The MSc Psychiatry course is run by the Institute of Postgraduate Medicine in collaboration with Brighton and Sussex Medical School, KSS Deanery and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The course at a basic level prepares doctors for papers 1-3 and CASC membership examinations for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and offers wider academic opportunities via a higher qualification. A research dissertation is incorporated into the course with associated supervision. Students are normally expected to be at postgraduate level and currently employed in a psychiatry-related post with demonstrable clinical skills. However, applications will be considered from non-medical staff who have been working for a minimum of two years in a relevant role within mental health and who are able to demonstrate an ability to study at masters level. Modules 4 and 5 are particularly aimed at psychiatrists in training but applicant eligibility can be reviewed on an individual basis.
Professional accreditation The six taught modules of the course closely follow the membership exam syllabus for the Royal College of Psychiatrists. (Professional accreditation is not linked to university accreditation for this course).
Course structure Students studying for the postgraduate diploma and MSc Psychiatry will undertake six modules in years one and two (a total of 120 credits) and in the third year the latter group will undertake a 16,000 word dissertation to obtain the remaining 60 credits required for the award. Those studying for the postgraduate certificate will take three modules (a total of 60 credits). The course is run on a part-time basis for modules 1-5 with teaching taking place for a full day on alternate Thursdays. Module 6 takes place over one full week. A choice of weeks throughout the year is available for this module. All teaching takes place at the Sussex Education Centre, Mill View Hospital, Hove with the exception of module 6 which takes place at the Falmer campus. Teaching sessions will encompass lectures, group discussion, clinical assessment workshops and exam practice sessions. There will also be opportunities for students to give presentations. Students are encouraged to contribute work-based experience to group work to enhance the relevance of the content. Learning outside the classroom will include recommended scientific, clinical and research reading.
Areas of study The first year of the course covers the principles of psychiatry and their scientific background, incorporating both behavioural and organic science. The second year covers clinical application of these principles and the clinical subspecialties of psychiatry. The research methods module provides the background to the research dissertation year. Students will develop the ability to critically appraise a host of clinical and research information relevant to psychiatric practice. The course develops clinical judgement skills and facilitates the integration of research methodology and findings to enhance applied clinical skills, notably accurate diagnosis and management of common psychiatric disorders and the accurate relaying of this knowledge to other health professionals, patients and their families. Participants on the course further benefit from shared learning and networking opportunities with other health professionals and long-term career discussions with an academic supervisor.
Syllabus Year 1 Module 1 Principles of Psychiatry Module 2 Behavioural Science and Psychotherapy Module 3 Biological Sciences
Year 2 Module 4 Subspecialities I Module 5 Subspecialities II Module 6 Research Methods
Career and progression opportunities The course provides a strong platform for professional development and enhanced career progression