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Masters Degrees (Brain Disorder)

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Our Division of Psychiatry is internationally recognised as a world-class clinical research and teaching centre. We focus on the mechanisms underlying the development of major psychiatric disorders, especially psychosis. Read more

Research profile

Our Division of Psychiatry is internationally recognised as a world-class clinical research and teaching centre.

We focus on the mechanisms underlying the development of major psychiatric disorders, especially psychosis.

Expertise and studies

We have a particular expertise in longitudinal, clinical and biological studies of large cohorts of people at high risk of psychosis drawn from across Scotland. Our studies include:

the Edinburgh High Risk Study, which examines 200 young people at high genetic risk of schizophrenia over a period of ten years
the Edinburgh Study of Co-Morbidity, which examines teenagers at high cognitive risk for schizophrenia
the Bipolar High Risk Study, which examines over 200 young people at familial risk of bipolar disorder and controls

In psychiatric genetics, we take part in international genome wide association studies and focus on analyses of candidate genes including DISC-1, NDE-1 and DLG-2.

We also have a major focus on the functional genetics of psychiatric illness and have investigated the effects of variation in genes such as NRG1 and DISC1 on brain structure and function, as well as their programming during development.

We have demonstrated, for the first time, that structural and functional MRI changes precede the onset of psychosis and could be used as a diagnostic aid.

We have also demonstrated that it is possible to separate, using imaging, autism from learning disability in people of matched IQ.

We have made substantial progress in the discovery of genes, including DISC-1, associated with psychosis and have played a leading role in understanding how genetic variation alters brain structure and function and risk for mental illness.

Research methods
The principal methods used are state-of-the-art structural and functional imaging techniques and genetic studies. We are also involved in a number of clinical trials of novel therapeutic interventions.

Major conditions of interest
Our major disease targets (that straddle the disciplines of Neurology and Psychiatry) include:

•Autism and learning disability (Andrew Stanfield)
•Dementia prevention (Craig Ritchie)
•Bipolar disorder and depression (Andrew McIntosh)
•Schizophrenia (Stephen Lawrie, Mandy Johnstone)
•Cognition and Behaviour (collaborations with the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology

[[ Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences]]
The Division of Psychiatry is a part of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS) in the Edinburgh Medical School. CCBS integrates laboratory and clinical research to study the causes, consequences and treatment of major brain disorders.

Training and support

Postgraduate students are mentored and supported by at least two supervisors and receive longer term guidance from their thesis committee.

We offer a transferable skills programme and project-specific courses, including opportunities to become involved in science communication and public engagement. In addition, the Division provides clinical case demonstrations and specialist seminars.

Facilities

We offer well-characterised cohorts of patients and expertise in a wide variety of techniques to study biological aspects of psychiatric disorders.

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Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty discipline within psychology which is focused on the associations between the brain and neuropsychological functions, including cognition, emotion and behaviour. Read more
Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty discipline within psychology which is focused on the associations between the brain and neuropsychological functions, including cognition, emotion and behaviour. Clinical neuropsychology is particularly interested in the effects of brain disorders and other clinical conditions affecting the brain on these functions.

Disorders and conditions comprise acquired or congenital neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions in children, adolescents and adults, such as ADHD, autism, stroke, brain tumor, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, drug abuse, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, etc.

Clinical neuropsychologists can be involved in both the assessment and treatment of people with brain disorders in various applied and often clinical settings, but also in patient related research. Methods used in the field of clinical neuropsychology are neuropsychological tests, neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques.

With the aging population, the number of people with neuropsychological disorders increases and with this also the demand for well trained clinical neuropsychologists.

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The PhD and MSc by Research in Clinical Psychology offer the chance to work with, and be supervised by, a range of clinical academics across many areas of psychology. Read more

Research profile

The PhD and MSc by Research in Clinical Psychology offer the chance to work with, and be supervised by, a range of clinical academics across many areas of psychology.

Candidates should note that these programmes do not lead to Chartered Clinical Psychologist status.

Our research involves national and international collaborations, with many projects involving NHS partnerships.

We have specific research strengths in the areas of children and adolescents; developmental psychopathology of mental health; ageing and older adulthood; adult psychological problems; brain injury; chronic health conditions; psychological therapies research, including cognitive behavioural interventions; emotions and emotion regulation; sex offenders; learning disability; neuropsychology; quality of life; severe and enduring mental health problems; and the development and validation of measures.

Specific areas of interest include cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, psychosis, health psychology, and qualitative approaches.

Recent successful PhD topics have included eating disorders and emotion; chronic pain; quality of life and intellectual disabilities; developmental factors in adolescent mental health, and intervention for bipolar disorder.

We have an active research group in the area of applied developmental psychology and psychological therapies research for severe mental health issues. We coordinate the Edinburgh Child and Adolescent Psychology Network. The group’s research areas include child and adolescent health and mental health; cognition, language and learning; social development and relationships; and atypical development.

For more detailed information about potential PhD supervisors in this area, their research interests and publications, please visit our website.

Our research interests include:

onset and recovery from severe and enduring psychological disorder
mindfulness and third wave approaches
medically unexplained symptoms
child and adolescent mental health
eating behaviours and disorders
attachment and emotion regulation and sex offenders.

Training and support

The PhD and MSc by Research programmes allow you to conduct an independent research project that makes a significant contribution to your chosen field of study and to further develop your research skills. We provide expertise in a variety of research methods including qualitative and quantitative approaches.

You will be assigned two supervisors (usually one for MSc by Research) and you will meet with your supervisors regularly. Workshops, seminars and courses in research methods are available to postgraduate students undertaking a higher degree by research.

We work in close collaboration with the Graduate School of Social & Political Science, enabling School of Health in Social Science research students to benefit from the extensive suite of social science research courses offered by both Schools.

With close ties with other humanities disciplines and with colleagues in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, we offer PhD students excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary supervision and research project development.

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This MSc is an accredited professional programme leading to qualification as a speech and language therapist (SLT). The programme integrates theory with work-based clinical placements with adults and children with a range of communication and swallowing difficulties. Read more
This MSc is an accredited professional programme leading to qualification as a speech and language therapist (SLT). The programme integrates theory with work-based clinical placements with adults and children with a range of communication and swallowing difficulties. The programme has an excellent reputation, and over 90% of graduates are working in SLT-related posts within six months of qualifying.

Degree information

Students learn to apply knowedge from a range of academic subjects to speech and language therapy practice. Innovative and authentic learning methods develop necessary skills such as team-working, assessment and therapy, self-evaluation. The research-based curriculm promotes strong research skills, enabling students to evaluate and add to the evidence-base for the profession. The programme prepares students well for future leadership roles.

Students undertake modules to the value of 360 credits.

The programme comprises twelve core modules. Students register for six modules in year one (totalling 165 credits) and six modules in year two (195 credits, including a 60-credit research project). There are no optional modules for this programme.

Year One core modules
-Management of Communication Disorders 1: Language and Cognition (developmental)
-Management of Communication Disorders 2: Speech and Hearing
-Phonetics and Phonology
-Linguistic and Psychological Perspectives
-Research Methods 1

Year Two core modules
-Professional and Clinical Studies II
-Management of Communication Disorders 3: Language and Cognition (acquired)
-Management of Communication Disorders 4: Speech, Swallowing and Voice
-Brain, Mind and Health
-Research Methods II
-Research Project

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 8,000–10,000 words. Students also present their project orally to a group of peers.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, workshops, supervised clinical placements, practical classes and self-directed learning. Collaborative peer-working features strongly throughout. A variety of assessment methods are used, including coursework, presentations, clinical vivas, written examinations and practice-based assessment on placement.

Placement
Students attend both weekly and block placements, from the start of course working alongside qualified SLTs in a wide range of settings including hospitals, community, schools and charities. Placements are organised such that each student gains a breadth of experience. Students undertake over 700 hours of supervised clinical practice over the two year course, well above RCSLT recommendations.

Careers

Most graduates work as speech and language therapists with adults and children with a range of communication and swallowing difficulties, such as people with autism spectrum disorder, specific language or learning difficulties, people who have had strokes or head injuries. They work in the NHS, for example in hospitals, community health centres, specialist centres or domicilairy services. Many graduates work in education settings, such as mainstream or specialist schools and children's centres. Emerging areas of work are youth justice and dementia services. Graduates are well placed to take up further research and to develop into specialist SLTs.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Speech and Language Therapist, King's College Hospital (NHS)
-Speech and Language Therapist, North Middlesex University Hospital (NHS)
-Speech and Language Therapist, St George's Healthcare NHS Trust
-Speech and Language Therapist, Whittington Health NHS
-Speech and Language Therapy Assistant, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Employability
The programme is highly regarded by employers. As a professional training programme, this MSc develops a range of transferable skills relevant to employability, such as: interpersonal and communication skills, oral and written presentation skills, collaboration and teamworking, critical evaluation, integration and sythesis of information, report writing, behaviour management and change. Workplace learning in clinical placements enables students to apply their knowledge from a range of disciplines - including linguistics, phonetics, psychology and neurology - to assessing and managing communication difficulties in real life speech and language therapy contexts.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Students will benefit directly from UCL's world-leading research and teaching in language, mind and behaviour, supported by facilities such as cutting-edge laboratories, the on-site national SLT library and our in-house clinic.

You will be taught by experts in the field including specialist speech and language therapists, psychologists, linguists, neurologists. Our strong partnership with SLT services across London ensures the high-quality and currency of the curriculum.

This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). This qualification allows you to practise as a SLT in the UK.

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Occupational therapy practice is concerned with enhancing the daily lives of individuals with a very broad range of physical, mental health or social needs. Read more
Occupational therapy practice is concerned with enhancing the daily lives of individuals with a very broad range of physical, mental health or social needs. As an occupational therapist you will work with clients to improve function and enable them to fulfil the demands of their daily lives with greater satisfaction. You will work with people of all ages from all walks of life, in hospital, in the community, in their place of employment or in their home, and have the opportunity to work in a very wide variety of professional practice areas.

The fundamental aim of the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme is to enable you to graduate with a master’s degree in occupational therapy and be eligible to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK. The Degree does not provide eligibility to practice in any other country although the degree is WFOT recognised.

HCPC approved and COT/WFOT accredited

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/occupational-therapy-pre-registration/

Why choose this course?

- Graduates from this programme will be fit for purpose, practice, and award in the UK. We enable you to develop a profound understanding of the potential for occupational therapy to promote the health and wellbeing of the population. Skills acquired will be evidenced based, innovative and give you the capacity to make a significant contribution to the profession, specifically contribute to excellence in client care and the professional knowledge base. On successful completion of the degree and 1000 hours of clinical practice education you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a registered Occupational Therapist in the UK.

- Many of our graduates go on to further educational development at PhD/DPhil and professional doctorate level. We are mindful of the anticipated transformation of practice over the next 20 years as well as the changes to demographics and the political innovation resulting in the widening participation agenda. We therefore aim to attract graduate students, who are academically able, demonstrate appropriate values of self-determination, motivation and critical awareness of learning needs and show potential for leading leadership, innovation and research.

- Based in Oxford, the environment for learning is rich with diversity, culture, specialist health and social care resources, academic resources as well as close commuting links to London.

- Our programme is staffed by occupational therapists expert in diverse clinical specialities, and supported by occupational therapy practice educators from all areas of mainstream and specialist practice. Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice areas and have reputations for excellence with established links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international level.

- This course benefits from shared and inter-professional education opportunities, in addition to profession specific ones, to develop the professional qualities and attributes for current and future health and social care practice.

- Our ongoing investment in a new technology infrastructure is enabling the teaching team to exploit successful technology-enriched learning throughout the programme. We have a large and dedicated building in Oxford (Marston Road) equipped with state-of-the-art classroom and clinical skills and communication suites and resources. We run a weekly Hand Therapy clinic and a monthly Community Occupational Therapy Assessment Clinic for the public. Students are invited to observe other qualified OT's working in these clinics.

- We have a strong research profile, with experienced researchers working in established areas of cancer care, children and families, drug and alcohol, physical rehabilitation and enablement, inter-professional education and collaborative practice.

- Established in 1938, we are the oldest School of Occupational Therapy in England, and have one of the best occupational therapy library collections in the country.

- We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rates and high employability.

Teaching and learning

MSc in Occupational Therapy is taught alongside the well-established and highly-regarded BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy.

Pre-registration Masters students will be taught alongside the undergraduate students in all occupational therapy specific modules. These will be identified with different module numbers and names to those of the undergraduate programme. This dual level teaching in classroom will provide you with the opportunity to learn the core skills and specific attributes of occupational therapy alongside the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy students.

However, the pre-registration Masters students are provided with an enhanced level 7 learning experience with module specific tutorials to explore a more critical and evidence based approach to the subject matter and thus develop professional competence in academic, research and digital literacy, critical thinking and personal self-awareness.

Our approach will require you to actively engage in these Masters level tutorials and become self-directed, innovative, creative and critical learners. Teaching will assist you to construct knowledge through the analysis, synthesis and conceptualisation of your learning experiences, thus developing a lifelong approach to learning. This supports employability in a marketplace that demands adaptability, continuous development and leadership.

You will have the opportunity for face-to-face and virtual learning activities. Our inter-professional module is taken alongside other health and social care pre-registration master's level students, enabling you to prepare for the interdisciplinary work you will encounter in the health and social care environment.

Working at master’s level, you will focus on developing your knowledge in occupational therapy, which is evidence-based and strongly underpinned by research.

This master's degree will:
- Enable you to be a reflective, proactive, innovative and adaptable occupational therapy practitioner, with the ability to critique research and evaluate the effectiveness of evidence in a wide variety of practice settings.

- Develop a critical understanding of the theory of occupation and teach you to challenge existing models and approaches used in occupational therapy from an informed perspective.

- Provide opportunities to develop your ability to work both independently and as part of a team in the context of social, technological, administrative and policy changes.

How this course helps you develop

This course is mapped against the University's postgraduate attributes so that all occupational therapy graduates are equipped with the skills of academic literacy, digital and information literacy, global citizenship, research literacy, critical self awareness and personal literacy. These attributes are in addition to the NHS core values of respect and dignity, commitment to quality of care, compassion, and aspiring to improve the lives of others where everyone counts and we work together for patients.

Careers

The majority of graduates from the occupational therapy degrees work as qualified and registered occupational therapists, but there are increasing opportunities to work in non-specified professional roles in mental health and community settings. There are also increasing numbers of employment roles that are not explicitly described or advertised as an ‘occupational therapist’ but match the skills specification of an occupational therapist. This is due to the changing nature of health and social care practice and the new and emerging roles and opportunities for occupational therapy.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

The Centre for Rehabilitation within the Department of Sport and Health Sciences has strong leadership in the director, Professor Helen Dawes. The Centre brings together research, education and care. It is underpinned by a strong, well-published research group, the Movement Science Group, along with clinical expertise, rehabilitation, knowledge and care of adults and children with neurological conditions. Within the Centre, staff, students and alumni across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences are engaged in a number of research projects.

Examples of ongoing research projects within the faculty:
- Driving rehabilitation - cognitive mechanisms of driving and performance implications for clinical populations

- Fatigue management – Central and peripheral fatigue and mechanisms in clinical populations

- Dual task control in Stroke - influence on community mobility

- Efficacy of Intensive motor learning programmes – Themed (Magic) camps for children with hemiplegia

- Arts in Health Research – collaboration with Breathe Arts Health Research with research opportunities across many arts related activities

- Virtual Reality (VR) technologies – development and implementation of VR technologies in rehabilitation

- Early identification of motor and sensory processing impairments in children

- Sensory processing disorders and impact on function and behaviour in children with autism

- Measurement and monitoring of rehabilitation participation- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Systematic Review of Vocational Rehabilitation for people with TBI

- Therapy for hand writing in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD)

- Monitoring movement in people with neurological conditions – mechanisms and impact e.g. head drop in Parkinson Disorder

- Physical activity impact on sleep, behaviour cognition, health and wellbeing in children with neurodisability

- Falls in people with learning disabilities – an understanding of the impact of anxiety

- A Functional Electrical Stimulation Plantar flexion System for Bone Health Maintenance in Spinal Cord Injury Patients

- Professional development Perspectives of Occupational Therapists working in the NHS and concepts of Occupational Balance, Cultural perspectives and attitude change in professional identity acquisition.

Research areas and clusters

Our staff are involved in research both independently and collaboratively.

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