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Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry


About the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Children and adolescents live through multiple periods of critical, sometimes chaotic, development affecting the ways they think, feel, and perceive. Biologically and genetically, they are in flux. It is vital that approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions are different from those adopted with adults.

The Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, headed by Professor Emily Simonoff, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience is world-renowned for its progressive research in this field. Our goal is to understand in principle how childhood disorders are distinct from their adult equivalents. We then apply those principles to prevention, diagnosis and treatment - specifically designed with development in mind.

World-leading research

The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People is dedicated to improving mental health of children and young people research and clinical care. Developed by King’s College London, the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and the Maudsley Charity, the centre is due to open it's doors in 2025.

It will bring together world-leading scientists at the IoPPN, the Trust's specialist child and adolescent mental health services to work alongside each other to better understand the root causes of mental health problems in order to identify those at risk earlier on and  develop new treatments andways of addressing the mental health and wellbeing challenges facing children and young people today.

The new facilities and the work to be undertaken there are a timely response to rising mental health problems amongst children and young people – a trend exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The building will house the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  alongside modern inpatient, outpatient and crisis mental health care facilities for children and young people. There will be state of the art child- and family-friendly clinical research facilities, including an imaging suite, virtual reality and a digital laboratory.

Areas of expertise

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Mental Disorders in Intellectual Disability
  • Affective Disorders (Anxiety and Depression)
  • Deliberate Self-Harm
  • Parenting and Antisocial Behaviour
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Neurodevelopment and Mental Health
  • Childhood trauma and PTSD

We provide the essential link between state-of-the-art science and its translation into clinical services, strengthened by our pivotal role within King’s Health Partners and our staff’s myriad connections with the National Specialist teams based at the Maudsley Hospital. The Department is also home to the National Academy of Parenting Research.

The Department is the focus for the Child Mental Disorders theme within the Biomedical Research Centre (funded by the National Institute for Health Research), and is headed by Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke.

To find out more about the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, watch the short videos below:

PhD Opportunities

For information about the PhD opportunities available within the School of Academic Psychiatry visit Postgraduate Research Programmes page or the online prospectus. 

For any PhD related enquiries for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, please contact Professor Chiara Nosarti . We also offer a wide range of support, training and development opportunities to our postgraduate research students, these can be found on the Continuing professional development page.

 Current research projects in the department

  • Parenting intervention program;
  • Treatment foster care;
  • Functional imaging in normal development and child psychiatric disorders;
  • Neuropsychology of impulsiveness;
  • Outcome and genetics of ADHD.
  • Parental risk, brain development and psychopathology

Our courses (Taught)

Duration: One year full-time, September to September, two years part-time for UK-based clinicians working in CAMH/ paediatric settings

This is a unique course for international and UK-based psychiatrists, paediatricians and psychologists, as well as allied professionals leading to enhanced clinical and research skills in child and adolescent mental health.

View course

Duration: One year full-time, September to June, two years part-time

Our Family Therapy Grad Cert course enables mental health professionals to develop useful theoretical knowledge and practise skills to enable them to work effectively with couples and families in the context of their own professional practice.

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Duration: One year full-time, September to September, two years part-time

Our Family Therapy MSc course offers a comprehensive course of clinical training in family therapy, including extensive supervised work with families in both adult and child mental health settings.

View course

Our courses (Research)

Qualification(s): MPhil  MDRes  PhD 

MPhil/PhD/MDRes from the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at King's College London.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - PO85 Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience

For general queries, please contact:

020 7848 5312

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), IoPPN, 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AB




Further information for prospective students

Professional training

Professional training

The IoPPN offers a range of professional training opportunities to support your career development.



Careers in Psychiatry, Mental Health, and Psychology