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MSc Psychodynamics of Human Development

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.


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.

Course components

Psychodynamic theories of human development, including contemporary issues and debates.

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 click here to download the course handbook

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

click here to take a look at the pre-course reading list

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

click here to take a look at the pre-course reading list

What students say

"This course has undoubtedly changed my life and been hugely influential." (Mary)

"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." (Adrian)

"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." (Jemma)

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have a good honours degree

Non-graduates who have equivalent academic and professional experience may apply


£5,975 home/EU, £8,750 overseas per academic year

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Post-graduate Diploma

More information

Katerina Sarafidou (Director) and Anna Fleming (Assistant Director) welcome enquiries and are available for informal conversations before you make an application

Please contact course co-ordinator: Sandra Pereira on 020 8452 9823 or email: sandrap@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk

Tel: 020 8452 9823 Registered office: 37 Mapesbury Road, London NW2 4HJ
Company number 8238969 registered in England and Wales Registered charity number 1150806