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BA Therapeutic Care

Why we're great

  • Our students are extremely happy - we rank highly for student satisfaction.
  • 80% of our undergraduates find graduate-level study or employment within six months.
  • Our students learn in small groups with expert practitioners and academics.

Course options2017-18

UCAS code: C847
Duration: 3 years
Start month: October
Location: Southend Campus
Based in: Psychoanalytic Studies
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

UCAS code: C849
Duration: 4 years
Start month: October
Location: Southend Campus
Based in: Psychoanalytic Studies
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 873666
Email admit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

Are you fascinated by relationships and personality development, or intrigued by people’s behaviour, what causes you to act as you do and what can lead to emotional or psychological difficulties? Do you want to learn about and develop ways of helping those who are in need? Laying the foundations for a career in a caring profession, whether education, health or social care our course will give you a solid basis in psychodynamic thinking, child and adult development, and the dynamics of therapeutic interventions in organisations.

Whether you want to work with troubled infants in the nursery, children with emotional and behavioural difficulties in schools or children’s homes, adults in social care and mental health settings, the elderly or those with learning difficulties our degree leaves you fully prepared to make a difference. We equip you with what you need to take up a post in a range of education, health and social care settings.

Through the inclusion of an observational and work placement, giving you invaluable experience within your chosen sector, this course enables you to put theory and practice together as well as a gradual entry into the world of employment. We help you to explore and understand the kind of role you are preparing for so you graduate with a valuable balance of theoretical understanding and useful practical experience – rare qualities giving you the edge needed for to successfully gain employment upon graduation.

“I never expected to develop such enthusiasm and passion for my chosen subject. I have acquired and built on a range of different skills, and by the end of my first year I had obtained paid employment within two separate organisations: a community interest company in Essex and a registered charity in Suffolk.”

David Bloomfield, FdA Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisation.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you extending your education through offering you an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year studying abroad or employed on a placement, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

Our expert staff

Our staff blend clinical experience and expertise in their field with the academic rigour for which the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies has such a reputation. You will be taught by lecturers who have years of experience working directly with troubled individuals and groups in specialist settings. This means they can draw upon not only the enduring academic tradition and the latest research in the field of psychoanalytic studies but also upon years of clinical experience as teachers, psychotherapists, and therapeutic community practitioners.

This course is led by Dr Chris Nicholson, who has more than 15 years’ experience working in residential childcare and therapeutic communities. He sits on the Advisory Board for Children and Young People at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Therapeutic Communities section, and regularly speaks at both national and international conferences.

Also teaching on the course is Ms Elena Della Rosa, a child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist who is currently working part-time in the NHS. She has a special interest in working with adolescents and in the application of psychoanalytic technique in therapy with young people. She is currently writing a Doctoral research on the use of transference interpretations in short term psychotherapy.

Our staff specialise in areas ranging from creative therapies for children and adolescents, to organisational dynamics, to the practice of psychotherapy, to psychodynamic counselling with children and adolescents. More information on their research is available on our staff pages.

Specialist facilities

You will experience a lively, informal environment with many possibilities to pursue your own interests:

  • Whether in Colchester or Southend Campus, you will have access to the Albert Sloman Library, which houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives
  • The Centre has its own dedicated library of specialist texts which inform and influence our research
  • At the Southend Campus, you also have access to the new Southend library and IT suite, as well as dedicated open and closed study areas and pods.

  • Free evening Open Seminars on topics relevant to psychoanalysis which are open to students, staff and members of the public.

Your future

In undertaking this course you’ll study a range of psychoanalytic concepts - applying them to individuals, relationships and organisations, which will provide you with a unique perspective of why we are the way we are, on understanding others and knowing how to relate to them, which will make you suited for further clinical training, postgraduate study in different fields, or employment.

With around 80% of our students moving on to postgraduate study or employment, this course prepares you to move successfully into your own career path.

Our future graduates may go to work in a wide range of careers, including:

  • Therapeutic services
  • NHS Mental Health work
  • Psychoanalytic therapy
  • Education
  • Social Care
  • Therapeutic Consultancy
  • Management Consultancy
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Academia

We also work with our University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory modules and options chosen from lists. Below is just one example of a combination of modules you could take. For a full list of optional modules you can look at the course’s Programme Specification.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change.

Year 1

What skills are involved in psychodynamic observation? How do you apply psychodynamic theory to everyday events? Gain a theoretical and practice-based understanding of psychodynamic observation. Develop your psychodynamic approach to reflective practice. Undertake your own observations, in the community and on placement, and present your findings in seminars.

What are the difficulties when undertaking group work? What issues would you need to consider when dealing with troubling behaviour, for example with gangs? Understand group work and working with groups from a psychodynamic perspective. Gain the techniques and skills to engage professionally in therapeutic orientated groups in the workplace.

Want to apply your work-based practice in a placement? Experience the role of a professional career in your chosen sector with supervision by expert staff. Reflect on and discuss your placement in accompanying seminars, while keeping a learning journal to record all significant aspects of your work.

What are the frameworks around therapeutic work? How do you ensure responsible practice? Examine professional conduct and ethical considerations. Build your psychodynamic understanding of the issues and dynamics involved. Gain knowledge of your wider responsibilities to your organisation, discipline, clients and yourself.

How do unconscious dynamics work in individuals, groups and organisations? How can psychodynamic insight be applied to this? Explore how individuals affect one another, how institutions affect those who work there and vice versa. Understand key concepts in psychodynamic thinking and how to apply this to individuals, groups and workplaces.

How are foundations of emotional development laid down in early life? What impact do early experiences have on future social and learning? Study personality development from a psychodynamic and attachment perspective. Examine key development stages to see how work with clients requires understanding of the initial roots of their difficulties.

Want guidance in understanding your course? Know how your academic skills will transfer to the world of work? Develop your abilities to undertake independent research. Learn to read critically and to write clearly. Build the employability skills that will help you during your studies and after graduation.

Year 2

This module enables you to gain valuable work-based placement experience over a ten week period. You will have the opportunity to experience the role of a professional carer within your chosen sector and apply your learning and understanding to work-based practice. You will gain experience of developing good working relationships with colleagues and of working directly with clients, the issues and dilemmas this brings, alongside the enriching aspects of therapeutic work. You will be expected to keep a learning journal, to aid with reflective practice.

What is reflective practice? Why is it useful? Simply put, reflective practice is a way of studying your own experiences both past and present to improve the way you work and engage with others. By making a conscious effort to be self-aware and better in touch with your emotional life, you can analyse your own behaviour and decision making, link this to theory and continuously learn from experience. You will keep a reflective journal and use your experiences gained during placement to critically analyse and evaluate your knowledge and practice, in order to help you refocus your thinking and generate new ideas and knowledge.

What place does trauma have within psychoanalytic thinking? What impact does loss have on children? Or on adolescents and adults? Explore human development and organisational dynamics by studying themes of child abuse, deprivation, loss and trauma. Understand the implications for organisations working with traumatised people.

Why are some people violent towards children? What are the underlying reasons for antisocial behaviour? Examine psychodynamic thinking to issues around aggression, violence and antisocial behaviour, as well wider socio-political topics. Explore psychodynamic applications in social and health care, culture and society.

How can you apply psychodynamic theory to everyday events? What do you understand about the role of unconscious and emotional communication in ordinary life? Understand and practice the skills of psychodynamic observation. Become more perceptive about understanding the meaning of what you observe.

The aim of this module is to enhance your psychodynamic thinking and practice in specialist areas. You will develop your knowledge of the psychodynamic field and become more familiar with interventions in specialist areas, with the aim of developing further understanding of and the application of the transference and countertransference phenomena. The module emphasises skills in critical analysis.

Final year

This module will help you understand the wider framework within which therapeutic care takes place. You will look at the range of health, mental health, education and social care agencies that deliver therapeutic care and the range of roles within these agencies. You will also gain an appreciation of the complexities of interdisciplinary work and the variety of professional approaches to practice.

What are the principles of therapeutic communication? How can you develop your skills for the work place? This module promotes the therapeutic use of self in a clinical context and provides you with the opportunity to learn, practice and improve your communications skills in a safe, supportive environment. Using reflective practice techniques, you will work in groups and look at ways of addressing and resolving real work place issues in preparation for employment in the sector.

How can you work more effectively with your colleagues? What is your role as a participant observer? The aim of this module is to consolidate and deepen your understanding of the conscious and unconscious dynamics at work in organisations. You will explore the history of how psychodynamic approaches have been applied in social and organisational contexts and discover the underlying structures and processes which lead organisations to function effectively or falter badly.

Reflective practice is the capacity to reflect on your actions so that you can learn from your experience. This module uses reflective practice techniques to help you develop the employability skills required in the social, education and health care sectors through the use of greater self-awareness in professional relationships. You will keep a reflective journal and attend reflective groups where you will discuss and consider any academic, personal or professional issues identified during your course or work placement. By looking at your personal reactions and responses to these, you will be able to link your theoretical learning more effectively in your practice.

What interests you? Do you want to deepen your knowledge, build invaluable research skills and develop your academic freedom? Your dissertation lets you study a topic of your choosing, in depth, with supervision and guidance from our world-leading academics.

Why are the principles of critical reflection and professional challenge such significant issues in contemporary social work practice? You will explore these core approaches to effective social work practice and look at the impact they have on collaborative working with other professionals.

Teaching

  • Teaching takes place in relatively small seminars and fora, with a focus on group discussion
  • Discussion in seminars includes both discussing other peoples’ work and discussing your own experiences in the workplace
  • You also undertake supervised clinical practice, participate in skills based workshops, and teach others through presentation of theoretical readings and clinical cases

Assessment

  • Your grade is made up entirely of coursework marks, including essays and reflective reports

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BCC

IB: 28 points. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email admit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

Applicant Days and interviews

Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our applicant days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.

Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your applicant day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.

If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email visit@essex.ac.uk so we can help you plan a visit to the University.

Visit us

Open days

Our Southend Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have two undergraduate Open Days (in June and October). These events enable you to discover what our Southend Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing southend@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Southend Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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