Postgraduate Taught

MSc Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Do you want to make a difference to the health of people in low-resource settings? Are you passionate about social justice or looking for a qualification that will enable you to work at a senior level in health policy and practice in the UK or abroad, particularly in low and middle income settings? Our flexible and highly respected range of global health courses could be the perfect stepping stone for your career. 

This MSc Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) course 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. It 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. 

The course offers flexibility in module choice and can be studied full or part-time.

Why QMU?

  • Unique academic institution: The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) at QMU offers a range of postgraduate courses aimed specifically at those who wish to work in health policy and practice, particularly in low and middle income settings.  
  • Make a difference to your career and to others' lives: Our courses put a strong focus on the social aspects of health and on health systems strengthening from a community-based perspective. They will equip you to assist in improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the world, whether that be overseas or locally in Scotland. 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. 
  • Access to expertise and industry connections: 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 to health and development problems. 
  • Join us on our compassion mission: Our work at IGHD addresses the health and wellbeing of those in greatest need, whether that be vulnerable populations in Scotland or those living in low or middle income countries.   
  • Wide ranging teaching and research expertise: Our teaching and research expertise spans multiple aspects of global health and development. These range from health financing, support to fragile and conflict-affected settings, to refugee integration and child protection.  

Who is this course for?

This course will be particularly attractive to those working in humanitarian settings, health practitioners, and community and development workers, who are looking to further their theoretical knowledge and practical skills in order to consolidate and extend their learning in the area of how to incorporate MHPSS strategies and consideration into other health and humanitarian provision through mainstreaming.  

More about MSc Mental Health and Psychosocial Support and what you will achieve

Mental health and psychosocial support 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. This course 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. 

You will 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. 


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 enroll for this course each year.



  • Two from: Community-based Psychosocial Support(15 credits)/Forced Displacement & Integration (15 credits)/ Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations 
  • Plus two 15-credit modules chosen from other available electives. 


  • Global Public Health and Social Policy (20 credits) (core module)
  • Health Systems, Services and Communities (20 credits) (core module) 
  • Global Health Research (20 credits) (core module)
  • Plus at least two from:Community-based Psychosocial Support (15 credits)/Forced Displacement & Integration (15 credits) /Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations (15 credits) 
  • Plus one 15-credit module chosen from other available electives in Semester 2. 


  • Global Public Health and Social Policy (20 credits)(core module)
  • Global Health Research (20 credits)(core module)
  • Health Systems, Services and Communities (20 credits)(core module)
  • plus a further 30 credits from two of the following: Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations (15 credits)/Community-Based Psychosocial Support (15 credits)/Forced Displacement and Integration (15 credits)/
  • plus two other 15-credit elective modules available within the Institute, other QMU courses or other universities.

If studying for the MSc, you will also complete 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 2022) 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.


This 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 course 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. 

January 2024 start: A January start date may be available for those with a related health or social science degrees. The January course differs structurally from the September course, and students starting in January begin with specialist modules, which require an understanding of the topic from their previous study.

Application deadline

July for September start or November for January start. 

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). 

More information and contacts

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

Start date

A January start date may be available for those with a related health or social science degrees. The January course differs structurally from the September course, and students starting in January begin with specialist modules, which require an understanding of the topic from their previous study.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our  2023/24 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Course Overview

1 year full-time OR 2-7 years part-time
Start Date
September 2023
Start Date
January 2024
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding