MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice
This 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 and/or Health Psychologist status.
The programme conforms closely to the Division of Health Psychology’s 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) HCPC and approval (for MPhil and PhD levels).
This programme is normally completed within 2-4 years of full-time work, or up to 7 years of part-time study.
Application 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).
A chartered/health psychologist provides close one-to-one supervision of the research and development of professional competences, with additional independent input from an advisory team.
A half-day of workshops and seminars is arranged monthly in term-time, allowing students to meet with each other and the programme director, and obtain expert input and training specific to the needs of health psychologists in training. Students are also able to freely access the very wide range of training opportunities open to postgraduate students in the Academic Unit, Faculty and University.
Accreditation and approval
This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, 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 take place over a ‘bring your own’ sandwich lunch just before the main workshop sessions during term time and, due to popular demand, are also held outside of term time.
The 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.
Graduate School office: email@example.com, tel +44 (0)23 8059 7385
Programme Director: Dr Cynthia Graham
Any student doing NHS research needs to take a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) course as well as obtaining a research passport.
Typical entry requirements
Intake: 2 on average
Average applicants per place: 2
Applications for our MPhil/PhD programme are made using the University’s online application form1 here. 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 on this programme include a first or upper second-class honours degree in psychology. An average of at least 65% for MSc work, including at least 65% for dissertation and research methods module. Preferably the average mark (at least 60%) should be at least 65%, but a lower mark 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 will need to have already reached a satisfactory standard in an approved test in English, such as Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English grade C or above, IELTS grade 6.5 or TOEFL score of 580.
Applicants will also need to provide:
- A CV
- An Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) form outlining MSc modules studied
- A supervision agreement
- A research proposal
- A job description
- A workplace agreement
- A supervision plan
Eligible applicants must then complete:
- A Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) 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.
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 and 7 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 students have the opportunity of taking the 'Introduction to CBT' one week course and other research skills courses through the doctorial training 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).
Learning and teaching
Students register for an MPhil/PhD, undertaken by completing a systematic review and empirical research on a health-related topic. Students 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 student. Full details are given in the Programme Handbook, which is available on the right-hand side of this page.
Research groups, comprised of staff and postgraduate students, 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.