This programme offers a stimulating and practical training in mental health research. The UCL Division of Psychiatry offers teaching and supervision from leaders in international research in fields from neuroscientific to social and epidemiological, along with a range of relevant options from other leading UCL departments. This diversity of options allows students to tailor a programme that closely fits their needs.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £10,430 (FT) £TBC (PT)
- £25,490 (FT) £TBC (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
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.
Additionally at least six months’ full-time work experience (or the equivalent) in a mental health service setting or in clinical mental health research is required.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
This programme will equip students with the research skills needed to undertake doctoral-level research and/or to collaborate in major research projects. They will produce a piece of original research ready to submit for publication, and will acquire current knowledge of cutting-edge research in mental health.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (45 credits), five optional modules (75 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).
- Core Principles of Mental Health Research (double module)
- Statistical Methods in Mental Health
Students will select at least 60 credits from the following modules of which at least 30 credits must be from the Division of Psychiatry’s own modules:
- Division of Psychiatry modules
- Culture in the Clinic
- Current Research in Depression and Anxiety
- Current Research in Dementia
- Current Research in Learning Disability
- Current Research in Psychosis
- Epidemiological and Social Methods in Mental Health (double module)
- Introduction to Biological Research in Mental Health
- Mental Health Services – Policy, Design and Evaluation
- Other approved modules
- Cellular and Molecular Modules of Disease (Institute of Neurology)
- Ethnicity, Migration and Health (Department of Epidemiology & Public Health)
- Health Inequalities across the Lifecourse (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health)
- Higher Functions of the Brain (Institute of Neurology)
- Neuroimaging: Introductory Science and Methods (Institute of Neurology)
- Neuroimaging: Imaging Modalities (Institute of Neurology)
- Social Determinants of Global Health (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health)
- Or any other module approved by the Programme Director as having a large research component relevant to mental health.
The final 15 credits may be obtained from any available module at UCL, subject to the Programme Director approving the overall selection for each student.
All students undertake a final research project. This is reported as a research 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.
Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops, with considerable use of supporting online learning. Assessment methods include unseen exams, coursework including designing questionnaires and systematic review strategies, developing protocols, analysing data, giving talks and presenting posters. There is a strong emphasis on developing practical research skills.
Division of Psychiatry bursaries to the value of £2,000 for full-time students and £1,000 for part-time students may be applied for on the basis of promise as a future researcher. NOCLOR (North Central London Research Consortium) also funds two awards for staff of trusts in North London.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This new programme will equip graduates with strong practical research skills and understanding of the current status and direction of mental health research in their area of interest, preparing them to pursue doctoral studies, including through applications for nationally funded fellowships. Clinicians will be equipped to participate fully in collaborative studies and to begin to function as independent investigators. For those without clinical qualifications, the programme is likely to assist students in embarking on a career in mental health research by obtaining research posts and opportunities for PhD places.
Students will be taught by and carry out projects with leading researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields, learning about research directly from experts rather than from textbooks. Previous Division of Psychiatry MSc graduates have had a strong track record of publishing papers based on their research projects in peer-reviewed journals, and of going on to further academic posts and to doctoral studies.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL has a cluster of international research leaders in mental health in fields including genetics, epidemiology, and applied clinical research. Optional modules provide an entrance to other renowned departments at UCL e.g. in neuroscience and epidemiology.
The programme is strongly focused on student participation and acquisition of the practical skills needed to embark on a career in research. The wide range of research interests within our division allows us to offer a programme that integrates biological and psychosocial approaches.
We offer opportunities to get involved in the work of internationally significant research groups in a stimulating, friendly and supportive atmosphere.
Department: Division of Psychiatry
Student / staff numbers
› 110 staff
› 90 taught students
› 40 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
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 Psychiatry
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.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The programme is designed for academically able mental health professionals, including trainees, and for graduates with excellent degrees in psychology and other relevant disciplines who have already obtained some post-graduation experience in mental health. A high level of interest in the principles and practicalities of carrying out research is needed.
- All applicants
- 31 August 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Mental Health Sciences Research at graduate level
- why you want to study Mental Health Sciences Research at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
Entry to the Division of Psychiatry MSc programme is competitive and successful applicants are likely to have obtained qualifications above the minimum, excellent references and a strong personal statement.
- Dr Sarah Rowe, Academic Contact