Research course

Psychiatry

Institution
University of Edinburgh · College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Qualifications
PhDMSc by research

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

Months of entry

January, October, September, April

Course content

Our Division of Psychiatry is internationally recognised as a world-class clinical research and teaching centre.

We focus on the mechanisms underlying the development of major psychiatric disorders, including autism, bipolar disorder, depression, dementia and schizophrenia.

Expertise and studies

We have a particular expertise in longitudinal, clinical and biological studies of large cohorts of people at high risk of psychotic disorders drawn from across Scotland. Our studies include:

  • the Edinburgh High Risk Study, which examines 200 young people at high genetic risk of schizophrenia over a period of ten years
  • the Edinburgh Study of Co-Morbidity, which examines teenagers at high cognitive risk for schizophrenia
  • the Bipolar Family Study, which examines over 200 young people at familial risk of bipolar disorder and controls

In psychiatric genetics, we take part in international genome wide association studies and focus on analyses of candidate genes including DISC-1, NDE-1 and DLG-2.

We also have a major focus on the functional genetics of psychiatric illness and have investigated the effects of variation in genes, such as DISC-1, on brain structure and function, as well as their programming during development in stem cell models.

We have demonstrated, for the first time, that structural and functional MRI changes precede the onset of psychosis and could be used as a diagnostic aid.

We have also demonstrated that imaging can be used to separate autism from learning disability in people of matched IQ.

We have made substantial progress in the discovery of genes, including DISC-1, associated with psychosis and have played a leading role in understanding how genetic variation alters brain structure and function and risk for mental illness.

Research methods

The principal methods used are state-of-the-art structural and functional imaging techniques and genetic studies. We are also involved in a number of clinical trials of novel therapeutic interventions.

Major conditions of interest

Our major interests (that straddle the disciplines of Neurology and Psychiatry) include:

  • Autism and learning disability (Andrew Stanfield)
  • Dementia prevention (Craig Ritchie)
  • Bipolar disorder and depression (Andrew McIntosh)
  • Schizophrenia (Stephen Lawrie, Mandy Johnstone)
  • Cognition and Behaviour (collaborations with the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology

We are also closely involved in two philanthropically funded Specialist Centres of Excellence:

Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

The Division of Psychiatry is a part of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS) in the Edinburgh Medical School. CCBS integrates laboratory and clinical research to study the causes, consequences and treatment of major brain disorders.

Information for international students

To find out about the support offered to international students at Edinburgh from arrival to graduation visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international

Fees and funding

Visit Scholarships and Student Funding Services at: http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding

Qualification and course duration

PhD

part time
72 months
full time
36 months

MSc by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Name
Postgraduate Administrator
Email
ccbs-phd@ed.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)131 465 9581