• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2017
  • Duration:

    2 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    Wednesday evenings, 5pm-10pm

  • Location:

    Run in collaboration with the British Psychotherapy Foundation (BPF).

    Year 1 teaching is at the BPF (in Kilburn, North London); Year 2 teaching is at Birkbeck, central London.

  • Professional bodies that recognise this course:

    The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychodynamics of Human Development is taught jointly by Birkbeck and the British Psychotherapy Foundation (BPF).

    BPF works with Birkbeck to provide the Postgraduate Diploma and the MSc Psychodynamics of Human Development, established in 1996 by Birkbeck and the British Association of Psychotherapists (BAP). In 2013 the BAP joined with the Lincoln Clinic and Centre for Psychotherapy and the London Centre for Psychotherapy to form the BPF, a strong professional organisation which aims to make a serious contribution to emotional well-being and mental health in the UK.

Programme overview

This Postgraduate Diploma, provides an understanding of human development through the theoretical and clinical issues raised by infant observation, through work study seminars and through psychoanalytic and Jungian analytic theories. This includes recent research in child development and contemporary issues in psychodynamic or Jungian analytic theory.

The course is designed to provide professional and personal development for those working in settings such as community care, counselling, social services, primary care, mental health and education. It also gives a foundation, including accredited infant observation, for those considering psychotherapy training and it fulfils the entry requirements for a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Doctorate.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychodynamics of Human Development is taught jointly by Birkbeck and the British Psychotherapy Foundation(BPF).

Read about how you can become a professional counsellor or psychotherapist.

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.

Important note: please indicate whether you are applying for the psychoanalytic or Jungian analytic stream on your application form.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

Application deadlines and interviews

Applications are accepted throughout the year, but early application is encouraged (before April to start in October).

Online application

Psychodynamics of Human Development (Postgraduate Diploma) (Part-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • A valuable opportunity to combine the knowledge of practising clinicians from a leading psychotherapy training institution with the research expertise of an internationally recognised university department.
  • Infant observation component provides experiential learning that can be accredited for psychotherapy training.
  • Choose between psychoanalytic and Jungian analytic approaches.

Course structure

    This programme considers the following aspects:

    • Psychoanalytic or Jungian analytic theory of the nature and development of mental life and key concepts used in clinical work.
    • Infant and child development through observation and weekly discussion seminars.
    • The application of psychoanalytic or Jungian analytic theory to the work setting.
    • Research methodology and critical analysis.

    To find out more, read our programme handbook (2015-2016).

      Compulsory modules

      Entry requirements

      Normally a first degree; non-graduates with academic and professional experience may be considered.

      Experience of working with children, adults or families is an advantage.

      International entry requirements

      If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

      If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

      Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


      Part-time home/EU students: £ 5975 pa
      Part-time overseas students: £ 8750 pa

      Payment and Fees Discounts

      Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

      Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

      Funding and Financial Support

      Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

      Careers and employability

      Graduates can pursue careers in psychotherapy, psychology and education. They can also apply for training in child and adolescent psychotherapy, adult psychoanalytic psychotherapy or Jungian analytic psychotherapy. Possible professions include psychotherapist, clinical psychologist or further education lecturer. This degree may also be useful in becoming an educational psychologist or careers adviser.

      Find out more about these professions.

      Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

      We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

      Teaching and assessment


      Academic theory seminars, seminars on infant observation and work discussion, all in separate psychoanalytic and Jungian analytic streams. Infant observation and work study seminar groups are small and provide a supportive framework for experiential learning. Programmed study days (1 each term) for both streams together, plus joint seminars in preparation for the dissertation.


      Year 1: 2 essays (2500-3000 words) and a 2-week ‘take-away’ examination paper.

      Year 2: 1 infant observation essay (5000-8000 words).

      Further study opportunities

      If you are interested in further research, we currently offer a DPsychotherapy in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (although this programme is currently under review).