msc psychodynamics of human development

jointly run with Birkbeck

  • Open for applications for September 2022 and 2023
  • British Psychotherapy Foundation, 37 Mapesbury Road, London NW2 4HJ
  • Birkbeck University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
  • Online

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.

Health Education England provides bursaries for prospective MSc students planning to complete the MSc as part of the preclinical requirements for the child & adolescent psychotherapy.

Applications open in January for candidates and first year students. Please contact the MSc director for further information -
[email protected]

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


Seminars take place on Wednesday evenings between 5-10pm over 6 academic terms and one study day per term between 1-8pm. 

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

For students living out of London, a few places are available to attend seminars online and in person once a term for the study day. 

download handbook (pdf)

entry requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university , or an equivalent international qualification. In some circumstances 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


Part-time home students: £6810 pa
Part-time international students: £9,915 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.

Postgraduate loans - 
Government loans are available for postgraduate studies, allowing you to borrow most of the cost of your Master's degree (MA, MSc, LLM, MRes). These loans are not means-tested - ie they are not linked to household earnings, savings or investments - and are available for those who have not previously completed a Master’s degree. For more information please visit:  

Postgraduate funding from Health Education England for prospective MSc students planning to complete the MSc as part of the preclinical requirements for the child & adolescent psychotherapy training is offered to improve equity of access and inclusion for Black, Asian and minority ethnic entrants and financially disadvantaged candidates to child and adolescent psychotherapy training.

Applications open in January for candidates and first year students. Please contact the MSc director for further information - [email protected]

how to apply

We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck/bpf on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.On your application form, please list all your relevant qualifications and experience, including those you expect to achieve.Apply now to secure your place and allow enough time for the application and enrolment process. You do not need to have completed your current qualification to start your application.
go to website

access information

The bpf building has limited access - please email Sandra Pereira, the course administrator to discuss your needs - [email protected].

contact us

Dorothee Magni (Director) welcomes enquiries and is available for an informal conversation before you make an application at [email protected]

Alternatively, please contact the course coordinator Sandra Pereira at [email protected]


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 is committed to diversity and inclusivity in all the work we deliver. We are fully dedicated to promoting, maintaining and supporting equality of opportunity in all aspects of our organisation and, as such, the bpf welcomes applications from all sections of society.