1. Information on the department.
  2. Background:– The department of Mental Health was carved out of the department of medicine formally in 1973  but was completely detached in 1977  when it was given a separate ward in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). The pioneer academic staff were Prof JC Ebie (Pioneer HOD), Dr G Odiase, Prof Ayo Binitie and Prof Awaritefe. Other staff were Dr Uku (Senior Registrar), Dr Tony Obuaya, Dr WHO Idehen and Dr Ajakaiye (were the Registrars), Dr Peter Odili (NYSC).
  3. Philosophy of the Department:- To provide a cordial environment for both learning and service.
  4. Mission Statement: To provide quality training at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Vision Statement:- To impact positively on the mental health of the society both within the academia and beyond.

  • Objectives of the Department:-

At the end of the mental health programme, the student should have acquired the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable him to:

1.         Describe the importance of mental health in the total wellbeing of the individual and its wider implication in the society.

2.         Recognise the psychosocial as well as the pathological basis of medicine.

3.         Recognise and treat the common psychiatric disorders in adults and children.

4.         Manage the common psychiatric emergencies and recognise where and when to look for help.

5.         Appreciate his/her limitations in the management of psychiatric patients and refer difficult cases to specialists.

6.         Apply some common psychological tests.

7.         Cope with the administrative procedures required for the effective management of psychiatric problems.

8.         Work within a health team, contribute to its duties and act as a leader of the team when necessary.

9.         Continue his/her education.

e.  Course Description         

Medical and/or dental students are expected to take the following courses which are graded in a sequential manner in order to meet the needs of each level of study. Students are expected to write an examination at the end of each lecture series, which also marks the end of a semester and at the end of the clinical posting in mental health. A pass at each examination is compulsory. Any course failed must be re-taken and passed before a student who has met the necessary 70% attendance can qualify to sit for the final examination in mental health courses leading up to the final and 70% attendance.

MEH 221: Psychology in Relation to Mental Health

MEH 321: Psychology and Sociology in Relation to Mental Health

MEH 411: Psychopathology

MEH 421: Introduction to Mental Health Practice

MEH 521: Clinical Psychiatry


Medical Psychology

MEH 221: Introduction to Medical Psychology and Related Subjects

Brain and behaviour. Sensation and perception. Motivation and emotion. States of consciousness.

MEH 321: Conditioning and Learning

Human memory. Thinking and language. Intelligence. Human development – childhood. Adolescence and adulthood. Adulthood. Personality tests – projective techniques. Sociology in relation to mental health.

MEH 411: Psychiatry

Psychopathology – introductory lectures. Child/adolescent psychiatry & mental retardation.

MEH 521: Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Mood, anxiety and somatoform disorders. Personality disorders, impulse control and factitious disorders, sleep, eating and sexual disorders/dysfunctions. Organic psychiatric disorders/mental disorders due to a general medical condition and drug/substance use disorder forensic/liaison psychiatry and psychiatric emergencies. Psychiatric therapies, organization of psychiatric services and prevention strategies.

  • Other information the Department considers important for the student:- The posting is made up of didactic lectures and clinical exposure. The clinical exposure includes ward rounds, clinic attendance, tutorials and seminars in both psychiatry and clinical psychology. A student must have a minimum of 70% attendance at both the clinical exposure and the didactic lectures to qualify for the final exam in Mental Health. The final exam is done at the end of the 500 Level clinical posting. This is the Part IV MBBS exam in Mental Health.

The scores in the final Part IV MBBS Exam is a summation of the scores obtained in the final exams and the continuous assessment tests done at the earlier levels of mental health exposure. A student is required to pass mental health to be able to graduate.



S/NNAMESSTATUSQUALIFICATIONSurl link to Google Scholar account
1.Ofovwe E. CarolineProfessorB.Sc ; M.Sc; PhD–EEIAAAAJ&hl=en
2.Akhigbe, Kingsley O.ProfessorMBBS; FWACP; PGDE
3.Uwadiae, EnobakhareProfessorMBBS; FWACP; C.Treatnet
4.Aina, Israel OdunmayowaSenior LecturerMB BS; MPH; FWACP; C.Treatnet
5.Adayonfo, Ehigiator O.Senior LecturerMB BS; FMCPsych; PGD.CSS; CcBoAM, C.Treatnet


M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology

The Department of Mental Health was the first in the College of Medical Sciences to offer a University-based Postgraduate course (M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology).

Professor Awaritefe was the pioneer staff.  In addition to the compliments of the staff we have in the department of Mental Health, the M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology also has the services of Dr ON Koleoso (PhD), Dr SO Osasona,  Dr M Ehimigbai and Late Mr Imade.

Aims, Objectives & Structure

The course aims at providing experience and proficiency in the major areas of clinical psychology. Knowledge and skills will be imparted that will enable graduates to practise as independent professional psychologists in their areas of special interest, On the whole, practical clinical psychologists will be trained who will combine the spirit of scientific inquiry with clinical insight. The course extends for two calendar years. The first year of training will concentrate on research interest and academic course work. Clinical experience throughout the year will be research-oriented. In the second year, emphasis will be laid on clinical practice, advanced academic work and the compulsory research thesis.

Minimum Admission Requirements

(i)         Possession of a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from a recognized university.

(ii)        The Bachelor’s degree should not be lower than second class if it is classified.

(iii)       A candidate is expected to have completed internship/orientation under the supervision of a practicing clinical psychologist.

(iv)       Any other candidate may be eligible for admission provided that such a candidate passes a qualifying test for this special purpose, and provided also that facilities are available for remedial training.


1.         Neuroanatomy – 1 credit

2.         Neurophysiology   – 1 credit

3.         Nutrition (Biochemistry) – 1 credit

4.         Genetics and genetic counseling – 1 credit

5.         Methodology (including statistics) – 2 credits

6.         The foundations of clinical practice – 4 credits

7.         Psychiatry – 2 credits

8.         General psychology – 2 credits

9.         Psychopathology – 2 credits

10.        Developmental psychology — 2 credits

11.        The theory and practice of clinical psychology — 4 credits

12.        Psychology in industry – 1 credit

13.        Cybernetics — \ credit

14.        Computer programming – 2 credits

15.        Child health-1 credit

16.        Psychopharmacology – 1 credit

These are divided into core, mandatory and optional courses as follows:-

Core Courses

1.         General psychology

2.         Psychopathology

3.         Developmental psychology

4.          The foundations of clinical practice

5.          The theory and practice of clinical psychology

Mandatory Courses

1.         Psychiatry

2.         Methodology

3.         Neuroanatomy

4.         Neurophysiology

5.         Nutrition (applied biochemistry)

6.         Psychopharmacology

7.         Computer programming

Optional Courses

1.         Genetics& genetic counselling

2.         Cybernetics

3.         Child health

4.         Psychology in industry

Clinical Placement

There will be altogether three hundred (300) days of clinical placement, subdivided into five placements of sixty (60) days each, Thus, two days per week during semester and the whole of the university holidays will be spent by the students at their clinical placements. Clinical placement thus constitutes about 41% of the training period. The placements are intended to give students the opportunity and experience of examination, assessment, clinical decision-making and therapy. Students will attend ward meetings, psychology forum and behaviour therapy clinics. Clinical load on the whole constitutes about 55% of the entire course.

Assessment and Examination Procedures

The final (degree) examination to be taken at the end of the second year shall consist of written work, orals and a dissertation.

Written Work

This shall consist of papers I & II, each of three hours duration.

  • Paper I: General psychology and developmental psychology
  • Paper II: Psychopathology
  • Orals: The orals will be heavily loaded with questions concerning (i) professional practice and (ii) the foundation of clinical practice.


(a)        A dissertation not exceeding 30,000 words shall be submitted and defended orally by ever}’ candidate.

(b)        Such a dissertation shall consist of the candidate’s original work, which has not been used by the candidate for the purpose of obtaining a degree or diploma from another institution.

(c)        A candidate may work on a title of his own choice for the purpose of a dissertation, subject to the availability of an accredited supervisor. As a matter of course a candidate may choose to consult with his appointed supervisor for the purpose of choosing a tide for his/her dissertation.

(d)       Without prejudice to (c) above, a candidate shall seek and obtain approval for his/her dissertation tide before commencing work on it.

(e)        A candidate submitting a dissertation/thesis shall send four printed typewritten or photostat copies of the dissertation/thesis together with the appropriate fees to die Registrar (Academic).


1.         All aspects of the examination are subject to the general university examination regulations for degree of masters with which every candidate is required to acquaint himself/herself and comply.

2.         In order to be eligible to register for the final degree examination, a candidate shall obtain at least twenty-five credits, not less than twenty-three of which shall be chosen from the core and mandatory courses. The pass mark for individual subjects is 50%. A candidate who fails one or two taught courses but satisfies die overall average of 50% may be asked to resit the relevant examinations. If he fails the whole course programme or fails more than 2 taught courses he shall be asked to withdraw from the programme.

Resit examinations will be held at least three months from the last date of the previous related examination. A candidate shall not be allowed to resit a subject more than once.

3.         In awarding a degree, equal weight shall be given to both academic and clinical competence, provided that a candidate who fails the clinical assessment shall be deemed to have failed the entire examination.

4.         Clinical assessment will be based on:

(a)     Supervisors’ ratings of clinical skills, which carry 40%

(b)     The orals, which carry 30% and

(c)     Ten detailed case reports, which carry 30%

5.         Academic competence will be assessed by.

(a)     The average of the course examination other than the final degree examination, which carries 305.

(b)     The written final examination, which carries 305.

(c)     The written dissertation/thesis, which carries 405.

(d)    A candidate whose dissertation/thesis is rejected shall be deemed to have failed the entire examination.

Examination Time-Table other than for the Final Degree Examination

Course work examinations will take place at the end of every six months as follows:

First Six Months

1.         Computer programming

2.         Neuroanatomy

3.         Neurophysiology

4.         Nutrition (Biochemistry)

5.         Psychopharmacology

6.         Cybernetics

Second Six Months

1.         Psychiatry

2.         General psychology

3.         Methodology

4.         Developmental psychology

5.         Genetics and genetic counselling

6.         Child health

Third Six Months

1.         Psychopathology

2.         The theory and practice of clinical psychology

3.         The foundations of clinical practice

4.         Psychology in industry

Research Facilities

A psychology clinic cum laboratory of a modest spatial size is available in terms of available equipment, it is certainly one of the best stocked in the country. Thus, opportunities exist for purely clinical research, community research and laboratory research. Some ongoing interesting research in the department include (i) psychological test development, (ii) drug abuse, (Hi) depression, (iv) psychiatric nosology.

Computer Programming for Clinical Psychologists

Introduction to computers and computer programming Principles of programming: problem analysis, algorithms and flow charts.

The Fortran Programming Language

Introduction, the FORTRAN statement, integer and real arithmetic, library functions, input-output, FORTRAN statements, their, Go To, Do and CONTINUE statements, arrays and subscripted variables, the DIMENSION statement, subprograms – functions and subroutines, declarations, file access methods.

The COBOL Programming Language

Introduction, the COBOL language structure, the identification and environment divisions; the procedure division – MOW, GO TO conditional verbs, OPEN, CLOSE, READ, WRITE, ACCEPT, DISPLAY and other verbs. Data division.


Students will be expected to design and write computer programs in these languages. Applications will be in clinical psychology and related fields.

Neuroanatomy Course for Clinical Psychologists

The general features of the vertebrate nervous system. The human brain and spinal cord.The control of muscular activity, Autonomic and neuroendocrine functions. The forebrain: (a) cerebral cortex and sub-cortical structures; (b) motor and sensory functions. Cerebral specialization.

Psychopharmacology Introduction

Psychopharmacology as related to clinical psychology. Fundamentals of pharmacology and psychology: (a) properties of drug preparations and biological tissues; (b) drug receptors; (c) mechanisms of drug action; (d) dose-response relationship; (e) classification of behaviour. Agents affecting learning and retention of conditioned behaviour: drug therapy of mental illness and psychological correlates. Principles of animal testing and screening procedures in evaluating ps5’chotropic drugs. Biochemical correlates of the behavioural effects of drugs. The limbic system and its pharmacological aspects; eletrophysiological correlates of the action of drugs in the brain


The language and approach of science; science and the scientific approach, problems and hypotheses, constructs, variables and designs; measurement theory and test construction; the use and place of statistics in clinical psychology; practicum in research design and execution.


The nature and scope of psychopathology; the historical background of psychopathology; the nature of causation in abnormal psychology; the concept of normality; classification and epidemiology of adult and child psychological disorders; current approaches to abnormal behaviour and experience: theory and practice; theory and research on disorders of psychological function; institutional environments; psychological problems in the community.

Genetics and Genetic Counselling

Mendelian heredity, the genetics of sex, mutation, the action of the gene, polymorphism, the simpler systems, the blood group polymorphisms; clinically more important types; clinical effects and polymorphism, the blood groups in anthropology; problems of parentage; palaegenes and neugenes; die use of linkage studies; heredity m man and its detection; eugenics and human racial distinctions; inherited characters in man.

Psychology in Industry

What psychologists do in industry; the methods of psychology applied to industry; human problems in organizations; organizational climates and their effects; group behaviour and individual adjustment; success and failure; individuals in organizations; human needs in organizations; the needs of special groups; e.g. the handicapped, the aged, women in organization, etc. Personnel selection; training in industry; human relations in supervision; labour-management relations; work, accidents and safety; human factors engineering; counselling in industry; human aspect of systems.

Developmental Psychology

The developmental approach; foundations of development; unlearned behaviour; parental behaviour; basic factors in the behavioural development of children; development of sensory processes; development of spatially coordinated behaviour; motor development; symbolic processes in children; language; the growth of intelligence; emotional development; development of social behaviour; the growth of personality in children; change in personality from adolescence until senescence; theories of child development; child-rearing practices in Nigeria.


A historical introduction to psychiatry; examination and evaluation in psychiatry; the classification of psychiatric disorders; the dynamic bases of psychiatric disorders; the psychoses; the neurotic disorders; personality disorders; psychosomatic disorders; psychiatric emergencies; psychiatric problems of childhood and adolescence; psychogeriatrics; drug dependence; suicide and parasucide; treatment methods in psychiatry; psychiatric epidemiology; legal considerations in psychiatry.


Origin and evolution of cybernetics; information; the signal; codes; the definition of cybernetics; the place of cybernetics in science; special branches of cybernetics; cy-bernetics system; modelling and modelling aids; biological systems as objects of modelling; the application of psychological concept to animate and inanimate systems, perception and its disorders, language as a means of communication between man and machine, artificial intelligence, can an in-animate system live?

General Psychology

The scientific method in psychology; measurement and psychophysics; the physiological foundations of behaviour; growth and development; experience and learning; learning theory; symbolic behaviour; individual differences; social influence; current issues in general experimental psychology; laboratory techniques in experimental psychology.


The function of the central and autonomic nervous system; cortical and subcortical functions in behaviour; behaviour endocrinology; the effects of stress; organic pathology and its psychological con-sequences; recording and measurement of cortical and autonomic activity.

The Foundations of Clinical Practice

The role of clinical psychology; organization of the health and social services; legal, ethical and administrative aspects of patient care; contributions of psychology to general medicine and community services; approaches of other disciplines to abnormal behaviour; management functions in a multi-disciplinary context.

Nutrition for Clinical Psychologists

Introduction; various components of food and their requirements; the place of nutrition in biochemistry; carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, trace elements; nutrition and normal psychological functions; nutrition and abnormal psychological function; current approaches to research in nutrition and behaviour.

The Theory and Practice of Clinical Psychology

Introduction; the history of clinical psychology; a survey of psychological tests and their classification; psychological test theory, practicum in the construction and use of” psychological tests generally; tests as diagnostic tools, clinical neuropsychology, treatment methods in psychology, practicum in treatment methods.