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Postgraduate Taught

MSc Psychiatric Research


We are now taking applications for 2016 entry. 

Please visit our prospectus pages for further information and details on how to apply.

Watch our video to find out what's involved in the MSc in Psychiatric Research:

Student Views


Could you summarise your education or experience of working in mental health before joining the MSc in Psychiatric Research?

I completed my high school education with honours and 5 A Levels (Maths, Biology, Chemistry, ICT, Turkish) in Cyprus.

I have studied BSc Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London and graduated with first class. During my psychology degree, I learnt about various fields of psychology and in my third year focused mainly on clinical, neurological and social aspects.

I was a “support at home volunteer” at the British Red Cross for 2 years, where I would support elderly citizens with common mental health issues. I have also volunteered with underprivileged children who had learning disabilities and developmental disorders.


Why did you choose the MSc in Psychiatric Research?

I chose this Masters course because it provides various opportunities to learn from leading experts of the field, in addition to hands on research and clinical experiences. Renowned success of the IOPPN also affected my choice. Additionally, it would advance my research skills and compliment and build up on my knowledge from my undergraduate degree.


 What you have enjoyed most about studying on the MSc in Psychiatric Research?

Learning about different fields of psychiatric research and getting to learn about the most exciting research in the field from the experts.


Please tell us about which optional modules you took, and the research you are doing for your dissertation. 

  • Psychopharmacology – This module provided an insight to pharmacological research and the meticulous mechanisms of drug action. 
  • Translational research – Taught me the value and difficulty of translating and adopting the innovative, new findings from research to clinical practice. Psychiatric Genetics – Exciting field of unravelling genetic information and research around it.
  • Clinical Trials in Psychiatry – Gave me a chance to learn about various examples and techniques of testing and eventually delivering scientifically robust innovations in the field of mental health.
  •  Dissertation – Focuses on the impaired narrative coherence of inpatients with acute schizophrenia and its relation to negative symptoms of the disorder. IT involves a literature about narrative coherence and how it might be useful for predicting symptoms and quality of life, in addition to collecting data across the SLaM’s acute wards and analysis.

Why would you recommend this course to prospective students?

It will give you a very well rounded understanding of what good, robust research should look like, excellent critical appraisal skills and valuable clinical and research opportunities.


Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Get ready to be introduced to the exciting yet challenging world of psychiatric research.

Make the most of the possible opportunities you have access to through being part of the IOPPN. Enjoy the experience


What are your plans for the next steps in your career on completing the MSc?

To gain various experiences in the research field, apply my knowledge from my Masters to practice and eventually have a PhD.


How has the MSc in Psychiatric Research supported you in working towards these?

We had CV and application workshops specifically tailored for research jobs. We got to listen from senior researcher what they look for in a good candidate and current research workers their advice on applying for these positions. It has also supported by giving us valuable training such as Good Clinical Practice and research skills such as recruitment process or specific neuroimaging analysis through our dissertations.



Could you summarise your education or experience of working in mental health before joining the MSc in Psychiatric Research?

I completed a BSc in Psychological Science at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, and also a Psychology year abroad at the University of Leeds. I did not have any professional mental health experience before joining the course but this has not been an issue at all.  


Why did you choose to study the MSc in Psychiatric Research? Before applying to do a PhD I felt I needed more knowledge of research design and methodology, statistics and practical experience working in mental health. I felt King’s College would provide the best academic experience and environment for me to achieve this.


What you have enjoyed most about studying on the MSc in Psychiatric Research?

The optional modules were fantastic, the range of lecturers we had always varied and they were each renowned experts within their field. Everyone at the IoPPN is incredibly friendly and there are so many opportunities to learn and collaborate with others.


Please tell us about which optional modules you took, and the research you are doing for your dissertation. 

I took Psychiatric Genetics,Psychopharmacology, Neuroimaging and Brain Behaviour Interface. For my dissertation I am investigating perfusion and glutamate levels in schizotypy, which involved attending patient MRI scans, using different types of neuroimaging software, analysing data, building databases and I will be submitting the results to conferences and journals.


Why would you recommend this course to prospective students?

Absolutely, you can get so much out of it and tailor it to your specific interests through your choice of optional modules, dissertation projects and clinical placements. The Psychiatric Research MSc is also quite small compared to other courses at the IoPPN, so the lectures and tutorial are very personalised and interactive.


Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Research what topics you would like to base your dissertation on, and don’t be afraid of contacting professors with your own ideas. Also attend as many of the IoPPN’s seminars and meetings as you can – they are a great way to learn about new research and meet people!


What are your plans for the next steps in your career on completing the MSc?

Initially I would like to work as a Research Assistant within an academic institution before going on to complete a PhD in psychiatry/neuroscience.


How has the MSc in Psychiatric Research supported you in working towards these? 

It has equipped me with applicable knowledge in research methods and statistics that I can translate to a wide variety of positions, allowed me to explore my specific areas of interest in greater detail and given me the opportunity to gain clinical experience at the National Psychosis Unit. Furthermore, it has given me the opportunity to meet and work with leading experts in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience. 














Academic Programme Team

Dr Alice Egerton


 Meet the team: Staff Profiles


Dr Alice EgertonDr Alice Egerton, Programme Director

Dr Egerton is the Programme Director for the MSc in Psychiatric Research, and also leads the Clinical Trials in Psychiatry and Dissertation modules. She is a senior lecturer in the Dept. Psychosis Studies. Dr Egerton’s research focuses on the neurochemical abnormalities that underlie psychosis, mainly using neuroimaging approaches. She has several publications and grants in this area.


Professor Philip McGuire

Professor Philip McGuire, Programme Chair.

Prof. McGuire is Head of Department of Psychosis Studies, and Academic Director and Joint Leader, Psychosis Clinical Academic Group, King’s Health Partners. His research is focused on determining the neurocognitive basis of psychosis and using this as a basis for developing new assessment and treatments for psychotic disorders.


Matthew Kempton

Dr Matthew Kempton, Module Leader: Research Methods, Ethics and Statistics in Mental Health.

Dr Kempton is a Senior Lecturer and MRC Career Development Fellow. His main research interests include brain structure in psychosis and mood disorders, meta-analyses of neuroimaging data and conducting multi-centre neuroimaging studies.


Dr Gemma Modinos

Dr Gemma Modinos, Module Leader: Neuroimaging.

Dr Modinos is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychosis Studies with primary research interests in the neurobiology of psychosis vulnerability and onset, mainly using neuroimaging techniques. Dr Modinos has a special interest in socio-emotional processing and the neurobiological mechanisms underlying their dysfunctions as key pathogenic processes in psychosis.


Dr Sagnik Bhattacharyya, Module Leader: Translational Research in Psychiatry.

Dr Sagnik Brattacharyya

Dr Bhattacharyya is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Reader in Translational Neuroscience and Psychiatry. His research involves the application of different techniques and approaches, particularly pharmacological challenge, neuroimaging (fMRI, PET) and genetics to help understand the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders and translate that understanding into diagnostic tests or new therapeutic interventions..


 Dr Marta Di Forti, Module Leader: Psychiatric Genetics.

Dr Marta Di Forti

Dr Di Forti is a Clinical Research Lecturer in the Department of Psychosis Studies and an Honorary Consultant Adult Psychiatry, at EI Lambeth Community team, South London and Maudsley NHS foundation Trust. Dr Di Forti co-ordinated the development of a Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) study, which has since generated 20 papers, as well as 5 PhDs.


Dr Sridhar Natesan, Module Leader: Psychopharmacology.

Dr Sridhar Natesan

Dr Natesan trained in pharmaceutical sciences, he is currently involved in preclinical and clinical psychopharmacological research. His current interests include PET imaging of the dopaminergic signalling pathway and translational research in psychiatry related to Schizophrenia.


Dr Valeria Mondelli, Module Leader: Brain-Behaviour Interface.

Dr Valeria Mondelli

Dr Mondelli is a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the IoPPN and a Consultant Psychiatrist. Her research focuses on the role of stress and of biological systems involved in the stress response, and in the interplay between physical and mental health. In her research, she uses the integration of a variety of research approaches including neuroendocrinology, neuroimmunology, brain imaging and gene expression analyses.



Dr Daniel Stahl, Module Leader: Machine learning, big data and personalised medicine.

Dr Daniel Stahl

Dr Stahl is a senior lecturer in Biostatistics within the Department of Biostatistics. He collaborates on a variety of projects with IoPPN researchers. His research interests are mediation of the effects of 

psychotherapeutic trials and applying machine and statistical learning methods to identify moderators of treatment success. He is also the statistical supervisor of the students of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme and teaches introductory and/or advanced statistics for several MSc courses.


Dr Simone Reinders, Module Leader: Horizons in Psychiatric Research

Dr Simone Reinders

Dr Reinders performs multidisciplinary work in the field of brain imaging and has a strong back ground in neuroimaging methodology. At the IoPPN she leads the integration of MRI data obtained in the large multicentre OPTiMiSE trial. But her passion is her pioneering research on the neurobiology of trauma and dissociation. She was the first to show identity state dependent brain activation patterns in dissociative identity disorder and she is a leading research in this area. 


Further information about the research of our staff can be found on the KCL research portal:


Professional Services Team

Dr Katerina Koutsantoni | Programmes Manager


Katerina is Manager for this programme and for other postgraduate taught programmes at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

She has a background in UK Further and Higher Education in such positions as English Literature lecturer, English for Academic Purposes tutor, English as a Foreign Language tutor, examiner, exams supervisor, moderator, researcher, administrator and project officer. 

Katerina is responsible for co-ordinating the operation of programmes with respect to programme/module design and approval, assessment, admissions policies, delivery of teaching, financial matters, space issues, liaison with students and quality assurance.

Mrs Cha'Von Clarke-Joell I Programme Administrator


Cha'Von has a background in international student recruitment, communications, welfare, marketing and administration. She is responsible for administering the 'student lifecycle' from admission and registration through to graduation, for maintaining all administrative systems and for handling all student enquiries. 

Cha'Von leads on marketing strategies and also provides administrative support to the team of academic staff and to the Programmes Manager, ensuring the smooth operation of the programme.

Programme Structure
The course is offered on a full-time or a part-time basis and 180 credits must be achieved with a mix of core, optional and compulsory modules:  
Core Modules (60 credits each):
  • Research Methods, Ethics & Statistics in Mental Health

  • Dissertation in Psychiatric Research


Compulsory Modules (0 credits each):
  • Advanced Statistics

  • Designing, Funding and Publishing a Study


Optional Modules (15 credits each):
  •  Brain-Behaviour Interface  

  • Clinical Trials in Psychiatry 

  • Neuroimaging 

  • Psychiatric Genetics 

  • Translational Research in Psychiatry

  • Psychopharmacology


Career Destinations
Examples of Employment and Further Study of Alumni, 6 months after Graduation from the MSc in Psychiatric Research.
These examples are based on data from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey ( Alumni were contacted 6 months after graduation and asked to complete information about employment and further study.

The examples below are taken for data combined for surveys in 2012, 2013 and 2014. A total of 61 people responded, and the data may be subject to collection bias.

The information below presents representative examples of further study and employment. For data protection purposes (so that individuals cannot be identified), further study or employment details have been unlinked from the corresponding study or employment institution. The examples are presented in alphabetical order.


6 months after graduation, 16% of respondents reported being engaged in further study at graduate level (e.g. PhD’s, further clinical training).
Example study areas:
Clinical Psychology
• Cognitive Neuroscience
• Forensics
• Neurobiology
• Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Psychiatric Research
• Psychiatry
• Psychological Medicine
• Psychology
• Social Psychiatry
Example study institutions:
• Kings College London
• London Metropolitan University
• University of Essex

Example job titles: (6 months after graduation)
• Assistant Psychologist
• Assistant Research Co-Ordinator
• Research Administrator
• Business Developer
• Business Development manager
• Clinical Research Assistant
• Clinical Support Worker
• Consultant psychiatrist
• Doctor
• Health Adviser
• Healthcare Assistant
• Learning Support Assistant
• Mental Health Advocate
• Occupational Therapist
• One-to-One Tutor
• Project Manager
• Psychiatric Trainee
• Psychiatrist
• Psychological Assistant
• Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
• Pupil Support Officer
• Research Assistant
• Research Fellow
• Research Worker
• Senior Key Therapist
• Social Therapist
• Special Needs Registrar
• Support Time and Recovery Worker
• Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Example employers: (6 months after graduation)
• Axcis
• Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
• Bristol Primary Healthcare Trust (NHS)
• Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
• Charing Cross Hospital (NHS)
• East London NHS Foundation Trust
• Edgware Community Hospital (NHS)
• EPS Maison Blanche• Fulbourn Hospital (NHS)
• Goodmayes Hospital (NHS)
• IAPT Lambeth
• Jikei Medical University
• Kenexa
• Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
•Kings College Hospital (NHS)
• Kings College London
• Lambeth NHS
• Lambeth Psychological Therapies
• Mind
• North Essex Partnership University NHS
• Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich (NHS)
• Queen Mary University of London
• Royal Berkshire Hospital (NHS)
• South London NHS Trust
• Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
• Taipei City Hospital
• Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
• The Chinese University of Hong Kong
• University College London
• University of Palermo
• University of Sussex
• Wiener Krankenanstaltenverbund (Vienna Hospital Association)
• West London Mental Health Trust (NHS)
Clinical Placements Volunteers Scheme
Many of our students are not only interested in focusing on our programme of study but also wish to gain some clinical experience during their time at the Institute of Psychiatry. 
We offer a volunteer clinical placements scheme where students are put in contact with clinical placement providers, usually in the South London area, where - under the supervision of clinicians - they can obtain some clinical experience. 
Please note the programme only acts as facilitator between students and placement providers and placements are not guaranteed for all. 
Please contact the Programme Administrator on at the start of the year, to express an interest in a placement opportunity. 
Information about the scheme is available on the programme's area of KEATS for students enrolled on the programme. 
Student Publications 
Tsopelas C, Stewart R, Savva GM, Brayne C, Ince P, Thomas A, Matthews FE. (2011). Neuropathological correlates of late-life depression in older people. Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study.Br J Psychiatry.198:109-14.
Siriwardhana C, Sumathipala A, Siribaddana S, Samaraweera S, Abeysinghe N, Prince M, Hotopf M. (2011). Reducing the scarcity in mental health research from low and middle income countries: a success story from Sri Lanka. Int Rev Psychiatry. 23:77-83.
Jotheeswaran AT, Williams JD, Stewart R, Prince MJ. (2011). Could reverse causality or selective mortality explain associations between leg length, skull circumference and dementia? A South Indian cohort study. Int Psychogeriatr. 23:328-30.
Hodgins S, Calem M, Shimel R, Williams A, Harleston D, Morgan, C, Dazzan P, Fearon P, Morgan K, Lappin J, Zanelli J, Reichenberg A, Jones P (2011). Criminal offending and distinguishing features of offenders among persons experiencing a first episode of psychosis. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. 5:15-23.
Bisla J, Calem M, Begum A, Stewart, R (2011). Have we forgotten about dementia in care homes? The importance of maintaining survey research in this section. Age and Aging. 40: 5 -6.
Prince M, Acosta D, Ferri CP, Guerra M, Huang Y, Jacob K,Jotheeswaran A, Liu Z, Rodriguez JJ, Salas A, Sosa AL, Williams JD. (2011) The association between common physical impairments and dementia in low and middle income countries, and, among people with dementia, their association with cognitive function and disability. A 10/66 Dementia Research Group population-based study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry.26:511-9.
Prince M, Acosta D, Dangour AD, Uauy R, Guerra M, Huang Y, Jacob KS, Rodriguez JJ, Salas A, Sosa AL, Williams JD, Acosta I, Albanese E, Dewey ME, Ferri CP, Stewart R, Gaona C, Jotheeswaran AT, Kumar PS, Li S, Guerra JC, Rodriguez D, Rodriguez G. (2011) Leg length, skull circumference, and the prevalence of dementia in low and middle income countries: a 10/66 population-based cross sectional survey. Int Psychogeriatr 23:202-13.
Sousa RM, Ferri CP, Acosta D, Guerra M, Huang Y, Jacob K, Jotheeswaran A, Hernandez MA, Liu Z, Pichardo GR, Rodriguez JJ, Salas A, Sosa AL, Williams J, Zuniga T, Prince M. (2010) The contribution of chronic diseases to the prevalence of dependence among older people in Latin America, China and India: a 10/66 Dementia Research Group population-based survey. BMC Geriatr. 6;53.
Jotheeswaran AT, Williams JD, Prince MJ. (2010) The predictive validity of the 10/66 dementia diagnosis in Chennai, India: a 3-year follow-up study of cases identified at baseline. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 24:296-302.
Jotheeswaran AT, Williams JD, Prince MJ. (2010) Predictors of mortality among elderly people living in a south Indian urban community; a 10/66 Dementia Research Group prospective population-based cohort study. BMC Public Health. 23;366.
Soremekun M, Stewart R, Portel F, Artero S, Ancelin M, Ritchie K. (2010) Neurological signs and late-life depressive symptoms in a community population: the ESPRIT study. Geriatric Psychiatry, 25:672 – 678.
Suttajit S, Punpuing S, Jirapramukpitak T, Tangchonlatip K, Darawuttimaprakorn N, Stewart R, Dewey M, Prince M, Abas M. (2010). Impairment, disability, social support and depression among older parents in rural Thailand. Psychological Medicine. 40: 1711-1721.
Sumathipala A, Siribaddana S, Hewage S, Lekamwattage M, Athukorale M, Siriwardhana C, Munasinghe K, Sumathipala K, Murray J, Prince M (2010) .Understanding of research: a Sri Lankan perspective. BMC Med Ethics. 27;11:7.
Suttajit S and Pilakanta S (2010) Impact of depression and social support on nonadherence to antipsychotic drugs in persons with schizophrenia in Thailand. Patient Prefer Adherence. 4: 363–368.
Suttajit S and Pilakanta S (2010) Comparison of methods used in measuring nonadherence and the barriers against adherence to antipsychotic drugs in outpatients with schizophrenia. Chiang Mai Medical Journal. 49: 97-103
Kirkwood BR, Manu A, Tawiah-Agyemang C, ten Asbroek G, Gyan T, Weobong B, Lewandowski RE, Soremekun S, Danso S, Pitt C, Hanson K, Owusu-Agyei S, Hill Z. (2010) NEWHINTS cluster randomised trial to evaluate the impact on neonatal mortality in rural Ghana of routine home visits to provide a package of essential newborn care interventions in the third trimester of pregnancy and the first week of life: trial protocol. Trials. 17:11:58
Sousa RM, Dewey ME, Acosta D, Jotheeswaran AT, Castro-Costa E, Ferri CP, Guerra M, Huang Y, Jacob KS, Rodriguez Pichardo JG, Garcia Ramírez N, Llibre Rodriguez J, Calvo Rodriguez M, Salas A, Sosa AL, Williams J, Prince MJ. (2010) Measuring disability across cultures--the psychometric properties of the WHODAS II in older people from seven low- and middle-income countries. The 10/66 Dementia Research Group population-based survey. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 9:1-17.
Visit the King's College London Online Prospectus for more information on:

  • Course structure

  • Module descriptions

  • Entry requirements and application process

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