July Open Day (2014) - UCL Division of Psychiatry

  • Are you interested in studying in the Division of Psychiatry at UCL?
  • Have you been offered a place on or do you plan to apply for the new MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research or MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences?
  • Would you like to meet some of the course staff on our new MScs?
  • Would you like to hear some more details about the modules on our new MScs?

The event will be taking place on 21st July between 13.30 and 17.00. 

We will be holding this event at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies building at 16 TAVITON STREET, LONDON, WC1H 0BW – room 347


Mental Health Sciences Research MSc


This new programme offers a stimulating and practical training in mental health research. The UCL Division of Psychiatry delivers teaching by leaders in the field of international research, working across the spectrum of mental health – from the biological to the social and epidemiological. This diversity is reflected in the wide range of options available, allowing students to tailor a programme that fully fits their needs.

Degree Summary

What will I learn?

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 possess current knowledge of cutting-edge research in mental health.

Why should I 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.

Degree Structure

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 Modules

  • 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
  • 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.

Final report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a report of up to 10,000 words, presented as a paper ready to submit to a journal.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars and practical workshops, with some supporting online learning. Assessment methods include one unseen exam, 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.

Degree Faculty

Course modules are organised by our senior academic staff, with almost all in the Division of Psychiatry jointly responsible for a module. Many of our academics are internationally recognised leaders in their research fields, representing a broad range of approaches to mental health research, including genetics, epidemiology, and applied clinical research. Fields in which the Division has international expertise include dementia, psychosis, learning disability and depression and anxiety.

We plan to recruit a relatively small numbers of students, which will provide a great deal of opportunity for contact with senior researchers. For projects, students will have the opportunity to be involved in the work of research groups led by our academics. We can also help students arrange placements in research settings.

The core of our teaching will be delivered by our own staff, but other leading experts are being invited to give specific lectures. Mental health service users, carers and clinicians will also be teaching on the course. Optional modules provide opportunities to be taught by a variety of other UCL research leaders, especially in neuroscience and in epidemiology.

The Programme Director is Professor Sonia Johnson, who leads a research programme investigating what interventions are effective for serious mental health problems like psychosis and who has a great deal of experience in post-graduate teaching and supervision. Dr Vasiliki Orgeta, a Senior Researcher in our Division is Course Coordinator, and Mrs Chris Coup is the full-time Course Administrator.

Fields in which there are active research programmes in our Division in which students may become involved include epidemiology and psychosocial interventions in dementia (Professor Gill Livingston, Professor Martin Orrell, Dr Claudia Cooper), neuroimaging research in dementia (Dr Zuzana Walker), the genetics of mental health (Dr Elvira Bramon, Dr Nick Bass, Dr Andrew McQuillin), the epidemiology of mental health problems in primary care (Professor Glyn Lewis, Professor Michael King, Dr David Osborn), psychosocial aspects of end of life care (Professor Paddy Stone, Dr Liz Sampson), complex psychosocial interventions for psychosis (Professor Helen Killaspy, Professor Sonia Johnson, Dr Bryn Lloyd-Evans, Dr Joanna Moncrieff), intellectual disability (Dr Angela Hassiotis, Dr Andre Strydom) and cultural psychiatry (Dr Sushrut Jadhav). The leaders of these programmes will teach on the MSc. Co-supervision can also be arranged with experts elsewhere at UCL or, where this fits with students’ own networks, at other institutions.


Optional modules from other Faculties and Departments

Subject to timetable constraints and availability, students are free to select any post-graduate level modules at UCL that is in any way relevant to the course: approval for Modules other than those below will be given by the Course Director or Deputy Course Director.

The following optional modules have already been approved for inclusion in the course and their compatibility with the course timetable has provisionally been established:

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

Institute of Neurology

UCL Medical School Modules


Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Division of Psychiatry Scholarships:

We aim to award these scholarships to the applicants who appear most promising as future researchers in mental health. The scholarships will be worth £2,000 for students registering full time and £1,000 for those registering on flexible or part time pathways. Names of award-winners will be announced on our website. To be considered for these scholarships, please apply for the MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research or the MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences and please also send to Mrs Chris Coup, MSc Course Administrator at, a 1,000 word statement summarising:

(a) your research achievements so far;

(b) how you envisage research being part of your future career;

(c) what topic in mental health you would like to research in future, why, and how you would approach it. Awards will be made on the basis of these statements and your application forms for the MSc.

Applications need to be received by 1 August, and candidates need also to have applied for the MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research or Clinical Mental Health Sciences.

NELFT Scholarships:

North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) can offer up to 3 scholarships of up to £2000 each year to students on the MSc Mental Health Sciences Research who are currently working for NELFT during the academic year of the MSc. Promise as a researcher is the main criterion for award.

Applications can be made to Fiona Horton at NELFT Research & Development Department with an application letter, curriculum vitae, copy of acceptance letter for the MSc.

Noclor Scholarships:

Noclor Research Support Service announces two Noclor Scholarships to the value of £8,500 each to support clinical staff in North London Trusts to undertake the UCL commencing September 2014. This new course provides a practical and stimulating training in research skills, appropriate for mental health professionals with a strong interest in becoming researchers/academic clinicians. We particularly encourage applications for funding from nursing staff.

These scholarships are open only to staff working within the following affiliated Noclor Trusts:

  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
  • East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust
  • West London Mental Health Trust

The award will pay full time or part time MSc course fees (£8,500) however you will need to cover your own maintenance and travel costs.
Number of awards: Two
Value: £8,500
Deadline: 15 August 2014

Applications are via the UCL applications procedure for the MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research, supplemented by a statement regarding suitability for the award. Mrs Chris Coup, MSc administrator, can be contacted for details of the applications.

Mode of Study

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years
  • Flexible (2-5 years)

Your Career


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 obtaining research posts in major centres, and when applying for training posts with a focus on research.


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 Mental Health Sciences’ Master’s 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. We look forward to supporting the careers of a wider range of students on this new programme.


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.

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.

Candidates must also meet UCL’s standard English language proficiency requirements.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

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.

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2014.

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.

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.


Download e-Brochure

PDF version of Mental Health Sciences Research MSc


Can students out of the UK or European Union apply?

Yes, the course is open to international students. See the course’s Entry Requirements

How do I apply?

Click through from the graduate prospectus to this screen

Use the following search terms to see this course

  • Keyword(s): "Mental"
  • Department: "Division of Psychiatry"

Where can I receive information about help with fees?

Useful information about funding for postgraduate students can be found here:

Unfortunately we are not able to offer any specific funding linked to the course.

What is the difference between the Clinical Mental Health Sciences and the Mental Health Sciences Research course?

The two courses are relatively similar with many shared modules, but slightly different in emphasis. The MSc Mental Health Sciences Research is aimed at students with substantial clinical experience and knowledge, including psychiatrists, psychologist, occupational therapists, nurses and social workers with substantial experience in mental health settings (including as trainees). It is also suitable for people who have been working in clinical mental health research. All students take statistics, a core double module in mental health research methods and at least four other modules with a research-based content, and final projects report a research study or systematic review. The course is a replacement for the previous MSc in Psychiatric Research, a highly regarded part time course which formed a step in the career path of a substantial number of current academics in mental health. Our new course is broader in the range of options offered and also differs in providing options for full time study.

Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc has a stronger focus on developing clinical knowledge. For those who do not yet have a great deal of clinical experience, it offers a very engaging and practical double clinical module which is compulsory for people who do not yet have six months full time equivalent experience in a clinical setting. This should very much enrich understanding of mental health problems, how people experience them and how they are treated. We can also help research internships in our Division and its allied Trusts. For experienced clinicians who wish to take a broad-based MSc, the Clinical Mental Health Sciences offers a wide range of option, including modules in management and service improvement, and will allow students to select a training programme that supports advanced clinical practice and is tailored to individual interests.

There is some flexibility to change between the two courses for students meeting the requirements for both.

Will applicants be interviewed before being selected?

Some applicants will be asked to attend an interview.

Do I need to identify a research project and a Supervisor prior to applying for the course?

No you don’t. We’d like to hear a bit about your main interests and it’s never too early to think of potential areas of interest. However we do not need you to have a specific project or supervisor. Your research project may be based on an interest of your own that you wish to develop with supervision; there are also many options for projects linked with senior academics’ research programmes. Some of these will involve participating in data collection. Others will involve working on data sets that have already been collected – if you do this, we’ll expect you and your supervisors also to arrange for you to have some direct exposure to the methods used to obtain the data you are working on.

Will I receive help with my application?

You are free to contact us so we can provide you with advice on your application and questions on entry requirements.

I am currently in the final year of my undergraduate studies? Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, we encourage students to apply: offers will be conditional on a good final performance in their degrees.

Will my final project be in an area that I am interested in?

A wide variety of interests is represented among the staff of the Division and it’s possible to have one supervisor who is external: thus we expect you will be able to do your project in an area that fits your interests well. The section on faculty above describes some of the areas in which academics in the Division current work.

Will all modules be available this year?

We hope to be able to offer all the options we have listed on the website. However, it is possible if there is relatively little demand for certain options that we will reduce the programme slightly for the coming academic year.

Will I have the opportunity to publish my research project?

We have a strong tradition and an excellent record of previous Masters students publishing their research. Details can be found below in "Published MSc Studies".

Published MSc Studies

Selected papers based on MSc dissertations from our Division:

Afia Ali

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

Laura Allison

Allison, L. & Moncrieff, J. (in press). ‘Rapid tranquilisation’: an historical perspective on its emergence in the context of the development of the development of antipsychotic medications. History of Psychiatry.

Diana Andrea-Barron

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

Jose Carbonell

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

Giuseppe Carrà

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.

Diana Chan

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.;jsessionid=79906E09D9234D117203DFFB72D92A03.d01t04

Claudia Cooper

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

Mary-Anne Cotton

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

Nadia Dabbagh

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.

Kalpana Dein

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

Dominic Dougall

Watson S, Gallagher P, Dougall D, Porter R, Moncrieff J, Ferrier IN, Young AH. (2013) Childhood trauma in bipolar disorder. Aust NZJ Psychiatry, epub ahead of print, Dec 16th 2013 Link

Yogesh Ganeshilingham

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

Ratna Ghosh

Ghosh R and Killaspy H (2010) A national survey of assertive community treatment services. Journal of Mental Health Early

Nicola Higgins

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

Kiziya Iwatu

Insight and other predictors of physical examination refusal in psychotic illness. Journal of Mental Helath August 2011, Vol. 20, No. 4 , Pages 319-327

Sarah Jonas

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

Katherine Kasiakogia-Worlley

Kasiakogia-Worlley K, McQuillin A, Lydall GJ, Patel S, Kottalgi G, Gunwardena P, Cherian R, Rao H, Hillman A, Gobikrishnan N, Douglas E, Qureshi SY, Jauhar S, Ball D, Okane A, Owens L, Dedman A, Sharp SI, Kandaswamy R, Guerrini I, Thomson AD, Smith I, Dar K, Morgan MY, Gurling HM. (2011). Lack of allelic association between markers at the DRD2 and ANKK1 gene loci with the alcohol-dependence syndrome and criminal activity. Psychiatr Genet. 323-4 Link

Barnaby Major

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

Steven Marwaha

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

Kate Maxmin

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

Naaheed Mukadam

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.

Sara Minot

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

Tanya Nelson

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

Matthew Paradise

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

Tor Pettit

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

Ciaran Regan

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

Barbora Richardson

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

Barbora Richardson

Richardson B, Kitchen G, Livingston G (2003) Developing the KAMA Knowledge and management of abuse) Instrument. Age and Ageing 32 286-291 Link

Andre Strydom

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

Martin Schmidt

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

Sharif Ghali

Ghali, S., Fisher, H. L., Joyce, J., Major, B., Hobbs, L., Soni, S., ... & Johnson, S. (2013). Ethnic variations in pathways into early intervention services for psychosis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(4), 277-283. Link


Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700
  • Overseas Part-time: £10,800

Next steps


Dr Vasiliki Orgeta

T: +44 (0)20 7679 9294


Division of Psychiatry

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Page last modified on 11 mar 14 10:35