Skip to main content

PG NQ OAS Infant Observation Course

Infant observation plays an important part in the teaching and learning that takes place on psychoanalytic and psychodynamic clinical trainings: this course is useful preparation for such training. It is also an appropriate course for those in related professions interested in a psychoanalytically informed observational approach to infant development.

During the course you will be helped to identify a parent/carer and baby who you can regularly closely observe in a set situation (usually the carer and infant’s home) over a one-year period. You will observe how the baby’s individual personality emerges and how relationships within the family grow, through weekly one-hour visits.

Alongside these observations, you will take part in fortnightly infant observation seminars (in groups of up to 6 students) led by experienced (ACP registered) Child Psychotherapists. The aim of the seminars is to think about the students’ observations of each baby and to see how relationships within the families develop as the babies grow.

You will work with the course facilitator to carry out observations in a way that is ethical and meets safeguarding requirements and is systematic from a psychoanalytically informed, developmental point of view. As a student, you will take up a friendly, observing position in the home and are not there to give advice or information on childcare.

Course length

1-2 years (part-time).

To complete the course, you are required to:

  • attend a minimum of 15 seminars (seminars are 2.5 hours long and take place fortnightly)
  • complete 44 hours of observation of an infant in their home setting with a parent/ carer present
  • submit an observational log for all observed session
  • submit a final report on the observation (2,500 words).

In addition to your observation hours and seminars, you will have a termly one-to-one consultation with a tutor.


UK students: £900. There is an additional cost of £48.70 for the DBS application (see below).

International students: £1,050

Who is this training for?

Training is for people who have an honours degree or the equivalent or a professional qualification in counselling/ psychotherapy, social work or medicine or similar. Applicants with experience in social, psychological and medical roles will be considered on individual merit.

How to apply

Please contact for details about application forms and how to apply.

UK-based applicants will be required to complete an enhanced DBS check. The cost of submitting the DBS application is £48.70 which will be charged separately.

International applicants will be required to submit an equivalent clearance in order to undertake the course.


Isobel Seymour

Phone: 01392 72 2149