What are my career prospects after finishing an MSc course in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mind-Body Interface?
The new MSc in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mind-Body Interface offered by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London offers clinical and research placements to provide you with practical experience to enhance your current career or to prepare you for clinical roles, academia, or industry.
I am Alessandra Borsini, a senior research scientist based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), who has been investigating the intersection between the Mind and the Body in the context of mental health disorders for more than 15 years, and who will have the privilege to lead this new MSc in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mind-Body Interface.
In brief, our course integrates theoretical and practical knowledge on both the psychology and the neuroscience underlying brain/mind processes, and their connection with physical symptoms. As you may know, I have already written a piece for the Inspire the Mind magazine, describing the course structure and content, so instead let’s focus on the many career opportunities this course has to offer. So, follow me through this journey!
You may wonder, what if I already have a clinical or biological background?
Well, if you're joining us from a clinical background, you’ll graduate with additional clinical expertise, as well as a better understanding of the biological mechanisms that underly clinical symptoms. If you instead have a biological background, you’ll boost your core science knowledge while exploring clinical symptoms and treatment approaches.
And then you may ask, how will I be able to achieve both clinical and biological understanding of the complexity of Mind-Body Interface?
The answer is through real-life clinical and research experiences.
As part of the course you’ll have the chance to complete clinical placements across a variety of of mind-body interface clinics within King’s College Hospital (KCH), King’s Health Partners - South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).
Completing a clinical placement will allow you to:
Work in practice with patients experiencing neuropsychiatric symptoms with systemic multi-morbidities or psycho-somatic disorders.
Develop skills in patients’ engagement and assessment.
Observe clinician’s delivery of a range of therapeutic strategies, including pharmacological, psychological and behavioural interventions.
Assess aspects relevant to the delivery of protocolised interventions and deliver the interventions themselves.
Develop theoretical understanding of clinical applications of interventions and the limitations of and obstacles to application and change in practice.
Become aware and considerate about patients’ integrity and ethics.
Understand patients’ needs and become confident in supporting them.
If instead you are interested in research placements, these will run across mind-body interface research laboratories within the whole IoPPN.
Completing a research (clinical and/or laboratory) placement will allow you to:
Participate in the recruitment process of ongoing research studies in patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms and systemic multi-morbidities or psycho-somatic disorders.
Assess aspects relevant to the delivery of protocolised interventions in clinical trials.
Understand the use of several diagnostics techniques, including ultrasound, PET, MRI and fMRI approaches.
Develop expertise in handling and processing of human samples.
Develop expertise in designing and performing experiments both in cells and animal tissues.
Develop the ability to reflect upon and learn from different research approaches (clinical versus pre-clinical investigation approaches).
Become aware and considerate about research method integrity and ethics.
What if instead you are interested in scientific writing?
The editorial team of the Inspire The Mind magazine and its associated podcast At The Back of Your Mind, both based at the IoPPN, also offer placements. Led by a team of media-experienced clinicians, researchers and psychiatrists, the magazine focuses on the intersection between mental and physical health, science, and society.
Completing an editorial placement will allow you to:
Learn and practice scientific and lay writing under the guidance of expert scientific editors in the field of psychology and neuroscience of mind-body interface.
Develop advanced skills in scientific and lay oral communication, in the form of presentations, talks and conferences.
Acquire expertise in editing articles for the lay public from a wide range of diverse writers across various topics.
Critically evaluate diverse theoretical, conceptual, and empirical developments in research on media and communications in the context of mental health disorders with physical multimorbidities.
Establish a network with journalists, press officers and media-experienced scientists within and outside KCL.
Participate and develop podcast episodes focusing on the intersection between mental and physical health, science and society.
So, what next? How about future career opportunities?
After you finish the course, you will be able to apply your skills in your career as a clinician. For example, you will be able to work within the KCH or King’s Health Partners-SLaM NHS Foundation Trust, or any other Trust nationally or internationally.
Alternatively, if you are interested in pursuing an academic career you may decide to remain in an academic research environment, for example applying for a PhD, or a taught clinical course - this MSc will provide you with the fundamental background for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Instead, you may decide to work within a clinical or pharmaceutical organisation, or a research funding body. You may apply to become manager of a clinical study/trial or work as senior scientist in an international pharmaceutical company. You may also consider working for major funding bodies, like the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council or the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
If, however, working in a clinical, research or industry environment does not particularly suit you, you may enter scientific publishing, by applying for a position as science editor for a major national or international media outlets (like The Times, The Guardian, National Geographic) or TV broadcasters (like BBC, CNN).
So, what are you waiting for?
Join us to unravel how the mind and body interact in powerful ways that affect our health, while gaining invaluable real-life clinical, research and editorial experiences, which will further enhance your future career!
Applications open in December 2023!!! Find more here
If you would like to ask for more details about the course please do get in touch with me!
(Dr Alessandra Borsini, Course Leader: firstname.lastname@example.org)