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Department of Psychosis Studies


World-leading research

The Department of Psychosis Studies is one of the world’s leading centres for research into psychotic disorders. It is part of the School of Academic Psychiatry.

Our mission: we aim to advance the understanding and treatment of psychotic disorders across all stages to improve the lives of patients and their families.

Our ethos: we take an inclusive approach that respects diverse opinions and backgrounds and includes patient and carer views to support staff and students in our mission.

Our staff include clinical and non-clinical scientists with a wide range of expertise. Their research has been recognised by over 100 research awards, and multiple members of staff have been named by Web of Science as amongst the leading researchers in the world in psychiatry/ neuroscience. We have many research programmes involving national and international partnerships, often with our department acting as the lead site in multi-centre collaborations. 

We have been identified as the leading schizophrenia research institution in the world based on impact.  Our findings have influenced national and international guidelines and policies to improve the care of people with psychosis. 

Head of Department: Professor Oliver Howes

Deputy Head of Department: Professor Sagnik Bhattacharyya

Major research themes and methodologies

Our research includes the following major themes: Comorbidities & transdiagnostic approaches; Interventions; Neuroscience & biological mechanisms; Prediction and analytics; Risk factors and population health; and Treatment resistance.

Our work involves a wide range of methodologies, including artificial intelligence/ digital technologies and interventions, cognitive neuroscience approaches, epidemiology, experimental medicine and clinical trials, ex vivo analyses, genomics, health service and applied research, meta-analysis and evidence synthesis, prevention and early intervention, psychological approaches, psychopathology/ phenomenology, neuroimaging, real world data analyses and natural language processing, and stem cell techniques.

Key strengths of our research include the integration of biological and psychosocial approaches and strong collaboration between disciplines and across research centres. 

World-leading education

The Department provides internationally regarded postgraduate education through our MSc programmes, PhD and MD(Res) degrees and clinical courses (often in collaboration with Maudsley Learning).

We host a thriving student community from all over the world. Our teaching staff include world experts and clinical leaders in their fields. The expertise of our teaching staff, combined with access to state-of-the-art research facilities and links to clinical services, provides a unique and diverse learning environment.

MSc Courses

The Department hosts three complementary MSc courses, which consistently receive excellent student feedback. Many of our MSc students progress to study with us at PhD-level, or work in research or clinical roles.

Mental Health Studies MSc: In this programme, leading experts provide an in-depth exploration of the latest research and clinical practices in mental health. Graduates will be well prepared to navigate the diverse landscape of mental health careers spanning research, clinical work, and policy-making.

Psychiatric Research MSc: This MSc provides in depth training in performing clinical research into mental health conditions. It is ideally suited to postgraduate students who wish to pursue a research career, whether in university, industry or other sectors, towards better understanding and treating psychiatric disorders.  

Early Intervention in Psychosis MSc: Early intervention in psychosis is an evidence-based approach that combines psychosocial treatment with medication. Because of its success, early intervention is now a crucial part of mental health services worldwide. This unique MSc course provides world-class theoretical and practical training in early intervention, covering the identification and treatment of early symptoms of psychosis.

PhD and MD(Res) Degrees

The Department has around 50 postgraduate students, and a thriving postgraduate student committee who organise social and other events. We offer a wide range of opportunities for people wishing to undertake a PhD or, for clinicians, an MD(Res). Feel free to contact Dr Matthew Kempton or Professor Oliver Howes for more information. General information is available at: Postgraduate Research Programmes.

Clinical links

A great strength of the Department is its close clinical links. The Psychosis Clinical Academic Group (CAG) integrates our research with high quality clinical services for psychosis. These include prevention, early intervention, community, side-effect management, treatment resistance and rehabilitation services for patients in South London and tertiary services which receive referrals from across the UK (e.g. National Psychosis Unit). The CAG structure facilitates the involvement of patients in research, the rapid translation of research findings into clinical practice, and student placements to gain clinical experience.

Culture, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (CED&I)

The Department is committed to promoting a positive environment for all its students, staff and other members of its community which is free from all forms of prejudice, discrimination, harassment and bullying. This is led by an active CEDI team within the Department.

For more information, please visit the IoPPN diversity and inclusion web pages.

Opportunities for students and junior faculty

Students and junior faculty have lots of opportunities to develop their skills and interests and contribute to the Department. Student representatives sit on the departmental committees. There is a thriving student committee, which runs activities for students in the Department. Junior faculty also sit on departmental committees and have mentors in the department, as well as access to support for grant writing and other activities.


The Department often has vacancies for new members of staff, including for research workers, educators, lecturers and post-doctoral researchers. Please visit the IoPPN vacancies pages for a list of current vacancies.

Our courses

Duration: Full-time one year, part-time two years

Our MSc in Clinical Neuropsychiatry will allow students to develop the skills and knowledge required to specialise in neuropsychiatry as a clinician or academic.

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

Our unique Early Intervention in Psychosis course provides world-class specialised training in the early identification and clinical treatment of psychosis, focusing on the detection and management of early symptoms.

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

Our Mental Health Studies MSc course will equip you with the relevant knowledge in the field of mental health and provide you with the opportunity to examine one area further through both theoretical and empirical research.

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

Our Organisational Psychiatry & Psychology course is unique in the UK and Europe. It draws on contemporary psychological, psychiatric and organisational theory to examine the causes, effects and consequences of mental ill health in the workplace and considers strategies and interventions to improve organisational and individual mental health.

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

The MSc in Psychiatric Research provides in-depth training in how to perform and evaluate research across the psychiatric disorders. Emphasis is placed on building excellent academic skills, independent thinking and an evidence-based scientific approach to mental health research. During the MSc, 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.

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Latest News from the Department 

Dina Farran, a PhD candidate at the Psychosis studies Department, loPPN, King's College London, has been awarded 1st prize presentation at the recent Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry annual conference. Dina is working under the supervision of Professor Fiona Gaughran and Professor Mark Ashworth is about to submit her thesis at the end of this month. In the presentation, Dina summarised her PhD project entitled “stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation and co-morbid physical and mental health problems” consisting of a literature review, 2 observational studies, an intervention and 2 qualitative studies.