly changed my life and been hugely influential.


The bpf welcomes applications from all sections of society. The bpf values diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.