IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
3 years full-time or 6 years part-time
A multidisciplinary degree that's ideal if you're interested in counselling and psychotherapy practices but also want to study the social and cultural contexts of their production.
This innovative multidisciplinary degree is concerned with the interrelationship between self, psyche and society and promotes a psychosocial framework of understanding the interconnections between the personal and the social, inner and outer worlds, as well as the social conditions to mental health.
After the completion of this degree, students are equipped with adequate knowledge, skills and a critical understanding to work in the mental health field but also in educational, therapeutic and other settings that engage with vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups.
The degree will be of great relevance to those who wish to undertake further theoretical studies or formal clinical training as counsellors and/or psychotherapists.
Why study BA Psychosocial Studies at Goldsmiths?
- You'll be taught by a highly experienced team of academics, therapists and counsellors
- You'll develop your understanding of counselling and therapy practices, and their social and cultural contexts
- We place great importance on your unique life experiences and personal qualities, and encourage you to continuously question your values in relation to what you are learning
- We'll encourage you to develop your imagination, creativity and risk-taking ability, and will promote the importance of challenging orthodoxy
- We're committed to widening participation and life-long learning, and our diverse mix of students helps create an inventive and stimulating environment
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Chrysanthi Nigianni
What you'll study
Year 1 (credit level 4)
In the first year you take the following modules:
|Year 1 modules||Module title||Credits|
|Contemporary Approaches to the Theory and Practice of Psychotherapy and Counselling||30 credits|
|Theories of Individual Development||30 credits|
|The Individual in Society and Culture||30 credits|
|Independent Learning Strategies and Skills||15 credits|
|Professional Frameworks in Therapeutic Practice||15 credits|
Year 2 (credit level 5)
In the second year, you will study the following compulsory modules:
|Pathologies of the Modern Self||30 credits|
|Research Methods||30 credits|
You will also take modules to the value of 60 credits from the following list:
|Year 2 option modules||Module title||Credits|
|Mind Projections: Psychopathology & Cinema||15 credits|
|Introduction to Art, Play and Dramatheraphy||15 credits|
|Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)||15 credits|
|Counselling Skills||15 credits|
Year 3 (credit level 6)
In the third year of the degree you will take:
|Dissertation in the Professional Context||30 credits|
|The Political Significance of Freud's Legacy||30 credits|
|Year 3 option modules||Module title||Credits|
|Trauma: Critical and Clinical Explorations||15 credits|
|Fieldwork Practice I||30 credits|
|Multiculturalism, Identity and Difference||15 credits|
|Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)||15 credits|
|A Critical Introduction to Art Psychotherapy I: Theories and Practice||15 credits.|
|A Critical Introduction to Art Psychotherapy II: Experiential Group Learning||15 credits|
|Religion, Belief and Spirituality in Professional Practice||15 credits|
|Dance Movement Psychotherapy Foundation||30 credits|
This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.
The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning
- Year 2 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning
- Year 3 - 10% scheduled learning, 83% independent learning, 7% placement
How you’ll be assessed
You’ll be assessed through a combination of assignment, presentation, dissertation, placement portfolio, role play, seen exam, unseen exam, reports and log of placement hours.
The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 70% coursework, 25% written exam, 5% practical
- Year 2 - 76% coursework, 9% written exam, 15% practical
- Year 3 - 75% coursework, 25% written exam
*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We accept the following qualifications:
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2
We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds who either meet standard university entry requirements or can demonstrate appropriate levels of knowledge and skill in a portfolio of entry.
Certification by means of GNVC, Access, NVQ, BTEC, College Foundation Certificate, AS and A Level is accepted, in many subject areas - for example, in Psychology, Cultural Studies, Art, Dance, Social Studies, Drama, Anthropology, Sociology, English, Politics, Media and Communications, History, and Film Studies.
Fees & funding
The programme will enable you to develop the following skills:
Academic skills, including:
Enhanced skills in literacy, writing and communication, including oral communication skills, the ability to develop and present sustained and persuasive reasoned arguments (both written and oral), presentation skills, note taking and report writing.
The ability to observe, listen and interact effectively with others, particularly in a group setting. The ability to work with, and in relation to, others from diverse backgrounds.
Planning, organistaion, time management skills, including the ability to work on your own initiative and meet deadlines thus evidencing personal effectiveness
Research skills including information gathering and retrieval and the ability to synthesise information froma variety of primary and secondary sources
The ability to plan, design, manage and complete an independent project
Analytical thinking, critical reasoning and problem solving including the ability to be open-minded and form independent judgements
An awareness of social, political and cultural processes and an awareness of social and cultural difference
An understanding of professional therapeutic culture and practices
'Soft' transferable skills, including the ability to reflect on your own intellectual development, imagination, creativity, the willingness to take risks, and – where necessary – the ability to engage in constructive, informed and critical challenges to orthodoxy and the ability to think ‘outside the box’
As a department, STaCS has very strong links with therapeutic and community organisations. Students on the BA Psychosocial Studies have an opportunity to gain practical experience in a placement as part of the Field work Practice optional module in Year 3. This experience introduces students to the varied range of organisations, agencies and services relevant to counselling and therapies, allowing students to learn about counselling and therapies practices in the wider community through personal engagement. Students also learn about working within an organisation and will engage in issues of ethical conduct and confidentiality while developing their ability to work as part of a team.
This programme will equip you with the broad range of complex skills and attributes increasingly required by employers, irrespective of whether you decide to proceed to a clinical training in some area of psychotherapy and counselling (e.g., Art Psychotherapy).
Students graduating from the programme move on to a range of careers and employment areas including the public and voluntary/third sector in the areas of mental health, social care and education. Many of our graduates do continue to postgraduate degrees in therapies, counselling and education (PGCE), however our graduates could also pursue careers in other caring professions such as social work. In addition, the literacy, numeracy, communication and practical skills acquired by Psychosocial Studies students are very marketable in other employment fields such as human resources/personnel management. You can find out more about the career paths open to you after graduating on our Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies careers page.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.