PDF version of Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies (Non-Clinical) MSc

Contact details

Ms Vilma Rupeikaite

Email: v.rupeikaite@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1899

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,750 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£21,500 (FT)

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

Interdisciplinary: not an assessed unit
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies (Non-Clinical) MSc

This MSc gives students a grounding in the nature, history, content and context of psychoanalytic theory, as used by practising psychoanalysts. It provides a comprehensive introduction to current psychoanalytic thinking, rooted in the history and development of ideas and with attention to the application of psychoanalytic ideas to other fields.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

Students gain an understanding of the medical and cultural context in which psychoanalysis began, together with its development over the following century through to contemporary clinical perspectives. The teaching programme has a firm basis in the works of Sigmund Freud, but aims to represent the breadth and range of the British psychoanalytic tradition, as well as major international contributions to psychoanalysis.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The Psychoanalysis Unit is a thriving academic centre for psychoanalytic research, with its own MPhil/PhD programme alongside the MSc. It has affiliations with the International Psychoanalytic Association, the Institute of Psychoanalysis, the Anna Freud Centre, the Menninger Clinic, and leading scholars at Yale and Harvard Universities. The Unit is based within UCL's Division of Psychology & Language Sciences which undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour and language.

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world, creating an outstanding and vibrant environment. Opportunities for graduate students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation, from basic processes to applied research. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year (modular/flexible up to 5 years)

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Major Schools of Psychoanalysis
  • Core Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Applications of Psychoanalysis


  • Students accepted on to the Foundation Course at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in
  • London can request to be assessed by UCL on the Foundation Course theoretical
  • (lecture) material to count for one module of the Theoretical Psychoanalytical Studies MSc.
  • Those given approval to take up this option choose the MSc module 99PSGFC1
  • – Foundation Course, in place of module PSYCGT13 – Applications of Psychoanalysis.


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 8,000–10,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. The various seminar series are organised by experienced psychoanalysts or academics who are experts in the field concerned. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination, coursework in the form of essays, and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in any subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

Please apply online; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2013. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines. Interviews are held throughout the year.

Who can apply?

This MSc is suitable for students from a variety of backgrounds. Some enter the programme after undertaking psychotherapy training to deepen their theoretical understanding. Others have little knowledge of psychoanalysis, but are perhaps considering training in the future, or wanting to relate psychoanalytic ideas to theoretical study in related disciplines.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Whilst this MSc is not a clinical programme, it provides an interesting background to formal clinical training and some graduates pursue this option. Many students continue with their academic studies either at UCL or elsewhere, often registering for a PhD or applying for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, while others go on to train in Psychotherapy, Child Psychotherapy or Counselling.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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