Postgraduate Taught

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support - MSc

Do you want to make a difference to the health and well-being 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, development and humanitarian 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 in 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. 

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. It 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 well-being 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. We have links with various bodies, including the following: Health Systems Global / Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network / Scottish International Development Alliance / Development Studies Association / Scottish Government Scottish Refugee Council.  At QMU we host the NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility (RUHF).
  • 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.  

Studying MSc Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MSc): More information 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 perspectives, emphasising practical preparation to equip students to design and facilitate psychosocial approaches that engage the existing social and well-being capacities of displaced and crisis-affected populations. This is achieved by including a variety of course material and teaching perspectives using real-life case examples, 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 disasters and you will 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 refugee integration into host societies and gender-equity and inclusion in policies, services and interventions.  

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

You can opt to study for the full MSc (180 credits), a PgDip (120 credits) or a PgCert (60 credits). 

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. A variety of modules can be studied, for example: Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations and Forced Displacement and Integration Module. Contact IGHD for more information.

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.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.



  • Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations (15 credits)
  • Project Design and Management (15 credits)
  • Plus one 15 credit module chosen from: Community-based Psychosocial Support (15 credits)/ Forced Displacement & Integration (15 credits)/ Global approaches to Gender and Health (15 credits)
  • Plus one 15 credit module selected from any of the 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)
  • Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations (15 credits) 
  • Project Design and Management (15 credits)
  • Plus one 15-credit module chosen from: Community-based Psychosocial Support (15 credits)/Forced Displacement & Integration (15 credits)/Global Approaches to Gender and Health (15 credits)
  • Plus one 15 credit module selected from any of the electives.


  • 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)
  • Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations (15 credits) (core module)
  • Project Design and Management (15 credits) (core module)
  • Plus one 15-credit module chosen from: Community-based Psychosocial Support (15 credits)/Forced Displacement & Integration (15 credits)/Global approaches to Gender and Health (15 credits)
  • Plus one 15 credit module selected from any of the electives.

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). 

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) 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.

Career opportunities

This MSc in 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 humanitarian aid agencies, MHPSS programmes, child-focused agencies, refugee integration programmes, organisations running gender-based violence interventions in fragile settings and in programmes related to work in global settings.  

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MSc): Entry requirements and application information

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. 

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Applying for this course

For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline

Home: End of August 2024

International: End of June 2024

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

Contact Admissions or contact IGHD for more information.


Become your best you: study at QMU

Course Overview

On campus at QMU
1 year full-time OR 2-7 years part-time
Start Date
September 2024
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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