Psychology

MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice

This MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme is designed for graduates with an MSc in Health Psychology who are engaged in research or practice in a health-related area, and specifically wish to achieve Chartered Psychologist (conferred by the British Psychological Society, BPS) and/or Health Psychologist status (conferred by the Health and Care Professions Council, HCPC).

The programme conforms closely to the BPS Qualification in Health Psychology Stage 2 requirements and encompasses all the necessary components for the five core competencies of generic professional, research, behaviour change interventions, teaching and consultancy.

The programme has BPS accreditation (for PhD level only) and HCPC approval (for MPhil and PhD levels).

Programme Overview

This MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme is normally completed within 2-4 years of full-time work, or up to 7 years of part-time study.

Funding

A range of opportunities are available for funding. For further information, please see the "Money Matters" section for details regarding scholarship opportunities and the University's Scholarship pages.

To Apply

Application for this MPhil/PhD in Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice is through the Unversity's online system. You should normally already hold an MSc in Health Psychology. The full entry criteria are detailed in the programme handbook (to the right of this page).

Programme Structure

A chartered and health psychologist provides close one-to-one supervision of the research and development of professional competences, with additional independent input from an advisory team on this MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme.

A monthly meeting is held, allowing trainees to meet with each other and the programme director, and obtain expert input and training specific to the needs of health psychologists in training. Trainees also have the opportunity to attend monthly seminars run by the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology (CAHP), and are also able to freely access the very wide range of training opportunities open to postgraduate students and trainees in the Academic Unit, Faculty and University.

Accreditation and approval

This MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme is approved by the HCPC, the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK. It is a legal requirement that anyone who wishes to practise using a title protected by the Health Professions Order 2001 (for instance, Health Psychologist) is on the HCPC Register.

The programme has been awarded a commendation (an observation of unique and innovative best practice) by the HCPC for its commitment to providing trainees with opportunities for peer support through the organisation of monthly update meetings with the other trainees and one of the programme directors.  These update meetings are trainee-led and, due to popular demand, are held both within and outside of term time.

The MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme is also accredited by the British Psychological Society. The Society is the professional body responsible for developing and supporting the discipline of psychology and disseminating psychological knowledge to the public and policy makers. It is the key professional body for psychology and psychologists, with numerous benefits of membership.

Contacts

Graduate School office: pgrstudentoffice.fshs@soton.ac.uk, tel +44 (0)23 8059 7385

Programme Director: Dr Cynthia Graham

Deputy Programme Director: Dr Sarah Kirby

Director of Student Support: Dr Ed Redhead

Key facts

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process:

Intake: 2 on average
Average applicants per place: 2

Applications for the MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme are made using the University’s online application form1. You can find instructions on completing the form here.

Before applying you should identify your area of research interest and potential supervisor. You can find details of the specialist research areas in the School of Psychology here.

Entry requirements for the MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme include a first or upper second-class honours undergraduate degree in psychology and an average of at least 65% for MSc Health Psychology work, including at least 65% for dissertation and research methods modules. A lower mark (at least 60%) may be acceptable if the candidate seems particularly well qualified in other respects, or there are extenuating circumstances explaining a lower mark. If English is not your first language, you must be able to evidence a good standard of written and spoken English (100 for internet-based TOEFL, 250 for computer-based TOEFL, 600 for paper-based TOEFL or 7.0 for IELTS with no element below 6.5).

Applicants for the MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice programme will also need to provide:

  • A CV
  • A certificate or letter confirming first degree
  • A certificate or letter confirming MSc grades
  • An Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) form outlining MSc modules studied
  • A University application form with two references
  • A supervision agreement
  • A research proposal
  • A job description
  • A workplace agreement
  • A supervision plan

Eligible applicants must then complete:

  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)  check (enhanced level)2
  • A workplace setting approval visit

Please refer to the eHandbook for full details on the entry criteria for this programme.

1All physical or mental health conditions disclosed in the University postgraduate application form must be discussed with the programme director and will be assessed according to the Psychology fitness to practise policy. Having a condition does not necessarily disqualify an applicant from registering on the programme.

2 All criminal convictions (including spent convictions) must be discussed with the programme director and will be assessed according to the University student convictions policy and the Psychology fitness to practise policy. Having a criminal record does not necessarily disqualify an applicant from registering on the programme.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Modules

Typical course content

Because of the nature of the programme, you may start at any time of year. Duration ranges from a minimum of 18 months to seven years, depending on full- or part-time mode, and level required (MPhil or PhD).

Assessment is through an MPhil or PhD research thesis (including a systematic review) and documentation of competencies acquired through supervised practice.

There are no taught modules although trainees have the opportunity to take the 'Introduction to CBT' one week course and other research skills courses through the faculty Doctoral Training Centre and the University Researcher Development & Graduate Centre.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Learning and teaching

Trainees register for the MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice, undertaken by completing a systematic review and empirical research on a health-related topic. Trainees also demonstrate that they have acquired the professional competences necessary for Chartered Psychologist and Health Psychologist status by undertaking and documenting additional activities (teaching, behaviour change interventions, consultancy etc.), which are selected with the help of the supervisor to match the preferences and circumstances of the individual trainee. Full details are given in the Programme Handbook, which is available on the right-hand side of this page.

Research groups, comprising staff, postgraduate students, and trainees, meet regularly to discuss ongoing research interests, and the latest national and international developments in the areas concerned. If you are interested in Health Psychology you may find our division of wellbeing of interest, in particular the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology.

Career Opportunities

Programme eHandbook

Programme eHandbook

Other University of Southampton sites

BPS Accreditation

BPS Accreditation

Dr Cynthia Graham

Senior Lecturer

Thumbnail photo of Dr Cynthia Graham
 

Dr Sarah Kirby

Lecturer

Thumbnail photo of Dr Sarah Kirby
 
Reflective reporting

Part of the Health Psychology programme

Reflective reporting

MSc Health Psychology

A pre-requisite for the MPhil/PhD programme

Find out more

Training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy training (CBT training) from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the University of Southampton

Find out more