An international first, the PhD in Mental Health meets the needs of those wishing to gain a deep and critical insight into mental health theory, research and practice and to develop or enhance research skills whilst fulfilling their existing responsibilities. The programme is offered part-time and combines innovative distance learning with face-to-face teaching at an annual autumn Academy held in Lancaster.
The programme brings together the theory and practice of mental health, including psychological models of psychological disorders, evidence-based interventions and current priorities for mental health. Whether you are based within a healthcare setting, local government, education, research or management, the PhD in Mental Health is your chance to work with world-leading academics on the production of a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge within your area of professional practice.
This part-time, flexible doctorate runs over a minimum of four and a maximum of seven years. The programme begins with a compulsory five-day Induction Academy in Lancaster. Each of the subsequent academic years start with a compulsory three-day autumn Academy, while the rest of the course is delivered via e-learning. Attendance at the annual academies is compulsory until students have been confirmed on the PhD programme
Years 1 and 2 consist of taught modules delivered online. In Year 1 students take a specialist module that covers the theory and practice of mental health followed by a module on research philosophy and a module on research design. Year 2 modules may include: Systematic Reviews, Data Analysis, Research Design and Practical Research Ethics.
From Year 3 onwards, students undertake an independent research study, which will conclude with the submission of a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge. The research project will be supervised from the University but undertaken in students’ own location or workplace. Supervision meetings take place using video conferencing software such as Skype. During the annual autumn Academy students meet with supervisors face to face.
A number of mental health research groups work from Lancaster University’s prestigious Division of Health Research. For example, the Spectrum Centre, which has attracted more than £6m in funding since its launch, is the only specialist research centre in the UK dedicated to translational research into the psychosocial aspects of bipolar disorder and associated conditions (including recurrent depression, anxiety, and psychosis), as well as developments in their treatment. Other staff research interests include mental health in people with chronic physical conditions or difficulties and ensuring positive mental health among socially marginalised groups.
Our close links to NHS mental health services in the North West of England and the voluntary sector, both regionally and nationally, combine with the current research interests of staff to inform the content of our modules. Service users will also be actively involved in the delivery of the taught component of your Doctorate.