About this course
Human behaviour is a leading cause of physical illness worldwide. MSc Health Psychology teaches you how psychology can be applied to improve well-being and prevent and manage long-term conditions.
On this British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degree, you’ll be taught by expert lecturers who are currently developing and testing interventions and theory in the field.
Health psychology master’s graduates will be prepared to progress towards becoming a registered, chartered health psychologist.
This UK postgraduate health psychology master’s will help you become a scientist practitioner in a health care setting.
Health psychology applies the educational, scientific and professional psychological principles to:
- promote and maintain health
- study the cause of illness
- prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate physical illness
- psychological, social, emotional and behavioural factors in physical illness
- improving health care
- the formulation of health policy
In Msc Health Psychology your taught study will focus around three themes:
- biopsychosocial aspects of health
- psychosocial aspects of illness and disability
- psychological aspects of the delivery of health care
On this master’s in health psychology, you’ll select optional modules to tailor the course to suit your career goals. Popular module choices include the study of CBT, sexual health and gerontology.
You have the opportunity to experience practical learning as an apprentice to a health psychologist over 12 weeks and develop your reading of research papers and discussing them in a journal club with students on the course.
Our health psychology master’s degree is taught by active leading researchers and experts across the different areas of health psychology, interventions and research methods. You’ll have the opportunity to attend seminars from researchers at the Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology.
Previous students have pursued careers in the public, private and third sectors, working as psychologists in research, education and professional practice.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Dr Leanne Morrison is the course leader. She is a psychologist working on an interdisciplinary programme of mixed methods research around developing and evaluating digital health interventions to support the self-management of physical health issues. Find out more about Dr Morrison’s work and research by visiting their staff profile.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in Psychology or in a closely related subject.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
You'll study the taught part of your course over semesters 1 and 2. This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and 1-2 modules we’ll ask you to choose from out of a list of 10, these include topics include:
- cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- apprenticeships in health psychology
- ageing societies
- social policy
You’ll also attend bespoke skills workshops, focusing on:
- psychological interventions
- research skills (including interviewing)
- communication to support behaviour change
- practicing professional skills
During semester 2 you’ll also begin preparing for your dissertation.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently to research and write your dissertation. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
The part-time study option of this course runs for 27 months, starting in September and running to December the following year.
You’ll study the taught part from September to May of year 2, and the remaining months are spent on your dissertation.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
Applied Research Methods (ARM): Correlational Methods
Topics covered will include: • The strengths and weaknesses of correlational designs • How to construct a questionnaire • Psychometrics in classical test theory (including reliability, validity, and exploratory factor analysis) • Correlation analyses ...
Applied Research Methods (ARM): Planning & Designing Research
The Applied Research Methods Modules cover the common needs for training in research methods and statistics of all students in their first year of postgraduate study in psychology. As one of a series of research units, it provides trainees with knowledge ...
Applied Research Methods: Qualitative Methods
The module progresses through the key phases of qualitative research design and implementation, emphasising the (often iterative) links between these activities: epistemological concerns, research questions, data collection and analysis techniques, and th...
Applied Research Methods: Statistical Analysis of Comparisons & Group Differences
One of the pre-requisites for PSYC8042
Biopsychosocial Aspects of Health
This module introduces you to the scope of health psychology as an academic and applied branch of psychology. We explore patterns and causes of health and ill-health and examine a selection of major theoretical models. Key questions that we examine includ...
The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to work with a member of the academic unit to develop a research question and implement a project that generates new knowledge in the field of psychology and that serves to extend the disci...
Psychology & The Delivery of Health Care
This module will explore the role of health psychologists in promoting health, designing and delivering health and illness related interventions. We will consider key factors and processes in the delivery of health care, including health promotion, and ca...
Psychosocial Aspects of Illness and Disability
The module will examine the psychosocial aspects of a range of illnesses, and explore the current theoretical models and research findings that inform clinical practice.
You must also choose from the following modules:
Advanced Statistical Methods in Psychology
This module is divided into two components that focus on cutting-edge statistical techniques. The first half focuses on Structural Equation Models, covering Path Analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Structural Equation Modelling, Multigroup Models ...
Ageing, Health and Well-being
Students will be introduced to key issues and literature concerning the current structure and workings of the welfare state, focusing on the health and social care for older people.
Apprenticeship in Health Psychology
Working as a health psychology apprentice will improve your understanding of what it means to work in health psychology and permit you to develop subject-specific and generic professional skills. Supported by module staff, you will select a suitable psych...
CBT for Anxiety Presentations (Short)
The aim of this module is to extend your knowledge and understanding of CBT assessment and formulation and to examine CBT change methods in depth - as applied to anxiety presentations. You may take the full module (PSYC6107) covering a full range of pr...
Demographic Change, Ageing & Globalisation
This module provides you with a foundation of knowledge on demographic change and population ageing in a cross-cultural, global perspective. The module focuses on less economically developed countries (LEDCs), and on linkages between different regions of ...
Human Sexual Diversity
This module will provide an overview of human sexuality, sexual behaviour, and sexual diversity.
International Social Policy
This module will review and discuss the state of the art in research on social welfare and human well-being and the one, and on social policies addressing these issues on the other hand. In the first part students will explore how previously dominant econ...
Introduction to CBT Theory & Skills
The aim of this module is to give you a basic understanding of the principles of CBT assessment, formulation and change methods. The module focuses on generic therapeutic and basic competencies, as well as specific behavioural and cognitive therapy techni...
This module will introduce you to the use of mixed methods for approaching and addressing research questions in a range of disciplines within social and human sciences. You will be introduced to the theories of mixed methods, and examine the ways in which...
Open Science in Psychology
The Open Science in Psychology module focuses on training students in current open science practices – practices which are becoming increasingly popular in modern psychology research.
Philosophy of Social Science Research
This module will look at the dominant traditions in the philosophy of social science and how these have shaped substantive research within the study of the social sciences.
Qualitative Methods 2
Qualitative Methods II builds upon the material learnt in Qualitative Methods I and addresses a range of specialist qualitative techniques, their underpinning theoretical framework and their practical application.
Researching Ageing Societies
The aim of this module is to (i) engage students in a critical debate on the transformations, challenges and potentials that ageing societies face and (ii) discuss the research methods, data and ethical implications involved in contemporary research of ol...
Social and Psychological Approaches to Understanding Sexual Health
This module is designed to enable and encourage students to apply social psychological and related methods and theories to various aspects of sexual health, including both psychological and physical aspects.
Statistical Programming in R
The Statistical Programming in R Module is focused on extending existing skills in analyzing data from quantitative research. The focus of this course will not be on extensively expanding the mathematical knowledge of the techniques employed but will be o...
Learning and assessment
You’ll learn through lectures and seminars, both with active class discussion. You’ll take part in individual, paired and group activities, debates and presentations.
As part of this project management MSc you’ll take part in interactive workshops to help you develop your practical skills.
You’ll be encouraged to undertake independent study to consolidate your learning and grow your knowledge on topics.
We'll assess you through:
- a behaviour change diary
- a mini systematic review
- 3 skills portfolios; containing professional development plans and training logs
- research methods reports on your own mini qualitative project and the analysis of quantitative datasets
As part of this course, you’ll complete a 10,000-word dissertation project.
Expert supervisors will present their research expertise and opportunities to you so you can select a supervisor for the dissertation.
You'll choose from a wide range of subject areas under the supervision of an expert in the field. Find out more about the health psychology research that our staff undertake at the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology.
Students have also been supervised by colleagues from other subject areas in The University of Southampton, including:
- Macmillan Survivorship Research Group
- psychologists based in medicine
We’ll assign you a personal tutor, and you’ll have access to a senior tutor.
MSc Health Psychology graduates work in a variety of settings such as the NHS, Higher Education, health promotion, schools or industry.
Our graduates progress to a diverse range of employment and further training in the UK and overseas, including working in universities and other educational settings, human health activities including specialist medical and hospital-based activities, care work, and business.
Many of our graduates have also been successful in securing funding for PhD study.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £26,352.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Southampton Psychology Postgraduate International Scholarship
A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students studying for a postgraduate master’s in Psychology.
Find out more about Southampton Psychology Postgraduate International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Places are limited and we allocate them on a continuous basis from 21 September 2022, until all places are filled. We advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.
We expect to close applications for this course on Friday 7 July 2023 (11:59pm UK time).
This course may stay open after this date if places are still available.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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