Taught course

Philosophy & Mental Health

University of Central Lancashire · School of Health Sciences

Entry requirements

In addition to standard access via prior academic qualifications, applications to this programme are also welcome from potential students with relevant practical experience in the field of mental health through, for example, mental health nursing or patient advocacy. Applications from all candidates will be considered on their merits. Those without formal qualifications will be invited to undertake a short exercise typical of work on the degree programme: summarising and criticising Thomas Szasz' essay: 'The myth of mental illness'.

Months of entry


Course content

Because of its very nature, mental health care raises as many conceptual questions as empirical ones. The philosophy of mental health is a rapidly developing field developed by philosophers, clinicians (e.g. psychiatrists and mental health nurses) and mental health service users. Based on the newly published Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry co-authored by the course leader, this distance learning course aims at developing a better understanding of psychiatry, and mental health care more broadly, through an analysis of some of its fundamental concepts.

The programme in Philosophy and Mental Health is part of a newly developing interdisciplinary field looking at conceptual and evaluative aspects of mental health care. More so than any other area of healthcare, mental health raises conceptual as well as empirical difficulties.
The role of values in diagnosis, the validity or objectivity of taxonomy, the central relationship of mind and brain are all key issues underpinning healthcare calling for conceptual as well as empirical clarification. The programme critically examines the assumptions that drive the agenda in mental health care. It aims to foster analytic and argumentative skills in its students in order for them to have a better understanding of practice and, in some cases, to carry out further and original research in this newly developing field. Students will be drawn from all areas of mental health care including service users as well as from a philosophy or psychology background. Based on the newly published Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry, co-authored by the course leader, teaching will be by distance learning in a structure designed to fit with the busy working lives of those working in the field.

Information for international students

See our website.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
36 months


distance learning
24 months


distance learning
12 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)1772 892 400