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Psychiatric Research MSc/PG Cert

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The MSc in Psychiatric Research provides expert training to enable students to perform and evaluate research across mental health disorders. The course emphasises how scientific research has developed our understanding of the causes and neurobiology of mental health disorders, and how these discoveries can be used to help prevent, diagnose or develop new treatments for patients across a range of illnesses.

Research into mental health disorders is highly interdisciplinary, and we welcome students with a background in psychology, neuroscience, pharmacology, medicine or related subjects.

After the MSc, students often choose to develop their careers by working in academic research or in clinical care. This course is particularly well suited for students who wish to pursue a research PhD or clinical psychology training. Our graduates also gain researcher or psychologist posts after the MSc. Indeed, several current IoPPN staff and PhD students are MSc Psychiatric Research graduates. Students are supported in attaining graduate positions through a series of careers seminars, including PhD/DClinPsy applications, research or clinical posts, preparing CV’s and professional networking.

This course attained 100% overall student satisfaction in the postgraduate experience taught survey 2017

Watch our explainer video to find out more about our MSc in Psychiatric Research. Hear from our students, past and present on why this course is so enjoyable. 

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


Key benefits

  • In-depth, practical and theoretical knowledge on performing and interpreting research in mental health.

  • Development of a range of academic and transferrable skills, such as critical, creative and communication skills, to help prepare students to work confidently and independently.

  • Taught by academics who perform world-leading psychiatric research.

  • Optional voluntary clinical placement scheme.

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 30 FT expected.

Course leaders

Dr Alice Egerton

Email: alice.egerton@kcl.ac.uk or psyres@kcl.ac.uk

Further details

Course contact for further information

Programme Administrator - +44 (0)20 7848 0497 E - psyres@kcl.ac.uk 

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Department of Psychosis Studies



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Course detail


Studying at the IoPPN, this course provides the opportunity to learn about psychiatric research from academics and clinicians working in the leading centre for mental health research in Europe.

Our optional, clinical placements provide an opportunity to gain experience of working within clinical teams under expert supervision. Placements are provided through our close relationship with South London and the Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust, which provides the widest range of mental health services in the UK. Our placement opportunities cover a wide range of clients and clinical settings.

Our state-of-the-art research facilities include:

  • The Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences

  • MRC Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre

  • Maurice Wohl Neuroscience Centre

  • NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (the only Mental Health specific centre of its kind)

  • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility.

Teaching on the MSc is delivered by expert academics and clinicians, including highly-cited IoPPN staff working at the forefront of their field internationally. 

The MSc in Psychiatric Research develops knowledge and practical skills in cutting- edge research into the biological (e.g. brain neurotransmission, genetics), and environmental underpinnings (e.g. stress, drug use) of psychiatric disorders and on how this research can be applied to develop new therapeutic interventions (e.g. pharmacological and psychological interventions) through translation to clinical practice. 

Students will learn about a comprehensive range of research methodologies, including epidemiological and cohort studies, clinical trials, neuroimaging and genetics. Comprehensive training in statistical skills and theoretical knowledge is provided which is necessary for performing, interpreting and applying research.

Teaching is delivered through lectures, practical sessions, workshops and small group tutorials. The relatively small size of this MSc is conducive to a welcoming study environment and facilitates interactive learning, group activities and personalised support. Our assessments are designed to support learning as well as the development of transferrable skills, such as academic writing and presentation. Assessments include exams, written coursework and oral presentation. These involve data analysis and interpretation, and writing information for patients, grants proposals and scientific articles for publication in academic journals. 

During the dissertation project, students collaborate with IoPPN researchers to perform their own original research project. A list of publications arising from previous MSc Psychiatric Research students’ work is available on our departmental webpage 

Due to the emphasis on developing high-calibre academic skills, the MSc in Psychiatric Research is particularly well suited for students who wish to pursue a research PhD or Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. For students with a clinical background, the course is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for a clinical academic career. Students are supported in attaining graduate positions through a series of careers seminars, including PhD/DClinPsy applications, research or clinical posts, preparing CV’s and professional networking. Indeed many current IoPPN staff and PhD students are MSc Psychiatric Research graduates! 

This programme is also available as a PG Cert.

Course format and assessment

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


Research Methods, Ethics & Statistics in Mental Health 

Lectures (66 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (66 hours) | Self-Study time (468 hours) 

Biological Psychiatry 

Lectures (40 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (20 hours) | Self-Study time (240 hours)

Therapeutic Research in Psychiatry  

Lectures (40 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (20 hours) | Self-Study time (240 hours)

Research Dissertation

Lectures (0 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (10 hours) | Self-Study time (590 hours)

Prediction Modelling  

Lectures (18 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (0 hours) | Self-Study time (15 hours)

Horizons in Psychiatric Research 

Lectures (18 hours) | Seminars/Tutorials (0 hours) | Self-Study time (15 hours)

Clinical Placement 

Variable hours 

Contact time is based on 28 academic weeks. Full-time students (completing the course in one year) receive lectures two days per week. The remainder of the time is spent on self-study, course-work, the dissertation project, clinical and research placements.


You are assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations and may typically expect assessment by:

MSc | Examination (40%) | Coursework (60%)  

PG Cert | Examination (75%) | Coursework (25%)  

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.

Extra information

King’s College London is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Other related courses:

Mental Health Studies 

Early Intervention in Psychosis 

Organsational Psychiatry & Psychology 


Year 1

Required Modules

Courses are divided into modules. Each year you will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

You are required to take:


Required modules: PGCert Psychiatric Research
Students on the PGCert Psychiatric Research are required to take: (60 credits) 

Optional Modules
There are no optional modules

Entry requirements & how to apply

Psychiatric Research
Minimum UK requirements 2:1 Bachelor’s degree with 2:1 honours in a relevant subject (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, pharmacology, social science or health science); or a registrable qualification appropriate to the programme in medicine; or a professional mental health qualification. A 2:2 degree will be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters with Merit in a related subject.
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.

Selection is made on the basis of application and references. Potential students are welcome to visit the department: please arrange a suitable time in advance.

Personal statement and supporting information

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

Psychiatric Research checklist
Personal Statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required. Please detail your reasons for applying for the programme and your future goals. 
Research Proposal No A Research Proposal is not required as part of the application.
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 Yes Please also include a CV with details of your clinical experience.



A Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a criminal records bureau check) may be required during your programme, depending on project work. 

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: MSc - £12,300 per year (2019/20); PG Cert - £2,050 per year (2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: MSc - £28,500 per year (2019/20); PG Cert - £4,750 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: MSc - £6,150 per year (2019/20); PG Cert - £2,050 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time overseas fees: MSc - £14,250 per year (2019/20); PG Cert - £4,750 per year (2019/20)

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 
  • Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check
  • 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

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

The skills developed during this MSc are applicable to a wide range of careers in mental health, as well as other areas. Typically, our students go on to follow either an academic career, for example by opting for researcher positions at a University and PhD-level study, or clinical careers, which might include obtaining assistant psychologist posts or further training such as DClinPsy. Clinicians completing our course have gone on to develop combined academic-clinical careers or have used the MSc to inform their clinical practice.

Career destinations

  • MRC-funded PhD studentship at King’s College London

  • ESRC-funded PhD studentship at King’s College London

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology student

  • Research worker position at King’s College London

  • Research worker position at University College London

  • Assistant psychologist within South London and Maudsley NHS Trust


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

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

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