Postgraduate Taught

MSc Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Do you want to improve the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of people in low and middle-income settings or of those who have been affected by conflict and displacement? Then this degree may be for you. It focuses on the current challenges and policy debates in global responses in meeting the mental health and psychosocial needs of populations affected by poverty, instability, displacement and conflict.

We examine the political, historical, social, cultural and economic foundations that underlie contemporary conflicts and explore concepts of vulnerability and resilience of individuals and households and their interaction with service providers in conflict and post-conflict settings.

It will also be possible for you to undertake modules that focus on strategies for rebuilding the health system in fragile and post-conflict states and a targeted module focused on refugee integration into host societies.

The MSc will help you to consolidate and extend learning in the area of how to incorporate MHPSS strategies and consideration into other health and humanitarian provision and will equip you to work effectively at senior level to promote mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of people in high, low and middle income settings through effective and responsive programming.

Why QMU?

  • If you want to make a difference in the world of global health, a qualification from QMU can be a major turning point in your career. You will develop a strong understanding of current global health and development issues and will equip yourself with the tools you need to forge positive change locally, nationally or internationally.
  • You will learn from experienced figures in the field and make connections that could last your whole working life. At IGHD we work directly with ministries of health, international and national organisations and local communities to develop real solutions for health and development problems.
  • We are on a compassion mission. Our work at IGHD addresses the health and wellbeing of those in greatest need, whether they are vulnerable populations in Scotland or those living in low or middle income countries.
  • Our teaching and research expertise spans multiple aspects of global health and development. These range from health financing, and support to fragile and conflict-affected settings, to refugee integration and child protection.

Course overview

Instead of our broader MSc Global Health, you can choose a more focused pathway at the outset with our MSc Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. We have deliberately designed our courses to be as flexible as possible. This will allow you to apply for the course that best suits your career needs and revise your choice before progressing to the dissertation stage (subject to having studied the appropriate modules).

This degree focuses on the current challenges and policy debates in local, national and global responses to meeting the mental health and psychosocial needs of populations affected by poverty, instability, displacement and conflict. This degree equips people with the skills to incorporate Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) strategies and consideration into health and humanitarian provision. This is a diverse field with more biomedically and clinically oriented approaches at one end of the continuum, and more social and wellbeing-oriented approaches at the other. The programme exposes students to the range of these perspectives. This is achieved by including a variety of course material and teaching perspectives in the core modules, as well as providing opportunities for knowledge exchange through IGHD’s vast network of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support practitioners and academics.

The course will equip you to work effectively at senior level to promote mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of people in high, low and middle-income settings and to incorporate mental health considerations into existing health and social services through effective and responsive programming.


You can opt to study for the full MSc, a PgDip or a PgCert. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching is comprised of a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises and projects. Assessment is continuous and incorporates assignments, action plans, projects and presentations.

For your dissertation projects, you can chose to do a desk study involving a literature review or conduct primary data collection in collaboration with national or international organisations working in health and development.

Teaching hours and attendance

Your exact attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time. In addition, for each module students spend approximately 10-12 hours of each week on preparatory class work independently and with colleagues, including readings and exercises available on dedicated web-based learning platforms.

Class sizes

We expect approximately 10-15 students to enrol for this course each year.


Students study core modules, which includes foundational study of global health and development, as well as focused modules.

  • Global Public Health and Social Policy (20 credits)
  • Global Health Research (20 credits)
  • Health Systems, Services and Communities (20 credits)
  • plus a further 60 credits from two of the following 15 credit modules: Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations, Community-Based Psychosocial Support, Forced Displacement and Integration.
  • plus two other 15-credit elective modules available within the Institute, other QMU courses or other universities.

For the MSc award, the culmination of your study will be the completion of a dissertation involving desk study or fieldwork on an approved topic related to mental health and psychosocial support (60 credits).

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Links with industry/professional bodies

Our work with a number of internationally recognised organisations and professional bodies helps shape the content of our courses. We have links with various bodies, including the following:

At QMU we host the NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility (RUHF).

Single modules for CPD

A variety of modules can be studied for CPD, for example:

Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations
Forced Displacement and Integration Module

Contact IGHD for more information.


Our courses have been helping people successfully advance their careers in global health for many years. Our graduates have gone on to make measurable improvements in a variety of international health environments.

Examples of positions filled by IGHD graduates include:

  • Health Advisor for Save the Children UK
  • Senior Coordinator for International Operations with Partners in Health
  • Policy Development Officer in the Scottish NGO sector
  • Public Health Policy Workers for First Nation’s communities in Canada
  • Humanitarian worker with Islamic Relief

Others have taken internships with organizations such as the WHO on graduation, and others have progressed to doctoral studies.

The MSc Mental Health and Psychosocial Support will equip you for employment in the health and humanitarian sectors with a particular focus on mental health and wellbeing issues for women, children and men. We anticipate that graduates from this MSc will find employment with child-focused agencies, refugee integration programmes, organisations running gender-based violence interventions in fragile settings and in programmes related to work in global settings. 

Entry requirements

A UK honours degree or equivalent from a relevant subject area (arts, humanities, health or social sciences). Students without an honours degree may be considered if they have other relevant qualifications and/or appropriate work experience.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.0 with no individual component score less than 5.5. Please note the PgCert Health Interventions in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States is only open to applicants who do not require a student visa to study.

Application deadline

For International applicants only (Jan 2023 start):  Applications submitted after Sunday 20th November 2022 will automatically be considered for the next available intake after January which will be in September 2023. 

There is no formal deadline, but you should be aware of the time requirements of visa applications which vary by country. We do not accept applications where the candidate will not be able to arrive on the term start date, but if the application otherwise meets our criteria, will recommend a start at the next available course start date (January or September).

Start date

September 2022. A January 2023 start date may be available.

More information and contacts

Contact Admissions or Georgina Pearson on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our  2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Course Overview

Full-time: 1 year, part-time: 2-7 years
Start Date
September 2022
Start Date
January 2023
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding

Staff and Student Stories