Psychodynamic psychotherapy (D58)

Course Overview 

The aim of this course is to introduce you to a psychoanalytic way of thinking about your clinical work and to explore whether you may wish to pursue further training in psychotherapy. The course offers a Postgraduate Diploma or MA qualification, and comprises part one of a British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) accredited training in psychodynamic psychotherapy.

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Home/EU: £4250 International: £8500
Postgraduate Diploma
MA / Masters
Course Length 
3 years
Course Type 
On site
Study Attendance 
Part - time
Who is this course for?

This course is for mental health professionals. You might be a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or nurse, or be in another mental health role in the NHS or voluntary sector. Even if you don’t have a clinical background, you can still be considered if you have completed some introductory training and a psychiatric placement.

Course outline

The course consists of the following elements:

  • personal psychotherapy
  • supervised clinical work
  • clinical seminars
  • theory seminars
  • three written assignments per year
  • workshops
  • optional dissertation

The course is centred around your clinical work, where you will see a patient for psychotherapy once a week in the NHS for a period of 5 terms. If needed, suitable placements can be arranged through your course tutor. All staff teaching on the course are experienced practising psychoanalytic psychotherapists.


Years one and two

Supervision groups

You will meet in a small group with a supervisor on a weekly basis throughout the first two years (although sometimes this might continue in the third year if clinical work has not been completed). You will take it in turns to present detailed sessions of your work with the patient for psychotherapy. The focus is on developing the basic clinical skills of psychotherapy – maintaining the setting, understanding transference and countertransference, formulating interpretations, risk assessment and management, and appropriate record keeping.


Clinical seminars

You will meet in groups of 8-10 students with a clinical seminar leader - one in the first year and a second in year two. You’ll take it in turns to present your psychotherapy patient. The aim is to reinforce the clinical skills you learned in the supervision group but also to link the clinical material with theoretical ideas and to introduce the idea of clinical formulation.


Theory seminars

Theory seminars take place weekly with the whole year group with a series of different seminar leaders. The aim is to introduce you to fundamental psychoanalytic concepts and texts, looking at these both historically and with reference to different theoretical traditions. There is reading to be undertaken prior to each seminar.



Workshops take place three times a term with the whole year group, and provide an opportunity for developing clinical skills or understanding through more active learning, e.g. role play and small groups.


Personal psychotherapy

You are required to be in personal psychotherapy at least once a week with a psychoanalytic psychotherapist registered by the BPC, preferably beginning six months before the course starts and continuing at least until clinical work is completed. The cost of psychotherapy is not included in the course fee and is by private arrangement with the psychotherapist. The course tutor can help you find a suitable vacancy with a psychotherapist if required.


Year three


A dissertation workshop is held in the autumn term of the third year to help you develop a dissertation proposal which is then submitted for approval. You will be required to work independently with a supervisor to write a dissertation over the spring term, usually based on your clinical work in the preceding years. This must then be submitted at the beginning of the summer term.

Why study with us?

This course will:

  • help you to gain a deeper understanding of your clinical work and dynamics in clinical settings by approaching these from a psychoanalytic point of view.  You will be able to use this at work and apply it in a range of settings other than actual psychotherapy
  • provide you with an opportunity to explore whether you may wish to pursue further training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy

The course provides the first part of a unique training programme for work in the NHS and public sector. It has received a very high student satisfaction rating on teaching and student support.


To achieve the Postgraduate Certificate, you must submit and pass three pieces of written coursework, with three further pieces of assessed work needed to achieve the Postgraduate Diploma. A dissertation is required for the MA award. You must  also receive satisfactory reports from your clinical supervisors in both years and on completion of the clinical work.


Wednesdays during term time
11:15 – 12:30 OR 17:00 to 18:15 Supervision
12:50 – 13:50 Workshop (3 times per term)
14:00 – 15:15 Clinical Seminar
15:30 – 16:45 Theory Seminar

Year 1 & 2 start date: 30-Sep-15 
Year 3: 4 workshops in autumn term

We also offer a blended learning version of this course. The theory lectures are made available for download and attendance will be in person at the Tavistock Centre between 18:30 and 21:30 on Thursday evenings. If you would like to apply for this option please use the BD58 application form.


The course is normally two years part-time for a Postgraduate Diploma, and three years part-time for an MA. Sometimes it is not possible to complete the clinical work within two academic years and this may need to continue in the third year.

Academic award

On successful completion of this course you will be awarded an MA, accredited by the University of Essex. A Postgraduate Diploma is also available as an intermediate award.

The course is accredited by the BPC as part one of a qualifying training in psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Entry requirements

You are expected to have:

  • a good honours degree or equivalent
  • a professional qualification in mental health OR
  • significant clinical experience in mental health (at least one year paid or unpaid) without professional qualification

If you don’t have a clinical background, you will usually be expected to have completed D12 and D65 alongside a minimum of a six-month placement in a psychiatric setting.


The fees for academic year 2016/17 Year 1 enrolment are:

  • Home/EU students: £4250
  • International students: £8500

Please see guidance on the definition of an international student.

Read more information on fees and funding  and fee regulations.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Course dates

The academic year will begin on Monday 26th September 2016.

Please see term dates for full information.

What students say?

"D58 is an extremely well-designed and well-run course. The lecturers, supervisors and clinical seminar facilitators are excellent. Academic support, particularly Moodle, is extremely good."


"I work in a residential rehabilitation unit for people with mental health conditions. The course has helped me have a deeper understanding of mental distress and given me a framework within which to think about my own experience of working with these clients."


"My high expectations were met. I found the course to be interesting, useful, challenging and enlivening, and those involved in running it, thoughtful, helpful and encouraging of, and open and responsive to, feedback."


"I think the course design is very much in tune with the current NHS."


"Remains leagues ahead of any other training available in the UK."


Anonymous D58 student feedback


This course is run in partnership with:

  • University of Essex, responsible for validation of the course and curriculum, assessment board and all academic aspects of the course
  • British Psychoanalytic Council, responsible for the professional accreditation of the course, including the ethical framework and professional standards of all clinical aspects of the course
Other study locations

This course is also available in Leeds (D58L) and Manchester (D58M).



The Manchester course will be based at Gaskell House and is delivered in partnership with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. It is part one of a British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) accredited training in psychodynamic psychotherapy. While the course structure and curriculum are identical, D58M will not be accredited by the university of Essex.

For enquiries regarding making an application for D58M contact the course administrator or the organizing tutor Mr Martin Gill on 0161 277 1120 / [email protected]

Opening dates for applications

Applications will open in January 2016.

Closing date for applications

Course applications will close in July 2016, please contact the course administrator for further information.