Mental Health: Cultural and Global Perspectives in Mental Health Care

Postgraduate Diploma ( 9 months Online learning / 2 years Part-time Online Learning )


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This course is also available as a Distance Learning Option

There is a growing recognition that mental health, mental illness and treatment/care are situated within socio-cultural contexts. Cultural factors such as belief systems, values, norms, practices and traditions impact on the risk and resilience towards developing mental health problems and suicidal behaviours. Furthermore, current phenomena such as globalisation and large scale displacements of populations create new strengths and vulnerabilities in mental health.

Stigma, discrimination, social injustice, health inequalities and resource availability all prevent access to appropriate mental health care. Mental health services must reflect the cultural diversity of populations and improve cultural competence and responsiveness.

This PGDip is for students who are interested in understanding the impact of socio-cultural factors on mental health, mental illness and mental health care and wish to pursue careers in mental health research and practice in various settings worldwide and in multicultural societies.

There are two overall learning objectives for students:

  1. Learn about assessing mental health problems and understanding their origins and how to help recovery
  2. A global perspective on mental health and recognition of the importance and challenges in working with culturally-diverse populations

Why Us?


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results have shown that Queen Mary University of London has risen to 9th place among multi-faculty institutions in the UK.

The Centre for Psychiatry was ranked 5th in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 for research on public health, health services and primary care.

Key Academics

Course Director: Professor Simon Dein

Module Lead & Lecturer: Andrea Palinski

Other Lecturers: Dr Mark Freestone and Dr Heidrun Bien

Further Information on general course queries and applications

MSc Course Administrators:  tel: 0207 882 2013

0207 882 2038

Programme Information – Important points to note

Detailed programme information can also be found on: us on Facebook


In term 1, students take the 1st module: Advanced Skills in Mental Health. In term 2, students take the 2nd module: MSc Cultural and Global Perspectives in Mental Health care.

Each module consists of 12 weeks of teaching and assessment, with one core taught day each week, for which onsite students are required to be on campus. Distance learning students meet for half a day each week in online group tutorials, facilitated by their tutor.

The teaching day differs according to the module and term.

On teaching days, the structure typically consists of two hours of lectures, five hours of facilitated group work, and one hour of problem-based-learning tutorial.

Completion of the first module is accredited for exit with a PGCert in Advanced Skills in Mental Health. Completion of the first two modules permits exit with a PGDip in mental health: MSc Cultural and Global Perspectives in Mental Health care.


Advanced Skills in Mental Health

Advanced Skills in Mental Health prepares students for working with people with complex mental health needs. The ability to safely and accurately assess and identify mental health problems in vulnerable people is a valuable skill for work in psychiatric or psychological services, homelessness agencies, learning disabilities services or forensic services, and legal services. The knowledge and skills learnt in this module will enable you to feel well equipped in understanding the signs, symptoms and labelling strategies used in deciphering complex mental health issues to make you a more effective member of the service team. You will also learn study skills and presentation skills and engage in group learning process using problem based learning, role plays, and group discussion.

MSc Cultural and Global Perspectives in Mental Health care

Module two prepares students for mental health roles in various settings worldwide and in multicultural societies. Examples of lectures content:

  • refugee and migration mental health issues
  • global mental health
  • religion and spirituality
  • health inequalities and human rights
  • gender-based violence
  • suicide and suicide prevention in different cultural settings.

These learning processes are strengthened, unique and effective because:

  1. Placements - Students secure their own placements to develop skills in brief or long term therapy, under supervision. Learning is enhanced by a work placements that is broadly related to what you are learning about on the course. Placements can be in health or mental health services or organisations that provide support to a diverse range of people (e.g. organizations for people from immigrant and/or refugee backgrounds, asylum seekers, global mental health and development agencies). We have a number of placement partners but you will be required to ensure governance arrangements are in place and that you are working for an established and well supervised service. Please note this course does not equip you to be registered as a psychotherapist in the UK for which you must pursue additional advanced training, but this course does prepare you to enter such a career. This exercise encourages students to independently identify and secure work roles in the field of mental health, prepare CVs, proceed through interviews, and develop some clinical skills before considering more advanced and accredited courses.

    Placement information
  2. Teaching is dynamic, comprising role play, workshops and video as well as lecture materials

Distance Learning

The MSc is also available via distance learning. The distance learning option operates to the same structure as the on-site programmes, and offers both full-time and part-time study. Distance learners access materials and lectures in an online learning environment, and meet in regular online group tutorials for problem-based learning (PBL), role plays, and other interactive exercises and discussions.

All students will have access to our established E-learning facilities for each module, including: Online Programme Syllabus (student handbook); Tools for e-lecture materials; tools for online PBL materials; tools for submitting online assignments/homework; email; virtual discussion board; virtual classrooms (synchronous); e-calendar Tools for online student feedback. Students will need a standard PC/Mac with access to broadband internet connection, headphones, a microphone and a webcam.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first degree in a related subject and/or a professional qualification and have worked in the relevant subject area for at least one year. We wish to include people from diverse backgrounds and career pathways especially people working in the independent and voluntary sector and NHS.

International applicants

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency.

Find out more about our English language entry requirements.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.


You will have access to Queen Mary’s comprehensive libraries, including the Postgraduate Reading Room, and The British Library can also be accessed as a research resource. You will have access to a large collection of basic medical and dental texts in the main library at Mile End. The Library is open seven days a week. This resource is complemented by the two large medical and dental archives based at the Royal London and at Barts in older, architecturally distinguished buildings that are well worth a visit just to experience their atmosphere.

The diversity of our student body and our research profile reflects our location in one of the most culturally diverse areas of London.

For further information, you can also visit Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry website.

Students by the canal

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


You will be assessed by a range of methods.

  • Module 1: Clinical placement report (1), research protocol, oral and written examination.
  • Module 2: Clinical placement report (2), pilot study, oral and written examination.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time DL £4,850
Part time DL £2,425

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time DL £10,900
Part time DL £5,450

Part time fees are charged per annum over two years for a two year programme and per annum over three years for a three year programme. A percentage increase may be applied to the fees in years two and three.

This increase is defined each year and published on the intranet and in the Tuition Fee Regulations. A 3% increase was applied to the unregulated university fees in 2019/20. Further information can be viewed on our University Fees webpage, including details about annual increases.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717



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