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Clinical Mental Health Sciences - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

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.

Degree information

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).

Optional modules - 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 Learning Disability
-Current Research in Psychosis
-Mental Health Services – Policy, Design and Evaluation
-Culture in the Clinic
-Advanced Treatment and Management of Dementia (only to be taken if Current Research in Dementia has already been 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 can be selected to make up the remaining credit(s). Note that due to timetable clashes only one Institute of Child Health module may be taken by each student. Approved options, from across UCL, include:
-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)
-Treatment in Child and Adolescent Mental Health - Pharmacological (UCL Institute of Child Health)

(Note that due to timetable clashes only one UCL Institute of Child Health module may be taken by each student)

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 6,000-8,000 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.

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.


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. 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.

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. 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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL has a cluster of international experts in mental health, including in genetics, epidemiology, and applied clinical research, and most are also clinicians. We are able to offer a broad programme encompassing both cutting-edge research and a clinical perspective.

The programme is strongly focused on student participation, with much use of small-group learning, and the environment in the Division of Psychiatry is stimulating, friendly and supportive.

A wide range of options at UCL allows programmes to be tailored to students’ needs and interests in clinical, research and management domains.

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

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

An upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related scientific or social science discipline, or a professional health qualification (medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, social work) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Candidates who do not have at least six months’ full-time work experience (or the equivalent) in a mental health service setting or in clinical mental health research are required to take the Clinical Mental Health double module.

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Recipient: University College London
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