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MSc Psychology of Mental Health

Advance your knowledge of mental health and study the value and limitations of current treatments.

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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This course combines theoretical grounding in the psychological understanding and management of mental health issues with practical training in clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

This MSc is aimed at providing you with an advanced and in-depth knowledge of mental health. You'll focus on common mental health disorders like depression or anxiety, but also have the chance to study more severe or complex presentations like eating disorders or psychosis.

You'll also look at the value and limitations of current treatments for mental health. In this course, there is a strong focus on understanding mental health and wellbeing from a range of perspectives (cognitive, biopsychosocial, phenomenological). Moreover, the impact of mental ill-health will be examined with contributions from people with lived experience, and we will also highlight the importance of patient and public involvement in research and service provision.

This course will provide the skills and knowledge you need to start on a clinical or research career path in mental health. The course is based on the scientist-practitioner model, which is founded on the idea that clinical psychologists should be knowledgeable in both research and clinical practice. Therefore, the MSc could be a stepping stone to professional training in clinical psychology such as a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The course won't provide you with a qualification to act as a clinical psychologist (for which you need to complete an accredited Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course in the UK).

Committed to Gender Equality

We hold a Gold Athena Swan Award for our commitment to improving gender equality in the Department.

Course content

This course is made up of 180 credits, consisting of modules split over two semesters and a substantial empirical research project.

You will be taught by academic experts within the Department of Psychology as well as professional clinical psychologists.

Your empirical research project is a chance to work on designing and implementing a theoretically-motivated piece of pure or applied research.


As part of this MSc you will be given the opportunity to undertake a novel piece of empirical work on a topic at the cutting-edge of research into mental health. You will be supervised by faculty members who have relevant expertise in the field.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Have a deep appreciation of the key features, characteristics, and differences between mental health diagnoses, and understand the key treatment approaches for each disorder; while showing critical awareness of the limitations of conventional diagnostic categories and related inequalities.
  • Assess and critically evaluate mental health research evidence and outputs across a range of different methods, disorders, and fields, including how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret this knowledge.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and ability to critically evaluate what comprises good clinical practice and demonstrate the key values needed for interacting with people with mental health issues.
  • Design and execute high quality mental health research, including the appropriate use of statistics and other quantitative methods; develop an ability to evaluate methodologies from a range of sub-disciplines and construct critiques of them.
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically engage with the literature on treatment and clinical practice, and an ability to communicate complex analysis, findings and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and an ability to reflect upon the suitability of the range of career options that are available to them in both clinical mental health practice and research.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate, the role of Public and Patient Involvement in Research activities.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £12,480£29,400

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

Teaching will consist of lectures, seminars, self directed learning, and group tasks.  Real-world case examples will be blended with key theoretical and practical skills practice.

As the course progresses, you'll have greater independence with the emphasis being on choice, specialisation, and independent study, all supported by supervisors.

Seminars focus on small group work, discussions and presentations. You will gain knowledge in all aspects of research, from designing and carrying out experiments to analysing, critically evaluating and interpreting results. This experience will equip you with valuable skills that you will apply in your final empirical project.

Through the Virtual Learning Environment, you will have access to teaching materials, including lecture slides and recordings, practical demonstrations and supporting materials.


Our Department is purpose-built with superb teaching and research facilities.

You'll have access to our multimodal Action Perception Laboratory, an EEG Lab, a Numerical Cognition Lab, a Sleep Lab, a TMS LabYork Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab and the York Neuroimaging Centre which is equipped with two MRI scanners and a MEG scanner.

Teaching location

The Department of Psychology is located on Campus West.

Most tutorials, seminars, practical work, staff offices and laboratories are in our bespoke psychology building.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Assessments will be in a range of formats, including those aimed at experts: an empirical dissertation, mock case reports, a 'plan' or 'preregistration' for a hypothetical research study, and reflective reports considering your understanding and changing views on issues you have learned about.  You will also communicate to a lay audience in the form of a blog on an important research study linked to the understanding and or treatment of mental health issues.

Careers and skills

The course will be a valuable way to increase the chances of employment in NHS based or linked roles associated with understanding and treating mental health issues. It is likely that some graduates will go on to roles as research assistants linked to trials of psychological therapies or NHS based research, or may consider applying for mental health related PhD routes or clinical psychology training.

NHS-funded clinical psychology courses are highly competitive with many applicants for each three-year, salaried post.  Given this competition, evidence of having completed postgraduate education and increased knowledge of mental health and research will support people interested in pursuing these careers.  We would also expect Masters students to consider roles with third sector providers or funding bodies supporting mental health research. 

Career opportunities

  • Assistant Psychologist
  • Clinical Associate Psychologist
  • Mental Health Wellbeing Pracitioner
  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners.

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Psychology, or a related subject with relevant experience in the mental health field
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in Writing and no less than 6.5 in all other components
Cambridge CEFR C1 Advanced: 185, with a minimum of 185 in Writing and no less than 176 in all other components
Oxford ELLT 8, minimum of 8 in writing and no less than 7 in all other components
Duolingo 130, minimum 130 in Production and 120 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT C1: 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 75 with a minimum of 75 in Writing and no less than 70 in all other components
KITE 495-526, with 495-526 in writing and 459-494 in all other components
Skills for English C1: Pass overall, with Pass in each component
PTE Academic 67, with a minimum of 67 in Writing and no less than 61 in all other components
TOEFL 96 with a minimum of 24 in Writing and no less than 23 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Level 3 with Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Clara Humpston

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Department of Psychology

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