Course name

Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice: Therapeutic Work With Children and Young People (TWCYP)

Who is the course aimed at?

The course is intended for professionals working with children, young people and their families/carers in a variety of work settings, either in the public, voluntary or private sectors, who are interested in extending their understanding of human development, interactions and relationships from a psychoanalytic perspective and applying their learning to their professional work.  Students develop a rigorous, disciplined approach to ‘psychoanalytic observation’ alongside an understanding of psychoanalytic concepts and theory relevant to their professional practice.  It is intended to facilitate professional development and enhance work practice in the student’s chosen field.

Course description

This part-time Masters professional development course offers an understanding of emotional development and relationships, and their relevance to working with infants, pre-schoolers, children, young people and their families. 

Watch the presentation

Hear from our former Course Lead, Joanne Young, about the course.  This video was recorded for our virtual Open Day.


  • MSc Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice: Therapeutic Work With Children and Young People.
  • Certified by University of Strathclyde and Human Development Scotland. 

Programme structure

Completing the course requires a minimum of two years part-time study for the Diploma and three years part-time study for the Masters.

  • The course is flexible, allowing modules to be taken singly or in combination, and is taught in small, multi-disciplinary groups.
  • The modular structure allows students to progress at their own pace to complete the whole course to Masters level or particular modules only.
  • 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.
  • It forms the pre-clinical part of the training in Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and some students choose to progress to this training.


What do our students say?

Hear from former students about how studying at HDS has helped them in their career.

Entry requirements

  • A professional qualification requiring a minimum of one year’s training in: health; social work; education or child care e.g. residential or community care, counselling or the ‘therapies’, etc.
  • One year (minimum) post-qualifying experience in work with children, young people and their families.
  • Graduates who have undertaken considerable relevant voluntary work during their undergraduate years may also be considered.
  • Continuing professional direct work with children and/or young people throughout the course at a work setting that supports the work practice and observations necessary for the course requirements.
  • A capacity to reflect on oneself in relation to work and to others.


  • Fees for 2024-25 were £1,120 per module or £3,360 for MSc module. 
  • The University of Strathclyde registration fee is currently £390 per module.
  • A standard non-refundable application processing fee of £30 applies. To pay an application fee, you can access our payment system after submitting your online application (if you email your application, you will find payment instructions in the application form). Applications will not be processed until the application fee has been received. If you apply for more than one course, the fee is payable for each application submitted. Application fees are non-refundable, this includes in circumstances where an application is unsuccessful.
  • Fees are reviewed each year.


  • Our courses are not eligible for SAAS funding as we are not a publicly funded university.
  • Students on this course can apply for the HDS bursary.  If granted, it will be a small contribution towards tuition fees and will not cover the full amount of any module fee. Click here to find out more about funding.

Enquiries and application


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