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Affective Disorders MSc

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

By 2020, affective disorders are predicted to be the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Our Affective Disorders MSc is one of the few options for specialist training in the field.  

Learn the latest thinking from our experts at the Centre for Affective Disorders. Then use your own insight to enhance your practice or research. Whether you have a psychology or medical background, this course allows you to expand your expertise or begin a new chapter in your career. 

The course information sheet is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here.


Key benefits 

  • A unique opportunity to study the causes and treatments of affective disorders 

  • Take part in a clinical observership that gives you first-hand experience observing presentations, treatments and outcomes in a specialised affective disorder service 

  • Get insight from the latest research at the KCL Centre for Affective Disorders 

  • Specialise in a range of disorders linked to your career – whether you’re a psychiatrist, psychologist, GP or pharmaceutical scientist in the UK or overseas 


Our teaching staff are active researchers and experienced clinicians, many of them are involved in the Centre for Affective Disorders. We also bring in experts in related areas to give lectures on specific topics. 

The course involves a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. Teaching is often in small groups, so you get a high level of support.

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: affdis@kcl.ac.uk

Programme email: affdis@kcl.ac.uk

Programme phone number:  

+44 (0)20 7848 0150



Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Department of Psychological Medicine



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


Explore the causes and treatments for a full range of mood and anxiety disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. Our course is one of the only specialist graduate degrees to focus exclusively on affective disorders. 

King’s is home to the Centre for Affective Disorders. The teaching staff on your course are also members of the research group, so you’ll have access to expertise in all aspects of the subject. Combined with the latest findings in psychiatry, psychology, genetics, neuroscience and biostatistics, you’ll develop a broad knowledge of the behaviours and symptoms of different disorders. 

Your research project gives you a chance to explore a topic in real depth. You can choose from a range of subjects based around the expertise in our faculty, or develop your own project based on your interests. 

As well as insight and academic knowledge of the subject, you’ll also develop practical experience when participating in our clinical observership programme. You’ll spend 10 sessions at one of the specialist mental health units at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and 10 additional sessions at KCL taking part in clinical case discussions 

“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

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations, and may typically expect assessment by:

- Examination 65%

- Coursework 35%

Extra information

Regulating body
King’s College is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England

Other related courses:

Clinical Neuroscience Msc

Early Intervention in Psychosis MSc

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 £60 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 of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required. 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 Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references 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 29 March 2019.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. 

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/EU fees: £12,300 per year (2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: £28,500 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: N/A
  • Part time overseas fees: N/A

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

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/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2019, payment is due by 27th April 2019.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2019 and 31st July 2019, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2019, 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 

·         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, between campuses and to your optional clinical placement

·         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

Your grasp of affective disorders will be useful in a range of career directions.  

Our graduates have progressed on to Research Assistant positions, Well-Being Practitioner roles, IAPT training, further MSc courses, and PhD studies and the programme is often considered a useful stepping stone for those wishing to apply for a place on a Clinical Psychology doctorate training course in the future. 

You could also move into policy work or enhance your existing career in a clinical environment. 

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 


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

View online

Sound like the course for you?

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