Mental Health

PhD

  • Entry Year 2023
  • Duration Part time 48 Months

Overview

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.

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in an appropriate subject and relevant work experience.

We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

Additional Requirements

As part of your application you will also need to provide a viable research proposal. Guidance for writing a research proposal can be found on our writing a research proposal webpage.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email pgadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

Fees and Funding

Part-time

Home fee: £4,030
International fee: £10,500

Scholarships and Bursaries

You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course:

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Studying by blended learning

The PhD in Mental Health is offered part-time via blended learning. Teaching and research activities are carried out through a combination of face-to-face and online interaction, allowing you to undertake the majority of study from your own location whilst fulfilling your existing responsibilities. You will benefit from being part of a UK and internationally-based peer group working across a range of sectors.

Face-to-face interactions take place at an annual residential autumn Academy while taught modules are delivered via distance learning using our virtual learning environment and include discussion forums, collaborative digital spaces and video conferencing. All students have access to a hub space that facilitates interaction with their cohort and with students on related programmes, creating a virtual information space that’s also sociable. An academic tutor will support you during the taught phase and two supervisors provide you with support in the research phase.

Blended Learning
Woman wearing a headset and microphone completing distance learning work

The Division of Health Research

The Division of Health Research have been offering blended learning postgraduate programmes since 2010. We have many successful graduates and currently around 200 continuing students on a range of programmes who have benefited in progressing their careers from the high quality postgraduate education we provide.

  • Our Research in Mental Health

    Our mental health research covers a wide range of research areas and activities, including bipolar disorder and related conditions, chronic illness and care approaches.

  • The Spectrum Centre

    The Spectrum Centre is the only specialist research centre in the UK dedicated to translational research into the psychosocial aspects of bipolar disorder and associated conditions.

  • Athena SWAN: Gender Equality at Lancaster

    We hold the Athena SWAN Silver Award, recognising our commitment to advancing the careers of women in higher education and research.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.