Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps


Psychoanalytic Studies 


Available to all graduates with a primary degree in any area of study, the Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies is designed to offer a rigorous theoretical introduction to psychoanalysis. With its fundamental premise of the existence of unconscious mental life psychoanalysis differs, radically, from the traditions of psychotherapy and psychology. In recognition of the fact that psychoanalysis is a field where the basis of clinical practice is the practitioner’s own undergoing of analysis the Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies grounds students in the theory of psychoanalysis and thereby serves as a very strong foundation for successful graduates to pursue a qualification at Master’s level in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Students are introduced to the authors who have contributed most significantly to the development of psychoanalysis, in particular Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan.

This course is also of interest to graduates who wish to explore how psychoanalytic insights can be applied to such diverse fields as psychology, literary criticism, philosophy, gender studies, film theory, and business. Students are made aware of the wide range of applications of psychoanalysis in individual, family, social life and modern culture. Students are encouraged to consider entering their own analysis as a fundamental requirement for engagement with this field.

Entry Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must hold:

  • A primary honours degree award of at least pass level in a non-cognate discipline from a recognised third level institution or equivalent qualification.

  • For those who do not have a primary degree, prior learning in a related field that can be verified and deemed to be adequate, will be considered.

  • An IELTS score of a minimum 6.0 or equivalent, where full-time study has been conducted in a language other than English or applicants whose first language is not English

 Course Content

​Stage 1

Core Modules

Formations of the Unconscious I


Sexuality I

Traditions of Psychotherapy

Psychoanalysis and Language I

The History of Psychoanalysis

Formations of the Unconscious II

Psychoanalysis and Language II

Sexuality II

Applications of Psychoanalysis

Dissertation / Research Project

Assessment Methods

The Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies is an academic programme directed by the clinical experiences of the practitioners who deliver the lectures. Assessment is approached creatively with a range of assessment strategies including essay writing, in-class presentation, graded group discussion, and examination. Instructions and guidelines for all assessment are clearly communicated to students.


The programme contains 11 modules including a dissertation/research project. During each semester, students are typically required to attend lectures/tutorials on 3 evenings per week. In addition to a weekly thesis tutorial related to the research project each student works with an individual thesis supervisor as an essential component of the research work. The teaching and learning strategy is based mainly on interactive lectures, group and individual study.

Career Opportunities

Psychoanalysis is one of the leading orientations of professional psychotherapists worldwide. The Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies offers graduates who have non-psychoanalytic primary degrees, or those who have relevant, appropriate and adequate and prior learning, the opportunity to acquire a thorough theoretical basis for a subsequent clinical training at Masters level, for example the MA in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in DBS.

It is particularly useful  bridging programme for graduates of their degrees relating to the caring professions. The Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies also provides stimulating material which can effectively inform many careers, for example, in the business and organisational world, in all of the caring professions and in academia.


The course fees for the next academic year are €6,250 for EU students. This covers the cost of tuition, registration and examinations.

here to view international fees. 

Click here for a full list of DBS Postgraduate fees. You can also contact our admissions team who would be happy to discuss the options available for you.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration offered by Dublin Business School (DBS) are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) (b) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby in the event that DBS ceases to provide the programme, for any reason, after learners have started on that programme, Kaplan Inc., as guarantor, will refund the moneys most recently paid by or for the learner.   More details are included in the terms and conditions of learner admission to DBS (http://www.dbs.ie/terms-and-conditions) and on programme handbooks provided at induction.

Improve your employability

All of our postgraduate courses offer strong links with industry and the professional world and often carry accreditation from professional bodies. By choosing to study at postgraduate level, not only do you gain valuable skills and experience but you also demonstrate your determination to succeed in a chosen career. Far from being a postponement to employment, postgraduate study can help you progress further and faster in your chosen career. And, if you're not certain what direction you would like your future to take, further study can provide a secure and structured space to help you find out through exploring your strengths and interests.

Get your foot on the career ladder

A large number of our postgraduate programmes include a work placement option, giving you the opportunity to gain vocational experience, make valuable contacts and gain transferable skills. It is also worth considering that some postgraduate qualifications are essential requirements to getting on the career ladder.

Gain skills for success

During your undergraduate degree you will have developed a strong foundation of transferable skills. Postgraduate study will build on this base, giving you the opportunity to put these highly valuable skills in to practice. You will also gain invaluable practical working examples that you can go on to use at interview to set you apart from other candidates.

Next Steps

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about DBS and learn more about the Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology. As well as experiencing our outstanding facilities, you'll have the opportunity to receive personalised advice from academics from your subject area, meet current postgraduate students and also have your questions answered on general subjects such as entry requirements, student support and the admissions process.

EU Applicants

Applicants should complete the appropriate application form and return it to the Postgraduate Admissions Office along with the following documentation: 

  • Academic Transcripts (Original & Official English Translation where issued in another language). Applicants who have previously attended DBS need not provide this documentation. 

  • Proof of Identification (Birth Certificate, Drivers Licence or Passport) 

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae 

  • Proof of English (i.e. IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent) where full time study has been conducted in a language other than English or applicants whose first language is not English 

  • Referee form (will be sent on receipt of application) and a personal statement of approximately 400 words outlining why you wish to pursue this particular course.

Please see programme content for any course-specific additional application procedures.

In addition to the above, in the instance of Non-EU applicants who have residency in Ireland:

  • A copy of your GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) Card, Work permit (if applicable) & Passport 

  • The letter that was issued to you by the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform stating why you were provided with the above documentation.

Please note that copies of all documentation must be submitted, and that it must be translated into English where issued in another language. Please do not send original documents as these will not be returned.

Dublin Business School has a number of overseas offices and representatives worldwide. Please contact us  if you wish to receive further details on your closest DBS representative.

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Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
Award: Postgraduate Diploma
NFQ Level: 
Level ​8
Award Title: 
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies
Award Type:
Duration: 1 Year Part-time

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2018. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: admissions@dbs.ie
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm