Mental Health (Youth/Interdisciplinary) MSc

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
£9,810 (UK students)
£23,040 (International Students)
More detail

Our interdisciplinary Mental Health MSc focuses on Youth Mental Health, integrating the latest research and policy into teaching and practice.

Our MSc in Mental Health, with a strong focus on Youth Mental Health, is a unique qualification, bringing together a number of disciplines ranging from psychology, sociology and social policy to medicine, philosophy and education. Accreditation is offered and we are welcoming applications for MSc, PGCert and PGDip in Mental Health.

This Masters provides comprehensive coverage of the key areas relevant to the study of mental health, along with a grounding in interdisciplinary skills (which is crucial in the current and future mental health research climate), and a varied selection of optional modules that will no doubt appeal to students from a range of sectors and backgrounds.

Dr Helen Fisher, Reader in Developmental Psychopathology, SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London

Why study this course?

This is the only interdisciplinary taught MSc in Mental Health in the UK, offering you a unique opportunity to study alongside other students drawn from a range of professional educational backgrounds.

This MSc offers the unique opportunity to learn and research alongside experts drawn from mental health practice (e.g. social policy), academic (e.g. neuroscience, sociology) and lived experience expertise such as our Youth Advisory Group.

Students enrolled on the MSc will benefit from a long and established history in world-leading interdisciplinary mental health research, with experts working directly with NHS partners to understand the causes of poor mental health and develop effective treatments and services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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These are indicative modules and may change – we are running a reduced choice of optional modules in 2020/21 to ensure our teaching is resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Core modules

Four core modules make up the MSc:

  • Core module A: Mental Health 1 - Principles of Mental Health and Disorder (20 credits)
  • Core module B: Mental Health 2 - Youth Mental Health (20 credits)
  • Core module C: Research Methods in Mental Health (20 credits)
  • Code module D: Research Dissertation in Mental Health (60 credits)

Through the core modules students will demonstrate a sound grasp of core principles of mental health, youth mental health and interdisciplinary research methods.

Optional modules

Students will be offered the opportunity to pick three optional modules in addition to the core modules. Each optional module has a corresponding employability pathway listed below. (Visit employability for more information about pathways.)

  • Suicide and Self-harm (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Mental Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Translational Cognitive Neuroscience (20 credits)
  • Service User and Carer Involvement in Mental Health (20 credits)
  • Sociology of Mental Health & Illness (20 credits)



Research placement

Students will also undertake a research dissertation. Students on the MSc will be offered the opportunity to undertake a research dissertation placement working on a current research project embedded in a virtual research laboratory linked to the Institute for Mental Health at the University of Birmingham. This will give students the unique opportunity for one-to-one contact with world-leading research-active staff based at the University of Birmingham.

During the research project students will gain hands-on experience and knowledge in specific topics such as self-harm and suicide, youth mental health, or policy evaluation, and have the opportunity to work across a range of academic disciplines ranging from psychology to social policy, philosophy, and neuroscience. Depending on the topic and substantive contribution of this dissertation research, students will receive an MSc in Mental Health (Youth) or an MSc in Mental Health (Interdisciplinary).

Module combinations explained

Students will be awarded either an MSc in Mental Health (Youth Mental Health) or an MSc in Mental Health (Interdisciplinary Mental Health). The (focus) that is added to the MSc in Mental Health will depend upon the Dissertation topic chosen. The PGDip and PGCert will be in Mental Health only.

Award: MSc Mental Health (Youth Mental Health) - You are required to take all four Core Modules A, B, C, D plus three Optional Modules = 180 credits

Award: MSc Mental Health (Interdisciplinary Mental Health) - You are required to take all four Core Modules A, B, C, D plus three Optional Modules = 180 credits

Award: PGDip Mental Health - You are required to take three Core Modules A, B, C plus three Optional Modules = 120 credits

Award: PGCert Mental Health - You are required to take three Core Modules A, B, C = 60 credits


Fees for 2022/23

  • UK students £9,810 FT
  • International students £23,040 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

For EU students applying for the 2021/22 academic year

The UK Government is currently working to determine the future fee status for new EU students for the 2021/22 academic year. The Government will provide sufficient notice for prospective EU students on fee arrangements ahead of the 2021/2022 academic year and subsequent years in future. For more information please visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

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How To Apply

International students requiring visas

Friday 1 July 2022 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2021 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2022.

UK students

Wednesday 31 August 2022 is the application deadline for UK students. We are not able to consider applications for 2022 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2023.

Applications for 2022 entry are now open.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

  • 2:1 minimum in first degree in relevant discipline (examples include Psychology; Sociology; Social Policy; Medicine; Philosophy; Education)
  • We will also take into account practical experience of working with young people or in mental health settings.

English language requirements

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

International Requirements

In order to apply for the MSc/PGDip/PGCert in Mental Health, you will need to complete an application form:

Apply now

In your application form you will be required to submit a personal statement outlining why you would like to register for the course.

Guidance on what to include in your personal statement

(approx. 800 words in total)

The personal statement should describe research experience and research interests, supporting the applicant’s reasons for applying and demonstrating the motivation for studying the MSc. The personal statement should include the following key information:

Section 1: Experience

Your experience to support you undertaking this course of study may have been gleaned in different ways. You may have previously studied a related subject and you want to continue your learning; you may have worked professionally or in a voluntary capacity that has generated enthusiasm for further study; or you may have personal or lived experience of mental ill health and wish to draw on that to inform your study. All experiences are valued and valuable – what we are looking for in your personal statement is for you to explain briefly what experience you have, but importantly how it will inform your learning. For example you could:

  • Briefly describe the research project you completed in the final year of your undergraduate degree and explore further research interests.
  • Briefly describe any other work you have undertaken either professionally or as a volunteer that supports your application to study.
  • Do you have any lived experience that you would like to draw upon? If Yes, briefly describe how your experience could inform your studies. Please note you do not need to share your experience with us if you do not feel comfortable to do so, what we are interested in is you explaining your motivation for study.

Section 2: Research Interests

We would like you to briefly describe how your research interests fit within the areas of research expertise in the Institute for Mental Health here at the University of Birmingham. Questions you may wish to think about include:

  • What are your research interests?
  • What research methods and analysis techniques would you like to use or develop as a student on the MSc?
  • What are your future research/career plans? How will a place on the MSc help you to achieve your future research/career plans?

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 is equivalent to:

  • 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): 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

You will be taught using blended learning and what is called the ‘flipped classroom’ learning model. As part of this approach, you will use a variety of integrated software options in order to study at your own pace using our online e-learning platform. This will work towards weekly two hour discussion groups and seminars. As students, this means that you will work through bespoke training and exercises each week, and undertake individual study and reading. 

Students writing in notepad

As part of this MSc course you will join seminar and workshop groups with experts in the field who have designed and are delivering the module content to debate the material, think critically about the content, and build your skills and knowledge each week throughout the 11 week module programmes. This MSc embraces a range of innovative teaching practices ranging from the way the content is being delivered through to the design of the assessments for modules.

Contact Hours

Each module is designed to be 11 weeks in duration, with a minimum of 2 contact hours per week per module depending on the mode of study and optional module choices made.

The remainder of the working week consists of self-guided study based on degree programme content and the requirements of the specific modules.

Assessment Methods

The MSc in Mental Health has varied assessment methods given the richness and interdisciplinary nature of the programme. The way that the different assessments have been designed for the MSc is to ensure that your studies help you to develop essential skills that are transferrable to future employment. As such, you will be assessed in a variety of ways. Each assessment is tailored to each module and the material offered within the courses but may include essay assignments, grant writing, reports, learning portfolios, video creation, other types of writing, oral and poster presentations, or synoptic examination.

Student Wellbeing

The University additionally has student wellbeing services available to students who may need extra support and guidance during their studies.

If you find that you are struggling with the demands of the academic work, your personal tutor or the Postgraduate Taught Leads for the Institute for Mental Health are there to advise you. If you find that you are struggling and in need of welfare support and guidance, please reach out to either the University of Birmingham student welfare and wellbeing support service directly or talk to your personal tutor or the Postgraduate Taught Leads for the Institute for Mental Health who will signpost you to the appropriate services.

Graduates from this course will make excellent candidates for research-related employment in both private and public sector organisations as the MSc in Mental Health develops key skills that are highly attractive to employers, including analytical and statistical skills, as well as presentation and report writing skills. This MSc is also excellent preparation for a PhD or other advanced degree positions.

The MSc in Mental Health will help address a number of key priority areas:

  • The rising public awareness of mental health, and the increasing demand on public services to respond to public demand and mental illness.

  • The call to skill up the national and international workforce in relation to children and young people’s mental health.

  • The increasing awareness of employers and their responsibilities in relation to Workplace Wellbeing and promoting Workplace Mental Health.

  • The increased significance that the Mental Health research agenda has received in the UK and internationally, and the need to train the next generation of Mental Health researchers and to retain clinical staff in the NHS workforce.

This MSc is designed to recruit from and feed into four different employment pathways (see diagram below), including a public sector leadership and management pathway, a clinical pathway, an industry pathway, and an academic pathway. 


Each of the modules corresponds to an employment pathway. Please see our course details page for further details of modules.

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