Global Mental Health MSc


This Masters degree is designed to produce graduates who can take charge of mental health service provision at a global level. The MSc in Global Mental Health is unique to Scotland and one of only two in the UK.

Key facts

  • MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • PgDip 9 months full-time; 18 months part-time
  • PgCert 9 months full-time; 18 months part-time
  • Contact: 

Why this programme

  • You will develop the capacity to think critically about the potential risks of globalising notions of mental illness. You will gain the skills to develop and implement policies aimed at reducing the burden of mental health difficulties worldwide.
  • The MSc Global Mental Health programme will help you develop the knowledge to integrate your initiatives into the wider aims of international development, and address the global inequities in the provision of mental health services.
  • The Global Mental Health MSc can offer two student placements with Compass. We offer an internal selection process whereby students are invited to submit a one page document detailing:
    • What they would hope to gain from a placement with the service
    • Why they are a suitable candidate for the placement

      These two parts can each be scored out of 10 by members of the programme team. The top two scoring submissions are then viewed and approved by the clinician at Compass and if deemed appropriate these two applicants are offered the placement opportunites.
  • The learning outcomes (ILOs) for the programme are based on the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health that were identified in a 2011 issue of Nature.
  • Students will have an opportunity to complete research projects with organisations doing mental health related work both nationally and internationally.
  • The MSc Global Mental Health programme at the University of Glasgow places specific emphasis on the important role that social and cultural factors play in how mental health difficulties can be understood and treated across the globe.
  • Contributors to the MSc Global Mental Health teaching come from a diverse range of disciplines including: clinical psychology, social work, anthropology, sociology, law and psychiatry. Teaching also includes contribution from those with a lived experience of mental health difficulties.
  • The Global Mental Health programme at the University of Glasgow has a formal collaboration with the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Rwanda. This partnership has fostered a range of research and teaching activities that have been jointly coordinated by staff at the respective universities.   It is hoped that this partnership will continue to grow and that MSc Global Mental Health students will avail of opportunities that it provides.
    For more information, click the following link: Collaboration with the University of Rwanda

Programme structure

The core teaching is based around lectures. There is a strong emphasis on discussion and debate with your academic staff and fellow students, focusing on relevant research literature and policy documents. The Global Mental Health MSc has expert international contributors who provide lectures, via video linking. These are part of the teaching timetable. Blended learning and peer support learning is promoted in this course.

Core courses

  • Introduction to mental health and disability
  • The global burden of mental health difficulties
  • Cultural, social and biological determinants of mental health
  • Research methods (qualitative, quantitative and health economics)
  • Mental health promotion across the life-span
  • Improving access to mental health care in the global context (online course)
  • Mental health and disability: international law and policy
  • Dissertation.

What our students say

Working globally, thinking locally

Iain Mays

“This MSc was an invaluable experience in helping me develop as a competent researcher of mental health. The range of speakers and case studies used in the modules provided me with an elaborative insight into the global recognition of mental health needs. It has also helped me to develop a non-judgmental perspective of world cultures and their interaction with mental health conditions. The team of staff have provided me with a supportive environment to acquire skills essential for research and policy work in mental health. For my thesis this programme provided me with the opportunity to work hand in hand with a non-governmental organization to help analyse mental health work in Sierra Leone. I thoroughly enjoyed this research, gaining valuable experience into the work being done in a lower-income setting.” 

Niamh McGlinchey

“My main inspiration for choosing this programme came during my study abroad year as an undergraduate here at the University of Glasgow. I spent a year in New Zealand throughout which I met people from all over the world as well as travelling to neighbouring countries. I enjoyed the different cultures and when I heard of this course I thought it would be a great way to combine cultural differences with a practical knowledge of mental health and service use.

I have loved this course, it’s been a great chance to get to know mental health practitioners throughout the world. It’s allowed me to understand the complexities of scaling up services in a developing context.  I have also enjoyed the close and confidential atmosphere of the class group in which we were able to debate and discuss the course topics openly. In the long term, I may possibly go on to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, and would hope to end up working in a global organisation helping develop and supply mental health services to the hard to reach areas of the globe.”

Atika Dian Ariana

“This programme is one of very few in this field of study. I choose it because of the uniqueness and the similarity with my job. The best aspects of this program are that it invites presenters from diverse background so that we can gain more practical knowledge based on their experiences and I appreciate its effort to accommodate student feedback. The people are friendly and helpful the city of Glasgow has beautiful scenery, and it is an affordable place to live. To describe the University of Glasgow in three words I would say: supportive, credible and prestigious.”

Fatima tuz zohrah Saeed

“I chose to study this programme because it is unique, it is widening my knowledge and helping me to learn entirely different dimensions of mental health. I like the global aspect of the programme and I found teaching through discussion very  effective. I am planning to implement this knowledge in an educational setting or devising something related to health in Pakistan. To describe the University of Glasgow in three words I would say: well reputed, historical and welcoming.”

Mhairi McDonald

“I chose to study this programme because it was the only place in Scotland running this type of course. I wanted to continue to develop my interest in psychology and in particular mental health, I want to help people by addressing inequalities and practical application of theory. We have been privileged to have so many of the speakers on the course give such inspiring talks. The breadth of material is wide-ranging and covers many aspects of mental health. We get the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of other organisations and professionals. The teaching staff are very supportive and it’s great to meet other students from different countries.”

Guest speakers and events

Global Perspectives on Mental Well-being
Knowledge Exchange/Summer School

15th - 19th June 2015
University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nyarugenge campus, Kigali
Regional attendees from the Great Lakes Region $100 (US)
International attendees $650 (US)

We warmly invite you to join us in Kigali at the 'Global Perspectives on Mental Well-being' knowledge exchange event/summer school which will explore ways of promoting reciprocal learning about mental well-being between the Global North and the Global South.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Current debates in Global Mental Health
  • Socio-cultural determinants of mental well-being
  • Mental health promotion and community development strategies
  • Involving and empowering experts by experience
  • Promoting human rights and social inclusion

The event has been jointly organised by the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda and the Institute of Health and Well-being University of Glasgow.

Dr Ross White, Director of Global Mental Health MSc Programme, Institute of Health and Well-being, University of Glasgow:
Dr Stefan Jansen, Lecturer, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda:

A full programme for the event will be available shortly at the following webpage:


Past Events

Reaching beyond the technical paradigm of mental health care
Lecture by Dr. Pat Bracken

Wednesday, 29th January 2014
Senate Room, Main Building, University of Glasgow
9.30 – 11.30 am (No Cost) 

This talk will focus on how the current technical paradigm in mental health services underscores attempts to transfer interventions from Europe and North America to countries in the ‘developing world’ and will critique this paradigm on philosophical, empirical and sociological grounds

About the Speaker:

Dr. Pat Bracken is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of Mental Health Services in West Cork, Ireland. He trained in psychiatry and philosophy in Cork and in Birmingham. His interests include collaborating with user/survivors, developing critical thinking in psychiatry and working with asylum seekers and refugees.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Please register for this event online by the Monday 27th of January 2014 at the following web-link:
For any further questions, please contact Dr Ross White ( 


Psycholsocial Interventions in Sierra Leone
Lecture by Dr. Beate Ebert

Monday 26 August 2013
Gannochy Seminar Room
Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow
2pm - 4pm ( No Cost)

Sierra Leone, a country in west Africa, endured a bloody civil war between 1991 and 2002. It is estimated that 40-50,000 people were killed and 500,000 civilians fled the country (Dufka, 1999). 

In particular, women and children suffered high levels of trauma during the civil war. Approximately 50,000 to 64,000 internally displaced women in Sierra Leone have histories of war-related assault, while 50% of those who came into contact with the Revolutionary United Front reported sexual violence (Physicians for Human Rights, 2002). It is estimated
that between 7,000 and 10,000 child soldiers may have been part of the fighting forces in Sierra Leone (Government of Sierra Leone, 2005).

Dr. Beate Ebert, a Clinical Psychologist working in Germany, became aware of the high levels of trauma experienced by the Leonian population through a family
friend. Motivated to do what she could to help support victims of trauma in the country, she created the commit and act foundation to help train psychosocial
therapists in Sierra Leone.

Over the last 3 years representatives of commit and act have travelled to cities across Sierra Leone to provide workshops on psychosocial intervention to social workers working with Non-governmental Organizations. The intention has been to teach skills and support the creation of a supervision network for therapists in Sierra Leone. Over 180 NGO staff have attended the workshops that have been

This presentation provided by Dr. Beate Ebert and Dr. Ross White will reflect on the opportunities and challenges associated with scaling up psychosocial interventions in low and middle income settings’.

What exactly is 'mental health' and how globalisable is it?
Lecture by Dr. Derek Summerfield

Global Mental Health has developed as an area of study that is concerned with addressing inequities and inequalities in mental health service provision across the world. This lecture will take a critical perspective on Global Mental Health research, and will explore potential risks associated with globalising notions of 'mental illness'.

About the Speaker:

Dr Derek Summerfield is a Consultant Psychiatrist and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Egyptian Psychiatric Association. During his working career, he has been Principal Psychiatrist with the Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture, London; Research/Teaching Associate for the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford; and consultant to Oxfam on projects in war-affected settings. Derek has been involved with various studies on the effects of war and atrocity, and of displacement and asylum-seeking, in Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Gaza and the UK. He has published around 150 papers and has made other contributions in medical and social sciences literature.

MSc Global Mental Health Launch Event

Global Mental Health is the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving mental health and achieving equity in mental health for all people worldwide.

It is estimated that four out of five people in low and middle-income countries who need services for mental, neurological and/or substance use disorders do not receive them (MH-Gap, 2008).

To celebrate the launch of the new MSc Global Mental Health programme at the University of Glasgow, the Institute of Health and Well-being cordially invites you to a knowledge exchange event on:

Monday 26th March 2012
Gannochy Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow
9.30 – 5pm

Guest Speakers will include:

Dr. Chhim Sotheara, Executive Director of Trans-cultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO)
Presenting on mental health and psychosocial interventions in Cambodia

Chhatra Amatya
Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health

Dr. Anne Douglas, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Compass
Presenting on the mental health needs of asylum seeking and refugee populations in Glasgow

Dr Jim Crabb, Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Forth Valley
Presenting on his mental health work in Ghana and Malawi


Career prospects

Graduates of the MSc Global Mental Health programme establish careers in national mental health policy and planning, epidemiological and mental health services research, as well as advisory and advocacy roles in governments, international agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Entry requirements

At least a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject (psychology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, law, public health or public policy). A registered health-care professional qualification will also be acceptable. A background – study, work or volunteer activities – in a mental health-related field is desirable but not essential.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Home and EU
Full time fee£7250
Part time 20 credits£806
Full time fee£19500


Home and EU
Full time fee£4833
Part time 20 credits£806
Full time fee£13000


Home and EU
Full time fee£2417
Part time 20 credits£806
Full time fee£6500

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only


International applicants (from beyond the EU) are requested to pay a deposit of £1000 when an offer is made.

Deposits terms & conditions

The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programmes and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.

If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant decides to go to another institution.
  2. Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
  3. Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
  4. Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
  5. Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry. 

Refund requests must be made within 60 days of the programme start date stated on your offer letter: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MSc. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Postgraduate Admissions
Marketing, Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now

For information on our online Global Mental Health programme, please see: Global Mental Health