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Mental Health, Ethics and Law MSc

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Our Mental Health, Ethics and Law MSc programme is delivered by two internationally recognised centres of excellence and provides an integrated, strongly interdisciplinary, education in mental health, ethics and law. It equips graduates to become leaders in healthcare, mental health law or policy. You will have the unique opportunity to study alongside others from a wide range of academic and professional disciplines at the heart of London’s legal and psychiatric world.

Key benefits

  • In-depth and integrated clinical, philosophical and legal analysis of key issues presented in the field of mental health.

  • Supported by the UK's first centre of medical law and ethics (CMLE) and Europe’s largest centre for research and teaching in psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience (IoPPN).

  • Located in central London and maintains close links with national and international policy formers and leading legal and clinical practitioner communities.

  • Generous scholarships are available to support the brightest and best students.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course leaders

Dr Jillian Craigie, Lecturer in Medical Ethics;

Dr Gareth Owen, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Psychological Medicine;

Professor Genevra Richardson, Professor of Law

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, King’s College London Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000

Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty The Dickson Poon School of Law



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Course detail


We have developed a strongly interdisciplinary programme designed to investigate the interface between mental health, law and ethics at a theoretical level and to engage directly with the dilemmas and experience of illness encountered in practice. Our Mental Health, Ethics and Law course will expand your understanding both within and beyond your own disciplines, and will provide you with the skills necessary to analyse and critique current law, practice and policy in relation to mental health.

Our programme is for anyone concerned with mental health who wishes to study the clinical, ethical and legal thinking behind current law, policy and clinical practice. It has been designed for health professionals, lawyers, policy makers and all those with a relevant first degree who are keen to consider the difficult questions raised by mental health and society’s response.

Further literature

Course format and assessment

You will be taught mostly through lectures and seminar-style teaching.

Full time

There will be 6-8 hours per week of lectures, seminars and feedback. Students are expected to spend 32-34 hours per week engaged in self-study.

Part time

There will be 4-6 hours per week of lectures, seminars and feedback. Students are expected to spend 14-16 hours per week engaged in self-study.

Contact time is based on 24 academic weeks (1 reading week per semester may apply depending on module choices), whereas self-study time is based on 31 academic weeks.

The total notional study hours for the MSc are 1800 (10 hours per 1 credit).  Notional study hours comprise formal teaching and learning activities, such as lectures and tutorials, as well as assessments and independent research and study.


You will be assessed through a combination of examinations and coursework.

About half of the modules offered will be assessed by a 2 or 3-hour exam. The other modules are assessed through coursework. In addition to coursework and exams, a percentage of your final mark may be based on assignments (such as presentations or reaction papers) given in-class.



Year 1

Required Modules
Optional Modules

You will choose 60 credits from a range of optional modules that may include:

  • Pro-social and Anti-social Behaviour across the Lifespan (30 credits)

  • Risk Management, Treatment and Services for Mentally Disordered Persons (30 credits)

  • The Concept of Mental Disorder (20 credits)

  • Narrative Medicine (20 credits)

  • Global Health Ethics (30 credits)

  • Critical Global Health (30 credits)

  • Psychiatry, Culture and Globalisation (15 credits)

  • Principles of Psychiatric Research and Psychiatric Epidemiology (30 credits)

  • Topics in Medical Law (20 credits)

  • Medical Law 1: Consent, Refusal and Request (20 credits)

  • Medical Law 2: Negligence and Misadventure (20 credits)

  • Law at the End of Life 1 (20 credits)

  • Criminal Law and Mental Disorder: Doctrine and Philosophy (20 credits)

  • Moral Theory & Medical Ethics (20 credits)

  • Ethics at the End of Life (20 credits)

  • Topics in Medical Ethics 1/2 (20 credits)

Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum requirements:

We expect a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant discipline (e.g. law, medicine, philosophy, psychology, theology, social science, one of the life sciences, or nursing studies). 


A qualification appropriate to the programme in medicine (or international equivalent); or a professional mental health qualification.

Alternative qualifications:

Evidence of achievement of an academic level comparable to at least 2:1 standard (or international equivalent) through past studies and where previous study, work or experience has made the applicant a suitable candidate will also be considered.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are required to submit a personal statement, outlining your academic background, reasons for taking the programme and what you hope to gain from it, including any relevant strengths, ambitions or research interests. You may submit your personal statement directly onto the admissions portal or it may be typed on a separate document and attached.

For information on how to apply to King's, the application process, personal statements or any other FAQ's, please visit the FAQ page.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline was the 31st March 2017.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £10,950 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,800 p.a. (2017/18/)*
  • Part time UK fees: £5,475 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,400 p.a. (2017/18)*

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Binding costs
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 16 May 2017.