Health Psychology Professional Doctorate

Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 2 Years

2018/19 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £6,120 per year of study
  • International students: £12,500 per year of study
Course start September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply Direct
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2018/19 Academic YearApply Direct

Please note the closing date for the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology is 29 June 2018.

Please note that this course requires full time students to be on placement for a minimum of two years and to pay the fees detailed per year of study. Students need to allow for an additional period of time for writing up during which there is a £500 writing up fee to be paid each year until completion.

  • Our Professional Doctorate programme offers a unique opportunity to experience and develop your professional skills in Health Psychology, under the guidance of highly qualified and committed staff.
  • Staffordshire University has a thriving Health Psychology research culture, focused in the Centre for Health Psychology, with an excellent national and international reputation.
  • As a Department we are committed to strengthening our already strong base in Health Psychology through the development of this programme.
  • The Doctorate is accredited by the British Psychological Society as providing Stage 2 training in Health Psychology, and in 2012 received an unprecedented 7 commendations from the BPS. 

Course outline

Health psychology can be defined as the study of psychological processes and their application to health, illness and health care. The Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology programme provides supervision to enable students to develop skills in research, teaching, psychological interventions, professional skills and consultancy. The programme runs for a minimum of two years for full-time students, and a minimum of four years for part-time students. The award follows closely the framework for Stage 2 professional training in health psychology, which is set by the Division of Health Psychology of the British Psychological Society.

Graduates from this award gain Stage 2 accreditation towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist and eligibility to apply to register as a Health Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The programme has been designed to equip students with D-level skills in research, teaching, consultancy, professional practice and psychological interventions. The qualification provides a guarantee for employers and clients of competence in core aspects of health psychology and professional practice, including research, consultancy, psychological interventions and teaching skills.

After enrolment, you will take part in a two-day induction programme. This is designed to cover all modules, and will introduce you to the competencies required on the course, and to the University facilities. This will be followed by a supportive programme of workshops which runs throughout the year, covering all five competencies: 

  • Advanced Research Methods: You will be guided in how to independently, critically review research literature, design an empirical study, collect and analyse data, and interpret and report results.
  • Consultancy Skills in Health Psychology: You will be guided through the stages of conducting consultancy in health psychology.
  • Teaching in Health Psychology: In this module you will develop your teaching skills, enabling you to teach a series of sessions to different groups of students, one of which must be health care professionals.
  • Professional Competence in Health Psychology: You will be mentored through the process of reflecting on professional practice, including implementation of systems to ensure high professional standards in professional practice, and guidance in developing communication skills, working within professional boundaries, and team-working skills.
  • Psychological Interventions: You will be facilitated in developing your awareness/understanding of and ability to utilize good practices in designing, implementing and evaluating interventions aimed at changing health behaviours. 


Entry requirements

In order to be admitted on to the programme, you must:

  • hold an honours degree recognised by the British Psychological Society as offering Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC);
  • have completed British Psychological Society Stage One training in Health Psychology. That is either a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with a grade of merit (or 60% average) or above, or the BPS Stage 1 qualification in health psychology with a grade of 60% or more;
  • have organised appropriate opportunities for placement learning.

The deadline for applications for the September start date is 29 June 2018. Please contact the Enquiries Team for more information.  Places are limited due to supervisor availability.

All students will be interviewed before being admitted on to the programme. You must convince staff at interview that your placement is suitable for you to achieve the competences on the professional doctorate and that you have a suitable idea for the empirical study which links in with current staff research interests.

You will be required to have a DBS check.

Students whose first language is not English must have achieved Level 7 on all parts of IELTS. 

Teaching and learning

Teaching and Learning takes place in two key ways: 1) through university taught sessions; 2) through your work placement.

University Teaching: A supportive programme of workshops covering all competences is delivered over two years.

Work Placement: You are expected to arrange a relevant placement (paid or unpaid) before applying to the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. It is through your placement that you will work towards achieving the Programme competencies. Please note that you may need to spend some time in other settings to enable you to attain all the required learning outcomes.

Your placement will need to be formally approved before you begin the programme, and you will need to identify a workplace contact (who is likely to be a suitably qualified health care professional) who will be available to support you at your work placement. Workplace contacts will also be asked to complete a short online training programme to educate them about the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology, and their role within it.

You will be assigned a Staffordshire University supervisor who will visit you at the beginning, middle and end of placement, to discuss placement opportunities and placement learning with you and your workplace contact. 

Meet the experts

Directors of Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology

Other Health Psychology Staff

Student experience

Dr Daniel Masterson, Senior Researcher at Staffordshire University and Healthy Urban Planning Officer at Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

  • “Undertaking the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology was one of, if not the, best decision of my career. Not only did I gain a broad range of competencies and skills, I also gained confidence in my skills and abilities through practical application. The balance of taught sessions, independent learning, applied experience and well thought out assessments prepared me for the diverse nature of Health Psychology.  What you come away with from this course are not only adaptable professional skills to enable you to work within Health Psychology, you also come away with the confidence and ability to reflect on how to develop as a Health Psychologist.”

Dr Grainne Dickerson, Health Behaviour Specialist, Wakefield District NHS Primary Care Trust.

  • “The teaching and support was the best I have ever experienced. The tutors had a great deal of understanding about the challenges of being a Health Psychologist in training and there was a real camaraderie among my fellow students. All in all the course has enabled me to become equipped with the skills required to advance my career as a Health Psychologist.”

Dr Harbinder Kaur Sandhu, Assistant Professor in Health Psychology, Warwick Medical School.

  • "I enjoyed the course, students and staff were very supportive and approachable and the flexibility within the course allowed me to fit it in with other commitments.  I especially valued the relationship between my supervisor at Staffordshire University and my Line Manager and Work Place Contact at Warwick University. The collaboration worked well and encouraged me to achieve all my competencies."

Dr Sarah Sherwood, Health Psychologist, Pain Clinic, Birmingham City Hospital.

  • "The support received on the course was first class. I have never experienced such high quality teaching and support previously. The Doctorate provides a tremendous amount of knowledge and skills which can open many doors."

Dr Shilpa Patel, Research Fellow,  Warwick Medical School and Health Psychologist, Pain Clinic, Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust.

  • “I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience on the course where the teaching has been brilliant and the staff and students have all been very supportive. I feel the course has provided me with a broad range of competencies and skills to enable me to work in many varied and diverse areas of Health Psychology in the future.”


Enquiries Team
Cadman Information Point
College Road
United Kingdom
t: +44(0)1782 294400
Enquire about this course