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Jun 28, 2023 12:30PM IST

Psychiatry Courses Overview

Psychiatry is an exciting and vital branch of medicine owing to its nature of science. Psychiatry courses deal with identifying and treating mental illnesses with the help of in-depth psychiatric knowledge. Studying this course would enable students to assist people working in disciplines related to psychiatry or themselves to treat psychiatric illnesses frequently. Psychiatry, in other words, is the medical speciality concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental diseases. Psychiatry courses are appropriate for medical and other health aspirants who want to get an in-depth understanding of contemporary psychiatry practices.

There are various psychiatry courses available at different study levels, such as certificate, diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate courses. Thus, applicants can pursue these courses immediately after finishing their class 12 or after completing their bachelor’s studies. Depending on the type of course, the average duration to complete these courses is three months to four years. Admission to a psychiatry programme is based on candidates' class 12th/bachelor's/master's results. Some colleges may additionally require NEET, AIIMS, JMIEE, AMUEE, or other entrance test qualifications.

AIIMS, Christian Medical College, JIPMER, Jamia Hamdard University, and others are among the top psychiatry colleges in India. The average tuition fee for psychiatry courses is between INR 30,000 to INR 25 lakh per year. The return on investment (ROI) in this area in terms of starting salary is also attractive, with freshers earning INR 3-18 lakh per year. 

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Psychiatry Courses Highlights

Some of the important highlights of psychiatry courses in India for applicants to consider are as follows:

Course Psychiatry 
Degree LevelCertificate, Diploma, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate 
  • Certificate: 3-12 months 
  • UG Diplomas and PG Diplomas: 1-2 years 
  • Bachelor’s: 3-4 years 
  • Master’s: 2 years 
  • Doctorate (PhD): 3-4 years 
Exam Type Semester-based 
Minimum Qualification Requirement
  • Diploma/UG: Class 12 from a recognized board with Psychology as a mandatory subject
  • PG Diploma/PG: Bachelor’s course from a recognized university in a relevant field of study.
  • Doctorate: Master’s course from a recognised university in a relevant field of study.
Average Salary INR 3-18 lakh per year 
Average Fees Incurred INR 10,000-INR 25,00,000 
Selection Process Entrance + Merit-based 
Popular Entrance Exams NEET, AIIMS, NEET PG, AIIMS PG, JMIEE, AMUEE, University of Delhi Entrance Exam, etc.
Top Psychiatry Specialisation Addiction Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Adult Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Emergency Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry
Minimum Aggregate Percentage Required for Admission 50%-60% 
Top Recruiters Wellness Centres, Government and Private Hospitals, Government and Private Clinics, Universities and Institutes, etc
Career Prospects Forensic Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychiatrist, Staff Psychiatrist, Child Psychiatrist, Addiction Psychiatrist, Neuropsychiatrist, etc.
Psychiatry Courses Highlights
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Why Study Psychiatry?

Mental sickness may be equally debilitating as physical disease, if not more so. As medical students, candidates learn about medical specialities and get to experience them all during rotations. Owing to its emphasis on mental health, psychiatry is a subspecialty of medicine. There is now a nationwide scarcity of psychiatrists around the world and the demand is high.

Aside from a thriving job market, medical students on the verge of deciding their fields and applying for a residency should consider psychiatry for a variety of reasons, including its incredible flexibility, sense of reward, ability to become more empathetic, and overall usefulness in a fast-paced world. Let us look at some of the most essential reasons to study psychiatry in this day and age:

  • Ability to Help People/Patients: The ability to impact people's mental health and well-being is one incentive to consider studying psychiatry and becoming a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists can assist their patients in overcoming trauma, destructive behaviours, or mental diseases that may impair their capacity to function successfully in society.
  • Higher Earning Potential: Another reason to consider taking psychiatry courses is the possible income opportunities. Private practitioners can determine their charges and typically make a decent livelihood.
  • An Exciting Field of Study: Students studying to become psychiatrists learn about the many mental, behavioural, and emotional illnesses that might impact their patients. They learn to identify and treat these diseases, as well as attempt to enhance patient functionality and health whenever possible. Psychiatry may be a very intriguing profession for people who are interested in the human brain and mental diseases.
  • Graduates Can Set Up Their Practice: Psychiatry courses graduates may opt to start their practices. This allows them to create their schedules, choose which patients to visit, and work anywhere they choose. The independence and flexibility of owning a firm might be compelling reasons to become a doctor.
  • Better Stress Management: Psychiatrists who work their hours can make it simpler for themselves to manage the rigours of their profession and recuperate psychologically when necessary.
  • Respected Occupation: Graduates must finish significant training and study to become psychiatrists. This can increase the respect they receive from their peers, family, and social circles. Many people are aware of the essential job that psychiatrists do and appreciate the assistance they bring to their communities and individuals in need.
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Different Types of Psychiatry Courses

Psychiatry is a large and highly demanded medical field of study, therefore aspirants can discover a variety of different psychiatry courses to study in India at various levels. Some of these courses/programmes are listed below:

Programme/Study Level 

Popular Psychiatry Courses 


  • Certification in Psychiatry 
  • Certificate in Mental Health
  • Certificate Course in Perinatal Mental Health
  • Psychological First Aid 
  • Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health 
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • History of Mental Illness 


  • Diploma in Psychiatry/Psychology
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Psychiatry/Psychology
  • Diploma in Clinical Psychiatry
  • Diploma in Child Psychiatry
  • Diploma in Adult Psychiatry
  • Diploma in Psychiatric Medicine
  • Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Community Based Rehabilitation
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Psychiatric Social Work


  • BSc in Psychiatry 
  • BSc in Psychology 
  • BSc in Psychiatric Nursing
  • MBBS

PG Diploma 

  • MSc in Psychiatry 
  • MSc in Psychology
  • MD in Psychiatry
  • MPhil in Psychiatry 
  • MPhil in Psychology
  • MSc in Clinical & Community Psychiatry
  • MSc in Psychiatric Nursing
  • MSc in Counselling Psychology
  • Master in Criminology
  • Master of Brain and Sciences 
  • MSc in Addiction Psychiatry
  • MSc in Behavioural Science


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychiatry
  • PhD in Clinical Psychology
  • PhD in Psychiatric Nursing
  • PhD in Psychiatric Social Work
  • PhD in Counselling Psychology
  • PhD in Addiction Psychiatry
  • PhD in Child Psychiatry
  • PhD in Human Behaviour Psychiatry
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What are the Subspecialties of Psychiatry Study?

There are several subspecialties in psychiatry that allow practitioners to specialise in specific problems or groups. However, the primary subspecialties are those that are recognised for training reasons at both the senior house officer and specialist registrar levels. They are as follows:

  • General Adult Psychiatry: It is hospital-based and treats all mental problems in people aged 18 to 65.
  • Social and Community Psychiatry (Includes Rehabilitation): Treats persons aged 18 to 65, although the emphasis is on managing patients so that they can remain in their homes. a more comprehensive interdisciplinary approach
  • Psychiatry for the Elderly: Both hospital and community-based, albeit with a stronger emphasis on the latter.
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Specialisation in developmental problems such as behaviour disorders or depression. It might be at a hospital or in the community.
  • Liaison Psychiatry: This is another hospital-based service that encompasses inpatient wards as well as the emergency department.
  • Forensic Psychiatry: This is concerned with mental illnesses in criminals and is practised in hospitals, communities, or prisons.
  • Substance Abuse or Addiction Psychiatry: Provides treatment for a variety of addictions, the majority of which include alcohol and opiate abuse.
  • Disabilities in Learning Psychiatry: This has a strong community emphasis and is concerned with both hereditary and perinatally acquired mental diseases that influence intellectual and social function, such as Down's syndrome and cerebral palsy.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is a broad word for treating mental health issues by consultation with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional.
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Psychiatry Courses Entrance Exams

One of the key admission or eligibility requirements for candidates to pursue psychiatry courses (particularly postgraduate degrees) in India is passing entrance examinations with minimal qualifying grades. Here are a few well-known psychiatry entrance exams used by leading universities and institutes to screen qualified/eligible students for their programmes:

  • Aligarh Muslim University Entrance Exam
  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences Entrance Exam
  • All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIIPMR) Entrance Exam
  • Central Institute of Psychiatry Entrance Exam
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) Entrance Exam
  • Institute of Medical Sciences Entrance Exam
  • Jamia Millia Islamia Entrance Exam
  • Karnataka University Entrance Exam
  • Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Entrance Exam
  • Manipal Academy of Higher Education Entrance Exam
  • National Council of Educational Research and Training Entrance Exam
  • National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences Entrance Exam
  • Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences Entrance Exam
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Entrance Exam
  • The Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP) Entrance Exam
  • The Indian Institute of Technology - Joint Entrance Exam (IIT-JEE)
  • University of Delhi Entrance Exam
  • University of Rajasthan Entrance Exam
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Psychiatry Courses Eligibility Criteria

Psychiatry courses at different levels of study have varying eligibility criteria for admission. The table below highlights the general admission or eligibility criteria for aspirants to study psychiatry courses in India: 

Programme/Study Level 

Basic Eligibility Criteria 


Candidates must have passed (or must be studying in) class 12 from a recognised board.


Students must have cleared class 12 from a recognised school board, with at least 50%-60% aggregate marks.


Students must score at least 50-60% aggregate in class 12 board exams and sit for an entrance exam as well.

PG Diploma 

Students must have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study from a recognised university.


Students must have a bachelor’s degree in psychiatry or any other relevant field of study from a recognised university with at least 50%-60% aggregate marks and entrance exam qualifying scores. 


Students must have a master’s degree in psychiatry or any other relevant field of study from a recognised university with at least 60% aggregate marks and entrance exam qualifying scores. Practical experience may be required.

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How to Get Admission to a Psychiatry Course?

Aspirants must be knowing that admission to psychiatry courses is strictly based on the aggregate marks obtained in class 12th/bachelor's degree/master's degree. Besides this, many universities and institutes in India also conduct different entrance exams to screen eligible students for admission to psychiatry courses. Having said that, candidates can begin their application process for psychiatry courses both online and offline. Here are some important points to remember before applying:

  • Students must go to the university's or college's website and correctly fill out all of the essential information/personal data in the student application form. Applicants must wait for any necessary letters from the college/university after enrolling.
  • Following online registration, applicants must appear at the university premises with all necessary papers, including all previous academic transcripts, mark sheets, certificates, ID verification, and pictures.
  • Candidates who choose to apply offline must obtain an application form from the college campus and submit it after correctly filling it out with the necessary information.
  • Students will be admitted to their chosen colleges/universities based on their past academic results, performance and entrance exam qualifying scores. It is also important to note that admission will be granted only to those eligible students who fulfil all the eligibility criteria and clear the cut-off marks set by the college/institute. 
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Popular Colleges in India for Psychiatry Courses

Some of the most renowned colleges in India that are offering psychiatry courses to aspirants are tabulated below: 

 ofCollege/InstitutetheName Location
Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed University Medical CollegePune 
Aryabhatta Knowledge UniversityPatna
Osmania Medical CollegeHyderabad 
Jamia Hamdard UniversityNew Delhi
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)New Delhi
Christian Medical CollegeTamil Nadu 
Lady Hardinge Medical CollegeNew Delhi
Kasturba Medical CollegeKarnataka 
King George's Medical UniversityUttar Pradesh 
Maulana Azad Medical CollegeNew Delhi 
MGR Educational and Research InstituteChennai
Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and ResearchPondicherry
Armed Forces Medical CollegePune 
SRM Institute of Science and TechnologyChennai
MS Ramaiah Medical College Karnataka 
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Popular Colleges Abroad to Study Psychiatry Courses

Since mental health is a global issue, many international institutions are also pioneering in promoting Psychiatry courses. Here is a list of some of the most renowned international universities and colleges for aspirants to study psychiatry courses abroad:

Name of the College/Institute 


Harvard University 

United States 

Stanford University 

United States 

Columbia University 

United States 

Yale University

United States 

University of Oxford 

United Kingdom 

King’s College London

United Kingdom 

University College London 

United Kingdom 

University of Cambridge 

United Kingdom 

University of Toronto


University of British Columbia 


McGill University


McMaster University


University of Amsterdam


Karolinska Institute 


University of Melbourne 


Catholic University of Leuven 


University of New South Wales 


The University of Queensland 


University of Sydney 


The University of Auckland 

New Zealand 

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What is Psychiatry Courses Fees?

The fees for psychiatry courses are determined by a variety of factors, including the type of course, level of programme, type of university, location, and others. The following are the estimated fees for psychiatry courses in India at various levels of study:

Programme/Study Level 

Average Annual Estimated Fee Range in INR 







PG Diploma 




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Syllabus of Psychiatry Courses

Psychiatric courses in India have different course curriculums based on the degree, level of study, university, and other criteria. The following are the key subjects that applicants will study while studying psychiatry courses in India:

Clinical Psychiatry


Child Psychiatry

Community Psychiatry

Basic Sciences as applied to Psychiatry

Human Anatomy

Biochemistry of the Brain

Neurology and Neurosurgery

Approaching to Psychiatric Diagnosis and Classification

Social Psychiatry

Forensic Psychiatry

Preventive Psychiatry

Behavioral Therapies

Anxiety Disorders


Organic Delusional, Mood and Personality Disorders


Preventive psychiatry and practical training at a mental asylum

General Psychiatry

Psychiatry specialities including psychosomatic medicines and consultations

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Psychiatry Courses Scope in India – Career, Job Prospects and Top Recruiters

As this profession deals with an individual's mental health or the human brain, there is a wide range of employment opportunities in psychiatry. Individuals might seek the advice of a consulting psychologist to safeguard their mental health. Furthermore, each practitioner of psychiatry has their point of view, but they all focus on one important agenda: the mental condition of a person.

Some of the most well-known job roles, along with their job descriptions, are included below:

Job Roles

Job Description

Addiction Psychiatrist

Addiction Psychiatrists treat persons of all ages who have addictions to illicit substances, alcohol, and prescription medications that are exacerbated by concurrent mental health illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, among other things.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Doctors in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry deal with children, adolescents, and their families. They address a wide range of mental health issues and ailments, such as autism spectrum disorders, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

Forensic Psychiatrist

A Forensic Psychiatrist is someone who works with the mental health of prisoners, criminals, and others. They are in charge of diagnosing and treating convicts, criminals, and so on.


A professor or lecturer is someone who strives to deliver the necessary information and abilities to students who want to become competent psychiatrists in the future by utilising various strategies.

General Adult Psychiatrist

In instances involving substance abuse, a general adult psychiatrist consults with and treats patients aged 18 and up.

Rehabilitation Psychiatrist

A Rehabilitation Psychiatrist is a clinician that helps patients overcome mental illnesses and regain their maximum level of functioning.


A neuropsychiatrist treats patients who have mental imbalances as well as emotional and mental disorders.

Clinical Psychiatrist

A clinical psychiatrist helps patients cope with mental health issues by medicating, counselling, and providing treatment.

Staff Psychiatrist

Staff psychiatrists operate in clinics and institutions that provide comprehensive psychiatric treatment and report to higher-level psychiatrists.

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Top Recruiters for Psychiatry Graduates

Depending on the type of patient, psychiatrists might practice in a variety of settings. Some psychiatrists operate in private practice, which means they either own or rent an office space. Others may work in general or specialised psychiatric facilities. Moreover, individuals pursuing a profession in psychiatry in India work in a variety of settings some of which are mentioned below for aspirants aiming to be a psychiatrist:

  • Private and government hospitals 
  • Government and private clinics 
  • Forensic labs 
  • Psychiatry and brain hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Courts and prisons
  • Military setups 
  • Community centres
  • Mental health centres
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Private and government universities and institutes
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Salary Trends of Psychiatry Graduates

Examine the average starting annual salary of many psychiatry job opportunities mentioned below: 

Job roles

Average Annual Pay Range (in INR)

Addiction Psychiatrist

2-5 lakh 

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

4-14 lakh 

Forensic Psychiatrist

3-16 lakh 


2.6-7 lakh 

General Adult Psychiatrist

3.5-15 lakh 

Rehabilitation Psychiatrist

3.5-8 lakh 


3-17 lakh 

Clinical Psychiatrist

3.5-12 lakh

Staff Psychiatrist

2.5-6 lakh 

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Skills That Make You The Best Psychiatrist

In addition to the theory knowledge studied when pursuing psychiatry courses, there are some skills to focus on to adapt to the mental working environment. Some of the most significant skillsets that a medical student or trainee doctor should strive to cultivate in order to excel in the area of psychiatry are listed below:

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to manage uncertainty
  • Dealing with difficult emotions
  • Broad understanding of illnesses
  • Logical reasoning
  • Perception
  • Sensitivity and empathy
  • Stress management
  • Problem-solving skills 
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FAQs about Psychiatrist

Is studying psychiatry worth it?

Psychiatry is seen as a rewarding profession. Although the route to becoming a psychiatrist is difficult, many people believe it is well worth the effort. They are usually able to spend a significant amount of time personally working with patients. A psychiatrist can also work at nursing homes, hospitals, health centres, polyclinics, medical colleges, and research institutes. They can also collaborate with social workers and occupational therapists to assist their patients to recover and resume their daily activities.

What is the major role and responsibilities of a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has obtained additional training in the diagnosis and management of diseases and disorders. Hence, a psychiatrist's main role and responsibilities include planning and delivering high-quality treatments within the constraints of available resources. A psychiatrist will also advocate on behalf of patients, caregivers, and services. 

What is the difference between psychology and psychiatry?

People frequently mix the terms ‘psychiatry’ and ‘psychology’, which is an easy mistake to make if you are unfamiliar with the profession. Psychology, the study of the mind, emotions, and behaviour, was once considered a part of philosophy until becoming a separate science in the mid-1800s. Psychiatry is a medical speciality that focuses on detecting and treating mental health conditions. The word psychiatry also means soul medical therapy.

What is the basic difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Psychologists are educated mental health practitioners, whereas psychiatrists are medical doctors. This is the distinction between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. A psychiatrist can prescribe medicine, but a psychologist is more concerned with the therapeutic approach to healing. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat complicated and dangerous mental illnesses, as well as provide a variety of therapy. Psychologists help patients by giving psychotherapy (talk therapy).

Do aspirants require a licence to practice psychiatry in India?

To practice psychiatry in all states, candidates must get a licence from their state's medical board. Most states have their standards for licencing, although they must normally pass an examination that assesses their understanding of state rules and medical procedures. Graduates may also be required to register with the state if they provide medicine to their patients.

What is the qualification needed for becoming a psychiatrist in India?

To fulfil medical school admissions qualifications as an aspiring psychiatrist, you will need to take Science in Class 12 with subjects - biology, chemistry, maths, and physics. Volunteering in a hospital is also suggested. To obtain a Doctor of Medicine, you must first attend medical school (MD). As a medical student, you will learn fundamental anatomy, physiology, and pathology through lectures and hands-on laboratories.

In India, how long does it take to become a Psychiatrist?

For most psychiatrists, it takes about or around 12 years to become a practicing psychiatrist. A bachelor's degree normally takes four years to complete, followed by four years of medical school and then four years of psychiatry residency and board certification.

Are there any diploma courses available in India in the field of psychiatry study?

Yes, there are plenty of diploma courses available online and offline in India in the field of psychiatry study. Aspirants can enrol in various diploma courses available including a diploma in psychiatric medicine (DPM), a diploma in clinical and community psychology, a diploma in psychiatry nursing, a diploma in counselling psychology, and a post-graduate diploma in psychiatry.

What are the upcoming trends in the field of psychiatry?

Psychiatry is leading the way in human welfare innovation, with top futuristic trends such as quicker diagnosis and early intervention of mental disorders, a wide range of genetic discoveries, the adoption of neuroplasticity, and the participation of pharmacogenomics in clinical practice.

What is the difference between psychotherapy and psychiatry?

While both professions strive to improve clients' everyday functioning and results, psychotherapy focuses on talk therapy and behavioural therapies to alleviate emotional distress. Psychiatrists are medical professionals who have been educated to study biological as well as social and emotional issues. Some psychiatrists may include talking therapy and counselling in their treatment sessions or they may refer clients to CPA for concurrent psychotherapy sessions as part of the entire treatment plan

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