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War & Psychiatry MSc



The MSc War & Psychiatry enables students to develop skills and knowledge about the way individuals, both in the armed forces and civilians, respond to psychological trauma. Drawing on multidisciplinary expertise, students have the opportunity to compare the experiences of different nations to identify both theoretical and practical elements of the subject. The programme is ideal for careers in military psychiatry and related NGO, emergency and anti-terrorist services.


Key benefits

  • Students gain an understanding of how people prepare themselves for war, cope during conflict and adjust to peacetime life.
  • To be taught by internationally-recognised researchers and clinicians.
  • Students learn not only about the psychological effects on soldiers fighting on the front line but also how civilians cope when subjected to the trauma of war or acts of terrorism.
  • To examine the psychology of conflict through different cultures.
  • Students develop knowledge and skills not necessarily provided by clinical training.

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 25

Course leaders Professor Edgar Jones and Dr Ian Robbins

Course contact for further information

Louise Braithwaite - Programme Administrator,

Jacqueline Szczerbinski - Programme Coordinator

Course contact email,

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Department of Psychological Medicine


Entry requirements & how to apply

Applicants should have either:

  • A first degree or equivalent in medicine or psychology
  • A 2:2 first degree in any subject
  • Other qualifications and experience which demonstrate an ability to undertake the programme

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

Application procedure

Selection is made on the basis of the application and references.

An application fee of £40 applies (non-refundable). Applications are normally processed within two weeks of receiving references. All applicants are welcome to visit the department by arrangement, and students from unusual, i.e. non-biological, backgrounds are normally interviewed.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please detail your reasons for applying to the programme and your future goals. Please try and limit your personal statement to 500 words. 

Application closing date

The deadline for applications for Home/EU students is 2 September 2016 for 2016 entry. Applications closed for Overseas students on 31 July. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.




Course detail


Programme Aims

  • To demand responsible study and critical evaluation of the complex methodological, ethical, historical, medical, cultural and empirical aspects of military psychiatry.
  • To develop an ability to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the history, development and practice of military psychiatry.
  • To foster an awareness of a comprehensive range of approaches relevant to the multi-disciplinary nature of military psychiatry.
  • To instil a systematic and reflexive understanding of the psychiatric and psychological aspects of modern warfare.
  • To promote initiative, originality, creativity and independence in identifying, researching, judging and solving problems at an advanced level.
  • To develop relevant transferable skills to be found in the learning and assessment schemes in the programme.

Programme Objectives

The MSc War & Psychiatry provides the opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding and skills in the following areas:

The nature, significance and complexities of the history, development and practice of military psychiatry as revealed through:

  • Systematic and reflexive investigation of the literature and the conceptual, therapeutic, operational, historical and ethical issues surrounding the relationship between war and psychiatry.
  • Advanced understanding of a comprehensive range of concepts, theories and methods relevant to military psychiatry.
  • Specialised studies in one or more aspects of military psychiatry.

Intellectual skills:

  • To engage critically with a wide body of literature and to demonstrate the ability to deal with complex concepts and problems to an advanced level.
  • To exercise informed and independent critical judgment across a range of source material involving structured and reasoned argument sustained through both essays and a dissertation.
  • To identify, formulate and articulate solutions to intellectual problems at the forefront of military psychiatry using initiative, originality, creativity and independence.

Practical skills:

  • To gather, organise, evaluate and interpret information from a variety of sources, including, where appropriate, primary materials.
  • To apply concepts, theories and methods in an appropriate, systematic and reflexive manner.
  • To investigate critically, develop and present arguments about, and offer solutions to, complex or narrowly specialised problems at an appropriately advanced level.
  • To make use of constructive feedback to achieve progression in knowledge, understanding, methods and judgment.
  • To organise and maintain individual learning strategies.

The Learning Experience

The majority of the seminars take place at the Strand Campus in Central London, whilst others are delivered at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at the Denmark Hill Campus in Camberwell, South London.

The course can be taken either in one year (full-time) or two years (part-time), and provides a qualification that seeks to place military psychiatry in its appropriate cultural, historical and social context. The qualification, like the teaching team, holds international recognition.

Masters Level Study

At postgraduate level, independent learning is encouraged and the Psychiatric Research Programme is designed to enable you to extend your knowledge and understanding of mental health services and to develop transferable skills, including literature searching, critical appraisal and research. The Programme is delivered through a range of teaching and learning methods, aiming to provide up-to-date coverage of mental health services issues and to offer you opportunities to pursue your own interests through extended essays and the research-based dissertation.

Study Format

Lectures and discussions form the core teaching for each module. They cover the main topics and key themes in the curriculum of each module, and ideas are developed further in small group work, case analyses and student presentations. You are expected to supplement class work and lecture notes with further reading. Students find it helpful to do some preparatory reading each week.

As well as recommended references, which are linked to each week’s sessions, independent literature searches will extend your knowledge and understanding and increase your chances of success. During the first term there will be a library induction and a workshop on literature searching. Because much of the learning and teaching takes place in groups of no more than thirty students, sessions are typically interactive and student contributions are encouraged.

Studying for a postgraduate diploma or master’s degree is a stimulating and enjoyable experience but it can also place challenging demands upon students, particularly those who have full-time jobs and families. In addition to taught sessions, postgraduate courses require independent study and personal commitment and you are expected to dedicate time and energy to your studies. In order to get the most out of the course you should arrange to devote at least a day a week to your studies (part-time students) or 2-3 days per week (full-time students), in addition to class contact time.

Academic and personal tutorial support

All students will be allocated to a  tutor for the core teaching in semester one of the course. The degree of supervision will depend upon commitments of both student and tutor. The College guideline for meetings with tutors is twice per term, though this may vary according to individual circumstances.

The student then works independently under supervision to produce the final dissertation which may be primary research, secondary data analysis from the many IOPPN available datasets or a systematic (not literature) review.


Students are expected to attend regular teaching events and to notify the programme leader in the event of any unavoidable absences. Attendance will be monitored at regular intervals throughout the taught programme and tutorials.


Assessment is entirely by coursework, unless a student decides to take an option module offered by the Department of War Studies that includes and examination or presentation.

The introductory module is assessed by three 3,000 word essays, the first delivered at the beginning of January and the second two at the end of term. The advanced core course is assessed by one 5,000 word essay, and the Civilians and Extreme Trauma option module is assessed by two 5,000 word essays. Students are also required to submit a 15,000 word dissertation which is due at the end of August (of the second year for part time students).

Course purpose

The programme is designed for students and professionals interested in the way human beings respond in situations of extreme stress. It provides an internationally recognised qualification in military psychiatry which equips students with transferable skills and a higher level of theoretical understanding. Students include psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals in the armed forces, emergency service workers and graduates of war studies.

Course format and assessment

The MSc has four elements. All students take two core modules. The first is an introductory series of 20 seminars held at the Strand Campus. The second core module is an advanced module of 10 seminars in various aspects of military psychiatry and psychology, held at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). The advanced module is mostly delivered by external speakers. Students choose a third element, either that provided by the programme itself at the IoPPN or one chosen from a range of subjects offered by the Department of War Studies. The fourth element is a dissertation on a subject of the student’s choice. All modules are assessed by essay assignments. 



Career prospects

The course is designed to enhance your employability in a range of ways. Many of the skills developed during the year are of a transferable nature: research methodology, presenting a case to an audience using visual aids, ways of discovering information and writing to a specific word limit and deadline. Much of the course content is of a practical nature designed to inform the assessment and treatment of psychological casualties. In addition, the course has invited speakers from the armed forces, military charities and the emergency services. Presentations are given by the IOPPN’s Careers Consultant and individual meetings with students can be arranged to explore job opportunities.

Below is a link to cases studies of former students of the IOPPN:



War & Psychiatry - The Video

In the heart of London

How both soldiers and civilians prepare themselves, cope during times of conflict, and adjust to peacetime life are core issues of the MSc War & Psychiatry. Find out more from Professor Edgar Jones; Programme Leader of this ground-breaking programme at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.

Watch more videos

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,960 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£23,340 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,980 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£11,670 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

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 deposit is £1,000 – Home/EU and £2,000 – Overseas (2016/17)

If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2016, payment is due by 30th April 2016.

If you receive an offer between 1st April 2016 and 30th June 2016, payment is due within one month of receipt of the offer.

If you receive an offer between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2016, payment is due within two weeks of receipt of the offer.

If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2016, payment is due within one week of receipt of the offer.

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


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