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.
This course is also available for part-time evening study over 4 years.
How to apply
Application deadlines and interviews
15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.
Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.
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 3.
- 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 3.
Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory module
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).
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.
UCAS tariff points
The UCAS tariff system has changed for courses starting in September 2017 and is now calculated using a new number system. This means applicants applying for courses from October 2016 will see entry requirements and offers expressed using the new tariff.
The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.
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.
Full-time home/EU students: £
paFull-time overseas students: £
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
Funding and Financial Support
Careers and employability
Teaching and assessment
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.
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.