Mental Health Science

Open University in Ireland

Mental Health Science

This MSc looks at the biological and psychological underpinnings of mental health science. You’ll examine anxiety, depression, psychosis and dementia from a biopsychosocial perspective. You’ll gain advanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary topics in mental health science. Plus, acquire the skills to critically evaluate literature, discuss issues and communicate your understanding. You’ll also plan and carry out an academically rigorous research project. And develop skills and knowledge relevant to further research, employment and professional practice.

Key features
• 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

The first two-thirds of this MSc is the same as our Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Science (E91).

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

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:
60 credits from: Introduction to mental health science (S826)
60 credits from: Core topics in mental health science: psychosis and dementia (SD816)
Or the discontinued module SD815.

60 credits from: MSc project module for MSc in Mental Health Science (SXH890)
Or, the discontinued module SXH810.

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.

Entry requirements

Please note that registration on this qualification is dependent on confirmation of successfully meeting entry requirements. Your place will only be confirmed once entry checking is complete. If you have any questions regarding your suitability for study, please contact the MSc Admissions Panel.

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.


2.75 - 7 years

Enrolment dates

See Course Web Page link for next start date.

Post Course Info

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.

The programme is designed for those seeking to expand their knowledge and understanding of mental health from an interdisciplinary ‘biopsychosocial’ (neuroscience, psychology and health science) perspective. It is suitable for those who wish to move on to doctoral training, as well as those who are working in clinical roles who wish to further inform and strengthen their professional practice.

This qualification is suitable:
• for those with a personal or professional interest in mental health science, who wish to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of mental health conditions, and cultivate key practical and professional skills required for employment and to strengthen professional practice
• for those who are working in or planning to work in this field (practitioners or policy makers)
• for those seeking employment as graduate research workers
• for those wishing to pursue research careers (and careers in academia) and progress to PhD study (e.g. doctoral research in neuroscience, psychology, health sciences and fields allied to medicine)
• as a stepping stone to a career in clinical psychology, or pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology
• as professional development or for clinical roles in the NHS or other healthcare settings (including mental health nursing, behavioural therapy, psychological counselling etc.) that require specific expertise in this field (focusing on mood and affective disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and the dementias)
• for graduates who are established in their field of work, and use the qualification as evidence of professional development (e.g. for promotion to more senior positions, or who may wish to take their career in a more specialist direction)
• for clinicians (including GPs) who wish to specialise further in this area (Mental Health) as part of their continuing professional development
• for others who may wish to take this course and move on to a leadership role or more senior positions in healthcare settings or policy-related roles in local or national organisations, or to move into the private sector (scientific publishing, education, teaching and advocacy, human resources, occupational health, management, consultancy or roles in pharmaceutical/life sciences industries).

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Flexible

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    Course provider