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

Understand organisational systems and acquire the skills to work more effectively as a leader, consultant or manager

This two-year 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.

This course is also available to study online: Consulting and leading in organisations psychodynamic and systemic approaches (ED10, online).

Please note: you may see the D10 course also referred to as SCMATP001 in communications from our application system.

About this course

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.

Course structure

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.

Who is this course for?

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.

Course details

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


£7,650 per year (2023/24)


£ 15,300 per year (2023/24)

For more information about financing your studies and your fee status, please see our fees and funding area.

Please note that course fees are subject to an annual uplift of 3% or the Consumer Price Inflation as at 1 September, whichever is the greater. At its discretion, the Trust may determine a figure between these two rates.

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


Over the two years of the master’s, assessment will be through four 3,000 word essays (two each year), two 2,000 essays (one each year) plus a dissertation of 14,000 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.


  • The course will take place across 11 Friday and Saturday teaching blocks per year (see dates in table below)
  • There will be four six-hour sessions of group work on each day of each block, with generous breaks provided
  • Friday sessions will run from 9.45am to 5.00pm, UK time
  • Saturday sessions will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm, UK time

In addition, there will be a series of one-hour or one-and-a-half-hour webinars scheduled on Wednesday evenings between 6.00pm and 7.30pm, UK time (6 in Year One plus 3 additionally arranged on a day to be confirmed with tutors on observation module; 4 in Year Two).

Students in their second year should be aware that a further 11 mid-block supervision webinars will be scheduled by supervisors between January and June 2024, at times which best suit individual supervision groups.

Year One students will also be required to attend the Group Relations Conference at the Tavistock Clinic 2-5 September 2024 (TBC).

Autumn 2023Block 16 and 7 October 2023
Autumn 2023Block 227 and 28 October 2023
Autumn 2023Block 317 and 18 November 2023
Autumn 2023Block 48 and 9 December 2023
Winter 2024Block 512 and 13 January 2024
Winter 2024Block 616 and 17 February 2024
Winter 2024Block 715 and 16 March 2024
Spring 2024Block 812 and 13 April 2024
Spring 2024Block 910 and 11 May 2024
Spring 2024Block 107 and 8 June 2024
Spring 2024Block 1128 June and 29 June 2024
Student-led webinars:
  • Wednesday 18 October 2023
  • Wednesday 8 November 2023
  • Wednesday 29 November 2023
  • Wednesday 31 January 2024
  • Wednesday 24 April 2024
  • Wednesday 22 May 2024

Please note: these dates could be subject to change.

Graduates of this course have:

  • come from a variety of professional backgrounds including healthcare, retail, the finance sector, technology and software development, sports and entertainment industries, charities and social services
  • learned a new approach to working within and consulting to organisations, allowing them to understand unconscious group dynamics and how organisations function as systems with managed boundaries, hierarchies of roles, necessary inputs and outputs
  • developed roles within organisations where they consult to processes of change, or common difficulties such as high staff turnover, evolving marketplaces or mergers
  • explored how aspects of identity such as race, gender, sexuality, class or disability shape organisational functioning
  • learned skills for improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • taken up senior management and executive leadership roles
  • become self-employed as organisational consultants
  • created a strong professional network and community of practice
  • become ambassadors of the Tavistock approach in consultancy and the organisation

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Why study with us?

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.


“I decided to study at the Tavistock and Portman because it has been teaching about groups and organisations for a long time, and has a good reputation in this area. Since I’ve been on the course, I’m more able to understand the emotions I’m experiencing, what might lie behind them and make sense of what’s happening in the teams I’ve been working in.”
“I decided to study at the Tavistock and Portman as I was keen to undertake study in organisational dynamics from an interpersonal and systemic perspective. Having attended CPD courses here, I felt that this would be a positive place to study; the course also came recommended to me. ”

Course facilitators

Validations and accreditations

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This course is validated by the University of Essex.

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