MSc Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice: Therapeutic Work With Children and Young People

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University of Strathclyde and Human Development Scotland

This modular course offers an in-depth understanding of infants’, children’s and adolescents’ emotional and personality development, the significance of primary relationships and their relevance to working with these age groups and their families.  It is applicable to a variety of professionals working in a range of contexts, for example health, social work, education and the voluntary sector. The professional groups which this course is particularly relevant to include: child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, health visitors, nursery nurses, teachers, and others working directly with children.


The course is flexible, allowing modules to be taken singly or in combination, and is taught in small, multi-disciplinary groups. It also forms the pre-clinical part of the training in Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and some students choose to progress to this training.


The modules include:

  • work discussion seminars, which provide a forum to discuss and reflect on students' current work practice, including the emotional impact of the work and how this informs our understanding of the child and/or family

  • theory seminars in emotional and personality development, and the significance of formative relationships from a psychoanalytic perspective, current developments in attachment theory, and child psychology research;

  • observation seminars of infants and young children


The course runs from October to June during the 30 week academic year and applications are welcome at any time of year for the October start date. Course teaching currently takes place on Wednesdays at our training facility in Glasgow from 13:00 to 18:30.  It has been running since 1989 and makes a valuable contribution to the skills of practitioners and clinicians working in the specialist services for infants, children and young people across Scotland.


The modular structure allows students to progress at their own pace to complete the whole course to Masters level or particular modules only. Completing the course requires a minimum of two years part-time study for the Diploma and three years part-time study for the Masters. Students wishing to complete the qualification in the minimum time should allocate the equivalent of two days per week, one for attending course seminars over three 10-week terms per year, and one for completing the associated course work.



£945 per module for the 2019/20 academic year. The University of Strathclyde registration fee is currently £361 per module.  Fees are reviewed each year.

Limited financial support may be available to assist students with course fees. 


Download a prospectus and application form below.

​Prospectus - PDF format

Application form - Word format


For more information, call us on 0141 331 2419 or email us via our contact form.