Postgraduate study
This course covers a broad range of topics within the mental health field combined with a focus on developing research skills in this field.
MSc Mental Health Research
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
Minimum 2.1 in Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Medicine
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£7,290 - Terms apply
International fees
£21,375 - Terms apply
Jubilee Campus



Key facts

1. Clinical and research career progression

The course has been designed to suit students pursuing two main career paths within mental health:

  1. A clinical or clinical-academic route or,
  2. A research-focussed academic route

The course can also further the professional development of those who are working in a mental health setting in the UK or overseas.


2. Wide range of research projects

We offer a wide range of research projects in diverse areas of mental health reflecting the breadth of research expertise in the Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology. The topics include adult mental health (mood disorder, psychosis, PTSD and trauma), forensic mental health, child and adolescent mental health (particularly neurodevelopmental disorders and psychological development), ageing and dementia.

Students can also choose from projects offering a range of research methods, including neuroimaging, neuropsychology, qualitative and mixed methods and clinical interviews. Students work closely with their project supervisor to learn the relevant research methods and enhance their scientific knowledge of the topic area. Often, students are attached to ongoing large-scale clinical studies.

We also offer opportunities for students to develop their own project idea with a supervisor. We are also willing to support overseas students carrying out a project in their home country, when it is feasible to do so. 


3. International expert faculty

You will be taught by experts from across all the main disciplines of mental health who are also linked with the Institute of Mental Health, one of the leading mental health institutes in the UK, offering leadership and innovation backed by word-class expertise. The IMH is a partnership between between Nottinghamshire Healthcare and the University of Nottingham.


4. What you will learn

On the MSc Mental Health: Research and Practice you will:

  • develop knowledge and understanding of all the main areas of mental health
  • develop knowledge of the assessment and treatment of mental health conditions, that can be transferred to other settings, including mental health systems in other countries
  • learn how to design, conduct and write up a research project for publication in a peer-reviewed journal
  • conduct a piece of research that addresses a core research question in mental health
  • learn to critically appraise current research in the field of mental health
  • learn how to work with others from different disciplines, including science, healthcare and education

5. Who can apply?

Applications will be considered from graduates with at least a 2.1 degree (or international equivalent) in Psychology, Medicine or a related discipline.



What our students say


Full course details

Course director

Dr Maddie Groom, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine


This is the first MSc Mental Health: Research and Practice in the UK to cover a broad range of topics within the mental health field combined with a focus on developing research skills in this field.

The course can be completed on a full-time basis over one year or a part-time basis over two years.

The course consists of 120 credits of taught modules and a further 60 credits are devoted to a research project.

Students can opt to complete the diploma (120 credits of taught modules) or certificate (60 credits of taught modules) instead of the MSc.


1. Are there any scholarships available?

This year we are not offering scholarships specific to this course. There are new government postgraduate loans that you can apply for to support you during your studies. You could also consider studying part time over 24 months so that you can work while studying.

See more postgraduate funding options. 

2. Is the course accredited by the BPS?

The course is not currently accredited by the BPS. In fact, at the moment, the BPS does not accredit MSc courses that fall within the area of clinical psychology. They are planning to introduce accreditation of these courses in the near future and we will apply for accreditation when this happens. We have designed the course to provide the skills and knowledge needed by students who are intending to pursue a career in clinical psychology or other areas of mental health.

3. How is the course structured for part-time students?

We talk to each part time applicant to decide how to structure the timetable to best suit their other commitments. We recommend that part time students complete all the research methods modules in year 1 as this provides very useful preparation for the research project which is completed in year 2.

4. Can I apply if I have my undergraduate degree is not in Psychology?

You are welcome to apply to the MSc MHR if your degree is in a subject other than Psychology. Your application will be sent to the Course Director for consideration. The Course Director will review the modules that you completed in your degree and any relevant work experience and will then decide whether this is the right MSc course for you. If you are unsure whether or not to apply and would like to talk to someone first, please contact the course team directly and we will be happy to advise.

5. What is the closing date for applications?

We are able to accept new applications until early September. If this date has passed and you want to submit an application, please contact the course team directly.

6. I have been out of education for a few years. What support do you provide to students returning to education?

We offer a wide range of support including a personal tutor who will review your progress each term and discuss effective study skills strategies with you to help you reach your potential. We also provide all students with a chance to practice and review their essay writing skills during the first few weeks of term by completing a piece of work that is not formally assessed, but is marked by a member of staff who provides detailed feedback outlining the strengths and weaknesses. Our students find this very valuable, particularly those who are returning to education. Finally, you will be able to access the support services offered by the University; these include support with study skills development and academic writing.



Modules consist of a mix of taught sessions, practical workshops and seminars.

C84MOD - Models and Approaches in Mental Health Research

This lecture-based module will cover topics in the following areas: 

  • Definitions and disorders
  • Classification systems and surrounding issues
  • Models in mental health research (incl. ethical considerations)
  • Cognitive/affective mechanisms and the symptom approach 
  • The Neuroscience approach to Mental Health Research 
  • Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management approaches in mental health 
  • Service user-led research approaches
  • The role of trauma and stress in the aetiology and trajectory of mental health problems

C84IRM - Introduction in Research Methods

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to effectively plan and design research as well as to critically appraise published research. Student will be introduced to how to write a literature review in a systematic way, how to write a research proposal, study designs (including developing research questions), ethics and practical issues when planning and conducting research. The module will also cover designing questionnaires, psychometric issues such as reliability and validity, using interviews and focus groups, and use if the internet and an introduction to online research methods.

 C84CPC - Clinical Psychology - Core Models and Concepts (New)

Students will be introduced to cognitive behavioural; systemic; psychodynamic and behavioural approaches to psychological therapy. Sessions will describe the development and application of theory within each approach, and students will be taught the basis of formulation. Teaching is delivered by Clinical Psychologists through lectures, group work and online learning resources.


C84TCA - Topics in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

This module considers the conceptual and practical issues (including ethical considerations) in identifying, diagnosing and managing mental health and behavioural problems in children and young people. The module will consist of a mix of lectures and student-led seminars (informal group presentations and discussions), each focussing on a key topic in the field of child and adolescent mental health. 

C84SRT - Systematic Review of Treatment Effects in Schizophrenia

The module will enable students to learn how to undertake reviews of randomised studies covering:

  • Developing a protocol for a review.
  • Searching and managing references.
  • Extracting and using data.
  • Using RevMan, more sums and Cochrane.

The module will be conducted as a short block at the start of semester 1 in weeks 1 and 2. Sessions will include small group teaching, workshops, interactive tutorials with hands on practical work at computer stations and group work.

C84QNT - Quantitative Methods

Through a series of lectures, practical workshops and assignments, the module will take students through the design, operationalization, data-collection, data analysis, and report-writing processes of a quantitative research study in mental health and applied psychology, covering the following topics:

C84QRM - Qualitative Research Methods

This module considers a range of qualitative approaches suitable for psychologists. Students will be introduced to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and practical application of a number of qualitative research methods. The teaching will combine lectures, workshops, student-led seminars and self-directed study. Specific topics included will be: - developing qualitative research questions -consideration of philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative methods - choosing an appropriate qualitative method - the methods available - ethical issues in qualitative research - evaluation and critical appraisal of qualitative research evidence.

C84TCN - Topics in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry

This module introduces research methods for investigating the neural processes that underlie cognitive function in mental health and illness. Sessions will consist of a mixture of lectures, group work (informal student-led presentations), workshops, and self-directed learning.

C84DEM - Ageing and Dementia

C84FMH - Models and Approaches in Forensic Mental Health

This lecture-based module will cover: 

  •  Introduction to Forensic Mental Health (FMH) services 
  •  Treatment in secure hospitals, prisons, and the community
  • Current research and practical issues in FMH settings

C84REP - Masters Research Project

In this module the student will: 

  • research
  • plan
  • design
  • gather data 
  • analyse and 
  • write up the findings 

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

The University of Nottingham offers advice on funding opportunities that are available to UK/EU and international students, to support fee payment and living costs while you study. 

Find out more

Government loans for masters courses

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

The MSc Mental Health: Research and Practice will provide excellent training and an internationally recognised qualification for those wishing to further their career in mental health.

Graduates have secured Assistant Psychologist and Well-being Practitioner positions in NHS Trusts around the UK and others have successfully secured funded PhD studentships.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 95.7% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The median starting salary was £28,625 with the highest being £76,001.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

The Graduate Market 2013–2019, High Fliers Research







This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Mental Health Research MSc
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Eleanor Jennings
Course administrator
Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine
The University of Nottingham
B18 Yang Fujia Building, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham NG8 1BB
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