Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health Research MSc and Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc courses

Can students outside of the UK apply?

Yes, these courses are open to international students. See the course’s entry requirements. Hear what it’s like to be an international student on the course in our Student perspectives: International and EU students video

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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:

Watch our video for more information:

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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.

The Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc has a stronger focus on developing clinical knowledge alongside research skills. 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 arrange 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 options, 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.

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 collecting. 

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Is the course suitable for NHS staff?

Engaging with and training potential future clinical academics is a major priority of the Division of Psychiatry. We are very keen to recruit trainee psychiatrists, who have long been a major group on our MSc programmes, and other academically oriented clinicians who are motivated to undergo a rigorous training in research skills.

On which days will I need to attend UCL?

For full time students, Core Principles in Mental Health Research (compulsory) is on Friday afternoons and Clinical Mental Health (compulsory for MSc Clinical Mental Health Sciences students without substantial experience in clinical settings) is all day on Tuesdays. Journal Club is on Wednesday afternoon, as are Division Seminars, careers sessions, project support sessions, and a number of other shared MSc sessions. Optional modules are at various times between Tuesday and Friday. We do not teach on Mondays, but optional modules outside the Division may have Monday teaching. 

The requirements for independent and online learning and group activities are considerable. Modules from other departments at UCL generally require attendance on other days. The course lasts a full calendar year for full time students, and they should expect to remain in London and work with supervisors on their dissertations through the summer. When not attending teaching for the MSc, students will find that UCL offers a wide programme of seminars, courses and activities on a variety of topics of interest to them.

For part time and flexible students, it is feasible to complete the course through attending one day per week if the Division’s own modules are selected. A half day a week attendance may be sufficient to complete within three years.

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 Teaching Staff 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, and this year we have run all modules. It is conceivable that a module might not run if demand is unexpectedly low, but this is unlikely.

Will I have the opportunity to publish my research project?

We have a strong tradition and an excellent record of previous MSc students publishing their research. Find out where are students have been published. 

Is this course accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)? 

No this course is not BPS accredited however, this does not necessarily prevent you from being eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). Information on this can be found on the BPS website https://www.bps.org.uk/graduate-membership-gmbpss

Does this course make me qualified to work as a clinical psychologist? 

No this course is not the equivalent to clinical psychology training and does not qualify you to work as a clinical psychologist. However, many of our students are interested in becoming clinical psychologists and this programme provides an excellent grounding for clinical training on the DClinPsy course. The emphasis of our course is on mental health research, developing clinical knowledge alongside research skills.

MSc Clinical Mental Health Only - Can I obtain experience in clinical settings while on the course?

We do not have formal assessed placements as part of the course, but many students spend a day a week volunteering in NHS or clinical research settings for all or part of the course, and we are happy to help people find suitable settings in which to undertake this voluntary experience.