Mental Health MSc

Postgraduate degree

Want a rewarding career in mental health that makes a difference? Are you looking to improve your knowledge and understanding of mental health? Make it happen with our online MSc.

  • Benefit from 100% online learning, giving you the flexibility to fit your studies around other commitments
  • Learn from experienced and passionate tutors
  • Develop an expert knowledge and understanding of mental health
  • Broaden your career opportunities across a wide range of vital industries
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your MSc Mental Health course

Our online Mental Health MSc is ideal if you're passionate about mental health and are looking to build upon your existing knowledge.

This online mental health course is perfect for those wishing to start or advance a career specialising in mental health care. You'll cultivate an in-depth familiarity with the key issues affecting mental health and mental illness, in both national and international settings.

Successful completion of this master's degree in mental health will open up career opportunities in a wide variety of sectors, both within public and private health and social care services, and in other industries.

Studying online allows you the flexibility to develop your career, fuel your passion and make a difference without having to sacrifice your other commitments.

Course highlights

  • Explore the key issues affecting mental health and mental illness, in both national and international settings
  • Learn how to critically analyse and synthesise mental health research
  • Ideal if your interested in mental health care from a personal, professional or educational perspective
  • Choose to study over 1 or 2 years depending on your other commitments

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 deadlineOur next deadline is

30th April 2024

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Course overview

One in four people will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime. These issues affect people from all walks of life, and their impact is felt not just by the sufferer, but by their families and the wider community too.

Whatever reason you have for wanting to study mental health and mental illness, our MSc Mental Health degree will give you the expertise to realise your ambitions and fulfil your potential. You’ll cover a range of areas that influence the study and treatment of mental health from legal, ethical and moral issues – including social inclusion – to the complex issues related to specialist services.

You’ll critically evaluate research findings to understand the importance of how mental health studies informs and develops methods of care. While undertaking our online Mental Health MSc, you will analyse a range of innovative initiatives which promote recovery from complex mental health issues.

Our master’s degree is broken down into four key modules and a major project. Modules cover key topics such as collaborative mental health care, specialist care, research methodology and contemporary issues in mental health care. Upon completion of your four key modules, you will then undertake a major project. This gives you the opportunity to carry out your own research or work-based project and demonstrate your ability to apply the learning you acquired from the previous modules on the course.

You’ll gain an expert understanding of mental health issues and develop a range of key transferable skills – such as communication, research, and time management – that employers in all industries value. Successful completion of this course will enhance your employability and prepare you for middle or senior-ranking positions both in the UK and internationally. Roles open to you may include Mental Health Leads, Advisors, Ambassadors and Research Assistants working across a range of settings, including schools and charities. Our online master’s in Mental Health studies will also prepare you for work in other industries, such as public and private health and social care.

We welcome applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds including those who are yet to work in health care or mental health services, provided they have a passion for mental health and have already attained a degree level qualification.

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

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Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. At all times, you will be supported by our expert team in order for you to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.

Please contact one of our advisers for further information on the pacing of this course. Our tutors are always happy to discuss the variety of options available to match your circumstances so that you’ll be able to schedule your study around your other commitments.

Collaborative Mental Health Care

Drawing on examples of good practice from a global perspective, this module focuses on collaborative working within mental health care, an approach which works alongside stakeholders and organisations.The inclusion of service users – along with their families and carers – in decision making has been a major shift in care delivery, as has the move from a medical model to a social model. This shift is underpinned by the emphasis on recovery principles rather than symptom management. The development of peer workers in the UK has also led to recognition of how individuals who have experience of mental health problems can contribute to the recovery of others.

Specialist Mental Health Care

Through studying this module, you’ll have the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge on specific mental health conditions. You will be able to understand and comprehend various specialised aspects of the ‘craft of caring’ for people with a serious mental illness. This module will also give you the chance to acquire a deep understanding of more complex individualised care, helping to improve the quality of treatment that a patient receives. The undertaking of this module will also give you the opportunity to explore varied specialisms in mental health studies, such as forensics, the elderly, those with learning disabilities, carers, child and adolescent mental health care needs. Specialist Mental Health Care will also allow you to consider an international perspective as treatment of, and attitudes towards, mental illness vary globally.

Contemporary Issues in Mental Health Care

Explore current factors in mental health studies from both a national and global perspective and examine a number of issues related to mental health and society. In this module you will develop an understanding of the way in which mental illness is portrayed through the media, as these interpretations of mental health and mental illness can have a significant impact on the way that these illnesses are perceived by society. This includes examining how mental health is represented in the news, on social media and within fictional sources including films and literature. You will examine how health care varies across different cultures and learn how this knowledge can be applied to current, or future, mental health services.

Research Methodology

With the increased emphasis on research in contemporary healthcare, it’s essential that you’re familiar with research methodology. The ability to critically analyse and synthesise research is a necessary skill in the application of research and delivery of effective patient care. You will revisit existing knowledge of the research process and further develop your skills in 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, from writing magazine articles and essays to delivering a presentation and a portfolio.

How you'll study

Our Mental Health 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 Mental Health 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 your MSc Mental Health, 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 Mental Health tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your MSc Mental Health, 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 an Msc Mental Health do for my career?
While our Mental Health MSc doesn’t lead to a qualification as a mental health nurse, there are a number of careers that this online degree will prepare you for.

Gaining a more specialist understanding of mental health will greatly benefit those aiming for a career in social care, or looking to become an advocate for those with mental illness. Completion of a Mental Health master’s degree can also be a stepping stone to influential roles in local and national government with the aim of making access to mental health services easier for those who need them.

Our degree programme is particularly suited to those already working in health and social care who are interested in progressing their career. Developing a specialism in mental health will open up further career options, allowing you to change roles more easily and making you a more valuable employee. Because our degree is fully online, it is perfectly suited to those who are already working in related industries or those simply looking to seek out a new vocation. Not only does the flexibility of our schedule allow you to fit your study around your working hours, but our course is designed to fit alongside your career so that you will be able to see how the theories that you learn apply in the real world and put your studies into practice in your current role.

What job roles can I consider with a masters in 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 Mental Health MSc graduates may consider:

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing Practitioner
  • Education Mental Health Practitioner
  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
  • Psychological Therapist
  • Support, Time and Recovery Worker
  • Primary Mental Health Workers
  • Children's Wellbeing Practitioners
  • Social Work
  • Mental health research assistant
  • Public health Adviser

Please note that some of these roles require further studying and an accredited qualification.

What skills will I get from a mental health masters to help my career?
Choosing to study a Mental Health MSc will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • develop problem solving strategies
  • think creatively with a flexible approach
  • critically evaluate research and manage work-based projects
  • work collaboratively
  • be up to date with the most current and contemporary approaches to mental health discussions and treatments, globally

What can I study after an MSc Mental Health?
Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification, or go on to gain a qualification that leads to one of the jobs mentioned above. 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 masters degree in mental health  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 Mental Health 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.

UK Quality Assured

What our students say

Rachael  - ARU Alumnus

With so many changes in the way we live, interact with one another and view mental health, this course is designed to cover every aspect of that and help you to understand mental health in our lifetime. It allowed me the freedom to explore and delve into areas of mental health that I am interested in.

View Rachael's story
Dean - ARU Distance Learning Student

I have left with a newfound confidence, resilience and enthusiasm for distance learning and study in general. The experience has shaped me for future study and given me skills for life, both personally and professionally.

Read Dean's story
David - ARU Student

I chose ARU for their recognised global standing, their year-on-year improvements in higher education and partnerships with organisations demonstrated their investment in helping students.

Read David's story
Sophie - ARU Distance Learning Student

Being a distance learner, I feel like I am getting the absolute most out of the time I put in. I strongly believe that we should all be learning constantly throughout our life. No one is too old, too busy, or too inexperienced to learn new things.

Read Sophie's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

30th April 2024

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

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