Psychoanalytic Methodology seminars
This course covers the major epistemological and methodological issues in
doing clinical research from a psychoanalytic and Jungian perspective, and aims
at teaching a critical approach to the way in which psychoanalytic thinking
(from a Freudian, Jungian and Kleinian perspective) generates knowledge. The
course, which consists of a two-hour seminar every fortnight during the autumn
and spring terms, is taught by our Centre staff and guest lecturers.
Psychoanalytic Methodology research workshop
This workshop takes place two to three times per term, on alternate weeks
with the Psychoanalytic Methodology course and is taught by our Centre
staff. The workshop comprises both practical research methods teaching and
student presentations, and supplements the research methodology seminars. The
aim of the workshop is to help you prepare your own research thesis and
introduce you to the fundamental aspects of undertaking a research project,
- developing a research question
- using databases and carrying out a literature review
- writing a research proposal
- ethics and informed consent
- on-going discussion of student projects.
You are allocated an individual supervisor (a member of the University staff
or an approved associate supervisor) at the beginning of the scheme, but the
supervisor may be changed when the topic of the research is settled (no later
than the start of the summer term of the first year).
For Professional Doctorates in which research involves control of
transference and counter-transference and the generation of data from the
clinical process, it might be appropriate to consult an associate clinical
supervisor, and this would be done in consultation with the supervisor. In these
cases, the supervisor retains responsibility for the project, but the associate
clinical supervisor may be needed to monitor the clinical or observational
process that generates the data.
Such supervision would be at the discretion of the individual student, in
consultation with the supervisor, and would need to be financed on a private
basis. In cases of specialist knowledge areas an associate academic supervisor
or consultant from outside the University might also be brought in on the same
Conditions of progress in the first year
You are expected to have a coherent proposal prior to acceptance on the
programme and start work on more detailed planning of your research thesis from
the beginning of the first year, in consultation with the University supervisor.
You are expected to attend the Orientation Day which usually takes place at
the Colchester Campus on the Wednesday before the beginning of the academic
year, at the beginning of October.
Attendance on one day (minimum) of the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies
Research Student Conference, which takes place at the Colchester Campus at the
end of May, is a requirement of the course. Attendance for the full conference
(usually at least another day and including the Annual Freud Memorial Lecture)
is strongly recommended.
Assessment is based on:
- a review of the literature in your chosen field of inquiry (4,000 words;
deadline: Monday of the first week of the spring term)
- a methodology paper (4,000 words; deadline: Monday of the first week of the
- an introduction to your project as a whole, which will normally be a new
version of the original proposal, revised in the light of work done during the
year, including the literature review and methodology paper (4,000 words;
submitted to a supervisory board, which is normally held in July).
These three components will be coherent pieces of work, amenable to
independent assessment, but it is expected that they will also provide the basis
for chapters or substantial sections of the research thesis. These three pieces
of work will make up the research portfolio for the first year of the course.
Your literature review and methodology assignments are considered by an
examination board in the summer term. Your introduction and work generally is
presented to, and discussed with, a supervisory board consisting of the
supervisor and two other members of staff, at least one of whom will be a
psychoanalytic psychotherapist, psychodynamic psychotherapist, or analytical
psychologist. For details of the role and function of the Supervisory Board, see
the Postgraduate Student
The Research Students Progress Committee (RSPC) will recommend progression to
the second year, depending on whether you have:
- passed the literature review and methodology assignments
- shown satisfactory progress with the introduction/ research proposal as
assessed by the supervisory board.
Second and third years
Work towards completion of the research thesis continues supported throughout
the year by:
This workshop continues twice a term during the second year of the course and
brings together all students studying the Professional Doctorate in joint
This will be the key method of learning and support in the second and third
In the summer term of the second and third years you again present your work
to a supervisory board. (If you have applied to be considered for early
submission of your thesis you will have an additional supervisory board at the
end of the first term or beginning of the second term of your second year in
order to consider your application.)
Throughout your studies you are urged to take advantage of the research
culture of our Centre as a whole and in particular are invited to attend and,
especially in your second and third years, to present at the Research Student
Forum which takes place at the Colchester Campus three times a term.
Your thesis must be submitted no later than 15 September at the end of the
third year, although extensions may be possible in certain circumstances in
accordance with the University's regulations - see the
Although the written assignments for the Psychoanalytic Methodology
course must be passed, and the passes confirmed by an examination board, they do
not contribute to the final assessment for the award of the doctorate, which is
based solely on the research thesis.
The course begins in October and registration will be part-time for three
years (or, if approved, for two years). Depending on your research experience,
you may be required to attend our two-day postgraduate introduction to research
methods. This is normally held in early November or mid February.
Seminars in the first year are taught on Friday afternoons during the
University terms. Individual supervision will need to be negotiated with
particular supervisors, but is likely to take place on Wednesdays or Fridays.
In the second and third years, the research workshops take place on Friday
afternoons. Individual supervision will need to be negotiated with the
particular supervisor, but is again likely to take place on Wednesdays or
Each year you will need to be able to find time to carry out your research
and your own personal study, and it is strongly recommended that you allow a
minimum of a day and a half per week (including Friday afternoon). You are
required to visit the University at least once per academic year; this is most
likely to be during the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies's Research Student
Conference, usually held near the end of May.