Consulting and leading in organisations: psychodynamic and systemic approaches (D10)

Course overview

Validated by the University of Essex this course will develop you as a leader, consultant or manager by giving you a fuller understanding of the human dimensions of organisational systems and helping you to develop a ‘consultative stance’ to organisational dilemmas and opportunities. You will be helped to see the bigger picture, from different perspectives, and acquire the skills to work more effectively.

We are delighted to offer this course completely online.  Please see Consulting and leading in organisations: psychodynamic and systemic approaches (Online, ED10) for more information.

Want to hear more? Join this course information session at our virtual open day on Saturday 25 June. Book your place using our booking form here.

This course combines experiential learning with the study of psychoanalytic and systemic theory in relation to organisations, bringing into view the complex emotional lives of contemporary organisations. You will learn how to track the flow of pressure around organisational systems, noting how pressure may move up and down hierarchies, or flow out into certain departments, roles or professions, or into ‘troublesome individuals’. 

Theory seminars and webinars will introduce you to key concepts such as the individual unconscious, the group unconscious and the institutional unconscious. Contemporary papers and case studies will bring theory to life, exploring issues such as authority and power, organisational change and the politics of difference. Race, intersectionality and difference are approached using a theoretical, individual and organisational lens, in order to explore how they impact  organisational dynamics, and the capacity of leaders, managers and consultants to take up their roles. 

A range of conceptual tools will develop your capacity to think critically and systemically about organisations. You will learn to map organisational systems and understand the effects of organisational structure on organisational dynamics and vice versa. You will be encouraged to think creatively ‘across the boundary’ between the conscious and unconscious aspects of organisational life, including those of the organisational system in which the course takes place. 

In the first year of the course, you will observe an organisation which will provide you with an invaluable opportunity to watch a group functioning when it is engaged in its usual task.

In your second year, you will undertake a consultancy, supervised in small supervision groups. You will also be expected to organise yourselves to plan and staff a consultancy intervention for year one students. The focus will be not only on the success or failure of this intervention but on the opportunity provided for learning about group processes that emerge when engaging with a client group.

Over the two years you will participate in experiential groups, the aim of which is to learn how to observe the functioning of a group and to understand the dynamics which influence it, while also participating in the group. Experiential groups allow for the study of issues such as leadership, followership, rivalry, boundaries, group defences and cultural and role differences.

Between years one and two all students take part in a Group Relations Conference which is an intensive and immersive experience of group and institutional processes. The conference is, in effect, a temporary organisation created to enable you to study relatedness and relationships between groups, boundary dynamics and issues of delegated authority.

This course will give you a better understanding of yourself in a working context and a greater capacity to understand group processes that create functioning or dysfunctional organisations and teams. It will enhance your capacity for appropriate task related leadership and develop your ability to act effectively as a consultant, manager or leader in response to organisational issues.

What our students say

What our students say:

This course is for you if you are a manager, leader, consultant or coach who wants to gain insight into the unconscious processes that affect organisational systems.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:

  • have a minimum of three years’ experience in your chosen profession
  • have experience of direct involvement in the management, training or development of other professional workers, or engagement in consultative work for specific organisations
  • have a first degree or equivalent, and/or professional experience commensurate with that qualification.


11 Friday and Saturday blocks plus:

Year one:

  • 6 evening seminars 
  • 3 mid block online supervisions  (dates by arrangement with tutors)

Year two:

  • 4 evening seminars 
  • Up to 10 mid block online supervisions (dates by arrangement with tutors)


Over the two years of the masters assessment will be through four 3000 word essays (two each year), two 2000 essays (one each year) plus a dissertation of 14000 words completed during the summer following year two. There is also an element of continuous assessment provided by tutors and supervisors in the Consulting and Leading in Practice module of the course - worth 50% of assessment for that module.

Kay Trainor

Kay Trainor

Dr Kay Trainor has led the Masters in Consulting and leading in organisations: psychodynamic and systemic approaches (D10) for over ten years. During this time she has worked as an organisational consultant in a range of organisations spanning corporate, media, health and third sectors.  She has directed many group relations conferences, both nationally and internationally​. Before joining Tavistock Consulting in 2008 she ran her own Consultancy Company, combining a systems psychodynamic approach with the creative practices of working artists. 

D10 on site, Years 1 & 2

This course will be delivered over 11 Friday and Saturday blocks per year and 10 evening webinars (6 in year one, 4 in year two). Fridays of the blocks will run from 09.30 - 17.30 (year 1) and from 11.30 - 17.30 (year 2). Saturdays will run from 09.00 - 17.00 (years 1 & 2). In addition 4.5 hours of observation seminars (year 1) and 16.5 hours of supervision (year two) will be scheduled outside the blocks.


Block 1 Sep 30th, Oct 1st

Evening webinar 1 Oct 12th years 1 & 2

Block 2 Oct 21st, 22nd

Evening webinar 2 Nov 9th years 1 & 2

Block 3 Nov 18th, 19th

Evening webinar 3 Nov 30th years 1 & 2

Block 4 Dec 9th, 10th


Block 5 Jan 13th, 14th

Evening webinar 4 Jan 25th years 1 & 2

Block 6 Feb 10th, 11th

Evening webinar 5 March 1st year 1

Block 7 March 17th, 18th

Block 8 April 14th, 15th

Evening webinar 6 April 26th year 1

Block 9 May 12th, 13th

Block 10 June 9th, 10th

Block 11 June 30th, July 1st

Please note: These dates may be subject to change.


£ 7,425 per year


£ 14,850 per year

For more information about how Brexit may affect your fee status, please see Brexit information for EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals

Please note that course fees are subject to a 3% or CPI uplift each year, whichever is greater.

We are happy offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses. 

Bursary opportunities

We are delighted to be offering two bursaries for applicants from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who secure a place on the course starting in September 2022.  Please download full information about the bursary and how to apply for it here.

MA / Master's
Course length:
2 years
Part-time – Friday and Saturday
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
Course lead:
Kay Trainor

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Join us for our introductory seminar on: Tuesday 24th May 18.00 - 20.00

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This course is validated by the University of Essex

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