Master's Degree Programme in Public Mental Health

Interested in becoming an expert in Public Mental Health? Gain the intellectual foundation and specialised skills you need to become an expert on mental health service systems, prevention and interventions for children, adolescents, and families.

There are enormous unmet needs in mental health provision both in developed and developing countries. There is a need of public mental health research on health service systems, interventions and prevention. Remote, digital and new technology-assisted interventions are needed to address the global challenges to provide evidence-based solutions. The perspective of public mental health is lacking in higher education in Finland and in most other countries.

More public mental health professionals who are able to plan, develop and implement evidence-based preventive and early interventions for mental health of children, adolescents and families are urgently needed. The development of novel approaches and implementation of interventions in the mental health care system must be anchored in research-based knowledge. This requires understanding of mental health, epidemiology and health care service systems. The programme educates research and healthcare development and administration professionals for the field of mental health. The programme will prepare students to work e.g. as epidemiologists, researchers, health care service managers and promoters at a vast array of organisations including public and private healthcare, federal government, universities and institutes.

Our programme will provide knowledge, subject-specific expertise, specialised skills, and global network you need to forge the career you want in Public Mental Health. The Master of Public Mental Health degree opens you an extraordinary path to a meaningful career.

Entry Requirements


You are an eligible applicant for Master-level studies if

  • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – typically a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education
  • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study
  • your degree gives eligibility to master level studies in the country where it was issued
  • your degree is in a relevant field for the Master's degree programme that you are applying to

Please see the general admission requirements in more detail here

Language requirements

Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests. 

Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made.

Read more about the language requirements here.

Study right

Please note that it is not possible to have more than one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the same Faculty. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku.


Before you start preparing your application, always read the full admission requirements on the application portal

The following requirements must be fulfilled when applying for the INVEST Master’s degree programme in Public Mental Health:

All applicants must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in applicable fields, such as medicine, public health, social sciences, psychology, nursing science, natural sciences, health economics or education science. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study. It should be awarded by a nationally accredited institution of higher education and give eligibility to master level studies in the country where it was issued.

If the applicant has not graduated by the end of the application period, the possible admission will be conditional until s/he has presented the University with a finished degree certificate and transcript of records at the latest by 12 August 2024 at 15.00 (Finnish time). If the degree and studies required are not completed by the application period deadline, applicants should enclose a statement from their home university stating the expected date of graduation.


The admission quota of the programme is 15. The new students admitted to the programme begin their studies each autumn.

The eligible applications will be scored, at the first stage, based on their previous studies and work experience (0 to max. 36 points) and the letter of motivation (6 to max. 15 points), with a maximum of 51 points achievable. At the second stage, selected applicants will be invited to a personal interview which will be conducted remotely. The final selection is based on the combined score of the first stage and the second stage.

Please see the full details in

Programme in brief


The extent of the Master’s degree in Public Mental Health is 120 ECTS credit units and the completion time of the program is two years.

Curriculum for the Master´s Degree Programme in Public Mental Health covers:

Major Studies in Public Mental Health (35 ECTS)

  • Fundamentals of Public Mental Health
  • Ethics in Public Mental Health Research
  • Global and Local Public Mental Health
  • Epidemiology in Child and Psychiatry
  • Intervention Development, Implementation and Impact for Public Mental Health
  • Digital Mental Health Interventions
  • Advanced Mental Health Policy and Community Engagement

Research Methods in Public Mental Health (15 ECTS)

  • Systematic Review and Basics of Meta-Analysis
  • Statistical Methods in Public Mental Health
  • Qualitative Research in Public Mental Health

Internship (5 ECTS)

Master's Thesis (40 ECTS)

Language Studies (2 ECTS)

Learning and teaching methods utilize the modern, diverse student-centered learning methods. The programme will provide the qualifications needed in building a theoretical framework for a future Public Mental Health expert. The Research Centre for Child Psychiatry has several ongoing research projects related to psychiatry, mental health and psychosocial well-being of children, youth and families. Students have the opportunity to choose their topic for master’s thesis from existing or starting research. Internship is carried out as part of research projects.


The Research Centre for Child Psychiatry is leading a large network of epidemiological research in 30 countries from six continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America). The research centre has a long-term collaboration with leading public mental health institutes in the world including e.g. Center of Psychiatry and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University NYC; Imperial College UK; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam NL; University of Tel Aviv Israel; Nagoya University Japan; Yonsei University South Korea; Dalhousie and McMaster University (Canada) and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden).

This unique international network in public mental health research provides exceptional circumstances to create a successful and long-lasting Master’s degree programme that has a steady flow of applicants and world-class distinguished lecturers.

The Research Centre for Child Psychiatry collaborates with 16 out of 22 wellbeing services counties as it provides digital interventions in the field of public mental health. There is a close partnership with the wellbeing services county of Southwest Finland (Varha). We have close research and implementation collaboration with several nationwide agencies including Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Itla Children’s Foundation. These aforementioned collaborations will ensure that we will draw applicants to the programme. At the same time the programme in public mental health provides these important stakeholders the expertise for knowledge-based management.

The programme is directly linked with the following thematic profiling areas of the University of Turku: “Children, young people and learning”, “Health, diagnostics and drug development” and “Future technologies and digital society”. Our centre collaborates with the Department of Computing to ensure a high level of competence in evidence-based interventions and new technology.


The Research Centre for Child Psychiatry has extensive research activities both nationally and internationally. There are several ongoing research projects related to child psychiatry and the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children, youth and families. Students have the opportunity to choose their research topic from existing or starting research. The planning of the thesis begins in the first year of studies in research seminars, and the implementation and reporting of the research is carried out in the second year of studies.

Career prospects


After completing this programme, you will be able to demonstrate ability to apply knowledge of the following disciplines of public mental health, consisting of epidemiology, statistics, interventions, health policy, leadership and global mental health to real mental health problems of children, adolescents and families.

In addition, you will be able to:

  • critically assess key public mental health functions
  • demonstrate knowledge and skills in a range of topics related to public mental health
  • develop, evaluate and implement appropriate interventions and policy responses to public mental health problems
  • show competence in critically evaluating and communicating research evidence
  • learn to do interdisciplinary collaboration

Possible job options after graduating Master’s studies:

  • Global mental health promotion specialist
  • Policy advocate
  • Researcher
  • Health care administrator
  • Public health care service manager
  • Public health coordinator/educator

A completed Master's degree Program of Public Mental Health gives eligibility for doctoral studies. Doctoral programme on Inequalities, Interventions and New Welfare State (DPInvest) is part of the University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS). DPInvest includes doctoral candidates from two faculties (ie. social sciences and medicine) and three disciplines (ie. child psychiatry, psychology and sociology).