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

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    2 evenings a week, October to June

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

Many of us want to know why the world is the way it is: why it is filled with perpetual cycles of violence and trauma on the one hand, and with enormous potential for care and concern for one another on the other. We want answers to the pressing questions of our time, which are often questions about the precarious connectedness of different communities, be they global, national, public, civic, social, cultural, historical or the intimate communities of personal life.

Psychosocial studies enables us to unravel the interconnected psychic and social forces that produce us as people and to determine our complex relations to one another. While sociology students study the social world and psychology students study the brain and behaviour, psychosocial studies students investigate the relation between individuals and the social sphere: how people are made up of the relationships they have with one another and with the world around them. This means deepening our understanding of the emotional, imaginary and symbolic aspects of living together.

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in October 2016.

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 offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

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

We take applications throughout the academic year for entry in October. Although there is no formal deadline for application to this programme, we advise early application (by May for an October start).

    Online application

    Psychosocial Studies (BA): 4-year, part-time (Part-time)

    Why study this course at Birkbeck?

    • Birkbeck's innovative, creative and interdisciplinary courses will help you become a competent, critical and responsible student of the social world and the psychological and social forces that shape individuals.
    • Staff within our innovative Department of Psychosocial Studies have a keen interest in the development of new and innovative psychosocial methods, as well as forging new theoretical trajectories across a range of critical fields of enquiry.
    • The department is genuinely interdisciplinary with academics coming from backgrounds in anthropology, cultural and postcolonial studies, education studies, gender and sexuality studies, literary studies, critical psychology, psychoanalytic studies and sociology.
    • Read what our students have to say about studying with us.

    Course structure

    The programme consists of 11 compulsory modules, worth 30 credits each, and 2 option modules worth 15 credits each, making a total of 360 credits.

    There are 4 types of module:

      • Compulsory modules in key psychosocial topics such as love, hate, power, bodies, sexualities, urban multicultures and psychoanalytic and social theory.
      • Fieldwork modules that develop your group-based skills and involve you in exploring the everyday physical and digital worlds we live in.
      • Option modules that develop knowledge across broad areas of study in the social sciences. We offer 3 options from our Department and 1 from the BA Film and Media. You will be able to choose 2 option modules in Year 4.
      • Independent study and dissertation modules that enable you to research a topic of your choice and write a dissertation based on your research in Year 4.

          Year 1 compulsory modules

          Year 2 compulsory modules

          Year 3 compulsory modules

          Option modules

          BA Psychosocial Studies dissertation

          Suggested introductory reading

          The following publications will give you some sense of the topics, ideas and themes covered by this course. You may only wish to look at 1 or 2 of these or simply dip in to get some impression of what we mean by 'psychosocial'.

          • Stuart Hall, 'Introduction: Who Needs Identity?', in Questions of Cultural Identity, edited by S. Hall and Paul du Gay (Sage, 1996) pp. 1-17.
          • Elizabeth Hoult, Adult Learning and la Recherche Féminine: Reading Resilience and Hélène Cixous (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
          • Lynn Froggett, Love, Hate, Welfare: Psychosocial Approaches to Policy and Practice (Polity Press, 2002).
          • Stephen Frosh, Brief Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).
          • Stephen Frosh, Psychoanalysis Outside the Clinic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).
          • Gail Lewis, 'Birthing Racial Difference: Conversations with My Mother and Others', in Studies in the Maternal, 1 (2009). This is a free, open access online journal. You may also find it helpful to look at other articles in Studies in the Maternal.
          • Sasha Roseneil and Stephen Frosh, eds., Social Research After the Cultural Turn (2012), especially the introduction by Roseneil and Frosh and the chapter by Yasmeen Narayan, 'The Cultural Turn, Racialization and Postcoloniality'.
          • Lynne Segal, Why Feminism? Gender, Psychology, Politics (Polity Press, 1999).

          Entry requirements

          We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

          Alternative entry routes

          Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in humanities or social science units.

          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.

          Fees

          Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
          Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa

          Additional costs

          As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits. 

          On this programme, you will also have to pay for the following additional costs:

          You may be required to travel for the fieldwork module Creative Archives; you will be expected to pay your own travel costs.

          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 discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fee reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, 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

          With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront. Find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.

          Careers and employability

          Graduates can pursue careers in social research, education, psychotherapy or the media and creative arts. This degree may also be useful in becoming a psychotherapist, higher education lecturer, community arts worker, charity officer or community development worker.

          Find out more about these professions.

          Find out more about the destinations of graduates in the Department of Psychosocial Studies.

          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

          Teaching

          We employ a range of teaching methods and formats, including lectures, small group seminars and individual tutorials, 'practical' fieldwork sessions, interactive group work with fellow students and supervised research projects on a topic of your choice.

          Assessment

          There are no examinations for this degree. Coursework includes a portfolio of short written assignments on key reading, essays, collectively produced projects (e-journals, blogs, maps, visual ethnographies such as video-diaries and photographic assignments) and collective writing assignments, plus individual reflective work, and a dissertation.

            Our research

            Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

            Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

            Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities.

            Further study opportunities

            After studying this degree, you will be eligible to go on to further study at Master’s level in a range of humanities and social science disciplines, including psychosocial studies, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, social research, critical theory, education, journalism and psychoanalytic studies, or professional training in teaching, social work, counselling and psychotherapy and psychology.

            If you wish to gain the Graduate Basis for Registration with the British Psychological Society, you can undertake our MSc Psychology.

            This degree also provides an excellent undergraduate grounding for students wishing to pursue a professional career in counselling and psychotherapy with children, adults, families, couples or groups, either in the Department of Psychosocial Studies or in a range of other institutions. However, such students may need to undertake a Level 4 certificate in counselling skills at the end of the BA Psychosocial Studies before pursuing their clinical training.

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

            Not ready to do a degree?

            We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

            If you are not ready to study an undergraduate degree, check out our Certificates of Higher Education and short courses for another way into study.

            Key Information Set