Child and Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc

Postgraduate Degree

Develop your knowledge of child and adolescent mental wellbeing and build a career that makes a difference with our online masters in children’s mental health.

  • Grow a rewarding career that allows you to support children
  • Learn from our skilled tutors who are experts in young people's mental health
  • Gain a range of transferable skills that will enhance your overall employability
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

Apply now
Contact us

About your children’s mental health course

Our online MSc child and adolescent mental health is ideal if you're looking to build upon your existing knowledge, to advance your career, or to start a career as a child and adolescent mental health expert. You'll learn about key issues affecting child and adolescent wellbeing, and successful completion of this master's degree will open up a wide range of career opportunities. Studying online allows you the flexibility to develop your career, fuel your passion and make a difference around your other commitments.

Course highlights

  • Benefit from 100% online learning, giving you the flexibility to fit your studies around other commitments
  • Learn from our experienced and passionate tutors who are experts in young people's mental health
  • Develop expert knowledge in child and adolescent mental wellbeing
  • Open up rewarding career opportunities that allow you to support children and adolescents

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course lengthChoose to study over 1 or 2 years
Start datesStart in January or September

Application deadline

Our next deadline is

28th June 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Mental health disorders can occur from early childhood and the prevalence increases with age, highlighting the importance of early intervention to prevent the development of long term or serious mental health problems. According to the Centre for Mental Health one in six school aged children has a mental health problem. This is an alarming rise from one in ten in 2004 and one in nine in 2017. This has a huge impact on these individuals but also their families and the wider community.

Whatever your reason for wanting to study child and adolescent mental wellbeing, our master’s degree will give you the specialist knowledge to realise your ambitions. You’ll cover a range of aspects influencing child and adolescent mental health from psyche development, emotional wellbeing, coping mechanisms, social communication, learning disabilities and family dynamics. You’ll also explore interventions and treatment relevant to mental health concerns in children.

Our adolescent mental health course is broken down into four key modules and a major project. Modules cover key topics such as children’s psychological development, mental health conditions, research methodology and the impact of family societal and cultural influences. The major project gives you the opportunity to carry out your own research or work-based project and demonstrate your learning from the course.

You’ll gain an expert understanding of mental wellbeing issues affecting children and adolescents and develop a range of key skills that employers value. Successful completion of this course will enhance your employability as a child and adolescent mental health expert in a wide range of settings including health, social care and education related industries. Roles may include Children’s Mental Health Adviser, Ambassador or Research Assistant.

We welcome applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including those outside the health care and mental health areas who have a degree level qualification and a passion for child and adolescent mental health.

Please note that this course does not lead to professional qualification as a mental health nurse.

Get in touch


Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. You will be supported by your tutors to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.

Please contact one of our advisers to discuss the pacing of this course and the options available to match your circumstances.

Children’s typical psychological development: infancy to adolescent

This module aims to develop your specialist knowledge on child and adolescent mental health and help you understand the impact of development of the psyche on mental wellbeing. You’ll learn various theoretical perspectives relating to psyche development and how healthy development can have an effect on mental well-being. You’ll explore more specific aspects of human development (including language and cognitive development), and have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of more complex circumstances which affect children’s mental health. Finally, you’ll reflect on how the very early years can influence child and adolescence mental wellbeing to help you understand crucial concepts including moral issues, risk and resilience.

Children’s mental health conditions

The module focuses on the different mental health conditions and disorders of emotional wellbeing that children and young people may present with or be diagnosed with. You will develop a comprehensive understanding of these conditions and of how statutory and non-statutory organisations can support the child/adolescent and their family to aid recovery. You’ll also explore coping mechanisms and how these influence the child’s mental wellbeing, social communication, behaviour regulation and learning disabilities. The teachings of this module will also focus on the family and how its dynamics, culture and systems can affect a child’s mental health. You’ll explore interventions and treatment in relation to mental health issues in children.

Family societal and cultural influences in children’s mental wellbeing

The module focuses on cultural, social and family influences on child and adolescent mental wellbeing from both a national and global perspective. The module will address a number of issues related to child and adolescent wellbeing and society, including health promotion. You will explore the way in which mental illness is portrayed through the media and the impact this can have on interpretations of mental health and mental illness within a given society. This includes examining how mental health is represented in the news, on social media and global technology. Sexuality will also be explored.

Research Methodology

With increased emphasis on research in contemporary healthcare, it’s essential that you’re familiar with research methodology. The ability to critically analyse research is a necessary skill in the delivery of effective patient care. As part of this module, you will revisit your existing knowledge of the research process and further develop your skills of critical analysis and synthesis. You’ll also have the opportunity to critically appraise the ethical dimensions of research studies that seek to develop, improve and advance healthcare services.

Major Project

The Major Project is central to the Masters award and allows you to demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules. You’ll use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a literature review, using an enhanced approach to research or a work-based project. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your chosen topic and a critical understanding of research methodology and its relation to knowledge. You’ll be able to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice. As well as expanding existing knowledge to contribute to the development of best practice and critiquing primary research.


You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, including producing a health information artefact (magazine article, newsletter or flyer), writing essays and delivering a presentation.

How you'll study

Our Child and Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, pc or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

You can choose to study our Child and Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc over 1 or 2 years. Please note that if you choose the 1-year option this is the equivalent of full-time study and may be a challenge if you’re employed full-time or have other life commitments. Our advisers will be happy to talk through your options in more detail.

On successful completion of your studies you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying child and adolescent mental health course online and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist MSc child and adolescent mental health tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your children's mental health course, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo


What could a children’s mental health course do for my career?

As part of this MSc, you’ll learn about a wide range of issues affecting child and adolescent mental health, giving you a broad understanding of an increasingly urgent and high-profile topic that will make your knowledge invaluable in many roles.

This course can help you develop your career in a number of directions to have a fantastic impact on the wellbeing of young people. This online degree is an excellent route to advisory roles for governments (local, regional and national) and schools, as well as ambassador roles within charities and institutions.

Our Child & Adolescent Mental Wellbeing online masters degree is not only an inspiring opportunity for career development, but a chance to develop your knowledge of mental health and hone transferrable skills that are vital in the workplace.

What job roles can I consider with a masters in children’s mental health?

MSc graduates will strengthen their employability to open opportunities in middle or senior ranking roles within the Health & Social Care and Education sectors, both nationally, and potentially internationally. These are just some of the job roles that Child & Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc graduates may consider:

  • Education Mental Health Practitioners
  • Primary Mental Health Workers
  • Children's Wellbeing Practitioners
  • Researchers
  • Support and Engagement Practitioners
  • Social Emotional Mental Health Teaching Assistants

Please note that this course does not lead to professional qualification as a mental health nurse.

What skills will I get from a children’s mental health course to help my career?

Choosing to study a Child & Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • think critically and analytically
  • develop problem solving strategies
  • manage and evaluate research and work-based projects
  • communicate effectively and professionally

What can I study after a Child & Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification. Having a master’s degree under your belt is a key entry requirement in opening doors to study at this level.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability service to help you at whatever stage of your career, whether that’s landing your dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

You’ll need a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree.

If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 (Academic level - with no individual score being lower than 5.5) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University.

As a distance learner, you'll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of our online learning management system (LMS) with high-speed internet and email.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please contact us for further information.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for this course is £8,200.

The tuition fees you pay each year will be between £4,100 and £8,200 depending on how long you take to complete the course. You can choose to study our Child and Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc in either 1 or 2 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Your course can be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. Anglia Ruskin University is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Dio Giotas - ARU Student

Overall, my experience with ARU was amazing. I felt supported, empowered and accomplished. I’ve achieved what I was hoping for when I signed up for the course and I’ve enjoyed every moment.

Read Dio's story
Rachael - ARU Student

I found the staff immensely helpful and supportive. The online teaching enabled interaction between students and staff. The content was relevant and well-paced.

View Rachael's story
Sophie - ARU Distance Learning Student
Completing this course I have gained a deeper insight in to what issues children and young people are facing today, which I have applied to best inform my practice.
Read Beth's story
Farah - ARU Distance Learning Student

I found ARU a welcoming and diverse community. I’m very career oriented and was given the opportunity to get involved in research right from day one.


Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

28th June 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.
Apply Now

Want to know more about our mental health degrees? Take a look at the following blogs:

Distance Learning Alumni Survey 2023

Distance Learning Alumni Survey 2023

13th March 2024

View Blog