Psychosocial Studies (BA): 3-year, full-time

Year of entry

2017

Start date

October 2017

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

UCAS Code

C880

Duration

Three years full-time

Attendance

Three evenings a week, October to June

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 four years.

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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.
  • Watch a video about studying BA Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck.
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Course structure

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

There are four 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 three options from our Department and one from the BA Film and Media. You will be able to choose two 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.

    Read more about this programme in our handbook.

    Read more about modules

    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 one or two 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).
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