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.

We also offer this course as a fully online version. Please see 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


£ 15,300 per year

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.

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 2023.

Read more about our bursaries.


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)
Autumn 2022Block 130 September and 1 October 2022
Autumn 2022Block 221 and 22 October 2022
Autumn 2022Block 318 and 19 November 2022
Autumn 2022Block 49 and 10 December 2022
Winter 2023Block 513 and 14 January 2023
Winter 2023Block 610 and 11 February 2023
Winter 2023Block 717 and 18 March 2023
Spring 2023Block 814 and 15 April 2023
Spring 2023Block 912 and 13 May 2023
Spring 2023Block 109 and 10 June 2023
Spring 2023Block 1130 June and 1 July 2023
Autumn 2023Group relations conference (obligatory for year one students)
4 to 7 September 2023

Please note: these dates could be subject to change.

Additional sessions

Year one
  • Six evening seminars
  • Three mid-block online supervisions (dates by arrangement with tutors)
Year two
  • Four evening seminars
  • Up to ten mid-block online supervisions (dates by arrangement with tutors)

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

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

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

University of Essex logo

This course is validated by the University of Essex.

Apply now

Start your application for this course.

Recommended courses

Explore courses to help build knowledge in this area

Explore courses to study beforehand

Explore courses to study next

For a better viewing experience we recommend you upgrade your browser.