Psychoanalytic Studies, Ph.D.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #301 ,
Our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex is internationally recognised as one of the leading centres for work that focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society generally. Our research and teaching is deeply grounded in knowledge deriving from clinical practice, to which our highest standards of academic thinking are then applied.


The University of Essex is one of the UK's leading academic institutions, ranked ninth nationally for research excellence following the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

We offer research supervision in the following fields: child development; conceptual analysis; creativity; gender; group and institutional dynamics; history of psychoanalysis (including Jungian analysis); Jungian thought; philosophical issues in psychoanalysis; psychoanalysis and the arts; psychoanalysis and education; psychoanalysis and religion; psychoanalytic methodology in clinical and non-clinical fields, especially politics and sociology; psychoanalytic theory (eg Freudian, Kleinian, Jungian, object-relations and group theory); psychosis; refugee studies; and trauma and violence.

Our graduates go on to a number of different destinations, including further study and training in psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis, or psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Many of our students are already professionals, clinical and non-clinical, so return to their existing fields, either in jobs or further training, and use their time with us to deepen their understanding of their work.

We also offer an MPhil and a Masters by dissertation in this subject.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure


Your research degree gives you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. You develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. A PhD can open doors to many careers.

Your supervisor

Within our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.

Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.

How you will study

Our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies offers two kinds of research degrees: PhDs and Professional Doctorates.

The main mode of teaching in each case is by individual supervision. For oue Professional Doctorate, there are also taught seminars during your first year. Each supervisory process is unique in its rhythm, style and content and, therefore, you and your supervisor should agree on the nature and timing of each stage of your research.

As a guideline, you might expect to spend the first year pf your PhD (or first two years, if part-time) undertaking your literature review and refining your research question/focus. In your second year (or third and fourth years, if part-time) you wirk on your methodology, data collection and data analysis. In your third year (or fifth and sixth years, if part-time): you complete your data analysis, final results, and drafting.

Finalising your PhD

Within our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, the normal period of study for a PhD is three years (six years if part-time or distance learning). Assessment is by submission of a thesis of no more than 80,000 words.

The normal period of study for Professional Doctorate students is three years (part-time only). Assessment is by submission of a thesis of no more than 40,000 words.

Research theses will be examined by two examiners, one internal and one external. An oral examination is usual for all PhD and doctoral theses.

Seminars and conferences

Within our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, we run an open seminar series that all our students can attend. We also hold an annual Research Conference in November and an annual Research Student Conference in late May/early June.

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score: 7

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

  • For research study within our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, we normally require a good Masters degree, or equivalent (which include include a good clinical training), in a relevant discipline. A well developed research proposal is also essential.
  • However, if you do not have a Masters degree, we also offer a four-year integrated PhD, where your first year is spent doing a Masters before embarking on your research. This preparatory year ensures you develop your knowledge before embarking on your independent research.
  • If English is not your first language, then we will require you to have IELTS 7 or equivalent.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 14950 International
  • GBP 7950 EU/EEA

Year 1 fee is £7,950 for Home/EU students and £14,950 for overseas students for the doctoral programme in Refugee Care which includes a taught first year.


For up-to-date information on funding opportunities at Essex, please visit:


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.