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Lecturers in a psychiatry class
Brighton & Sussex Medical School


BSMS > Postgraduate > Psychiatry


Key facts

MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Part-time: 5 years maximum

Eligible applicants: Open to UK applicants only (and EU applicants who are appointed to a post within HEESE)

Location: Sussex Education Centre, Mill View Hospital, Hove and BSMS, University of Brighton, Falmer campus, Online via university portal

Course Leader: Dr Richard Whale 

Read Dr Richard Whale's profile here >

General enquiries:

This course is validated by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Applications for 2021/22 entry are now open.

Apply for the psychiatry course here >


COVID-19 update for 2021/22

We are now welcoming applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Course delivery methods are still to be confirmed as we take into account the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the intention will be to provide a blended learning approach of both online and face to face provision where possible. 

psychiatry students in a seminar

Key areas of study

  • Core principles of psychiatry
  • Psychopathology
  • Behavioural science
  • Psychotherapy
  • Biological sciences in psychiatry
  • Research methods and critical appraisal
  • Leadership and change management in clinical services
  • Communication, learning and teaching in health and social care

Course overview

The MSc Psychiatry course is run in collaboration with Health Education England South East (HEESE).

The first year of this course follows the Royal College of Psychiatrists core knowledge curriculum, with an opportunity to exit with a PGCert. The second year incorporates development of wider clinical professional skills in leadership and teaching. The third year provides a structured research opportunity within the mental health field, working towards completion of a dissertation. 

Course structure


  • Principles of Psychiatry (20 credits)
  • Behavioural Science and Psychotherapy (20 credits)
  • Biological Sciences in Psychiatry (20 credits)


  • Communication, Learning & Teaching in Health & Social Care (20 credits)
  • Leadership and Change management in Clinical Services (20 credits)
  • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)


  • Research Dissertation (60 credits)

Career opportunities

The first year prepares students for Paper A of the Royal College of Psychiatrists membership examination.

A higher academic qualification enhances evidence of experience for competitive interviews and offers entry to an academic career. 

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a relevant undergraduate qualification and will be expected to demonstrate an ability to study at Masters level (assessed by interview and/or production of a short piece of written work as necessary).

Trainees entering the Health Education England South East (HEESE) psychiatry core training programme will be automatically eligible. GPs with a special interest in psychiatry are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications from non-medical staff who have been working for a minimum of two years in mental health-related posts will also be considered. Please note that the MSc Psychiatry will not qualify non-medical staff to practise as a psychiatrist. The course does not provide a qualification for practice as a psychiatrist in the UK or overseas.

This course is open to UK applicants only (and EU applicants who are appointed to a post within HEESE).

Fees and funding

The fees listed below are the overall costs for full-time courses taken in the academic year 2021/22. Where courses are taken part-time over more than one academic year, fees are usually charged pro-rata for the modules taken during each academic year.  


UK £9,250

International £18,500


UK £6,168

International £12,336


UK £3,084

International £6,168


All BSMS students on Masters courses accredited jointly by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton are eligible to apply for University of Sussex postgraduate scholarships in 2021/22.

Read more about fees and funding here > 


A number of bursaries may be  available for up to approximately 60% of the course fee. These bursaries are for those employed in the HEESE region and who meet the eligibility criteria. Please contact the course lead for further information.