The course is designed for practitioners from Health, Education, Social Care and Voluntary care services with some experience of working with children and adolescents. Students need to be a practitioner in relevant area of practice such as education or health and social care. You may have completed a core professional qualification i.e. nursing, social work, occupational therapy, health visiting, or school nursing and wish to advance your knowledge, although this is not essential.
The course is studied over three years with two pathways in your final year of study; a full research pathway or a taught research pathway. Teaching will involve a broad range of teaching methods including role play and experiential learning, structured reflection, seminar presentations, small group work and video assisted learning.
You will need to have access to working with children and/ or young people and families throughout the course and you will need support for study leave from your line manager to attend scheduled teaching sessions.
Course leader Sharon Pagett has 15 years clinical experience within CAMH. Sharon’s professional background is mental health nursing and she has a range of clinical experience within CAMH services within Day Units and community services. Sharon has led the University’s Graduate Diploma in CAMH for 15 years, which was commissioned by the NHS. This course has consistently evaluated well since its inception. Members of the teaching team also have a range of clinical experience within CAMH services; Simon Baverstock has experience within in-patient child and adolescent inpatient services and violence reduction. He has an MSc in Personality Disorder and has interests in emerging personality disorder, trauma and mindfulness-based interventions.
Dr Karen Whittaker (Reader in Child and Family Health) leads the Child and Family Health research theme group referred to as SEaRCCH, (Supporting Evaluation and Research in Child and Community Health) within the School of Nursing. She is an Institute of Health Visiting Fellow and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Karen’s professional background is in nursing and health visiting, previously practicing as a health visitor in the city of Salford and later in Lancashire. Her own doctorate and post-doctorate research has involved the application of realist evaluation methods to examine parenting and family support.
The course will develop students’ knowledge in the area of child and adolescent mental health, developing skills that are transferrable in a range of settings from social care to education and also within a range of health services specific to children and adolescents. With the emphasis on early intervention and raising awareness of mental health issues in children and young people, the range of settings where this award could be used is constantly developing.
Modules within the course look at a range of areas such as issues around attachment, normal childhood development, parenting and trauma informed care. Areas specifically related to children and young people’s mental health are considered in depth from assessment to interventions, covering specific areas of concern such as ADHD, ASD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm and emergent personality disorder.
Clinical and research expertise are blended in the delivery of this multidisciplinary programme where high standards of clinical care are emphasised and students are encouraged to apply their critical and analytical thinking skills to theory, policy and practice in child and adolescent mental health.
The programme will develop your ability to identify and analyse principles of policy, planning and management in child and adolescent mental health. You will gain professional, academic and research skills and understand how their application can improve clinical practice. You will increase your understanding of the impact of culture and diversity upon clinical theory and practice, and experience enhanced personal and professional development.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, one year part-time, flexible two to five years) is offered. The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), and three optional modules (45 credits).
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, one year part-time, two years flexible) is offered. Three core modules (45 credits) and a choice of one of the two remaining core modules (15 credits).
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 to 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, discussion, project work and independent and group study. Assessment includes written assignments, unseen written examinations, projects, oral presentations, group work, and the written dissertation.
We are able to offer a limited number of clinical placements in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in various NHS Trusts. Places are not guaranteed and are based on availability.
The placements are a minimum of one day a week for a period of eight weeks and will be supervised by medical and non-medical consultants within the service.
Placements are observational only and will not be formally assessed but may offer opportunities to participate in research studies and other academic and teaching activities in the host trust.
The cost of the placement is in the range of £75 to £200.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Child and Adolescent Mental Health MSc
The programme provides career development training for doctors, psychologists and practitioners in social work and education who intend to focus and develop their careers in the areas of child mental health.
This is a relatively new programme and only limited career destination data is available. However, recent graduates have gone on to Clinical Doctorates in Psychology or had opportunities for progression in their current careers.
Recent career destinations for this degree
This programme attracts psychology graduates who wish to enhance their opportunities for progression to further clinical psychology training, and trainees in child psychiatry who wish to supplement their basic training with a higher degree; the MSc programme is closely aligned to the Royal College’s recommended curriculum. Students from social work, nursing and education will benefit from the acquisition of advanced skills in the theory and practice of working with young people with mental health difficulties. Clinical placements are available as an extracurricular option for students who aim to develop their career in a profession related to clinical practice.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health pursues an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to enhance understanding, diagnosis, therapy and prevention of childhood diseases. Our research and our educational portfolio covers a broad range of paediatric issues, from molecular genetics to population health sciences.
Our close relationship with the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children means that much of our research and teaching is carried out on a joint basis. Students benefit from excellent facilities in both laboratory and non-laboratory subjects.
This programme blends academic theory and research with clinical knowledge to enable professionals to deliver a high standard of clinical care.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
80%: Clinical Medicine subjects; 81%: Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care subjects rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.