Health Psychology

Study options

Award

MSc

Key facts

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Study option:
Part-time
Duration:
10 Months
Duration:
2 Years
Start date:

First in the UK

First MSc Health Psychology course to be accredited by the BPS

100% student satisfaction

Maximum satisfaction 5 times in the past 6 years

BPS commended

Commended for developing reflective practice, exemplary support and employability skills.

The first course of its kind to be accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS), our MSc Health Psychology provides the initial step (Stage 1) towards gaining Chartered Psychologist status and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Health Psychologist. The course follows the BPS Division of Health Psychology framework for teaching.

The Health Psychology MSc is for individuals seeking advanced training in the application of psychological theories, methods and research to the understanding of health, illness and healthcare.

Taught in our multi-million-pound Science Centre, the course will help you develop a comprehensive understanding of the core issues and debates within health psychology theory, research and application. This includes exploring models and theories of health behaviour, considering the impact of living with long-term conditions, contemplating communication issues in healthcare settings – and investigating how psychology can impact on practice through areas such as health promotion and behavioural change. You will also be introduced to the basics of therapeutic work in our exciting “Introduction to Applied Therapeutic And Clinical Skills” module.

Staffordshire University has a thriving Health Psychology research culture, focused in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, with an excellent national and international reputation. The Health Psychology Programmes at Staffordshire University have nine commendations from the BPS (2018) for:

  • The positive and strong ethos of developing reflective practice of students; the exemplary support provided;
  • Embedding employability skills and developing student’s critical evaluation and research skills;
  • The development of applied skills through initiatives such as the journal club and giving students access to service users to develop their applied skills and communication skills at an early stage in their training;
  • The use of real-world assessments such as the grants application is highly innovative and show students clear career progression.

In addition, to support from the teaching team, our award-winning technicians will assist you. Both are members of the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology and between them have extensive experience of working in the area of psychology. Our technicians provide high-quality support, particularly in terms of research and support is also available from our subject-specific librarian.

Full-time students are typically required to attend the University on Tuesdays and Thursdays during term-time. During part-time study, the seven compulsory full-time modules will be spread out over 2 years and are typically required to attend the University one day per week. 

The Health Psychology MSc is for individuals seeking advanced training in the application of psychological theories, methods and research to the understanding of health, illness and healthcare.

Taught in our multi-million-pound Science Centre, the course will help you develop a comprehensive understanding of the core issues and debates within health psychology theory, research and application. This includes exploring models and theories of health behaviour, considering the impact of living with long-term conditions, contemplating communication issues in healthcare settings – and investigating how psychology can impact on practice through areas such as health promotion and behavioural change. You will also be introduced to the basics of therapeutic work in our exciting “Introduction to Applied Therapeutic And Clinical Skills” module.

Staffordshire University has a thriving Health Psychology research culture, focused in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, with an excellent national and international reputation. The Health Psychology Programmes at Staffordshire University have nine commendations from the BPS (2018) for:

  • The positive and strong ethos of developing reflective practice of students; the exemplary support provided;
  • Embedding employability skills and developing student’s critical evaluation and research skills;
  • The development of applied skills through initiatives such as the journal club and giving students access to service users to develop their applied skills and communication skills at an early stage in their training;
  • The use of real-world assessments such as the grants application is highly innovative and show students clear career progression.

In addition, to support from the teaching team, our award-winning technicians will assist you. Both are members of the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology and between them have extensive experience of working in the area of psychology. Our technicians provide high-quality support, particularly in terms of research and support is also available from our subject-specific librarian.

Full-time students are typically required to attend the University on Tuesdays and Thursdays during term-time. During part-time study, the seven compulsory full-time modules will be spread out over 2 years and are typically required to attend the University one day per week. 

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Health Psychology

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Health Psychology

Part-time study

During part-time study, the seven compulsory full-time modules will be spread out over 2 years

Part-time study

Part-time study is over two years. Part-time students are required to attend the University on Thursdays in their first year, and Tuesdays in their second year.  

Course content

Studying over one year full-time (or two years part-time), you’ll complete six compulsory modules, followed by an empirical piece of research that is presented in a journal-article format. The dissertation allows you to work independently, under supervision, to research a health psychology topic of your choice. 

Studying over one year full-time (or two years part-time), you’ll complete six compulsory modules, followed by an empirical piece of research that is presented in a journal-article format. The dissertation allows you to work independently, under supervision, to research a health psychology topic of your choice. 

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates from the programme are deemed to have met stage 1 of the requirements for Chartered Membership of the Society (CPsychol) and full membership of the Division of Health Psychology

The British Psychological Society logo

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates from the programme are deemed to have met stage 1 of the requirements for Chartered Membership of the Society (CPsychol) and full membership of the Division of Health Psychology 

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates from the programme are deemed to have met stage 1 of the requirements for Chartered Membership of the Society (CPsychol) and full membership of the Division of Health Psychology

The British Psychological Society logo

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates from the programme are deemed to have met stage 1 of the requirements for Chartered Membership of the Society (CPsychol) and full membership of the Division of Health Psychology 

MSc Health Psychology - Dr Gemma Hurst

MSc Health Psychology - Dr Gemma Hurst

Video

Course leader Gemma discusses what's involved in our MSc Health Psychology degree, and who it would be suited to.

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Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Entry requirements

You’ll need:

• A First or 2:1 (Hons) degree (or equivalent) in Psychology as recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as providing Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC).

• An academic reference.

• A personal statement outlining your interest in Health Psychology.

Additional requirements for overseas applicants:

• If you have not completed a British Psychological Society-accredited BSc at a UK university, you must obtain Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) from the BPS and include evidence of this with your application.

• If your first language is not English, you must have achieved 7.0 or above on all components of the IELTS.

If you don’t meet our entry criteria:

• If you have a BSc (Hons) Psychology at a 2:2 level and recent relevant experience or other relevant qualifications, you may be eligible to register for the Certificate in Health Psychology, with the potential to progress to the MSc. In such cases, admission normally follows interview with the course director, and is at the discretion of the course team.

You’ll need:

• A First or 2:1 (Hons) degree (or equivalent) in Psychology as recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as providing Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC).

• An academic reference.

• A personal statement outlining your interest in Health Psychology.

Additional requirements for overseas applicants:

• If you have not completed a British Psychological Society-accredited BSc at a UK university, you must obtain Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) from the BPS and include evidence of this with your application.

• If your first language is not English, you must have achieved 7.0 or above on all components of the IELTS.

If you don’t meet our entry criteria:

• If you have a BSc (Hons) Psychology at a 2:2 level and recent relevant experience or other relevant qualifications, you may be eligible to register for the Certificate in Health Psychology, with the potential to progress to the MSc. In such cases, admission normally follows interview with the course director, and is at the discretion of the course team.

Study reveals how to stop youngsters eating unhealthy snacks

News

Psychologists have successfully trialled a new intervention which makes schoolchildren cut down on unhealthy snacking.
Careers

The course provides many opportunities to develop your employability skills and explore career pathways following completion of the MSc. For example:

  • You will have opportunities to see other MSc Health Psychology graduates (including our own) present their work, either as guest lecturers on modules or as part of the visiting speaker programme organised by the department.
  • We include sessions on the course where we teach you about developing a CV, applying for posts and interview skills.
  • Staffordshire University also offers Stage 2 training via our Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. On the MSc, you will be taught by staff who are involved in the delivery of this programme and learn about the requirements of this training pathway.
  • We also host an Annual Staffordshire University Health Psychology Conference which is led by our Professional Doctorate (Stage 2) Health Psychology trainees. You are invited to attend and contribute to this conference to network with others working in health psychology and related fields and to showcase your work.

Completion of the MSc provides you with the Stage 1 qualification towards becoming a Health Psychologist. Graduates from the course have continued with further training, including the Professional Doctorate (Stage 2) in Health Psychology or a PhD. In addition, graduates have also gone on to pursue a range of careers in public, private and charity sectors, including:

  • Research assistants
  • Behaviour Insight Analysts
  • Systematic reviewers
  • Assistant psychologists
  • Roles in drug and alcohol support
  • Stop-smoking advisors
  • Roles in public health/health promotion

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Psychology Facility Tour

Psychology Facility Tour

Video

Join Senior Lecturer Nikki for a tour around our state-of-the-art psychology facilities.

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Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Teaching has been designed to provide a framework on which to build your independent study. Taking place in small group settings, teaching strategies and learning opportunities include interactive lectures and seminars, workshops, practical sessions and both student-led and video presentations.

Research skills workshops will help prepare you for individual research projects and will include training on industry standard data analysis software. You’ll also be introduced to applied clinical and therapeutic techniques and from September 2022, you will also be supported in gaining work experience via an optional placement module (subject to approval).

Teaching has been designed to provide a framework on which to build your independent study. Taking place in small group settings, teaching strategies and learning opportunities include interactive lectures and seminars, workshops, practical sessions and both student-led and video presentations.

Research skills workshops will help prepare you for individual research projects and will include training on industry standard data analysis software. You’ll also be introduced to applied clinical and therapeutic techniques and from September 2022, you will also be supported in gaining work experience via an optional placement module (subject to approval).

Assessment

Assessment includes both informal (formative) and formal (summative) methods, including tutor and peer feedback and self-evaluation. You’ll receive clear guidance on the submission and marking of assessments and be given both verbal and written feedback.

Assessment methods are varied and will provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills. In addition, assessments are designed to include elements linked to real-word tasks to enable you to develop skills essential for a future career in health psychology.

To encourage you to achieve the highest grades, you’ll be required to demonstrate creativity, innovation, excellent research and critical evaluation skills. You must present your work in a compelling and authoritative style that illustrates your ability to synthesise evidence to support new ideas.

Summative assessment is included in each module and will be accompanied by detailed and constructive feedback to support you in identifying areas for improvement. There are no exams on this course and all summative assessments take the form of coursework and presentations.

Assessment includes both informal (formative) and formal (summative) methods, including tutor and peer feedback and self-evaluation. You’ll receive clear guidance on the submission and marking of assessments and be given both verbal and written feedback.

Assessment methods are varied and will provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills. In addition, assessments are designed to include elements linked to real-word tasks to enable you to develop skills essential for a future career in health psychology.

To encourage you to achieve the highest grades, you’ll be required to demonstrate creativity, innovation, excellent research and critical evaluation skills. You must present your work in a compelling and authoritative style that illustrates your ability to synthesise evidence to support new ideas.

Summative assessment is included in each module and will be accompanied by detailed and constructive feedback to support you in identifying areas for improvement. There are no exams on this course and all summative assessments take the form of coursework and presentations.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.

Feedback

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.

We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.

We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

Your study time will include scheduled classes, independent learning and assessments.

Your study time will include scheduled classes, independent learning and assessments.

Independent learning

As well as timetabled sessions, we know it’s important for you to discover things on your own terms. This could involve:

  • Reading journals, articles and books
  • Working on projects, alone or in a group
  • Researching in the library
  • Preparing coursework

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art facilities to help you make the most of your private study time. Whether you need a library, a computer, or a lab, you’ll find it at Staffordshire University.

As well as timetabled sessions, we know it’s important for you to discover things on your own terms. This could involve:

  • Reading journals, articles and books
  • Working on projects, alone or in a group
  • Researching in the library
  • Preparing coursework

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art facilities to help you make the most of your private study time. Whether you need a library, a computer, or a lab, you’ll find it at Staffordshire University.

Staff

The course is taught by Health Psychologists who are actively involved in conducting high-quality research, as well as teaching and consultancy in a wide range of areas spanning health, illness and healthcare.

Our teaching team includes staff qualified to Professional Doctorate, PhD, Associate Professor and Professor level. We run an extensive speaker programme which students are required to attend, and we organise a wide variety of guest lectures.

Dr Gemma Hurst

Course Director

I am the Course Leader for the MSc Health Psychology. My research focuses on measuring the impact of environment exposures on health and wellbeing and exploring the wider determinants of health in relation to health inequality. I am also experie…

Gemma's profile

Fees

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research

Blog

For more information on our staff, their research interests and publications please visit our blog
Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

You may be required to cover the cost of attending various non-compulsory, external conferences during your studies.

You may be required to cover the cost of attending various non-compulsory, external conferences during your studies.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Our students

The diversity of the module content and assignments equip you with skills and knowledge that are beneficial beyond the Masters.

I would strongly recommend anyone who is considering studying Health Psychology to apply to Staffordshire University. The diversity of the module content and assignments equip you with skills and knowledge that are beneficial beyond the Masters.

For me personally, the chance to conduct systematic reviews and engage with both quantitative and qualitative research methods have provided me with the ability and confidence to use these different research methodologies as part of my PhD research.

Sophie Phillips

Graduate, MSc Health Psychology

One of my best experiences at Staffordshire University was the excellent standard of teaching I received across all modules, which fostered my understanding of psychology and health psychology.

One of my best experiences at Staffordshire University was the excellent standard of teaching I received across all modules, which fostered my understanding of psychology and health psychology.

I found that the facilities at Staffordshire University were more than enough to meet my research needs. In particular, I found that having access to new technologies to use in my research (such as virtual reality) was very useful. This is because, it allowed me to explore new ways in which people’s pain can be controlled and lowered in my research. Furthermore, I found that having access to technical support whenever I used the facilities was essential, as I sometimes experienced difficulties that only the technicians were able to fix.

James Dempster

MSc Health Psychology

The best part of my experience at Staffs was the lecturers on my course. They are very knowledgeable, friendly and have a varied wealth of expertise that they are willing to share with you.

When I saw that Staffs offered a part time option for the MSc Health Psychology, I felt that it was the perfect opportunity for me to continue with academia whilst remaining at work and parenting my 2 small children. I went to an open evening and was impressed with their £30 million Science Centre and all the facilities and services it had to offer.

The best part of my experience at Staffs was the lecturers on my course. They are very knowledgeable, friendly and have a varied wealth of expertise that they are willing to share with you. I enjoyed the sessions and being able to talk in great depth and length on the topics that we covered on the course.

Victoria Baker

MSc Health Psychology

A fantastic experience!! Staffs MSc Health Psychology course has broadened my social network, enhanced my research skills and taught me to apply psychological knowledge in the real world.

A fantastic experience!! Staffs MSc Health Psychology course has broadened my social network, enhanced my research skills and taught me to apply psychological knowledge in the real world. I’m a recent MSc Health Psychology graduate with research interests in experimental psychology and promoting healthy food choices.

My project involved students choosing between healthy and unhealthy foods, whilst either being shown a health prime (the words ‘healthy recipe’), a prime unrelated to health (the words ‘new recipe’) and no prime (no words). Whilst students were making their food choices, an eye-tracker was used to measure visual attention (how long students looked at the foods). This research provides a valuable contribution where current knowledge is limited. The key finding that a health prime increased visual attention for healthy foods in an online supermarket has important implications for potential intervention design.

Nicola Clarke

MSc Health Psychology

Apply

Applications are not currently available for this course.

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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