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

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Four years part-time

Attendance

Two 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 full-time evening study over three years.

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Highlights

  • 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.
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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 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.

    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'.

        • 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).
        • 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).
        • 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 a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

          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.

          Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

          If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

          Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

        • Fees We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.

          Fees (2017/8)

          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.

        • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

          Teaching

          At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

          Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

          Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

          In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

          Methods of teaching on this course

          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.

          Timetables

          Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

          Indicative class size

          Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

          Academic support

          Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

          • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
          • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
          • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

          Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

          Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

          Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

          Assessment

          Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

          Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

          Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

          Methods of assessment on this course

          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.

            Feedback

            As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

            Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

            Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

            Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

          • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

            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.

            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.

            Graduate Destinations

            Average salary six months after the course: £26000

            Go on to work and/or study:

            Go on to work and/or study
            Now working: 50%
            Doing further study: 28%
            Studying and working: 10%
            Unemployed: 3%
            Other: 9%

            Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

          • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

            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 2017.

            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).

            Visit the Department of Psychosocial Studies