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Mental Health Studies (Top-up) MSc

Learn about the course below

Mental Health Studies (Top-up) MSc

September 2023
1 year part-time
£32 per dissertation credit (UK)
£46 per dissertation credit (EU/INT)
Course leader
Alfonso Pezzella

This Top-up masters is for alumni of Middlesex University who wish to continue their development in the field of mental health through undertaking a research project and convert their PGDip into a full MSc qualification.

Why study MSc Mental Health Studies (Top-up) at Middlesex University?

This programme is designed to allow Middlesex graduates with a PG Dip Nursing (Mental Health) or a PG Dip Mental Health Practice to build on their knowledge by undertaking a mental health related research project.

It is anticipated that completing this MSc will enable you to contribute to the enhancement of professional mental health practice, research and service development.

Please note: This course does not lead to registration as a mental health nurse or other mental health practitioner. Applicants wishing to undertake a professional nursing programme, please visit our Nursing pages.

Course highlights

  • Design and implement your own research project
  • Network and work with researchers in the field of mental health
  • Middlesex is a leading provider of health education, with one of the highest student satisfaction ratings in London and established relationships with London's leading mental health trusts
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on MSc Mental Health (Top-up)?

This Masters degree comprises a single module and the successful completion will enable you to convert your PGDip to an MSc Mental Health Studies. The module will allow you to study social research design and rigour in social research processes including sampling, data gathering and data analyses methods.

What will you gain?

You will have refined your project management knowledge and skills through the implementation of a research project. You will also have developed your high quality data gathering and analysis skills.


  • Module

    • Developing Research Capability (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on developing your research capability as part of your professional practice within a health and social care context by designing and implementing your own research proposal. You will be expected to formulate a research question or problem and create a plan of work in the form of a research proposal to answer the question or find a solution to the problem. You will also construct a robust ethical framework to guide decision making during the research process.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

How is the MSc Mental Health Studies (Top-up) taught?

You will be supported to refine your research problem or question by online workshops, individual tutorials and supervision. It is expected that you will already have a research topic you wish to investigate so you can gain support early in your studies and refine the topic into a researchable question.


The module uses three types of assessment:

  • Formative: online presentations for oral feedback
  • Compulsory formative: production of a research proposal 3000 words for written feedback
  • Summative: research dissertation / project of 12000 words.

Changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we currently plan to teach your course online through a mixture of live interactive sessions and independent learning. This will ensure you’re equipped with the same skills as on campus study, and offer you an engaging learning experience where you can meet and network with your lecturers and fellow students through online platforms. We are also exploring opportunities for face-to-face interactive sessions with smaller groups of students and staff where possible and we can make the appropriate arrangements. You will still be able to access bookable study spaces on campus, and any of the facilities and support services which are open, as well as our extensive online support.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs

How can the MSc Mental Health Studies (Top-up) support your career?

The Mental Health Studies Programme has been specifically designed to further your career within the industry through enhancing existing professional practice through personal development and self-managed learning, as well as consolidating and expanding your professional network.

You will have the opportunity to gain a qualification that is directly relevant to your field of work. Past graduates have gone on to study Clinical Psychology programmes.

Alfonso Pezzella
Programme leader

Alfonso Pezzella is the course leader for MSc Mental Health Studies. Alfonso teaches on a variety of topics including research methods, SPSS, mental health, LGBT issues and transcultural issues in health. Alfonso is currently working on a European project (IENE 5) led by Professor Irena Papadopoulos (Middlesex University) and five other European countries, which aims to develop a MOOC in Intercultural Communication Skills and Patient Safety. He is also working on various research projects on LGBT inclusion in the curriculum in health and social care and LGBT and mental health.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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