The Foundation Course

You can attend the Foundation Course in person at the Institute premises or entirely on Zoom if you are applying from outside London.


Involves clinical experience.

The Institute’s Foundation Course is aimed at those wanting to gain a deeper knowledge of psychoanalytic ideas and the ways in which they are applied in clinical work.

This course is a good option if you are thinking about a future training in psychoanalysis – but also if you are just interested in psychoanalytic thinking and clinical experience.

The format comprises a lecture (lasting just over an hour) followed by a clinical seminar (75 minutes). The lectures are given by psychoanalysts on different areas of psychoanalytic theory and clinical application, over all having a greater emphasis on the clinical side than the Introductory Lectures. Each clinical seminar group is led by a psychoanalyst and the students take it in turn to present clinical material. All students are encouraged and expected to participate in the clinical discussion of the work that is presented. The Foundation Course usually takes place on Thursday evenings from 7.45pm to 10.15pm throughout the academic year.

Our Foundation Course is open to all professionals with a university degree, including but not limited to those working in fields related to mental health. We also welcome recently qualified graduates who are thinking about a career in psychoanalysis. While our Introductory Lectures and Seminars precede the Foundation Course in terms of level and content, it is not necessary to have attended them before participating in this course.

There is also an optional pathway that enables students accepted for the Foundation Course and for either the MA Psychoanalytic Studies at Birkbeck College, or the MSc Theoretical Psychoanalytical Studies at UCL, to have their work on the Foundation Course accredited as part of their degree programme.

We ask applicants who do not work in a clinical setting to arrange an honorary placement and this can be discussed further at the interview.  Foundation course students receive access to Pep Web, the Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing Website (

The course fees for the foundation course are £1425 for the academic year 2024/25. The course fee can be paid in two instalments. The first instalment of £950 is due before the course starts and the last instalment of £475 is due in December. An additional non-refundable £50 application fee is also payable.

The Co-Chairs of the Foundation Course are Dr Sergei Grachev and Mr Alex Read. Applicants to the course will be invited to attend an interview with them or another committee member to assess their suitability to attend.  If you have any queries, please email the Foundation Course administrator, Katerina Tsami-Cole: You can apply by clicking on the link below. We start accepting applications to the Foundation Course in November. The deadline for completed applications is Friday 31st August of the same year. The course is very popular. It is important that you submit your application form as early as possible. Once we have reached the maximum number of students we can accept for the academic year we cannot accept any more. 

Lectures and seminars for this course take place in hybrid form at the Institute’s premises in Byron House, Maida Vale. Students from outside London will be able to attend the lectures and seminars online. It is also the intention that students from south London will be able to attend the lectures online from the Institutes south London premises at 10 Windsor Walk, SE5 8BB. These students will then be able to attend an in-person seminar group at this site. These arrangements will be discussed further as part of the interview process.

You can now submit an application form for the academic year 2024/25. You will then be contacted by the administrator about arranging an interview. 

Click here to apply online.