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Mental Health Studies MSc/PgDip / Healthcare Studies PGCert

Are you working in the field of mental health or social care? This specialist course will boost your subject knowledge, and expand your network and career prospects
September 2024
2 years part-time
£63 per credit (UK) *
£117 per credit (INT) *
Course leader
Alfonso Pezzella

We aim to model a wide range of teaching strategies and approaches on the course which you can adapt to your own setting.

Why choose Mental Health Studies MSc/PGDip /Healthcare Studies PGCert at Middlesex?

This unique course is designed for you if you work in mental health, health or social care services. It will build on you current knowledge and experience and help you develop mental health-related skills and knowledge. This course will help you to contribute to the enhancement of professional mental health practice, research and service development.

You'll have the opportunity to study with others from a wide range of mental health, health and social care settings and backgrounds. We hope that the diversity of this environment stimulates your learning and leads to improved practice and service development.

This MSc will allow you to plan your own individual study pathway to meet your personal, professional, academic and service needs. Furthermore, the optional modules can be taken at your own pace, taking into account issues such as your location and work-life balance. As such, most modules are taught online or via distance learning, with some on-campus session for specialised skills.

The best way to study this course is over two years. This means you can continue working in clinical practice and use that practice to help you complete your assignments for your chosen modules.

Although we have an October start, depending on which modules you choose, your class dates may be in January. We can discuss this with you when you start the course and choose the modules you want to undertake.

This course is delivered mostly online with some on-campus session depending on the optional modules.

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.

What you will gain

By joining us on this course, you'll have the opportunity to:

  • Become part of a university which is highly rated by our students for our student support, which often helps those with non-traditional qualifications reach their potential
  • Learn in state-of-the-art facilities, including a well-resourced library and access to a wide range of mental health-related e-books and journals
  • Make valuable connections through our established relationships with London's leading mental health trusts
  • Network with a wide range of clinicians from a variety of backgrounds, both nationally and internationally.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • Excellent reputation
    Top 2 university in the UK – Times Higher Education, Young Universities,  2022
  • Postgraduate success
    95% of our postgraduate students go on to work or further study – Graduate Outcomes, 2022
  • Academic hands-on professional experience
    Our academic staff are qualified social workers, nurses, and professionals from other related fields, such as psychology, social policy, anthropology and sociology.

Find out more

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

The MSc Mental Health Studies is an innovative programme suitable for any degree-level practising nurse or health and social care professional who wishes to follow a flexible modular pathway towards a master’s degree.

You will develop a range of skills and knowledge that fits your current role or future career aspirations. You will also learn unique psychological interventions, mental health assessment tools to use in your practice, develop leadership skills and develop research knowledge, as well as how to apply and produce research-informed practice.


All modules are delivered through online distance learning.

  • Choose one of the following:

    • Social Research Methods (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to enable you to develop your research methods skills. This will give you 30 academic credits.

    • Advanced Practitioner Enquiry (30 Credits) - Compulsory
  • Plus one of the following:

    • Dissertation (60 Credits) - Compulsory
    • Negotiated work based learning project (60 Credits) - Compulsory
  • Plus optional modules from the list below - to make up 90 credits (list subject to change):

    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (15 credits) - Optional
    • Risk Assessment and Management in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Social Inclusion and Recovery in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Meeting the needs of people with dementia and their carers (15 credits) - Optional
    • Improving well-being: increasing personal resilience and helping people change (15 credits) - Optional
    • Leadership for Public and Community Services (15 credits) - Optional
    • Service Development and Quality Improvement (15 credits) - Optional
    • Physical Assessment Skills for Mental Health Professionals (15 credits) - Optional
    • Mentorship Preparation (15 credits) - Optional
    • Critical Approaches to Dual Diagnosis (15 credits) - Optional
    • Motivational Interviewing: Strategies for Lifestyle and Behavioural Change (15 credits) - Optional
    • Social Inclusion and Recovery in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Older People and Problematic Drug Use (15 credits) - Optional
    • Assessment and Treatment in Dual Diagnosis (15 credits) - Optional
    • Substance Use and Addiction Theories (15 credits) - Optional

To find out more about this course, please download the Mental Health Studies MSc/PGDip/Healthcare Studies PGCert specification (PDF).

How we'll teach you

You'll work on practical assignments as well as attending lectures, workshops and seminars, where you will take part in class discussions and give presentations.

You will work on problem-solving exercises, case studies, role-play exercises and group exercises, and supplement all this with your own independent study, including online learning. You'll submit a research proposal and dissertation or work-based project, for which you will receive one-to-one tuition.

This is an online distance learning course, so all teaching and learning is done online.

Where will I study?

You will be studying online and/or at our north London campus in Hendon. For some of the optional modules you may undertake which are skill-based, these may be taught at our State-of-the-art facilities at StoneX Stadium.


Whether you are studying full or part-time – your course timetable will balance your study commitments on campus with time for work, life commitments and independent study.

We aim to make timetables available to students at least two weeks before the start of term. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on-campus sessions.

Teaching vs independent study

In a typical year, you’ll spend about 1200 hours on your course.

Outside of teaching hours, you’ll learn independently through reading articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research, and preparing for assessments including coursework and presentations.

Academic support

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 be delivered online and on campus 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.

Coursework and assessments

Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed using a variety of methods, which are informed by the University and faculty strategies. Each module will be assessed according to the assessment guidelines of that particular module, therefore assessments will vary according to the type and focus of each module.

The assessment methods of each module are designed to help you integrate theory and practice, maximise your critical thinking and synthesis skills, and develop and strengthen your understanding of advanced clinical practice. These include case studies, service reviews, audits/evaluations of current practice, reports, OSCEs, examinations, presentations, critical reflection on practice and critical reviews of evidence and portfolios, and research proposals.

The assessment methods will depend on the modules you take.


You'll evaluate your work, skills and knowledge and identify areas for improvement. Sometimes you'll work in groups and assess each other's progress.

Each term, you'll get regular feedback on your learning.

Our West Stand facilities

Depending on the optional modules you will choose, these may be taught at our clinical health facilities in the West Stand at StoneX Stadium.

Our high-tech simulation suites link the theories of the classroom with the practice of treating patients in a hospital environment with:

  • The latest simulators for you to practice realistic emergency care situations and hospital scenarios
  • Life-like mannequins that can simulate symptoms, diseases and conditions you’ll encounter as a working nurse
  • Video recorders so you can receive evidence-based feedback from students and teachers watching you practice.

The Sheppard Library

Our library is open 24 hours a day during the term and includes:

  • Over 1,000 study areas with rooms for group study and over 600 computer spaces
  • 350,000 books and e-books and more than 24,000 online journals
  • Free laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

How can the Mental Health Studies MSc/PGDip/Healthcare Studies PGCert support your career?

Our university's postgraduate courses have been recognised for their ability to support your career.

Career paths

This course is aimed at practitioners who have experience of working in a mental health setting. It provides an excellent opportunity for you to use your existing expertise, professional qualifications or work experience to gain a recognised qualification.

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

You'll have the opportunity to gain a qualification that is directly relevant to your field of work and the projects you complete will also make a significant contribution to achieving your work objectives. Combined, these benefits can provide a significant boost to career development and enhancement in your professional area.

Some of the roles our graduates have gone on to work in include senior nurses, clinical psychologists or advanced clinical practitioners, and previous students have worked for the NHS or private health and social care services.


Our employability service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Global network

Our London location helps us connect with over 1,000 industry partners to develop our students’ future employment prospects.

And we have unique work and study opportunities at our campuses in Dubai and Mauritius.

At Middlesex, you’ll study with students from 122 countries who’ll hopefully become part of your global network.  After you graduate, we'll support you through our alumni network to help you progress in your chosen career.

  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply

The fees below are for the 2024/25 academic year:

UK students1

Part-time students: £63 per credit

Part-time students: £31.50 per dissertation

International students2

Part-time students: £117 per credit

Part-time students: £59 per dissertation

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free access to resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free specialist software for your course
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Financial support

We offer lots of support to help you with fees and living costs. Check out our guide to student life on a budget and find out more about postgraduate funding.

Postgraduate scholarships

You may be eligible for one of our scholarships including:

  • The Alumni Postgraduate Award – for all UK/EU Middlesex alumni a 20% fee reduction
  • The Commonwealth Scholarship – full course fees, airfares and a living allowance
  • The Chevening Scholarship – full course fees
  • The European Academic Awards – £1000 to £7000 for students showing academic excellence
  • Regional or International Merit Award –up to £2,000 towards course fees

For international students, we also have a limited number of other awards specific to certain regions, and work in partnership with funding providers in your country to help support you financially with your study.

Find out more about our postgraduate scholarships.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

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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