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St Mary's University

Psychology of Mental Health MSc PGDip, PGCert

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (full-time)

The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 5 for Teaching Quality

Navigate mental health in the real world with our Psychology of Mental Health master’s.

Specialise in mental health care with our hands-on Psychology of Mental Health master’s. You will build an extensive knowledge base and critically analyse research as you work towards an original project. You will cover:

  • the causes of mental health conditions
  • intervention strategies
  • the reality of the industry
  • counselling skills
  • understanding the lived experience of mental health conditions.

The master’s degree is for students confident with research methods in academic settings, typically after studying psychology or a related subject at undergraduate level.

You can also pursue this programme as a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) if you are:

  • interested in this field
  • considering a career in mental health
  • cannot commit to a full-time course
  • don’t have a strong background in research methods.

Email the Course Lead, Holly Chinnery, for more information.

Learn from professionals

As you study our postgraduate mental health course, you will hear directly from professionals and service users about their experience in the industry.

Specialist equipment and facilities

You will access our specialist laboratories, including:

  • a one-way observation suite
  • sensory controlled booths
  • a full-range eye-tracker system
  • a full Magstim Neuro Prax TMS/tES system.

A supportive community

You will learn in a small, close-knit community where lecturers are committed to your well-being. Our student, Aikaterini, tells us they were “always encouraged and fully supported”.

Work placements: get real-life experience

You will complete a work placement to develop your skills and network in an applied setting. Previous students have worked as/at/within:

  • schools
  • NHS trusts
  • charities
  • universities.

Dr Holly Chinnery

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

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Course content


PGCert students will study two modules in the first semester (Foundations in Mental Health and Psychological Interventions in Mental Health) and one module in the second semester (The Lived Experience of Mental Health). 

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

A first degree (with honours) in Psychology or a related discipline at a UK-based institution or equivalent from another country (provided there is substantive Research Methods included in the first degree).

It is important to note that there is no automatic entry onto the programme. The programme team reviews ALL applications before offers are made and applicants may be invited for interview to assess suitability for the programme.

If your first degree in Psychology is not from a UK-based institution, or if your first degree is from a UK-based institution but not in Psychology, you will be invited for interview to assess your suitability.


Previous degree

Additional requirement information

Even if you do not fit the criteria specified above, please contact the Programme Director (Dawn Querstret) via email ( to discuss your application.

We welcome people from different backgrounds and disciplines, and we have people completing the course who do not have a first degree in Psychology; however, we do need to be sure you will cope with the rigours of the MSc, especially in relation to the research requirements.

International Requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section.

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding






Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many home postgraduate students. Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding.  International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

How the degree is taught

Assessment methods

All assessments are coursework based.

A distinctive feature of the programme is the extensive use of authentic assessments that mirror the types of tasks practitioners carry out in the field. This includes case studies, diagnosis exercises, and report writing. 

Career opportunities

Our Psychology of Mental Health master’swill help you develop essential transferrable skills, such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and communication.

Some examples of job roles and areas of work for graduates of Psychology of Mental Health MSc PGDip, PGCert include:

psychotherapysocial workmental health nursingoccupational therapyresearch

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