Mental Health Research and Clinical Mental Health MSc staff

The MSc programme is led by a dedicated teaching team, all research-active as well as committed to research-led education.

 In 2019 they won a Team Award in the UCL Education Awards, and Dr Sarah Rowe and Prof Sonia Johnson have both been recipients of a prestigious Provost’s education award.

Professor Sonia Johnson: Course Director


Sonia Johnson is the course director of the MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research, and the MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences.  She is Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry at UCL and a consultant psychiatrist in the Islington Early Intervention Service for psychosis. Her research interests are in investigating what types of treatments and services work best for people with significant mental health problems. Areas in which she has published include acute care, including alternatives to admission, early intervention in psychosis, employment and mental health, and services for women. In 2016, Sonia was awarded the Provost’s Teaching Award for Leadership in Education. Sonia talks about her role on the MSc courses and her advice for prospective students in her Staff Perspectives video


Dr Sarah Rowe: Deputy Course Director


Sarah Rowe is a full-time Lecturer at UCL on the MSc in Mental Health Sciences. She previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Worker at King’s College London. Her research interests include self-harm, child and adolescent mental health, personality and eating disorders. Sarah is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Sarah talks about her role on the MSc courses and answers some FAQs in her Staff Perspectives video.


Dr Jo Billings


Jo Billings works part-time as a senior clinical lecturer in the Division of Psychiatry alongside working as a chartered clinical psychologist in the NHS. Her area of clinical specialty is PTSD and trauma. Her clinical and research interests include complex trauma, vicarious trauma, trauma and psychosis, early intervention, mental health wellbeing and resilience and qualitative methodology.  


Dr Nicola Morant


Nicola Morant is a Associate Professor in qualitative mental health research, with a background is social psychology. She also works as an independent research consultant, specializing in qualitative research in mental health, and leading qualitative work streams in mixed-methods research projects. Her research interests include psychiatric medication management; shared decision-making; acute mental health care; and psychosis in community settings. Her work gives voice to the perspectives and experiences of key stakeholders (service users, clinicians and carers) in projects with real-world orientations and clinical applications.


Dr Rebecca Jones


Rebecca Jones is a senior research associate. She has a background in psychology and medical statistics with many years of experience teaching research methods and statistics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She works as a statistician on longitudinal epidemiological studies and randomised controlled trials in areas as diverse as Huntington’s Disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bullying and violence, eating disorders and malaria.


Dr Gemma Lewis


Gemma Lewis is lecturer in statistics on the MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research, and the MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences. Gemma also works as a Research Associate in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Division of Psychiatry, University College London. Gemma’s main interest is the causes, prevention, and treatment of depression. She is working on observational cohort data, and data from randomised controlled trials of treatments for depression.


Dr James Bisby


James Bisby is a lecturer at UCL on the MSc in Mental Health Sciences. He is a cognitive neuroscientist with research interests in understanding the neural basis of memory and its role in the development, maintenance and treatment of trauma- and anxiety-related disorders.


Ms Jessica Bone


Jess is a social programme co-ordinator for the MScs, a study group co-lead, and is involved in teaching and marking for several modules including statistics and research methods. She is a PhD student in the Division of Psychiatry, having done the Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc several years ago. Her research interests include adolescent mental health, depression, and combining methods from psychiatric epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience.


Ms Tayla McCloud


Tayla is a full-time PhD student in the Division of Psychiatry, and is mainly interested in the mental health of students. She completed the MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences in 2016, and has been helping out on the MSc programme since. Tayla coordinates the voluntary clinical placements, leads a study group, and organises the MSc social programme together with Jess Bone. Tayla talks about voluntary work experience placements and the social side of the MSc courses in the Placements video


Mrs Chris Coup: Course Administrator


Chris Coup is the part-time (Tuesdays to Fridays) course administrator. She is a mine of information and knows the answers to pretty much everything!  If she doesn’t she’ll pass you on to someone else who might know.