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MSc Psychodynamics of Human Development

Training Location: In London or Online. Part-time course.

This pre-clinical course prepares students for a career as a child and adolescent therapist, psychoanalytic therapist, or Jungian analyst. It’s also beneficial for people who work in Social Care, Counselling, Social Services, Primary Care, Mental Health, and Education who want to grow personally and professionally.

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]

Upcoming Webinars

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 an accredited infant observation, for those considering psychotherapy training and it fulfils the entry requirements for our Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Doctorate. Students can also apply to join join one of our other qualifying trainings after completing this masters. MSc graduates can apply for direct entry into Year 2 of our Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training.

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.

You can choose either:

1. 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

2. 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

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 the Birkbeck University page

Please see the course page on the Birkbeck University website for the latest fees.

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: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/student-services/financial-support/postgraduate-loans  

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]

See our Psychotherapy Training Pathways diagram to view the potential pathways to qualification as a psychotherapist or analyst.

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]

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.

To apply, visit the Birkbeck University website below.