PhD in Mental Health

Study for a PhD by blended learning

The PhD Mental Health provides opportunities for future leaders in mental health to gain core research skills, as well as a deeper and more critical insight into mental health theory, translational research, and how this impacts on policy and practice. You will develop quantitative and qualitative research skills, improve knowledge management, enhance leadership skills and effectiveness, and advance scholarship in presenting written and oral arguments.

The programme aims to promote advanced knowledge and critical understanding of:

  • Principles of research design, practice and dissemination
  • Research ethics
  • Organisational change and development in a variety of settings
  • Diverse evidence synthesis and systematic review
  • Evidence-based mental health theory, research and practice, particularly psychosocial models of mental health
  • Service user involvement.

Who should apply?

The PhD in Mental Health will be of interest to people with a relevant background who are working, or aspire to work, in the field of mental health, and who wish to engage in a higher level of education and gain advanced research skills. The PhD is international on focus and not restricted to any one professional group or discipline, appealing to individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including:

  • Managers in a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sector
  • Educators on mental health
  • Graduates of related disciplines (e.g. psychology, social sciences, social work, occupational therapy)
  • Mental health practitioners (e.g. clinical psychologists, psychological well-being practitioners, counsellors, CBT therapists, mental health workers, occupational therapists, social workers, community psychiatric nurses)
  • Policy makers.

Entry Requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements are normally an upper second class honours degree, or a good Masters in an appropriate subject. Potential applicants with a lower degree qualification may be accepted where they can demonstrate equivalent relevant work experience in the field.

If English is not your first language an overall IELTS score of at least 6.5 is required (a minimum of 5.5 must be achieved in each separate skill: writing, reading, listening and speaking). Alternative qualifications are accepted.

Mode of Study

The PhD Mental health is offered part-time via blended learning over 5 years. Years 1 and 2 will involve online taught modules on research skills, ethical considerations, organisational change and psychosocial aspects of mental health. Online e-learning will be coupled with annual interactive academies held at Lancaster University, in June of Year 1 and in September from Year 2 onwards. From Year 3, you will undertake a research project, which will conclude with the submission of a thesis (35,000 words) that makes an original contribution to knowledge within your area of professional interest, and will be of direct relevance to it. This research project will be supervised from Lancaster University but undertaken in your own location or workplace.

Course Duration

The course commences in June and runs part-time over 5 years.



You can download a copy of the PhD in Mental Health flyer by clicking the link below:

PhD in Mental Health flyer


Applications to the PhD in Mental Health can be made via the University's online applications system.

Support for current students

Information on using our online systems can be found at the following link:

Distance Learning Support


For further information, please contact:

Dr Alyson Dodd
(Programme Leader)


Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research
Division of Health Research
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YT
United Kingdom

Problems with this page? Contact the FHM Webmaster
© 2008-2014 Lancaster University - Disclaimer and Copyright notice - Privacy and Cookies Notice