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Affective Disorders MSc

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Join us for Mental Health in the 21st Century, a series of online lectures hosted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

We are proud to have been awarded an IoPPN Excellence Award in 2018 for student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Taught Education Survey (PTES).

Our Affective Disorders course has been created for a broad spectrum of students and mental health professionals who are interested in specialist training from world-class experts. You will study all aspects of affective disorders, ranging from their characterisation and assessment to the challenges of treating these debilitating conditions. 



Key benefits 

  • Specialist careers for those interested in studying or researching the affective disorders.
  • Valuable insight from those working in the field and those involved in internationally- acclaimed research on the causes and treatment of affective disorders.
  • A clinical observership in a key mental health service that treats patients with affective disorders (dependent on social distancing rules during the ongoing pandemic).


Teaching on this course takes place in lectures, seminars and tutorials and through practical lab work.  The rest of your time will be spent on self-study, including reading, research and writing assignments.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration 1 year FT, September-September

Study mode Full-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 15+ FT students

Course leaders

Dr Roland Zahn

Dr Paul Stokes 

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Programme Administrator E: AP-PGTsupport@kcl.ac.uk





Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Department of Psychological Medicine Division of Academic Psychiatry



Explore campuses

Learn more about Affective Disorders

In the heart of London

Affective Disorders is a brand new and unique MSc programme taught at the world renowned Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. Watch Course Director Professor Allan Young and other world class experts in the field of Affective Disorders, to find out how this programme will provide a solid understanding of the concepts, theories and practicalities relevant to the Affective Disorders.

Watch more videos

Course detail


Affective disorders are also known as mood disorders and the main types include depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders. Affective disorders are leading contributors to the global burden of disease and specialist training in this area is currently sparse. The purpose of our course is to meet the growing need for a graduate training course that focuses exclusively on affective disorders.

Our Affective Disorders course is accessible to a wide audience, but would be of particular interest to psychiatrists, GPs, psychologists, related medical professionals and pharmaceutical scientists. It is especially suitable for health professionals who wish to refocus their career and specialise in affective disorders. It is equally suitable for health professionals who already work in a relevant field and wish to gain recognition for their expertise.

It is very well suited for graduates who wish to pursue clinical psychology training, or research PhDs in affective disorders.

This course adopts a multidisciplinary approach by capitalising on the most recent findings from a range of clinical and non-clinical disciplines, such as psychiatry, psychology, genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology and biostatistics. Upon completion, you will be able to integrate knowledge from different disciplines and relate it to the behaviours and symptoms present in affective disorders. You will be trained in the key scientific and methodological aspects of affective disorders, their care and related research. You will also gain transferable skills through a variety of tutorials and exercises.

You will benefit from the teaching of world-renowned experts in the field, conduct a research project and have the possibility to do a clinical observership across the full range of affective disorders services within the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

You will be taught by The Centre for Affective Disorders, within the IoPPN, which represents a centre of excellence for understanding the science related to mood and anxiety disorders and using this knowledge to develop new treatments, including both psychological and pharmacological treatments.

The clinical observership will enable you to observe various presentations, treatments and outcomes first-hand.

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

“Knowledge of affective disorders is relevant to anyone doing research in the area, or anyone working clinically as psychologists or psychiatrists.” 

Dr Roland Zahn, Course Co-Leader

Further literature

For information on open day events visit our Events Page

Course format and assessment


You will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Causes and Correlates of Affective Disorders

Lectures (30 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (15 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (15 hours) | Self-study time (240 hours)

Challenges in Treating Affective Disorders

Lectures (30 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (15 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (15 hours) | Self-study time (240 hours)

Research Methods and Statistics for Studying Affective Disorders

Lectures (29.5 hours) | Field/lab/studio/supervised learning (17.5 hours) | Self-study time (253 hours)

Understanding Affective Disorders

Lectures (30 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (15 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (15 hours) | Self-study time (240 hours)

Research Project on Affective Disorders

Self-study time (600 hours)

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Course Assessment

The primary methods of assessment for this course are written examinations and coursework.  The study time and assessment methods typically give an indication of what to expect. However, these may vary depending upon the modules.

Extra information

Regulating body
King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.

Other related courses:

Clinical Neuroscience Msc

Early Intervention in Psychosis MSc


Year 1

Required Modules
    Students on this course are required to take: 
  • Specialist careers for those interested in studying or researching the affective disorders.
  • Understanding Affective Disorders (30 credits)

  • Causes and Correlates of Affective Disorders (30 credits)

  • Challenges in Treating Affective Disorders (30 credits)

  • Research Methods & Statistics for Studying Affective Disorders (30 credits)

  • Research Project on Affective Disorders (60 credits)

Optional Modules

There are no optional modules for this course.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Affective Disorders entry requirements
Minimum requirements   2:1

A minimum 2:1 degree classification will be required in medicine, psychology, nursing, pharmacy, professions allied to medicine (e.g. radiography), or a scientific degree such as biomedical science, or neuroscience.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements    Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements. 


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Applications are normally processed within two weeks of the receipt of the applicant’s completed references. However, during February and March, applicants may take longer to process due to the volume we receive at this time.

All applicants are welcome to visit the department by arrangement. Please call or email us to arrange this.

After review of the initial application, the admissions tutor may invite selected candidates to interview. It will be possible for overseas applicants to make arrangements to be interviewed via Skype or phone.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Affective Disorders checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). Please outline your relevant experience in the field, your reasons for applying for the course, and your future goals.

In particular, please detail any previous training in, and experience of working with people with affective disorders, and how you intend to use the knowledge and skills you acquire to further your clinical or research ambitions. This information is particularly important for applicants coming from a non-scientific background. This section should also be used to draw attention to any special circumstances that should be taken into account when the application is considered.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.
For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021

  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

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 Home fees: £13,380 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £31,350 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: N/A
  • Part time overseas fees: N/A

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.

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

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

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

  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days 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
  • DBS checks
  • 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.


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.

Career prospects

Upon completion, you will have a solid understanding of the concepts, theories and practicalities that are relevant to affective disorders. You may go on to enhanced careers in mental health as clinicians and/or policy makers, conduct further full-time study in an academic research environment (e.g. PhD) or in taught clinical courses (e.g. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology), gain employment in an academic, clinical or pharmaceutical organisation. You may also enter scientific publishing.

Career destinations

Graduate destinations - 3 months to 1 year after completing the MSc Affective Disorders

  • Head of Hospital Clinical Therapy Programme Department
  • Children’s wellbeing practitioner
  • Psychological wellbeing practitioner
  • Recovery worker
  • Psychotherapist in training
  • PhD student
  • Psychiatrist
  • Assistant Psychologist in an inpatient ward
  • Support Worker for a third sector organisation
  • Research assistant at Epidemiology and Biostatistics department
  • Professional Doctoral trainee in Counselling Psychology (DPsych)
  • Social media account manager 


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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