The MSc War and Psychiatry, at the Institute of Psychiatry King’s College London, is a cutting-edge course with an international reputation. Established in 2005, it is a research-led programme based, in part, on work undertaken by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR). Designed to tackle pressing contemporary issues, the latest findings are incorporated within the core elements of the course, whilst the option and advanced courses, together with the dissertation, allow students to study topics of their own interest. The programme team have won awards for teaching excellence and the course scores consistently highly on the Post-graduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES). A particular strength of the MSc is its multi-disciplinary and multi-national qualities, attracting students from a range of subjects (notably psychology, nursing, war studies, international relations, psychiatry and history) and from many different cultures.
The unique feature of the MSc in War and Psychiatry is the accumulated expertise that underpins the core programme. The Maudsley Hospital treated shell-shocked soldiers during World War One and ran some of the first training courses on the psychological effects of combat. Its staff treated civilians traumatised by air-raids in World War Two and recent research programmes have addressed rates of post-traumatic stress disorder in UK armed forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and the issue of violence in military families. The programme also calls on external speakers from the armed forces, emergency services and military charities.
War and conflict are two of the constants of modern life. They have played a major part in recent history and continue to dominate much of the international agenda. Hence, it is important to explore the psychological impact of wars on both soldiers and civilians. Where there are physical wounds, psychiatric casualties will follow and they require equal attention and understanding. This course is designed to explain how people protect themselves against extreme or prolonged stress, to analyse their consequences and to discuss what can be done to mitigate or resolve psychological disorders experienced in conflict.
The majority of the seminars take place at the Strand Campus in central London, whilst others are delivered at the Institute of Psychiatry at the Denmark Hill Campus in Camberwell. The course can be taken either in one year (full-time) or two years (part-time), and provides a qualification that seeks to place military psychiatry in its appropriate cultural, historical and social context. The qualification, like the teaching team, holds international recognition.
The 2013/2014 Prospectus for the MSc War and Psychiatry is now available online.