Join our Postgraduate Open Day - Saturday 22 June

Register now

Online MSc Mental Health

Start date
February, June, October
2.5 years, part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning, Taught

Total Tuition, £17,010 / £1,310 per module

Gain a holistic understanding of mental health and develop a whole-system approach to the diagnosis, treatment, and research of mental health conditions

Meet new standards in mental health

There is an urgent need for a holistic, whole-system approach to mental health that embeds treatment and prevention in the policies and practices that affect young people.1 This stems from research proving most problems show symptoms before age 25, but people with high resilience resources are only half as likely to develop a condition.1

The Institute of Mental Health and the School of Psychology bring you a 100% online MSc in Mental Health with an interdisciplinary curriculum. You will develop a theoretical holistic understanding of mental health diagnosis, treatment, and research and engage in a rich range of course activities and assessments — with a focus on youth mental health. 

The University of Birmingham has the strength and variety of programmes to suit your individual needs and interests, backed by the academic expertise and influence, support and facilities of a top 100 public research and teaching university. You will benefit from both academic and personal development to achieve success and ensure your degree is an asset in your prospects.

Request Information

What you will learn 

Develop deep interdisciplinary knowledge of mental health research, practice, and policy as you study the critical evaluation of theoretical and empirical evidence, how to design and execute research, manage data, write for different audiences, and formalize reports, proposals and narrative arguments based on your appraisal of evidence.

Programme outcomes

  • Demonstrate a sound grasp of core principles of mental health, youth mental health and interdisciplinary research methods
  • Gain further knowledge of advanced specialist mental health subjects
  • Demonstrate skills in independent research, including project design and management, research methods, data collection, analysis and synthesis, dissemination, and impact

Request Information

Why study this course?

  • This is the only distance learning interdisciplinary MSc in Mental Health in the UK, offering you a unique opportunity to study alongside students from around the world in your own time. You will meet students from a wide range of professional and educational backgrounds from across the globe.
  • This MSc offers the opportunity to learn from leading academic and practicing mental health experts to understand the application of theory and research to real life examples. The University offers you many opportunities to apply your learning, such as through the Youth Advisory Group.
  • You will benefit from the University of Birmingham's long and established history in world-leading interdisciplinary mental health research. Our experts also come from wide and varied backgrounds, many having practical experience, such as working with medical and educational partners to understand the causes of poor mental health and develop effective treatments and services


Bringing together disciplines ranging from psychology, neuroscience, sociology and social policy to medicine, philosophy and education, the curriculum for the MSc in Mental Health programme provides a comprehensive understanding of the field with a focus on how it evolves in a youth setting.

Covering topics such as addiction, research methods, ethics, and biopsychosocial approaches, the programme features twelve core modules lasting eight weeks each, giving you ample time to understand the core principles of mental health in manageable sections.

Core modules:

Complete your Mental Health Masters programme with a 60-credit research dissertation. The online MSc in Mental Health PGCert and PGDip levels are also available.

Request Information


The estimated total cost of this programme is £17,030 GBP. You can pay in full or in instalments of £1,310 per module. All costs are listed to help you make an informed decision.

Programme fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change each academic year. The fees listed above are for the academic year 2023-2024.

Flexible payment options:
We provide a range of payment options to meet students where they are and lower the barrier to higher education. The fee can either be paid in full or spread over manageable instalments by Direct Debit.

No hidden fees:
With no application fee, and no hidden costs, pursuing the Mental Health Masters means knowing the full cost of your tuition before you join.

The total tuition fee includes full access to any required online resources. This includes access to the online learning platform, course materials, and required digital reading materials. The fee does not include any personal expenses for new technical equipment or office supplies. 

Alumni discount:
University of Birmingham alumni wishing to pursue this programme are eligible for a 10% discount off their total tuition. If you believe you are eligible for an alumni discount, please speak with your recruitment coordinator.

While we do not offer scholarships for this programme, you may be eligible for a scholarship from your country. Explore the postgraduate scholarship and funding database.

There may also be other UK-based scholarships you can apply for too. Contact The British Council or Embassy in your country to find out more.

Postgraduate loan:
UK and EU students looking to pursue a masters programme in the UK may be eligible to apply for a non-means-tested loan from the British government via the Student Loans Company (SLC).

Private postgraduate student loans may also be suitable. You should consider sources and types of funding carefully and ensure that it meets your precise needs.

Questions? Request information or call +44 (0)800 032 7101.

How To Apply

There is support and guidance for all students who wish to apply for the online MSc Mental Health programme. If you have decided that the University of Birmingham is the right choice for you, it’s time to put an application together. Use our checklist below for a step-by-step guide on the requirements for submitting your application.

Apply now

Application checklist

If you meet standard entry criteria, you will only need to include the following documents as part of your application. Other documents are optional: 

  • Certificates/Transcripts: To assess your academic eligibility, you will need to upload documentation which confirms your final overall grade of previous academic study. You can upload either a copy of your bachelor’s degree certificate (or alternative qualification), or a copy of your transcript.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Résumé: Demonstrate your academic and work experience, or any other skills that may support your application. This will help our recruitment team ensure you have the right experience for the programme.

If you do not meet standard entry criteria, you will also be required to submit: 

  • A Personal Statement: Draw attention to your skills, experience, and goals, and explain why you wish to apply for this programme. This should be no longer than one page of text.
  • One Reference: Send details of your reference either as a letter of recommendation or a recorded transcript by email or by post to our recruitment team. These must be signed on letterheaded paper or supplied with your referee’s business card.

Evidence of language (if applicable): If English is not your first language, you will also need to supply an up-to-date English language test certificate which meets the entry criteria. 

Start your application

Ready to apply? Applications are open for our next student intake. Apply now to the Online MSc Mental Health programme.

Apply now 

Prior to submitting, if you would like any feedback or advice about your application, our recruitment team would be happy to help. You can fill out a request for information or call +44 (0)800 032 7101.


  1. University of Birmingham. “Mental Health Policy Commission. Investing in a Resilient Generation. Keys to a Mentally Prosperous Nation.” Retrieved Dec. 15, 2023, from

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

To be eligible to apply for the Online MSc in Mental Health, you will need to have obtained (or be predicted to obtain) a minimum 2:1 degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline from a UK university or an equivalent qualification from a recognised institution.

Related disciplines include:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social Policy
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy
  • Education

If you do not meet the standard academic entry criteria, we will take into account applications with practical experience of working with young people or in a mental health setting.

International Requirements

International Students

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any band)

  • IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

What is it like to study for an MSc online?

Our online programmes are purpose-built from the ground up to harness the full power of the technologies available. The format is ideally suited to part-time students, working professionals and individuals who are balancing their careers and personal commitments alongside their studies.

You will use a variety of accessible integrated software options to study at your own pace using our online e-learning platform on a sequence of eight-week modules. As students, this means that you will work through bespoke academic research, theory, and educational skills training each week by undertaking independent individual study, reading and activities. Although this can be achieved at your own pace, weekly goals need to be achieved through the guided week-by-week content.

As part of this MSc course, you will study a range of mental health related topics to learn from experts in the field to think critically about the content, build your skills and knowledge each week throughout each module. This MSc embraces a range of innovative teaching practices ranging from the way the content is presented through to the design of the assessments for modules.

You will experience real-world examples through a combination of diverse activities, and will collaborate with students from different backgrounds, further enriching your experience and helping you to make use of theories and data in innovative ways. In order to achieve this, you will undertake assignments (including reports, essays, presentations, quizzes, exams and group work), with deadlines structured at reasonable intervals to help guide you through your student journey.

Assessment Methods

The online MSc in Mental Health has varied assessment methods aligned to the richness and interdisciplinary nature of the programme. This includes assessments that have been designed specifically for distance learning to facilitate the development of transferable and essential skills for future employment. As such, you will be assessed in a variety of ways, each tailored to module content, including (but not exclusive to): critical and reflective essays, reports, learning portfolios, video and presentation creation, and other types of writing.

Request Information

The world of mental health needs experts who are trained to research and understand root causes, prevent those problems from developing, and respond to established illnesses by offering support from multiple perspectives. Our interdisciplinary Mental Health Masters programme offers a holistic approach to address these challenges, in research and in the field.

You may be a qualified clinician looking for your next challenge, or a professional with growing responsibility in relation to mental health. Whatever your background, this programme offers key insights to help advance your career in a rewarding field.

Recent reports in the UK show:

  • 16.2% increase in services. 1
  • 29.2% increase in services for those under 18.1
  • 50% of all mental health symptoms manifest by age 14, and 75% by age 24.2
  • 74% of employers offer manager training to recognise mental health issues and ways to support employees.3

Enrol with confidence

Upon graduating, students will join a network of over 300,000 alumni worldwide, opening extensive networking opportunities. Graduates with a Mental Health Masters will be better prepared to apply for or hold positions in the NHS, Healthcare Management, Policy, Postgraduate Studies, Mental Health Trusts, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Mental Health Nursing and more.

Step into critical mental health care roles

It is widely recognised that mental illness is one of the largest global burden of disease. In the UK it is costing the taxpayer an estimated £70–£100 billion per year, and yet three of four children with a diagnosable mental health condition do not get access to the support they need.7

Most mental health problems show their first signs before the age of two, but as children and adults with high resilience resources are half as likely to have a diagnosable mental health condition, a transformational change to embed prevention in all policies and practices that affect young people is essential.7 

The interdisciplinary MSc in Mental Health aims to respond to recent demands for skilling up the mental health workforce, and to allign with contemporary goals of a whole-system approach to address mental health at key pillars throughout life to develop and maintain positive relationships, to minimise adverse experiences and exclusions, to have mentally friendly education and employment, and to respond early and well to the first signs of mental distress.7

  • There’s an average delay of 10 years in the U.K. between young people experiencing their first mental health symptoms and receiving help.2
  • 24% of employers expect to focus on adolescent or young adult mental health in 2024.2
  • 52% of employers expect to expand their networks to boost mental health care access in 2024 in the U.K.4

Request Information

Programme outcomes and skills acquired

Students will develop in-depth interdisciplinary academic knowledge of mental health research, practice and policy. These skills and knowledge will aid in career development in several sectors and research fields of employment that are relevant to mental health.

  • Demonstrate a sound grasp of core principles of mental health, youth mental health and interdisciplinary research methods.
  • Gain further knowledge of advanced specialist mental health subjects.
  • Demonstrate skills in independent research, including project design and management, research methods, analysis and synthesis, dissemination, and impact. 

Skills you will gain

Skills align with an interdisciplinary MSc programme in a mental health context, such as:

  • Critical evaluation of theoretical and empirical evidence
  • Presentation
  • Research design, execution, and evaluation
  • Data management
  • Science writing
  • Writing for different audiences and formation of formal documents (e.g., reports, proposals etc.)
  • Public engagement
  • Formation of narrative arguments based on appraisal of evidence

How we support your career

Support from the University of Birmingham does not end with graduation. We will continue to help, support, and guide you long after your graduation.

To make the most of your future career prospects, we will help you gain the skills, knowledge, and attributes that employers are looking for.

One-to-one support

Access one-to-one careers advice and support via the University of Birmingham Careers Network for up to two years after you graduate.

Online community

Connect with your peers and faculty and keep our thriving online community alive. 

Extensive network

Join an alumni network of over 300,000 students worldwide.

If you would like to discuss the possible career outcomes available for this programme, our recruitment team would be happy to help. You can fill out a request for information or call +44 (0)800 032 7101.



  1. UNKNOWN (2022) Mental Health Bulletin, 2023-24 Annual Report. [online] Available at:  
  2. Davies, S.C., 2014. Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2013, Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the Evidence. London: Department of Health. Available at:
  3. UNKNOWN (2023) Employers Grapple with Workforce Mental Health Needs Post-Pandemic [online] Available at:
  4. Golden, A. (2023) Large Employers See ‘Dire Need’ for Mental Health Services [online] Available at:,implement%20similar%20training%20for%20employees
  5. UNKNOWN (2024) Mental Health Manager. SalaryExpert. [online] Available at:
  6. UNKNOWN (2023) Salary for Skill: Community Health – Page 5. Payscale. [online] Available at:
  7. Davies, S.C., 2014. Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2013, Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the Evidence. London: Department of Health. Available at: