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Psychiatric Research MSc/PG Cert

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The MSc in Psychiatric Research provides in-depth training in how to perform and evaluate research across the psychiatric disorders. Students develop a deep understanding of what is currently known about psychiatric disorders and their treatment and how well performed research can enhance knowledge and ultimately improve clinical outcomes for people with mental ill health.

Watch our video to find out more about our MSc in Psychiatric Research.


Key benefits

  • In-depth, practical and theoretical knowledge on performing, interpreting and applying psychiatric research in mental health.

  • Development of statistical, critical, creative and academic writing skills.

  • Taught by academics who perform world-leading psychiatric research.

  • Comprehensive transferrable skills training for career planning and progression.

  • Optional voluntary clinical placement scheme.




Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT & Two years PT

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 30 FT expected.

Course leaders Dr Alice Egerton

Further details

Course contact for further information

Programmes Manager - Katerina Koutsantoni, P – +44 (0)20 7848 0191, E –

Programme Administrator - +44 (0)20 7848 0497 E - 

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

DepartmentDepartment of Psychosis Studies



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Course detail


The programme provides in-depth training in a comprehensive range of approaches and methods in psychiatric research (for example, epidemiological, social, cohort and case-control studies, clinical trials, neuroimaging and genetics), together with the statistical, ethical and theoretical knowledge necessary for performing, interpreting and applying research. This core foundation is complemented by a modular structure, which allows students to focus on their specific areas of interest.

The course has a practical orientation, developing skills in study design, data gathering, academic writing and publication, and in critical appraisal of existing research. Teaching is delivered by academics working at the cutting edge of psychiatric research, using examples from their current research and highlighting the most topical developments in the field. The optional, voluntary clinical placements provide opportunity to gain experience of working within clinical settings.

The PGCert in Psychiatric Research requires completion of the 60 credit module Research Methods, Ethics and Statistics in Mental Health, which is a required taught module of the MSc programme. This provides training in a comprehensive range of research methodologies, ethical principles and fundamental statistical approaches to analysing research data. Over the PGCert, students develop their ability to critically evaluate published research. The PGCert is ideal for students who wish to gain knowledge of the research process, develop their statistical analysis and critical skills, either to support their professional development or as a route to further study.

This course is for students who want to develop their academic research skills to prepare for a career in research, a career combining clinical work and research, for applying for a PhD or clinical psychology training, or for further professional development when working in mental health or social care.  Students usually have a background in psychology, neuroscience, pharmacology, psychiatry, nursing or related disciplines. The course includes support for developing transferrable skills for the next career stages, for example preparing CVs, job applications and interview techniques and career planning. 

For detailed Staff Profiles, Student Stories and further information, please also visit our Departmental webpage 

Course purpose

The MSc programme provides advanced training in scientific research as applied across the psychiatric disorders. Students will develop understanding of the core ethical and scientific principles underlying psychiatric research. They will apply this knowledge to develop a critical understanding of existing research and the skills required to design and perform their own research in mental health disorders.

In Term 1 students gain advanced knowledge of research methods, ethics and statistics within the context of psychiatric research. In Term 2 students apply this knowledge to develop a deep understanding of the biological basis of common psychiatric disorders, and of how research can inform pharmacological and psychological interventions and improve clinical outcomes. In Term 3 students develop advanced statistical skills, focussing on the topical area of personalised approaches to treatment, and continue to develop transferrable skills in academic writing, publication and critical evaluation. The cumulative development of knowledge, research and academic skills concludes with the dissertation, where students complete their own research project.

The academic content of the programme is delivered through a complementary syllabus of lectures, workshops and tutorials. Formal assessment includes examinations, written coursework and oral presentation, with feedback to support learning, develop critical thinking and academic writing over the MSc.

In the PGCert, over a single term, students gain advanced knowledge of research methods, ethics and statistics within the context of psychiatric research. This is achieved through a complementary syllabus of lectures, workshops and tutorials. Formal assessment includes written coursework and examinations.

For further information, including profiles from previous students, please visit our departmental webpage 

Course format and assessment


You will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials. We place an emphasis on interactive learning.

Research Methods, Ethics & Statistics in Mental Health 

Lectures (61 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (67 hours) | Self-Study time (472 hours) 

Biological Psychiatry 

Lectures (40 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (20 hours) | Self-Study time (240 hours)

Therapeutic Research in Psychiatry  

Lectures (40 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (20 hours) | Self-Study time (240 hours)

Research Dissertation

Lectures (0 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (10 hours) | Self-Study time (590 hours)

Introduction to Machine Learning, Big Data and Personalised Medicine 

Lectures (18 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (0 hours) | Self-Study time (15 hours)

Horizons in Psychiatric Research 

Lectures (18 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (0 hours) | Self-Study time (15 hours)

Contact time is based on 28 academic weeks. Full-time students (completing the course in one year) receive lectures two days per week in terms 1 and 2 and one day per week in term 3. The remainder of the time is spent on self-study, course-work, the dissertation project, clinical and research placements.


You are assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations and may typically expect assessment by:

Examination (40%) | Coursework (60%)  

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change.


Year 1

Required Modules

Students on the MSc Psychiatric Research are required to take: (180 credits)


Required modules: PGCert Psychiatric Research
Students on the PGCert Psychiatric Research are required to take: (60 credits) 

Optional Modules
There are no optional modules

Entry requirements & how to apply

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

General entry advice

Bachelor’s degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, pharmacology, social science or health science); or a registrable qualification appropriate to the programme in medicine; or a professional mental health qualification. A 2:2 degree will be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters with Merit in a related subject.

Application procedure

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

Selection is made on the basis of application and references. Potential students are welcome to visit the department: please arrange a suitable time in advance.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please detail your reasons for applying for the programme and your future goals. Please also include a CV with details of your clinical experience.


English language requirements

For EU/international students (where eligible) there is additional country-specific information within our international students section


A Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a criminal records bureau check) may be required during your programme, depending on project work. 

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. - MSc (2017/18)*, £3,650 - PG Cert (2017/18)*
  • Full time overseas fees: £25,950 p.a. - MSc (2017/18)*, £8,650 - PG Cert (2017/18)*
  • Part time UK fees: £5,475 p.a. - MSc (2017/18)*, £1,825 - PG Cert (2017/18)*
  • Part time overseas fees: £12,975 p.a. - MSc (2017/18)*, £4,325 - PG Cert (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.

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


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 your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

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

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.

Career prospects

Our graduates conduct further research (e.g. PhD) or enhanced careers in mental health and social care as clinicians and policy makers. 


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 17 May 2017.