Price £900 per module and University of Strathclyde’s registration fee
Delivery Type Face to face
Training Provider Human Development Scotland

MSC in Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice: Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People


The general learning outcomes of the course are:

  • The enhancement of observational skills plus a capacity to make detailed,

comprehensive written records of observations

  • The increased ability to observe and reflect on interactions between

others, and between self and others

  • The ability to apply an emotional and psychoanalytic perspective to observations,

including unconscious processes at individual, inter-personal and institutional levels

  • The understanding of psychoanalytic perspectives of emotional, social and

personality development, and their relevance to work with children, adolescents and families

  • An understanding of factors that promote or impede ordinary child development
  • The opportunity to apply psychoanalytic observation as a research method to a piece of work practice, presented as the MSc dissertation.



The course is currently offered in Glasgow on Wednesdays from October to June during the 30 week academic year.  The teaching day is from 13:00 – 18:30.



The course is modular in structure, taught in small seminar groups, each seminar is 1¼ hrs in length.  A student’s selection of modules and their pathway through the course is based on a combination of their needs, availability of places, module timetabling and a sufficient demand in a given year. 

Course content, learning outcomes, duration of course, venue etc

Suggested word count up to 200 words



In order to achieve the Masters, students are required to complete all 8 modules.  The course can – subject to availability of places and/or modules – be completed in a minimum of three years but may be taken over a longer period to meet student needs.  Students wishing to complete the course in 3 years need to allocate a minimum of 10/12 hours study per week.  If a student is unable to complete the course but has completed 7 modules, the University will confer a PG Diploma; if a minimum of 3 full-year modules have been completed, the University may confer a PG Certificate.


Training Provider Overview

Human Development Scotland (HDS) offers the training and services previously delivered by the Scottish Institute of Human Relations. These have at their heart the psychodynamic, psychoanalytic and systemic ideas that offer a profound understanding of how people relate to one another. Our training courses are for those working particularly in the NHS, social services, education and voluntary sector translate these ideas into practical tools for understanding the central role that human relationships play in our mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

Our aim is to​ improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of individuals, families and communities in Scotland regardless of context and means, and increase the effectiveness of organisations to the public good by:

  • providing professional education as a means to increase the resilience of individuals and communities and for the understanding and development of mental health and emotional wellbeing in all contexts
  • providing accessible and affordable therapeutic services
  • supporting professionals in their work through CPD, supervision and opportunities for reflective practice and organisational consultancy services
  • promoting the study of mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • undertaking research to contribute to the evidence base for interventions in these areas and disseminate the results.

Further information can be found on the training section of our web site. Prospectuses and application forms are also available there. We hold open days each year in October and March when potential students can come along, chat to tutors and listen to short presentations.

Training Provider Contact Details

Provider Name: Human Development Scotland

Telephone: 0141 331 2419



Quality Assurance

Professional Doctorate and Clinical Training in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

The HDS Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Committee (CAPTC), meeting four times each year has responsibility, delegated by the HDS Board of Trustees, for oversight of the programme, and for the quality assurance and enhancement of the training. The Committee includes independent clinicians, service supervisors, representatives from the pre-clinical MSc Observation programme, from NES, external members with relevant professional, academic and NHS experience, and student representatives.

Rigorous end-of-year assessment procedures, highlighting areas of students’ strength and weakness, with action points to address the latter, take place during the cohort and are integral to the management and monitoring of the programme with regular reviews to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

Professional accreditation of the programme for a period of five years was accorded by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) in 2015; a re-accreditation application and approval process will be carried out in 2020.

This course is approved by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP), the professional body for child psychotherapists. It is commissioned by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), delivered in partnership with NHS Boards and is validated by Robert Gordon University.


MSC in Psychoanalytic Observation & Reflective Practice: Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People

Management of assessment is reviewed regularly by Course Leads and the staff group. This course is validated by the University of Strathclyde. HDS follows the University of Strathclyde and sister courses reference points in managing academic standards.

HDS assesses the work of students in accordance with course regulations and procedures agreed with the University of Strathclyde’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and will supply the outcome of student assessments to Strathclyde promptly in advance of Board of Examiners' meetings.  HDS receives input to these processes from the University and keeps the University informed as necessary.

University of Strathclyde appoints the External Examiner who will be a member of the Board of Examiners and visits HDS biennially.  Reports from Examiners will be considered in accordance with the normal University of Strathclyde procedures.

University of Strathclyde will convene the Board of Examiners and will approve written operating procedures for the Board.  The results will normally be presented by the Strathclyde Course Team member in the presence of the Verifier and External Examiner.  Staff from HDS will be invited to attend.


Complainants should raise matters of concern or grievance as close to their source as possible in order to find a resolution through the mediation opportunities provided by personal relationships.  Where complainants feel unable to raise concerns directly, or where it may be inappropriate to do so, the formal procedure applies.

Complainants following the formal procedure should provide a written statement setting out:  a) the nature of the grievance  b) the ways in which it breaches the Code of Conduct November 2015 2

  1. c) the nature of the resolution being sought.

All correspondence will be held in strict confidence.

Complaints about course material or the quality of their delivery should be raised, in the first instance, with the project leader/course convener. If the complaint is about an individual, the complainant must give written permission for the object of the complaint to be informed that a complaint has been made.  Complaints will not be pursued in the absence of such permission.

For further information, please refer to our Complaints and Appeals Policy.