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M.Sc. in Biological Psychiatry

Course Objectives


Biological Psychiatry ImageThis is a two-year part-time course

Neuropsychiatric disorders are common with one in four of the world’s population suffering from various forms of mental, behavioural and neurological disorders.  Within the 15-44 age group, mental disorders account for 6 of the 20 leading causes of disability. According to the World Health Organisation, mental disorders account altogether for about 13.5% of the global burden of disease and this is projected to rise to 14.2% by 2030.  The proportion of the burden is actually greatest in high-income countries (21.4%) but is now growing in lower- and middle-income countries due to improvements in infectious disease management, increasing numbers of younger adults entering the age of risk for common neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression) and also the expanding ageing population at risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The neurobiology underlying most common neuropsychiatric disorders is not yet clear.  However, remarkable advances in neuroscientific methods, such as molecular biology, genetics, cognitive neuropsychology, and functional imaging, are beginning to provide a clearer understanding of the complexity and multifactorial aetiology of many disorders.  It is hoped and expected that, over the coming decades, such advances in biological psychiatry will aid diagnosis and inform rational therapeutic strategies.

Providing a new MSc course in Biological Psychiatry with a curriculum incorporating basic research methodology, cognitive neuropsychology, neuroimaging, molecular neuroscience, molecular psychiatry, and neuropsychiatric genetics will fulfill an important educational need for a range of disciplines involved in evidence-based mental health care practice.  For example, the subject matter covered in the course makes up a large proportion of the curriculum for post-graduate professional training in Psychiatry for doctors.


Last updated 23 November 2016 School Web Administrator (Email).