Psychological therapies with children, young people, and families (M34)

Course Overview 

This MA is studied following successful completion of the Post Graduate Certificate in Child, adolescent and family mental wellbeing: multidisciplinary practice (D24) or an equivalent course (e.g. M7 or M9). You can find out more about D24, M7 and M9 here. This innovative course will equip people to work therapeutically with children, young people and families. You will be trained to offer therapy based on psychoanalytic and systemic approaches, in addition to some other evidence-based treatments such as CBT and Mindfulness.

This course is subject to transfer of validation to University of Essex.

Postgraduate Diploma
MA / Masters
Course Length 
2 - 3 years
Course Type 
On site
Study Attendance 
Part - time
Who is this course for?

This course is intended for you if you are working in either a voluntary or statutory sector setting with children and families, including, for example:

  • counsellor
  • social worker
  • education worker
  • psychotherapist
  • creative arts therapist
  • child and adolescent primary mental health care worker
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) practitioner
  • occupational therapist
  • nurse
Course outline

Students would normally have first undertaken D24 or an equivalent course. Where an equivalent course has been studied a claim must be made for Acccredited Certificated Learning (ACL) and/or Acquired Experiential Learning (AEL).

The course consists of the following elements:

Year one

  • theory on assessment and engaging in therapeutic work
  • specialist workshops (eg fostering and adoption/autism/infant mental health)
  • small supervision groups
  • learning how to approach research
  • fortnightly individual supervision
  • evidence-based practice seminars including mindfulness and systemic approaches
  • students must be in paid or voluntary work placements where they have the opportunity to see children/adolescents for individual psychodynamic psychotherapy

Year two

  • theory on the psychodynamic therapeutic approach
  • specialist workshops (eg fostering and adoption/autism/infant mental health)
  • small supervision groups
  • fortnightly individual supervision
  • evidence-based practice seminars including CBT and systemic approaches
  • students must be in paid or voluntary work placements where they have the opportunity to see children/adolescents for individual psychodynamic psychotherapy

Year Three

  • Completion of clinical requirements in clinical placements
  • Ongoing clinical supervision
  • Continuing attending individual therapy
Why study with us?

This course will:

  • train professionals to work therapeutically in child mental health settings with children, parents, young people and families
  • provide foundations in developmental theory, key presenting issues in CAMHS, and an understanding of psychoanalytic, systemic and other evidence-based modalities
  • offer a range of supervision and forums for case presentation in which you will develop a number of specialist areas of therapeutic understanding and practice
  • equip you academically and professionally for a role and therapeutic practice that has become increasingly needed in the CAMHS and public sector child and adolescent workforce, as well as deliver counselling in schools and other settings
  • qualify you as a psychodynamic psychotherapist working with children, young people and families

In order to achieve the Postgraduate Diploma award, you need to submit and pass three pieces of coursework, including passing a clinical assessment of your therapeutic work. 

In order to achieve the MA award, you must submit and pass one further piece of coursework and a mini-dissertation of 6,000 words, including passing a clinical assessment of your therapeutic work. 


Start date: 30 - Sept 2015 Wedensday 9.00am - 5.00pm

Teaching takes place all day on a Wednesday. In addition clinical placements need to be arranged outside of this time commitment.

Term 1: 28/09/2015 -11/12/2015 Reading week 26 - 30 Oct 2015

Term 2: 04/01/2016 - 15/03/2016 Reading week 15 - 19 Feb 2016

Term 3: 11/04/2016 - 06/07/2016 Reading week 30 May - 03 June 2016


Three years, part-time.

Academic award

On successful completion of this course you will be awarded an MA, accredited by the University of Essex (subject to validation). The following intermediate awards are also available:

Postgraduate Diploma (after successful completion of year one)

Once you have achieved both the academic and clinical requirements of the course you will be eligible for membership of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists (TSP) and registration with the BPC.

Entry requirements

To protect the public and the professional reputation of the Trust, admission onto any professional/clinical training course will be assessed against clinical eligibility criteria. These are made up of capabilities pertaining to professional and personal suitability and readiness. These criteria will be made available to applicants prior to the admissions process,  so they can be clear about what is being assessed and how.


You need to have substantial experience of working with children, young people or families where you had a remit to address their behavioural, emotional or psychological difficulties.

Entry to the course is based on an application form, an employer's reference and an interview.

You are normally expected to:

  • have successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Child, adolescent and family mental well-being: multidisciplinary practice D24
  • hold an appropriate professional qualification relevant to your chosen career
  • have at least three years’ practice experience since qualification, preferably more
  • hold a first degree, degree equivalent or evidence of other relevant post registration education/experience
  • be in a full-time or part-time post (paid or voluntary), in which you are working with children and/or families and where you have the opportunity to do individual therapy with children and adolescents

After successful interview, you may be eligible to apply for accreditation against aspects of the programme, including the usual first year, D24. This would be through accreditation of prior experiential learning (AEL) or accreditation of prior certificated learning (ACL) processes, or through an approved articulation agreement. In this case, you must be able to provide evidence that you have the required learning outcomes as listed in the units for which you are seeking exemption. You are then advised to apply by 30 June and discuss at interview your aspiration to seek exemption, as this process takes time to verify and agree.


Annual fee (UK) - £3,700

Annual fee (Overseas) - £7,400

Course dates

Information on term dates can be found here. If your course has a clinical or observation element then clinical work, clinical supervision and observation support may continue beyond the dates of the teaching year. Tutorial and Unit support will also be available. Your course may have specific attendance and assignment submission dates for 2015/16, these will be published in due course.

Closing date for applications

Applications to this course will close 31 July 2015 however, we may consider late applications.

What students say?

“I admire the fact that this course, which bridges different disciplines, schools of thought and modalities, has been made possible and I think it is really well taught and I am thoroughly enjoying it!”


“Practical teaching for mindfulness has been useful and different. It is impressive that this is included in our course.”


“This course has been hugely valuable to my professional development and is very relevant to apply to my job"


“Excellent clinical supervision!”

Anonymous M34 student feedback.

Additional days students must attend

M34 Y1: 20-21-22 Sept 2015 Induction day (only for students whose placement is at the Tavistock Centre)

M34 Y1: 24 & 25 Sept 2015 Research Day