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MSc students class 2020/21 © MSc students class 2020/21

The Oxford Medical School has been voted the world’s best institution for medical and health teaching and research for the ninth consecutive year (Times Higher Education), and training the next generation of psychiatrists forms a central part of our department’s activity.

We teach medical students at all stages of their training and our Year 5 course in Clinical Psychiatry is highly rated by students. This is reflected in the continued high rates of recruitment into core training in psychiatry.

This year we launched the Brain and Behaviour course, which integrates neurosciences and psychiatry. This has been accompanied by an innovative humanities and medical professionalism thread funded by a Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) grant. This represents an exciting collaboration between the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, the Department of Psychiatry, a number of humanities faculties, as well as the Ashmolean Museum. In addition we have continued to build interdisciplinary links with the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences in the co-development of a highly rated communication skills course.

Members of the department also contribute to teaching in Biomedical Sciences, Experimental Psychology and the MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine. At postgraduate level we run the Oxford Postgraduate Psychiatry Course, which provides a stimulating and thorough grounding in the basic and clinical sciences relevant to psychiatry and prepares candidates for the MRCPsych examinations. In collaboration with the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School, we support a number of academic foundation doctors and Academic Clinical Fellows. 

MSc Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience

We are now in the second year of our innovative MSc course in Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience. The class of 2019/20 successfully completed the course and five class prizes were awarded. The emergence of COVID-19 this year led to some quick changes to our programme and we are grateful to all Principal Investigators (PIs) for their swift provision of excellent data analysis projects that substituted the practical experiments our students were unable to perform over the summer of 2020. Further changes include a mix of online and face-to-face teaching, with all lectures being live-streamed with interactive and/or Q&A sessions. Small group face-to-face journal clubs in large teaching rooms, chaired by postdoctoral researchers from both our department and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences. PIs throughout the Medical Sciences Division have provided projects for our students that can either be run remotely or have practical elements with appropriate safeguards and contingency plans in place as we continue through the challenges of living with COVID-19.

Training

A new Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme in BioPsychosocial Studies on Childhood Inequalities has received funding of £1.2 million. This cross-departmental programme is led by Professor Jane Barlow, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, with co-investigators in the Department of Psychiatry including Professor Ilina Singh and Associate Professor Liz Tunbridge, as well as Professor Melinda Mills, Department of Sociology, and Associate Professor Lucy Bowes, Department of Experimental Psychology. The Programme has the goal of reducing the impact of social inequalities in early childhood through the ethical application of biological science.

Professor Morten Kringelbach will direct the Carlsberg Foundation-Oxford Visiting Fellows Programme, supported by the Carlsberg Foundation, a competitive programme that supports excellent postdoctoral scholars becoming Junior Research Fellows at Linacre College and working for two years with an Oxford academic in a University Department.