Child and Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc, PG Cert, PG Dip

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)

Chelmsford, Blended learning, Distance learning

January, September

Course duration
Full-time: September start 12 months, January start 15 months.
Part-time: 2 years.

The distance learning course is available to all. The blended learning course (Chelmsford) is open to UK and EU applicants only.

Apply online

Apply directly to ARU


There's growing demand for child and adolescent mental health practitioners around the world. If you're currently a BSc student, our Masters degree will enhance your knowledge, and develop your critical and analytical thinking skills.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description


MSc graduates are in high demand, so you should find that your employment opportunities in health and social care and education-related industries - across public and private sectors - are strengthened following successful completion of this course.

If you plan to take the PG Cert and PG Dip, we think your employment opportunities will also be strengthened, with academic study giving you increased awareness and insight into your subject.

Modules & assessment

  • Children’s typical psychological development: infancy to adolescent
    Develop your specialist knowledge on child and adolescent mental health focusing on an understanding of how significant the psyche development is on mental health. You’ll begin to understand various theoretical perspectives, relating to psyche development and how healthy development can have an effect on mental wellbeing. You’ll have the opportunity to explore more specific aspects of human development (including language and cognitive development) and it will give the you the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of more complex circumstances which affect the mental health of children. Explore how the very early years can have an effect on child and adolescence mental wellbeing, helping you to understand possible concepts and issues including moral issues, risk and resilience. You’ll also be encouraged to consider this from an international perspective.
  • Children’s Mental Health conditions
    Focussing on the different mental health conditions and disorders of emotional wellbeing that children and young people may present with or be diagnosed with. You’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of these conditions in order to facilitate support and to develop understanding in regard to how the statutory and non-statutory organisations can support the child/adolescent and their family to enable them to aid recovery. You’ll explore coping mechanisms and how these influence the child’s mental wellbeing, social communication and behaviour regulation will also be considered, as well as learning disabilities. The teaching and learning will focus on the family and how the dynamics, culture and systems can affect the child’s mental health, and how mental wellbeing affects the family. Interventions and treatment will be considered in relation to mental health issues in children.
  • Family societal and cultural influences on children's mental wellbeing
    With a focus on cultural, social and family influences on child and adolescent mental wellbeing you’ll explore current issues in mental health from both a national and global perspective. The need to understand children holistically; taking into account cultural beliefs, values and attitudes, and social context, is gaining importance due to the complexity of mental health problems and the increased need for services for different ethnic groups and for children whose lives have changed due to civil unrest. We’ll address a number of issues related to child and adolescent mental wellbeing and society including health promotion. The way in which mental illness is portrayed through the media and the impact this can have on interpretations of mental health and mental illness within a given society will be explored. Examining how mental health is represented in the news, on social media and global technology, sexuality will also be explored. The delivery of culturally appropriate health care will also be examined and how the knowledge gained can be applied to current or future practice.
  • Research Methodology
    With the increased emphasis on research in contemporary healthcare, it’s essential that you are familiar with research methodology. The ability to critically analyse and synthesise research is a necessary skill for all students, to be able to apply research in all areas of specialist interest in the delivery of effective patient care. You’ll revisit existing knowledge of the research process and we’ll assist you in further developing skills of critical analysis and synthesis. You’ll also have the opportunity to critically appraise the ethical dimensions of research studies that seek to develop, improve and advance healthcare services.
  • Major Project
    The Major Project is central to the Masters award and enables you to demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules. You will use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your chosen topic and a critical understanding of research methods and their relationship to knowledge. You will also be in a position to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice and to expand existing knowledge to contribute to the development of best practice.


Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our learning management system.

More about blended learning

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our online learning management system.

More about distance learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


UK students starting 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


Distance learning students starting 2021/22 (per year if studying over 1 year)


Distance learning students starting 2021/22 (per year if studying over 2 years)


Distance learning fees

The tuition fees you pay each year will be between £3,517.50 and £7,035 depending on how long you take to complete the course. You can choose to study this course in either 1 or 2 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Due to the national lockdown all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face teaching on campus for a limited number of courses.

Teaching options when not in a lockdown

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic all our students can choose to either study face to face on campus or online only, and students are able to change their mode of delivery at given dates throughout the trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours vary course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

National lockdown (from 5 January 2021) 

View the impact of the current restrictions

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