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Course content

The UCL Division of Psychiatry is pleased to offer this programme focused on clinical practice in mental health and its evidence base. The Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc integrates biological, psychological and social perspectives on mental health and caters both for psychology graduates and for clinicians wishing to undertake a broad-based, rigorous and flexible higher degree.

About this degree

Students will develop an in-depth understanding of current evidence regarding mental health problems and the interventions provided to address them, as well as enhancing their research skills. A wide range of options from across the School of Life and Medical Sciences at UCL allows students to tailor a programme that fully fits their needs.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of 1–2 core double modules (30–60 credits), 4–6 optional modules (60–90 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

A diploma may be awarded to students who complete the equivalent of 8 taught single modules, amounting to 120 credits.

A certificate may be awarded to students who complete the equivalent of 4 taught single modules, amounting to 60 credits.

Core modules

  • Core Principles of Mental Health Research (double module)
  • Clinical Mental Health (double module – compulsory only for those who do not have at least six months’ full-time experience, or the equivalent, of working in mental health settings).

Students who are unsure whether they should take Clinical Mental Health should discuss it with the course team. It is in general unsuitable for those who are already qualified clinicians. 

Optional modules

Students who take the Clinical Mental Health module will take four optional modules, including at least one from the Division of Psychiatry. Students who do not take this module will take six optional modules, including at least three from the Division of Psychiatry.

  • Students who take the Clinical Mental Health module will choose at least one option (15 credits) from the following:
  • Current Research in Depression and Anxiety
  • Current Research in Dementia
  • Current Research in Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  • Current Research in Psychosis and Bipolar
  • Mental Health Care: Policy and Evaluation
  • Culture in the Clinic
  • Advanced treatment and management of Dementia (appropriateness to be discussed with Module Lead if Current Research in Dementia not also taken
  • Please note: Students who do not take the Clinical Mental Health module will select at least three modules (45 credits) from the above list
  • Any UCL modules approved by the Programme Director and not resulting in timetable clashes can be added to make up the remaining credits. Module with approval in the Division of Psychiatry are Mental Health in Social and Global Context, Epidemiological Research Methods in Mental Health, Statistical M
  • Ethnicity, Migration and Health (Department of Epidemiological and Social Methods in Public Health)
  • Social Determinants of Health (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health)
  • Higher Functions of the Brain (Institute of Neurology)
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Child Mental Health (UCL Institute of Child Health)
  • Interventions in Child and Adolescent Mental Health – Psychological (UCL Institute of Child Health)
  • Quality Improvements in Health (UCL CHIME)
  • Neuroimaging: Introductory Science and Methods (Institute of Neurology)
  • Neuroimaging: Imaging Modalities (Institute of Neurology)
  • Interventions in Child and Adolescent Mental Health - Pharmacological (UCL Institute of Child Health)

NB: due to timetable clashes only one UCL Institute of Child Health module may be taken by each student.

Research project/report

All students undertake a final project. This may be a research project, to be reported as a paper of up to 7,000 words ready for submission to a specified journal, a blog of 1,000 words and a 20-minute talk, or a clinical project of 10,000 words reporting on a clinical topic or service evaluation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars and workshops, with considerable use of supporting online learning. Assessment methods include one unseen examination, coursework including designing questionnaires and protocols and analysing data, giving talks and presenting posters, and a final report in the format of a journal paper or brief for clinicians or service planners.

Placement

The programme team support students in obtaining volunteer placements in relevant mental health care and research settings, but this is not a formal part of the course and is entirely optional.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc

Careers

For non-clinicians, the programme will be an excellent grounding for clinical training, such as in clinical psychology, or for embarking on a research career in mental health. Many graduates go on to research assistant, clinical support worker or assistant psychologist posts as a first destination. The programme is also intended to prepare students for PhD studies, also a major onward route. For clinicians, this is a great opportunity to gain a higher qualification through a programme based in a leading university department which can be closely tailored to your interests across clinical, research and management fields.

Employability

Students will be taught by leading experts in their fields, will gain a strong clinical understanding of mental health, and will be able to develop their skills in research, service design and evaluation, and writing and presenting. Previous Division of Psychiatry Master’s graduates have been enthusiastic about their career enhancement, both through their programme and the connections they have made through it. We offer to find all students a placement (if they wish) for one day a week in which relevant clinical and/or research experience is obtained. A large proportion of our first cohort of graduates have gone on to paid employment in relevant areas of mental health, especially research assistant, clinical support worker, psychological wellbeing practitioner and assistant psychologist posts. Others have embarked on PhD studies. 


Visit the Clinical Mental Health Sciences (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University College London website for more details!

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