IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


New MSc on psychological science of children's mental health launching at UCL

3 January 2024

With a need to better understand the education context for children and young people’s mental health increasing worldwide, IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, is launching the new Psychological Science of Mental Health and Wellbeing in Education MSc.

Teacher sits listening among primary school pupils. Credit: Cavan for Adobe.

Led by the faculty’s Department of Psychology and Human Development, the new MSc programme will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2024.

Worldwide, children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is of increasing public health concern, with around a fifth of individuals under 20 years old thought to be currently living with a probable mental health disorder. Influences on mental health and wellbeing include individual characteristics as well as home, school and community factors that interactional in nature.

Educational institutions offer unique,complex physical contexts (e.g., playgrounds and classrooms) and social processes (e.g., relationships with teachers, peer relations and friendships, social networks, links with home) that both influence mental health and wellbeing and provide novel intervention opportunities.

Capitalising on specific expertise within the Department of Psychology and Human Development at IOE, this MSc aims to provide a depth of scientific understanding in this field of national and international relevance.

About the programme

This MSc will consider mental health and wellbeing in education using a psychological science lens. With our world-leading, research-active team, students will critically consider theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the unique and complex context of education for mental health and wellbeing and its interplay with individual characteristics, the home and neighbourhood.

The programme will discuss critical mental health and wellbeing issues in education such as educational transition periods, sleep, behaviour, emotion regulation, gender, LGBT+, gene-environment interplay, and cultural influences; consider the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people within school and the nested sub-settings that make up school; and provide an introduction to advanced methods in psychology specific to this field.

Dr Bonamy Oliver, Programme Leader for the new MSc, said: “We are excited to launch this new MSc at IOE. Focusing on the psychological science underpinning mental health and wellbeing in education, the programme considers a key contemporary issue.

As a department, we have a breadth and depth of cutting-edge expertise to capitalise on, meaning that we are able to offer a truly interdisciplinary programme. It will be an exciting fit for those wishing to progress to academic, practical or policy-making careers in this emerging field, or those just wanting to improve their understanding in this key area”.

Prospective students will be able to apply from early 2024; to learn more about the programme register for our virtual open event - Psychology: Education and Human Development.

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Credit: Cavan for Adobe.