MSc in Psychiatric Research
The MSc in Psychiatric Research is a flexible two-year part-time Masters course. It provides a high quality, stimulating training in the research skills relevant to mental health, and can be taken over any period between 2 and 5 years, to suit the student’s own requirements. It equips students with the research skills needed to begin doctoral level research. Recent feedback from students indicates that most find the course an enjoyable and effective way of acquiring the skills needed to develop as an independent researcher in psychiatry.
Attedance is required only one afternoon a week, making it feasible for students to fit the course in with other commitments. We welcome applications from prospective students who come from a range of backgrounds; psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, occupational therapy or other relevant backgrounds. Candidates should be academically highly qualified and have some experience of working in mental health.
All teachers on the course are actively engaged in doing research, many with a high national and international profile: most are senior academics in UCL's Mental Healtth Sciences Unit.
Students completing only 4 of the 12 modules in the course can be awarded a Post-graduate Certificate in Psychiatry, those completing 8 can obtain a Post- Graduate Diploma. In the second half of the course, students complete a research study under supervision; many students have published these studies. To view a selection of published studies please click the tab labeled ' Published MSc studies' in the top right hand corner of this page.
We welcome applications from prospective students who are academically highly qualified and have experience of working in mental health. Medical candidates should hold a medical degree which is recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC) for practice in the UK and have at least the equivalent of six months’ full-time experience of working in clinical psychiatry
Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate to the College Faculty Board of Clinical Sciences that they have sufficient proficiency in the English language, both spoken and written.
The next entry to the course will be in October 2012
Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
The final closing date is 3rd September 2012 (3rd August 2012 for overseas applicants).
The MSc consists of a taught programme and a research project. The taught programme has a very strong emphasis on student participation, with teaching through workshops and seminars. All teachers on the course are currently active as researchers, the majority senior clinical academics at UCL. Students on the course, all psychiatrists, tell us that they find it an enjoyable and effective way of acquiring the skills needed to develop as an independent researcher in psychiatry. We are able to award a PGDip (Post-graduate diploma) to people who complete the first year course modules only.
Year 1 Modules
These are taught
in a series of around 30 Monday afternoon seminars.
Module 1: Critical appraisal and research principles in psychiatry Introduction to the main approaches to research in psychiatry
- How to write protocols and organise studies
- How to critically appraise published papers
- How to write for publication
- How to involve mental health service users in research
- How to obtain ethical and R & D approval and conduct studies in an ethical manner.
Module 2: Measurement in mental health research
- How to evaluate and select instruments for research
- How to design questionnaires and interviews
- How to test the reliability and validity of instruments
Module 3: Epidemiological methods in mental health
- Principles of epidemiology: sampling and assessing causality
- How to design and analysis epidemiological studies including case control, cohort and cross sectional surveys
Module 4: Treatment evaluation and biological methods in mental health
- Randomised controlled trials and other methods for evaluating treatments, services and policies in mental health
- Major approaches to biological research in psychiatry
Module 5: Qualitative research methods in psychiatry:
- How to design and carry out qualitative studies in psychiatry
Module 6: Statistics
- How to apply and interpret the most frequently used methods for univariate and multivariate analysis in psychiatry (practical training in data analysis using SPSS is provided)
Each series of seminars is accompanied by relevant coursework to be undertaken in students’ own time, as well as supporting on line materials.
Year 2 Modules
Module 7: Literature review
- Following training in systematic literature review methods, students complete and submit a literature review of around 6,000 words on a topic of their choice, usually related to the research project.
Module 8: Research Project
- The research project, carried out in the second year, is central to the course. Projects can be on any topic relevant to psychiatry, and we will help you to find a suitable and interesting project. The project is written up as a research paper of up to 8,000 words, suitable for publication in a journal. Specialist supervision on a wide range of aspects of psychiatric research is available within the Department, and students can also be supported in seeking an outside expert as one of their two supervisors.
Second Year Seminar Programme:
There are small group tutorials, statistics workshops and close monitoring of the progress of the projects. Students have to present their projects at various stages of completion.
"I got a consultant job (old age) covering the catchment area where I live! Am so pleased and surprised. I start at the end of July. Thanks so much for all your help with project etc... I probably wouldn't have got job without the amazing MSc result and publication". Dr Lauren Huzzey
" This course bridges the gap between wanting to do research and knowing how to do it. It is practical and run by experts. Ideas from the MSc crystallized into forming the focus of my PhD and the course was the start of a journey leading to my current position of Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Warwick Medical School and building a research career based in applied psychiatric research " Steven Marwaha
" I found UCL's MSc in psychiatric research to be a very useful and rewarding experience. The course offers a clear and comprehensive approach to a subject area that I personally approached with little knowledge and some trepidation.
Although ultimately leading us towards conducting our own projects, the course also afforded me a good understanding of general research principles which I feel will remain applicable throughout many aspects of my day-to-day work. Without the structure and support of the MSc, I feel my research efforts would have been a great deal less productive and valuable.
Since completing my dissertation in ethnicity and early psychosis, I have enjoyed presenting my research at local and national conferences, winning the Royal College General Adult & Community Faculty Research Prize. As I am now working as a Consultant in Early Intervention in Psychosis, I feel that an awareness of the academic aspects of the subject make me a more well-rounded clinician " Sharif Ghali
“I recently completed the MSc in psychiatric research. It was hard work but absolutely worth it! As I was a UCL core psychiatry trainee I was allowed to attend the MSc lectures in conjunction with the MRCPsych course and I took advantage of the 6m research SHO post to complete my research project. It has been a fantastic experience, I feel that it has given me a great starting point for further research, and I have published my work.The MSc in psychiatric research has provided me with skills that are transferable and applicable to all psychiatric specialities. It has helped me immensely in my career as it showed above average achievement during my ST4 interviews.
My project was on the genetics of alcoholism and dis-social personality disorder. I was able to work with an inspiring supervisor, and I am now pursuing my chosen career as a forensic psychiatry ST4” - Katherine Worlley
" I did the MSc because I wanted to obtain a firm grounding in the principles and methodologies of psychiatric research. The MSc ultimately provided this and more. The seminars and workshops were comprehensive and pitched at the right level for doctors in training. The support and mentoring I received enabled me to plan a realistic study, see it through to completion, and eventually to publish it. I have gone on to present this data at several international conferences and further develop my interest and expertise in this area. I would unreservedly recommend this MSc for those wanting to further their knowledge and skills in psychiatric research " Dr Barnaby Major
" I completed the MSc in Psychiatric research whilst I was working as a Specialist Registrar in Old Age Psychiatry. The course was stimulating, excellently taught and relevant to my clinical career. My second year research project on mental capacity to consent to treatment and admission in older adult psychiatric inpatients was published in a peer reviewed journal and I feel this was hugely beneficial when applying for a Consultant post in these competitive times. Now I am working as a Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry the skills I developed in research methodology continue to be invaluable both in terms of my professional development and when supervising and teaching trainees " Kate Maxmin
" The course provided a really good grounding in research methods. This was useful immediately - by making research evidence more accessible (I could understand journal papers for first time!) it helped with clinical practice and MRCPsych exams. It also changed the course of my career - I thoroughly enjoyed the research project and therefore decided to go on to become a clinical lecturer, MRC research training fellow and now a senior lecturer in the department (so you could say I am a little biased!). None of this would have been possible without the support of the academics I met through the course " Claudia Cooper
" I found the MSc in Psychiatric Research at UCL very valuable and enjoyable. The lectures were of high quality, interactive and provided a broad base in research methodology and statistics. The experience was clinically relevant, transferable to my daily work and provided me a great advantage when it came to sitting the MRCPsych and later the FRANZCP!
My interest in psychiatric research has continued and I now work part-time as an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney.
The other great thing about the course is that it could easily fit around my clinical commitments and combined with its fantastic location in central London, I would
strongly recommend it to others " Matthew Paradise
" The UCL MSc in Psychiatric Research was very comprehensive and well structured in delivering skills in all areas of research. I felt I managed to achieve a huge amount without feeling over burdened with work and it was very practically based. I learnt skills ranging from designing research protocols, applying for ethical approval, analysing both quantitative and qualitative data to writing up a paper suitable for submission for publication. The course was incredibly stimulating and as well as contributing to my personal development it enhanced my application for Consultant posts no end and I am sure aided my subsequent successful application for a Consultant post in my chosen specialist field " Mary-Anne Cotton
Please find below links to the most commonly asked questions:
If you have a further enquiry regarding the MSc in Psychiatric Research, please contact:
Christine Coup (Course Administrator) UCL Mental Health Sciences Unit 67-73 Riding House Street 2nd Floor, Charles Bell House London W1W 7EJ
Tel: (020)76799039 Ext: 09039
Fax: 020 7679 9426
Selected publications based on MSc in Psychiatric Research dissertations:
Ali, A., Strydom, A., Hassiotis, A., Williams, R., & King, M. (2008). A measure of perceived stigma in people with intellectual disability. Br J Psychiatry, 193(5), 410-415 Link
Andrea-Barron, D., Strydom, A., & Hassiotis, A. (2008). What to tell and how to tell: a qualitative study of information sharing in research for adults with intellectual disability. J Med Ethics,34(6), 501-506 Link
J, Allen R, Kalsi G, McQuillin A, Livingston G, Katona C, Walker Z, Katz A, Rands G, Stevens T, Crossan I, Curtis D, Gurling H (2003). Variation in the DCP1 gene,encoding the angiotensin converting enzyme ACE, is not associated with increased susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. Psychiatric Genetics 13 47-50 Link
Carrà G and Johnson S (2009) Variations in rates and patterns of comorbid substance misuse between mental health settings and geographical areas in the UK. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 44: 429-447 Link
Carra, G, Johnson S, Bebbington P et al. (2012) The lifetime and past-year prevalence of dual diagnosis in people with schizophrenia across Europe: findings from the European Schizophrenia Cohort (EuroSC) Epub ahead of print European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. http://www.springerlink.com/content/3753788781674163/
Diana ChanChan, D and Livingston, G and Jones, L and Sampson, EL (2012) Grief reactions in dementia carers: A systematic review. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2012 Mar 8. doi: 10.1002/gps.3795. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gps.3795/abstract;jsessionid=79906E09D9234D117203DFFB72D92A03.d01t04
Cooper C, Robertson MMR, Livingston G (2003) Psychological Morbidity and Caregiver *Burden* in Parents of Children with Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome compared with Parents of Children with Asthma Journal of the American academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 42 (11) 1370-5 Link
Cotton MA, Johnson S, Bindman J., Sandor A, White IR, Thornicroft G, Nolan F, Pilling S, Hoult J, McKenzie N and Bebbington P (2007) An investigation of factors associated with hospital admission despite the presence of crisis resolution teams. BMC Psychiatry Link
Dabbagh N, Johnson S, Blizard R and King M (2011) Muslim adolescent mental health in the UK: an exploratory cross-sectional school survey. International Journal and Mental Health Epub ahead of print.
Dein K, Livingston G, Bench C (2007) Why did I become a psychiatrist? Psychiatric Bulletin 31 227-230 Link
Angeles Diaz Caneja
Diaz Caneja A and Johnson S (2006) The views and experiences of severely mentally ill mothers. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 39: 472-482 Link
Ganeshelingham Y, Cooper C, Livingston G (2008) Variation in referral patterns and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor prescribing for patients with cognitive impairment from 1999-2007: the relationship with NICE guidelines. Psychiatric Bulletin 32: 265 - 267 Link
Ghosh R and Killaspy H (2010) A national survey of assertive community treatment services. Journal of Mental Health Early http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/apl/cjmh/2010/00000019/00000006/art00005
Higgins N, Livingston G and Katona C (2004) Concordance therapy: An intervention to help older people take antidepressants Journal of Affective Disorders 81(3):287-91 Link
Insight and other predictors of physical examination refusal in psychotic illness. Journal of Mental Helath August 2011, Vol. 20, No. 4 , Pages 319-327
Jonas, S, Bebbington, P., McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Jenkins, R., Kuipers, E., Cooper, C., King, M. and Brugha, T. (2010) Sexual abuse in England: results from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. E(Pub) ahead of publication Psychological Medicine Link
Major B, Hinton M, Flint A, Chalmers-Brown A, McLoughlin K and Johnson S. (2010) Evidence of the effectiveness of a specialist vocational intervention following first episode psychosis: a naturalistic prospective cohort study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 45: 1-8 Link
Marwaha S and Livingston G (2002) Stigma, racism or choice. Why do ethnic elders avoid psychiatrists? Journal of Affective Disorders 72-73 257-265 Link
Maxmin K, Cooper C, Potter L, Livingston G (2009) Mental capacity to consent to treatment and admission decisions in older adult psychiatric inpatients. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 24: 1367-1375 Link
Mukadam, N and Cooper, C and Basit, B and Livingston, G (2011) Why do ethnic elders present later to UK dementia services? A qualitative study. International Psychogeriatrics , 23 (7) 1070 - 1077. 10.1017/S1041610211000214.
Mukadam, N and Cooper, C and Livingston, G (2011) A systematic review of ethnicity and pathways to care in dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry , 26 (1) 12 - 20. 10.1002/gps.2484.
Bebbington, P.E., Cooper, C., Minot, S., Brugha, T.S., Jenkins R., Meltzer, H. & Dennis, M. Suicide attempts, gender and sexual abuse: Data from the British psychiatric morbidity survey 2000. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166: 1135-114 Link
Nelson T, Johnson S and Bebbington P (2009) Satisfaction an burnout among staff of crisis resolution, assertive outreach and community mental health teams. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 46: 541-549Matthew ParadiseParadise M, Walker Z, Cooper C, Regan C, Blizard R, Katona C, Livingston G (2009) Prediction of survival in Alzheimer’s disease– The LASER-AD longitudinal study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 24 (7): 739-47 Link
Paradise M, Cooper C, Livingston G (2009) Systematic Review of the effect of eduction on survival in Alzheimer’s disease International Psychogeriatrics 21:1; 25-32 Link
Pettit T, Livingston G, Manela M, Kitchen G, Bowling A, Katona C, (2001) Validation and norms in health status instruments in older people: The Islington study. International J of Geriatric Psychiatry 16, 11, 1061-1070 Link
Regan C, Katona C, Walker Z and Livingston G (2005). Exercise and depression in Alzheimer’s disease. The LASER-AD study. Int Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 20 261-268 Link
Richardson B, Kitchen G and Livingston G (2002) The effect of education on knowledge and practice in suspected abuse of older people: a randomized controlled trial. Age and Ageing 31: 335-341 Link
Richardson B, Kitchen G, Livingston G (2003) Developing the KAMA Knowledge and management of abuse) Instrument. Age and Ageing 32 286-291 Link
Strydom A, Hassiotis and Livingston G (2005) Mental Health and social care needs of older people with LD-early findings. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability18 229-235 Link
Schmidt MM, Sharma A, Schifano F and Feinmann C (2010) Legal highs on the net - evaluation of UK-based products, websites and product information. Forensic Science International Epub ahead of print. Link
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