MSc Psychiatric Research

MSc Psychiatric Research


I chose King’s College London because of the reputation of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience as being one of the best centres in the world for studying this area. I heard King’s is one of the best places to study psychiatry with a good balance between current research and clinical practice. London is really a global city. It has different people, with different backgrounds, different cultures. When I looked for the courses and I checked the curriculum that each University provided, King’s was amazing. It is in London which is a big multicultural city with a lot of art and cultural opportunities happening. The structure of the course is really amazing. It gives you an introduction in statistics, and also research methods in the term one and in the second term it gives you more in-depth information about therapeutic research in psychiatry, as well as the genetics, neuroimaging, different issues about psychiatry, from which you can develop your research skills. The fact that genetics is combined with neurobiological aspects combined with clinical aspects of mental health conditions means that you really get a rounded overview. I did my clinical placement at the South London and Maudsley here in Denmark Hill and I assisted a psychologist in the psychiatric ward where I could see patients and I could assist therapeutic sessions which was really interesting and stimulating. The most interesting thing about my clinical placement, was being able to sit on the ward rounds every week so that involved the psychiatrist, psychologist, psychopharmacologist, all helping the patient with their own expert area of knowledge, and that was just really interesting to see how they did that. I’m doing a clinical placement as an honorary assistant psychologist at a talking therapy centre. I’m looking forward to starting my placement because I want to find out how research done in academic settings applies to a real-world clinical setting. You truly get a taste of what it’s like to be a part of a research environment. So my research project was neuroimaging in psychosis, specifically looking at people with sub clinical, psychotic symptoms. So we did lots of different neuroimaging techniques from how their brain functioned during tasks, but also at rest. My research project was a meta-analysis looking at the effect of physical activity in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairments, and it allowed me to develop really in-depth knowledge on how to carry out meta-analysis and how to manage time with 400 articles to read and how to assess in a critical way, the different papers to then include in the analysis. My dissertation project is on developing a treatment measurement tool, for children between 2 to 5 who are on the autistic spectrum. Until now there wasn’t a proper treatment measurement tool, there was only a diagnostic tool, which is not sensitive enough to capture the subtle differences in autistic symptoms after the treatment so, the project is about developing and testing this new treatment measurement tool. My dissertation project is basically looking at how to help people with emerging psychosis from the pharmacology viewpoint. It will test how administration of some medication for those people with emerging psychosis can help. The most interesting thing about my research project, was being able to do all of the analysis on the neuroimaging scans myself. Here are these researchers saying that you’re capable of contributing to their ground-breaking research and I guess that thought is exciting. Studying the MSc really helped my career because afterwards I was able to get a fully funded PhD in clinical neuroscience at King’s and I couldn’t have done that without studying the Masters first. Right after the completion of my MSc, I joined the Psychosis Studies department here at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and I’m working as a Research Assistant. The course definitely gave me the skills I would require to pursue research, and that’s why I’m currently doing a PhD. I would recommend the MSc in Psychiatric Research whether you’re interested in clinical psychiatry or academic research because it really allows you to explore the whole area of biological psychiatry and develop your skills. At King’s College you have the chance to meet these world-renowned experts and scientists that allow you to develop your knowledge and they push you to give your best. My Programme Director has been really helpful and offered me a lot of support, so the other day I was asking her about clinical placement and graduate job opportunities especially it could be quite tricky for an international student like me and she offered a lot of genuine advice and she went out of her way to get more information. Lecturers were incredibly helpful, if you had any questions, they would be willing to speak to you afterwards. A world-renowned institution with world leading experts and missing a chance to study here would be a huge pity. I’m glad I chose this course and not any of the other options I had because I got so much back from it and I don’t think that would have been possible anywhere else.

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