Postgraduate study

Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches (Online Learning) MSc, PgDip, PgCert

Awards: MSc, PgDip, PgCert

Study modes: Part-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The MSc Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches (Online Learning) offers a unique perspective: that children and young people’s mental health and well-being is influenced by developmental processes at multiple levels, from individual to socio-cultural and that approaches to working with mental health and well-being need to be informed by this dynamic and interactional system.

By drawing on the knowledge and clinical experience of a world-class department of clinical and health psychology, the programme aims to equip students with the knowledge necessary for understanding children and young people’s mental health and well-being from this unique perspective. The programme will also draw upon many other theoretical areas, including early intervention, health promotion, public health, health and social inequalities, critical psychology, developmental psychopathology and resilience.

The programme is part time, fully online, and has been designed with professionals in mind; the online delivery format and part-time study options allow for professionals from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to develop knowledge and practice whilst continuing to meet individual life and work demands.

The core elements of the programme include both conceptual and applied courses. At the conceptual level, the programme will review different theories of children and young people’s mental health involved in the complex structure of typical and atypical development. At the applied level it will include the application of psychological knowledge to difficulties experienced by children and young people and the critical appraisal of psychological knowledge and practice.

Distinctive features of the programme, include:

  • the critical integration of clinical and professional practice with current theoretical and empirical developments in the evidence base for, and delivery of, mental health programmes for children and young people
  • flexibility of delivery
  • opportunities for knowledge exchange between range of graduates and practitioners from multi-professional backgrounds
  • many opportunities for the synthesis of theory, evidence and practice

Graduates of the programme can expect to develop key skills and abilities, which are transferable to a number of professional domains, including:

  • knowledge and understanding of the developmental and well-being literature
  • research and enquiry skills
  • personal and intellectual autonomy skills
  • technical and practical skills
  • communication skills

All of the teaching on the MSc is delivered entirely online, allowing for flexible and responsive approaches to learning, assessment and support of our students and to reach a wide range of graduates and professionals from all over the world.

The online teaching methods include:

  • video lectures
  • online tutorials
  • wikis
  • discussion boards
  • online conferences
  • films and videos
  • independent study and research

The University's full range of online learning resources will be available to students; for example:

  • Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing software
  • e-books and online academic journals
  • Searcher (a unified platform to access all bibliographic databases available at the University).

As well as our online courses, students are welcome to enrol on our campus-based courses (up to 60 credits), if it is possible for them to attend the University for teaching, thus increasing flexibility and choice. Please note that students enrolled on this programme would not be eligible to apply for a Tier 4 visa.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

This programme offers a flexible postgraduate degree designed for recent graduates and professionals who are interested in studying at an advanced level.

The programme is designed to be completed part-time. The minimum period the course can be completed is two years, with a maximum completion time of six years.

There are a number of qualification routes available; students enrol on the MSc programme pathway and can exit at any of the following qualification junctures:

  • Postgraduate Certificate
  • Postgraduate Diploma
  • MSc

Courses offered as part of the programme include:

  • Developmental Wellbeing
  • Social Inequality and Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Research Methods in Applied Psychology (OL)
  • Applied Developmental Psychopathology (OL)
  • Trauma and Resilience in a Developmental Context
  • Critical Psychology and Child Mental Health

The dissertation project takes the form of a systematic review or meta-analysis relating to an aspect of psychological theory, or a psychological model, with relevance to clinical practice in the field of child and adolescent mental health and well-being.

The programme has been designed to enhance the career development of a range of professions involved in the provision of psychological health and care by improving awareness and application of psychological theory to clinical practice and by broadening the theoretical base from which professions practice.

Previous students have continued to work in, or entered, a range of professions including:

  • Clinical practice
  • Nursing
  • Social work and social care
  • Teaching
  • Voluntary sector organisations

Recent graduates interested in working in the area of child and adolescent mental health would also benefit from this programme. The degree demonstrates a student's high level of commitment to working with children and young people.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in psychology or a related subject.

You must have experience of working or volunteering with children and/or young people.

We may also consider your application if you have other professional qualifications or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Charles Marley
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3970
  • Contact:
  • Programme Administrator
  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

Your suitability will be established through your application and reference. Your reference should provide evidence of your applied experience.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Charles Marley
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3970
  • Contact:
  • Programme Administrator
  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG