Master of Science

Master of Science (MSc)

logo TA master

The possibility, for students who take a three or four year TA course at the TA academie or elsewhere, to get a Masters’ Degree (MSc) is created by the Professional Development Foundation (PDF) in the UK. It is this foundation that holds the contract with Middlesex University in London, that grants the MSc. Professor Julie Hay, chair of both the Psychological Intelligence Foundation (PIFCIC) and the International Centre for Developmental TA (ICDTA) holds the contract with PDF. Professor Hay is the academic dean and programme director of the faculty of Developmental TA. Professor Hay tends to say: ‘It is ment to be easy!’ For more information contact Marian Timmermans, P-TSTA:

The Certificate and Diploma levels have a modular structure. Every module covers a specific body of TA knowledge and/or a specific set of TA skills. You are required to produce portfolios to match four modules, of which two topics are obligatory at each level.

For MSc level you will need to undertake a piece of professional work where you will consider what you do from the perspective of a researcher, and write a dissertation (12.000 words) about it. Research is an important part of the MSc level. It will be ‘case study’ style rather than statistical analysis.

When you decide to take the Master course, you choose a sponsor from professor Hays international MSc team.

More information about the curriculum can be obtained from Marian Timmermans, PTSTA:

The ICDTA provides a Certificate, a Diploma and a Masters (MSc) degree in Developmental Transactional Analysis. These operate at approximately the same academic level as typical postgraduate qualifications but have been designed with an emphasis on practical application so that they equate to about 25% and 50% of the requirements for the well-established international TA qualification of Certified Transactional Analyst. The ICDTA Certificate, Diploma and Masters (MSc) degree are in Developmental TA, whereas the international CTA qualification is in one of four more specific fields; students are expected to specialise more as they become more advanced practitioners. Students may, however, still specialise at early stages provided they cover the fundamentals. Students may state that they hold the Certificate (or Diploma or Masters (MSc degree) in Developmental Transactional Analysis; subject to approval by ICDTA they may also choose to specify a field of practice such as Coaching, Consulting, Teaching, etc. The ICDTA qualifications require students to produce portfolios that demonstrate their competence. Students are also required to complete a defined number of hours of TA training and TA supervision (provided by internationally-accredited TA trainers) and to complete a defined number of hours application of TA in a professional capacity (i.e. using TA to help others develop).

The possibility to get a Master degree in Transactional Analysis is offered to students in the PG&PO programme. They will work in the MSC programme alongside their regular TA training programme. It is the intention of the TA academie to only let students subscribe to this class of which the trainers think they make a good enough chance to end up becoming an MSc within three years.

Let us be clear: After a student decided to apply for the MSc class, two trainers will have an assessment-talk with the student, in which they will assess the motivation as presented by the student and they will assess the student’s capabilities as evaluated by the trainers. After a meeting of the Dutch MSc team, in which the trainers discuss their findings, they will give the student a so called BSA (bindend studieadvies) to join the class and to begin the process for obtaining the Certificate, which is the first level required towards the MSc.

Criteria will be: academic level of thinking, preparedness to invest enough energy, time and money, previous experience in (TA) education and a clear determination to work within a three years’ time frame (MSc contract). This procedure is not put in place to discourage anyone. This is matter of protection of you as a student and of our institute and its trainers.

To get the Certificate:

  1. You will need to demonstrate through portfolios of evidence that you have attained the required competencies in the ways you use DTA professionally – this means keeping careful records of your practice and submitting these with a TA commentary on what happened.
  2. The Handbook describes several modules – you are required to submit your work to match some of these. The module topics are general enough that anyone using DTA can meet enough of them e.g. professional intervention is about how you set up your work, and you can chose whether you work with individuals, groups or organisations.
  3. You can submit portfolios whenever you are ready. There is no set order to follow – what you submit will be influenced by the professional work you undertake.

To prepare a portfolio:

  1. As you start each of your professional interventions, think ahead to which module it might represent and begin the process of ensuring that you will be able to present evidence of the competencies generally and of the specific learning outcomes for that module.
  2. As you undertake the intervention, be sure to collect all working papers e.g. letters, meeting notes, session notes, evaluation forms, copies of flipcharts (photos?) – everything to do with a piece of professional practice – number them in chronological order and prepare a contents list to submit within the portfolio.
  3. As you undertake the intervention, begin to write a commentary of how you understand what happened during the work, using TA concepts. Include what went well and also what went wrong and what you did about that, or how you might do it differently in future. We are not looking for perfection – just a ‘good enough’ piece of work.
  4. When you have completed the intervention, review the evidence you have collected and your commentary against the full list of competencies as well as the specific learning outcomes for that module – and check you can provide evidence for these – if not, consider what you need to add or whether the intervention will now fit better with a different module.
  5. When you are satisfied that your intervention matches the selected module, check that you have provided evidence against all competencies and learning outcomes. It is a good idea to work with other students on this, so you minimise the amount of supervision from the trainers that you will have to pay for. Add any commentary or additional evidence as appropriate.
  6. One of the trainers/tutors (your sponsor if one has already been allocated) will need to assess the portfolio and confirm whether it is ready to be assessed formally – if not they will provide feedback about changes they believe are needed.

To continue on to the MSc track

  1. Once you have satisfactorily completed the ICDTA Certificate requirements, you will be invited to sign a further contract to progress to the MSc. At this point the additional fee to Middlesex University will become payable for at least 2 years.
  2. You will package your assessed portfolios in line with the requirements described in the MSc Student Handbook, and add some reflective essays. The reflective essays will then be assessed in line with the University requirements, accompanied by the portfolio contents as evidence.
  3. This process will be continued for the Diploma level: you will again produce a number of portfolios with commentaries and these will be assessed. Once assessed as satisfactory, these will also be packaged in line with the requirements described in the MSc Student Handbook and you will add some reflective essays which will in turn be assessed in line with the University requirements.
  4. Once both Certificate and Diploma requirements have been met, along with the respective reflective essays, you will undertake a suitable intervention in the form of a qualitative research study. You will submit this as a 12,000-word dissertation, which will include approximately 4000 words in response to your choice of 3 from 10 questions about TA theory. Such an intervention can be presented in the form of a case study in order to demonstrate your professional competence; there is no requirement to undertake a quantitative research project.
Modules Summary


Year 1: Certificate in Developmental TA

Core Module plus Learning Journal
Professional Intervention Importance of contracting, boundaries and ground rules, ethics & professional practices
Plus two optional modules from 5
Core Themes in TA Overview of all concepts, how they link, history & development of TA
Individual Development Structural analysis, script matrix and related concepts, life positions, cycles of development, discounting, racket system, autonomy
Interactions & Relationships Functional analysis, diagnosis of ego states, transactional analysis proper, strokes, time structuring, games and rackets, symbiosis
Group Processes Group imagoes, leadership and followership, time structuring, games, stroking patterns and cycles of development in groups
Organisations and Institutions Berne’s organisational diagrams, hierarchy of functionality, Hay’ organisational model, games, stroking and ego state patterns in organisations
Plus a learning journal Journal describing student’s learning from all sources, covering increased self-awareness and increased competence
Year 2: Diploma in Developmental TA
2 Core Modules
Process Skills Analysing self, others, groups and organisations, interventions, transference and counter-transference, projection, models and processes of supervision, parallel process
Research Research methods, qualitative and quantitative research, process and outcome research, critical reviews, research within TA and comparable research elsewhere, establishing and conducting research studies
Plus three optional modules from 7
Organisational Context Diagnosing, selecting, planning and implementing appropriate range of TA concepts in one of the 3 fields of application, combining TA and other approaches, critiquing what done
Educational Context
Counselling Context
Consulting, Counselling & Facilitating How change occurs at individual, group and organisational levels, contrasting TA with other approaches
Learning, Teaching & Training Learning by children and adults, philosophies of education and training, principles of learning, contrasting TA with other approaches
Work Skills Work skills such as leadership, time management, problem solving and decision making, creativity and innovation, contrasting TA with other approaches
Year 3: MSc Professional Development

(Developmental Transactional Analysis)

Optional addition of specialisation Dissertation based on professional intervention