Masters degrees in Psychopharmacology involve advanced study of chemical substances’ psychological and behavioural effects on the human mind and body.
Related subjects include Abnormal & Clinical Psychology, Molecular Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject such as Pharmacology, Medicine or Psychology.
Psychopharmacologists are interested in the effects that drugs have on mood, sensation, thinking and behaviour, and whether certain substances have psychoactive properties.
For example, you could explore links between clinical drugs and long-term side effects, such the proposed correlation between the contraceptive pill and depression.
Alternatively, you might investigate how hallucinogenics and narcotics affect an individual’s reality. You could also consider their long-term impact, asking whether hallucinations create false memories or examining the link between narcotics and paranoia.
Careers are extremely broad, with possible routes including diagnostics and psychotherapy, social work and counselling, or forensic applications such as rehabilitation and probation services. Other careers include public administration and policy-making.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Abnormal and Clinical Psychology at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
Clinical psychology focuses on the challenges faced by people with clinical, mental or physical (neuropsychological) health conditions. The role of the clinical psychologist is to work with these individuals and attempt to improve their quality of life. The Master’s degree in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology at Swansea is designed to equip students with an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of clinical psychology in healthcare settings. The primary purpose of the Abnormal and Clinical Psychology course is to allow students to gain knowledge and experience to enhance their suitability for professional clinical training (i.e. a three year DCl in Clinical Psychology programme at a BPS accredited training centre; see http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/clinical).
Entry onto a clinical psychology doctorate training programme is extremely competitive, with candidates usually expected to have acquired training and experience beyond degree level. We have a proven track record of helping our students progress towards clinical psychology training, as well as roles in a range of other clinical mental health-related occupations. Our MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology alumni have also secured NHS clinical based placements, providing valuable experience for those seeking to attain Assistant Clinical Psychologist positions.
The majority of our teaching is carried out by practicing and/or qualified Clinical Psychologists and related professionals, ensuring that students are learning from those with direct experience of professional challenges.
Course modules are assessed using a range of different approaches, including written examinations, essays, presentations and clinical case studies.
Study on the course can be undertaken either full time (1 year) or part time (2 years) basis, with teaching condensed into two weekdays to more easily accommodate part-time students and for relevant experience to be gained alongside the degree. Taught modules are provided in the first two semesters, with the research project typically undertaken over the summer.
Students on the MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology typically include:
* UK and international psychology graduates seeking positions as Assistant Psychologists (both in the UK and abroad) as part of their journey towards becoming a BPS Chartered Clinical Psychologist.
* Psychology graduates aiming to work in related fields of applied psychology and other areas of clinical mental health.
* Healthcare and other clinical professionals looking to expand their understanding of particular areas of abnormal and clinical psychology.
* Psychology graduates who have relevant work experience to apply for further clinical training, but who need to enhance their academic and research skills.
* Psychology graduates aiming to secure a PhD by Research in a clinically applied area.
The MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology is unique in the range of modules the programme offers:
• Eating Disorders
• Personality and Sexual Disorder
• Clinical Neuropsychology
• Statistical and Research Methods
• Affective and Somatoform Disorders
• Applied Behaviour Analysis
• Coping with Chronic Disease
• Psychopharmacology for Clinical Psychologists
Students will also complete a substantial research project in their chosen field of study.
Here's what students had to say about the Abnormal and Clinical Psychology MSc:
“Completing the MSc has been very beneficial, as in addition to improving my academic knowledge and skills, as well as confidence, it has enabled me to quickly secure employment in this field”. Sam (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2013-14)
“The level of expertise of the lecturers is second to none” Katie (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2011-12)
“An outstanding and highly interesting MSc program” Vasilis, international student from Greece (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2009-10)
“Thanks to my masters, I am in such a good placement in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a multi-speciality hospital's Cardiology Unit” Phoram, international student from India (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2009-10)
“The MSc in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology provided me with an excellent theoretical knowledge of a wide variety of psychological approaches” – Ruth (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2008-09)
“I'm now an Assistant Psychologist in Cardiff, and I do not think I would have had a chance of getting such a post if I didn't have the MSc. I'm really glad I did it!” - Bryn (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2008-09)
“The MSc helped me to get my first assistant post and provided me with a good academic basis to pursue a career in clinical psychology. I am now undertaking the DClin Psych course in Oxford!” - Nicola (MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, 2007-08)
The Department of Psychology at Swansea University is a thriving research led department that provides a friendly, supporting learning environment with instruction from world-class researchers. Our consistent ambition is to provide outstanding excellence of teaching and learning for all our students – as demonstrated by a recent Teaching Quality Assessment national audit that judged our teaching as ‘Excellent’. Moreover, the research caliber of our group has also been demonstrated. For example, in The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, we were one of only four psychology departments to achieve a 100% 4* rating (maximum score possible) for the reach and significance of its work.
This programme teaches advanced experimental approaches to dissecting the mechanisms of drug action (pharmacology), a science that has seen innovative theoretical and technical development at UCL for over a century.
In addition to providing experience of both classical and modern pharmacological techniques, the programme will help develop skills for literature search-based data acquisition and analysis; written and verbal communication of science; abstract writing; poster preparation; graphical processing; image preparation for publication; writing a scientific paper; and giving research presentations.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a research project (90 credits).
Students choose one of the following:
Students undertake an original research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs, practicals, tutorials and a laboratory project. Student performance is evaluated through formal examination, coursework, and the research project.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics MSc
This programme is likely to lead to careers in biomedical sciences, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and clinical laboratories, and extend to clinicians interested in moving towards a scientific career. Students will obtain a thorough knowledge of and practice in pharmacological assessment, drug design and development pathways. It is anticipated that graduates will move onto PhD programmes and/or build careers in industry or clinical investigations through employment as research associates/scientists in the pharmaceutical industry or academia.
The knowledge and transferable skills developed on this programme will be advantageous for those considering employment in any pharmaceutical or healthcare setting, or contemplating further studies in related fields. The programme will also provide excellent training in critical appraisal of complex data, which will transfer well to other disciplines.
The programme is jointly taught by UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology (Division of Biosciences), and the Research Department of Pharmacology at the UCL School of Pharmacy. Both departments are historically and currently internationally leading in this field, and together provide cutting-edge education in theory, research practice and innovation in pharmacology.
The programme is designed to impart extensive experimental expertise applied to drug development and subsequent therapeutics. The combination of traditional and experimental approaches in pharmacology, coupled with current innovation in therapeutics and drug discovery and development, fosters a unique set of skills, which will enable graduates of the programme to engage in various aspects of pharmaceutical research globally.
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: Division of Biosciences
82% 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.