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MSc in Mental Health Science

This postgraduate qualification is designed for those with an academic or professional interest in mental health science and the biological and psychological underpinnings of this discipline. It equips students with the necessary skills to critically evaluate the current literature, discuss contemporary issues and communicate a critical understanding of key topics in mental health science. Those who qualify from this programme, will have carried out an academically rigorous research project, and have developed the skills and knowledge that are relevant for pursuing a research career, for employment, and to inform professional practice.

Key features of the course

  • Develops knowledge and understanding of key topics in mental health science (stress, anxiety, depression, psychosis and dementia) 
  • Explores current issues and research at the forefront of mental health science
  • Develops skills that are essential for a critical understanding of mental health science and relevant to professional practice
  • Culminates with an in-depth individual research project in an area of mental health science.

Masters degree

Course code
F78
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
180
How long it takes
2.75 – 7 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details

Modules

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows: 

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Introduction to mental health science (S826)

This module develops postgraduate skills, and introduces key topics in mental health science (stress, anxiety and depression) from biological, psychological and social science perspectives.

See full description

Register
60 26 Jan 2019
Core topics in mental health science: psychosis and dementia (SD816) *

This module takes an interdisciplinary ‘biopsychosocial’ approach to understanding psychosis and dementia, focusing on diagnosis, causes and interventions.

See full description

Register
60 05 Oct 2019
MSc project module for MSc in Mental Health Science (SXH810)

Plan and carry out an independent research project (from biological or psychological perspectives) related to your studies on the Mental Health Science master’s programme.

See full description

Register
60 02 Nov 2019

*Or the discontinued module SD815.

Modules should be studied in the order listed above. The project module can only be taken after completion of the first two modules.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 8th June 2018.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards Stage 1, reducing the number of modules you need to study. However, you won't be able to count it towards Stages 2 or 3. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Masters in Mental Health Science entitling you to use the letters MSc MHS (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

Entry to this qualification will typically require a minimum of an honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in science or a science-related subject (including psychological sciences, health science, mental health nursing or medicine).

If you have other study or experience that you believe equips you to take this qualification you can still apply, but must supply evidence of that study or experience. Your case will be referred to our MSc Admissions Panel. Depending on your previous qualifications or experience, some background study may be necessary prior to registering for this qualification or its constituent modules. For further advice, please contact the MSc Admissions Panel.

Please note that this qualification is in three stages. Introduction to mental health science (S826) should be studied as the first module, and the compulsory project module as the final module in the qualification.

All teaching is in English and your proficiency in the English language should be adequate for study at postgraduate level. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend that you have achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7. You can assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies by visiting the IELTS website.

How long it takes

You can complete this degree within three years, and up to a maximum seven years of starting the first module.

Career relevance

This qualification is directly relevant to research and employment in the fields of medical and psychological sciences (neuroscience, psychology, health sciences). It will develop the critical skills and knowledge that are relevant to employment within the health sector, life sciences, medical and related fields, and to inform and strengthen professional practice.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.