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MSc Psychodynamics of Human Development

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 – mscpa@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk

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.

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

Although not a requirement we highly recommend that students are in therapy to help support you on the course. Learning of this nature can stir up unexpected feelings and it is really helpful to have a place to work these through. Being in therapy is a requirement for entry onto further qualifying training. If you have any questions about this, please email Urvashi Chand, Foundation Course Director, at: foundation@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk

If you would like more information on accessing therapy with a bpf member please follow this link: https://www.britishpsychotherapyfoundation.org.uk/therapy/

Students that have studied or are currently studying our Psychodynamics of Human Development MSc can study the clinical module for a reduced fee: £1687.00

Course fees can be paid in termly instalments. 

Please note that the bpf will not be held responsible for travel/hotel expenses made or incurred in the unlikely event of this course either being cancelled or postponed. See our cancellation and refund policies for more information.

Student membership

Whilst studying, Foundation Course students must hold a bpf student membership, which costs £95 per year. This will entitle you to access the bpf library and journals, member events and other networking opportunities.

This course is comprised of a theory module and a clinical module. The content will be delivered through seminars, discussion groups, and a clinical placement.

Theory module

The Theory module consists of seminars that take place on Saturday study days, once per month (choose online or in-person attendance).

On each Saturday study day, two seminars are delivered on a specific theme; one seminar offers a psychoanalytic perspective, the other a Jungian perspective. In the initial seminars, you will be introduced to a range of theories and models of mind, starting with Freud and Jung all the way through to the present day. The rest of the seminars will take a more applied approach, exploring how ‘Psychotherapy’ can be thought about and practiced ‘Today’.

Each Saturday study day is finished with an experiential group, which is an excellent way to learn about and experience unconscious processes and group dynamics.

Clinical Module

The clinical module will include a clinical placement, as well as taught clinical seminars and discussion groups. In the first half of taught semainars, students will learn about:

  • Setting up a therapeutic frame
  • The core components of the therapeutic relationship
  • Transference and counter-transference
  • Holding an analytic attitude

In the second half of these seminars, a work discussion group will take place where students will have the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences during placement in a supportive setting.


2023/2024 Clinical Seminar Dates:

Term 1

  • 5 October 2023
  • 19 October 2023
  • 02 November 2023
  • 23 November 2023
  • 07 December 2023

Term 2

  • 11 January 2024
  • 25 January 2024
  • 08 February 2024
  • 22 February 2024
  • 07 March 2024


Students will be allocated a tutor to support them during their studies. Tutors will also help to prepare students with their applications for further study.

Other course components

You will be provided with suggested reading and watching lists and can immerse yourself as deeply as you wish.

To apply for this course, please download and complete the application form supplied and email it to Urvashi Chand, Foundation Course Director, at: foundation@bpf-psychotherapy.org.uk

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