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

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The MSc Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches (Online Learning) offers a unique perspective. It highlights that developmental processes at multiple levels, from individual to socio-cultural influence children and young people’s mental health and well-being. It also emphasises the need for this dynamic and interactional system to inform approaches to working with mental health and well-being.

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 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 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 a 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 a course of the campus-based MSc Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches (up to 20 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 Student/Tier 4 visa.

Studying online at Edinburgh

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

(Revised 26 October 2023 to update guidance on campus-based courses available)

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 programme can be completed is two years, with a maximum completion time of four years, with a requirement for at least 20 credits of courses to be taken each year.

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:

  • Social Inequality and Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Research Methods in Applied Psychology (OL)
  • Applied Developmental Psychopathology (OL)
  • Child Migration & Mental Health
  • Typical & Atypical Child Development
  • Trauma and Resilience in a Developmental Context

The dissertation project takes the form of a systematic review or meta-analysis, or empirical research, 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.

(Revised 26 October 2023 to update maximum completion time for the programme and course credit requirements)

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.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in psychology, social science, or a related subject. We may also consider your application if you have a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, if you also have a postgraduate qualification.

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.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScMental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological ApproachesUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3970
  • Contact:
  • Programme Administrator
  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 31 July 2024

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

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