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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

Psychosocial Studies derived out of a desire to develop a programme in the Social Sciences that enables us to think about individuals' lived experiences not just from a psychological perspective or a sociological one but in a much more holistic way. Society shapes the way that individuals experience their worlds and, in turn, our inner worlds influence our thoughts, actions and relationships. The two facets are dynamically and intimately related to each other and to focus upon just one aspect severely limits our perspectives of human beings. To become a professional community practitioner, one needs not only a theoretical and ethical understanding of people's personal motivations, circumstances, beliefs, backgrounds, behaviours, cultures etc, but one also needs to critically consider the societal structures and systems that impact lives.

If you don't meet the entry requirements for a BA, you can study this course as an 'extended' four-year programme. You'll begin with a Social Science Foundation year which will prepare you for a successful transition to the BA degree.
 

What makes this course different

Foundation pathway

Foundation Year

Find out more about our flexible social science foundation pathways leading you to an undergraduate degree in Sociology, Sociology with Criminology, Politics and International Relations, International Development and NGO Management, Psychosocial Community Work ,Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Criminology and Criminal Justice (Cyber Crime)

Find out more
First Psychosocial degree

First Psychosocial degree

UEL is the first university to teach a psychosocial undergraduate course in the UK. It will equip students with a unique rich and non-reductionist understanding of the inextricable relationships between individuals, societies and communities.

Working with professionals

Working with professionals

Gain experience, skills and expertise by working with professionals in community and social work.

Links with community

Links with community

We have strong and professionally credible links with community and social practitioners working in policy and practice with children, young people and in community services.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Are you interested in what makes people 'tick'? Are you fascinated by how we develop a sense of self (I) and in relation to others (me)? and how culture and upbringing shapes a person's thoughts, views, beliefs and actions in the world? Do you want to work with people to make a positive difference to you, to them and to communities?

This course is about the real world, engaging with a wide range of problems and issues including mental health, social care, racism, psychotherapies, class, families, gender, employment, youth, and ageing. 

You'll get to grips with the policies and systems of service user delivery, issues of power, oppression and social justice, as well as community development and human and social needs.  Students will develop their understanding of reflexive practice and professional standards of conduct, performance and ethics in relation to governance which regulates working with diverse service users and change-makers. You will be taught by cutting-edge academics who bring their research, critiques and experiences to their teaching-we have some very lively discussions!

DOWNLOAD COURSE SPECIFICATIONS

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Exploring Communities as Social Scientists

    This module extends your understanding of local and global communities through applying the sociological concepts of community, identity, place, social memory and migration. It builds on your existing knowledge of the global and local contexts of your future academic study and employment. Cultural capital and knowledge of the complexities of communities will be introduced through topical readings, a guided walk of a London neighbourhood and a visit to a museum that you will prepare for and reflect on, using the key concepts of identity, place, social memory and migration. The module frontloads key academic skills required for university education and consolidates them throughout the module in order to support your learning in other modules at this level and above as well as your future careers.

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    Reading the Body Psychosocially

     

    In this module, you will consider the choices you make in relation to your own body and its presentation to others and in so doing will consider how a psychosocial approach to the body embraces choices informed rationally and irrationally. The latter incorporate the personal and political as well as changing attitudes to health and life.

    The human body and the nature of embodiment constitute a critical area of academic research and are central to cultural and social change. In a rapidly changing globalised world the body is a prime terrain of identity formation through popular discourses, surgical interventions, the aesthetisation of everyday life and online practices. At the same time, the commodification of the body, whereby the body becomes fragmented into a series of parts, objectified and represented through the media and promotional culture, is normalised as ‘ideal’. But what of its counterparts: the diseased body; the ageing body; the disabled body or even the monstrous body, the subject of literature and film since Shelley’s Frankenstein and the postmodern turn to vampires and zombies?

    This module adopts a Psychosocial approach (as an integral part of the Social Sciences), whereby the body can be explored as a contested site for the operations of affect, power and identity, and explored via social categories such as gender, race, class and dis/ability. Bringing together sociological and cultural theory with basic concept of Freudian psychoanalysis, this module provides you with a succinct and focused introduction to interdisciplinary thinking within the Social Sciences.

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    Introduction to Digital Sociology

    This module introduces you to Digital Sociology by exploring what it means to be a sociologist in the rapidly developing technological world. It will also introduce you to digital social research methods, asking what issues there are for social researchers in a digital society; what new material is available to social researchers; how social scientists can harness the new tools available to them and how they can navigate through this space in a secure, mindful and ethical way? 

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth 1: Knowledge, Skills, Practice and the Self

    The module aims to ground and complement other shared or common level 4 programme modules by providing an introduction to the key Vision 2028 ‘UEL Graduate Attributes’, such as the psychological and physical determinants of human performance that are difficult or impossible to be replicated by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The module takes a psychosocial approach to exploring ‘the self’ in both personal and professional contemporary contexts. The module aspires to provide an intellectually integrative and socially cohesive workshop experience.

    The module will provide an opportunity for students to review their own personal development to date self-reflexively.

    With these ends in mind, the module introduces students to theories of individual and social inequalities and how the latter can inform one’s approach to ‘community businesses ‘that is, all kinds of activities and enterprises run by local people for local people’ https://www.powertochange.org.uk/get-inspired). In the context of understanding the concept of, designing and exploring a community business, students will identify their employment and career aspirations and their personal, professionally relevant skills and potential abilities. Students will learn to develop skills with a psychosocial approach to research by gathering and presenting data in relation to their proposed community project.

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    Constructions of Identity

    This module offers a solid introduction to the different aspects of identity and to ways of understanding who we are as individuals and members of various groups. Adopting a psycho-social approach, which consists of enriching fundamental sociological and cultural debates in the Social Sciences with insights from psychoanalysis and critical psychology, the module focuses, in equal measure, on individual experiences of identity and the symbolic frames and formations of society and culture that underline and support them. The module invites you to appreciate the historical, ideological, sociological and inner reality coordinates of contemporary identity. The linking and mapping of psychoanalytic concepts onto sociological and cultural theory is a priority for this module, as are the objectives of cultivating fluent expression and theoretically informed debates, promoting tolerance and dialogue, understanding the roots of prejudice and stereotyping and, in general, gaining a multi-faceted appreciation of what ‘construction’ means in the remit of the Social Sciences.

    All key concepts and debates are made easily accessible and relevant to employment through a wide range contemporary case studies and examples from different cultures, communities and media. At the same time, you are encouraged to bring into class and make the most of their own life experience.

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    Psychology: Perspectives for Psychosocial Community Work

    This module introduces you to a range of psychologies, the social context through which they emerged, and their relevance for psychosocial and community practice. It incorporates the learning and reflecting upon interpersonal skills for understanding individuals and groups and for therapeutic work. There is also an emphasis upon personal-psychological and emotional wellbeing.

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    Communication For Psychosocial And Community Work Relationships

    The module is structured around the concept of  'care' as a paradigm, a category, and a practice through which we can think about fundamental issues of human experience such as interdependency, relationality, climate crisis, global inequalities, and racial injustices. The module introduces you to key principles and ethics of care from the traditional familial settings to care in contemporary, globalised, diverse, and local community settings- and which are allied with the key mental wealth competencies of Vision 2028 namely, social, emotional, and cultural intelligence and resilience. Reflecting on how 'Cultures of Intimacy' might look like beyond the private realm, this module offers you an opportunity to explore the principles of belonging, interdependence, relationality, emotional growth, that are difficult or impossible to be replicated by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Lastly, the module encourages you to critically identify practices of care of the self and how these are being transformed in the digital world.

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    Psychosocial Work In Community Settings

    This module aims to ground and complement the other shared and common level 4 programme modules across the subject area by providing an introduction to working in the field of psychosocial and community work. Offering you the opportunity to access intellectually integrative and socially cohesive workshop and activity experiences.

    This module will contextualise the historical, social and political development and impact of psychosocial and community work across a wide-ranging field of work, and study, introducing you to professional work principles, theory, policy and sources of information.

    The module highlights the diversity of children, young people and families and the challenges and opportunities which arise as a result of providing professional support, providing you with sound, relevant and practice based theory.

  • Core Modules
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    Knowledge, Skills, Practice & The Self (Mental Wealth 2)

    Building on the philosophy and learning outcomes of level 4 module 'Knowledge, Skills, Practice and the Self 1', the present module grounds and complements the other shared or common at level 5 whilst enhancing the psychological and physical determinants of human performance that are difficult or impossible to be replicated by Artificial Intelligence (as defined by Vision 2028).

    While the module continues to develop the capabilities of individual students, the emphasis now is on the theories and practices of communities, teams and teamwork, groups and group co-operation.

    Students are invited to explore a range of questions: 'What does it mean to be part of a community, a team or a group?' 'How do teams collaborate and what makes for effective elaboration?' 'What are the qualities necessary for being an effective and creative team-player?' What is 'social good' and how can we contribute to it in an ethical and sustainable manner? The exploration of the nature of communities, teams and groups is complemented by the acquisition of invaluable practical skills such as: an active understanding of needs, potentials and options, cultural and emotional literacy and reflexivity; planning, organising initiatives, liaising and assessing one's performance and acting on feedback.

    In addition to these skills and activities, students will work together in small groups to negotiate the group development on community projects similar to those proposed/designed at level 4.

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    Mad, Bad or Sad? Understanding Mental Disorder

    This module provides you with an understanding of the emergence of ideas about psychological illnesses and their treatment. It introduces you to some core categories of mental distress and disorder and examines key medical, psychological and social theories concerned with these categories. You will develop an appreciation of the contested nature of mental health and illness. Are people's difficulties better understood as medical illnesses or simply as responses to social or personal distress? Contemporary psychiatric categorizations will be introduced alongside some major critiques of psychiatry. The module addresses some of the difficulties associated with a specific Western medical conceptualisation of mental distress.

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    Counselling: Therapeutic Skills & Practice

    Building on the philosophy and learning outcomes of level 4 module 'Knowledge, Skills, Practice and the Self 1'. This module is also related to other mental health modules on Level 5 and is a further development in introducing counselling approaches and skills.

    The aim of the module is to introduce students to the main counselling frameworks used by therapists in the social services, NHS and private practice. The module provides an overview and basic comparison of those counselling models. They are; Behavioural; Cognitive; Humanistic; Existential; Psychoanalytic and Systemic approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. After the overview of different counselling approaches and implications for practice, the focus will be on psychodynamic approaches in more depth and how to practice these skills.

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    Research Methods

    This module explores methods of professional learning, including literature research, practitioner enquiry, action research and ethics.

    Optional Modules
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    Difference, Race, Diversity, Inequality

    This module aims to introduce the debates/arguments of 'social difference' as a psychosocial process through which identities are constructed. It supports students to explore the intersections between psychosocial categories such as social class, gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, migration, consumption, sexuality which shape identities and the experiences of othering within the structures of social inequality.

    One of the goals of the module is to support you in identifying and reflecting on the effects of social difference on everyday practices of discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion.

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    Children, Young People & Families

    The module equips you with the knowledge and skills required for professional practice with service users in the statutory and voluntary or social enterprise / tertiary sectors.

    The module will enable students to develop understanding practice and professional standards of conduct, performance and ethics in relation to guidelines which govern and regulate working with diverse service users and change-makers.

    To enable you to identify the social, economic and cultural influences which shape the experience of family life and the education of children, examining social policy and sociological critiques of the nuclear and diverse formations of family, looking at the nature and nurture theoretical concepts and the role of parents and family in the social education of children.

  • Core Modules
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    Applied Research Project in Social Sciences

    This module allows students to apply their understanding of key social scientific theories and concepts as well as issues and methods in social and community work to a research question of their choice. The module introduces necessary research and evaluation tools and methods and ethical procedures, data collection and analysis methods and starts students on their journey to becoming independent researchers. Students will complete an independent research project or an evaluation of a project they have been involved with through placements, volunteering or work experience. Students receive support and guidance throughout the independent research and are encouraged to reflect on the methodological, ethical and theoretical issues that students face in the course of their research experience.

    Optional Modules

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

On this degree, we use a range of assessment methods to ensure you have engaged with the learning outcomes of our modules.

Knowledge is assessed by essays, plans, presentations, journals, blogs, portfolios, photography and case studies. 

Thinking skills are assessed by reflective logs, project work, poster presentations, research reports, case studies, responses to reflective questions. 

Practical skills are assessed by research proposals, portfolios, blogs, presentations, and practice learning log, fieldwork and practice experience.

In addition to innovative digital research methods, we offer dual delivery which combines traditional on-campus face-to-face teaching and online teaching simultaneously, allowing you to interact as if you were there in person. You can move smoothly between online and on campus teaching subject to your individual timetable (and health requirements).

You can interact and collaborate in person and online in any of these live-streamed sessions. Live-streamed sessions will also be recorded, so you can log in when you want, playback and watch from the comfort of your home and whilst on the go.  

We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7. We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and dedicated librarians who can assist with your learning.  

You will be supported with any academic or subject related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, former and current UEL students.  

If you need a bit of extra help with certain skills such as academic writing, maths or IT, our Skillzone and English for Academic Purposes we offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments to help you achieve your potential.

You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the University from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses. Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning needs.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

On this degree we use a range of assessment methods to ensure students have engaged with the learning outcomes of our modules, these include essays, plans, presentations, journals, blogs, portfolios, photography and case studies.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: 100% coursework
  • Year 2: 100% coursework 
  • Year 3: 100% coursework 

All grades count towards your module mark. 

More details will be included in the student handbook and module guides. Feedback is provided within 15 working days in line with UEL's assessment and feedback policy.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Dr Darren Ellis

Darren is Programme Leader of Psychosocial Studies and Psychosocial Theory and Practice.

See full profile

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

I studied Psychosocial Studies at UEL as an undergraduate, which enabled me to train as a psychotherapist and then completed a PhD thesis concerning the processes of self-construction related to disclosure about emotional experiences. The degree is a unique programme that draws on relevant aspects of Psychology, Sociology and Community Studies. This new holistic approach will equip students with the specialist knowledge to work professionally in a variety of contexts, as well as enable students to grow in self confidence so that they can positively make a difference to their lives and the lives of others.

Darren Ellis

UEL Psychosocial Community Work Programme Leader

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

Our graduates have gone on to further study and/or entered the following careers:

  • Researcher
  • Civil Service
  • Advice/Welfare Work
  • Voluntary Sector /NGO Officer
  • Community Development Worker
  • Housing Officer
  • Equality And Diversity Officer
  • Criminal Justice 
  • Social Worker
  • Mental Health/Counselling/Psychotherapy
  • Health Or Care Management
  • NGO Founder
  • Psychologist
  • Volunteer Co-Ordinator
  • Family Support
  • Teacher/Lecturer/Education Roles
  • Youth Worker
  • Mediator
  • Community Advocacy

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.