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The University of Southampton
PsychologyPostgraduate study

MSc Health Psychology (1 year)

Explore how psychological knowledge can improve wellbeing and manage chronic disorders with our MSc in Health Psychology. Human behaviour is a root cause of much physical illness and on this masters programme you will learn how to develop and evaluate cutting-edge interventions to promote healthy lifestyles and effective strategies for coping with illness.

Introducing your course

This health psychology degree aims to train people who will become scientist-practitioners working in a range of health settings. We welcome students from around the world. Our students have come to us from countries including, but not limited to, Saudi Arabia, China, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Antigua, the USA, Canada, Australia, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Japan, Ghana, and Finland. Our graduates go on to pursue diverse careers in the public, private, and third sectors, including working in research, education, and professional practice as psychologists. 

Health psychology is the educational, scientific, and professional contributions of psychology to:

  • the promotion and maintenance of health and the aetiology of illness;
  • the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical illness;
  • the study of psychological, social, emotional, and behavioural factors in physical illness; and
  • the improvement of the health care system, and formulation of health policy.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for part-time for 2019/20 entrants

To Apply

You should apply for this health psychology masters degree using the University's online application form.

Closing date for 2019/20 (for fully completed applications): 31st July 2019

 

Accreditation

The British Psychological Society

This MSc Health Psychology programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

 

Programme Structure

This BPS-accredited programme extends over one full calendar year for full-time students and 27 months for part-time students.

  • The core taught component of the MSc Health Psychology programme extends over two semesters
  • There are seven core modules, covering health psychology and research methods
  • You can choose from at least 10 optional units, including CBT and an Apprenticeship in Health Psychology, giving you the opportunity to study the aspects of health psychology that most interest you
  • You will also attend a bespoke series of skills workshops, developing skills in psychological interventions, research, and training, and helping you to practice essential transferable professional skills

The MSc Health Psychology Programme Director is Dr Felicity Bishop. The Deputy Programme Director is Dr Laura Dennison.

Key Facts

  • Core health psychology modules cover all essential foundational knowledge: Biopsychosocial Aspects of Health; Psychosocial Aspects of Illness and Disability and Psychology and the Delivery of Health Care
  • Specialist optional modules include Health Psychology Apprenticeship (hands-on practical learning as an apprentice to a health psychologist over 12 weeks); Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (develop your basic clinical skills); Ageing, Health and Wellbeing (specialist in-depth study).
  • Programme staff are active leading researchers with diverse interests and expertise across health psychology topics, interventions, and qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Students have the opportunity to attend regular seminars from leading researchers at the Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology

Student Experience

“We look at all aspects of health psychology. Ranging from policies, interventions, chronic illnesses and how psychology can play a role, alongside medicine, in trying to help individuals with illnesses have as good a life as possible.”

“There’s such a wide range of choices of things to do, and the supervisors are so helpful.”

“The supervisors are so supportive in listening to your ideas and what you would like to do, and giving you advice along the way.”

“It’s a really good social group, because there is about 13 of us that take part in the course and we’ve all formed such a strong group, we’re all from different cultures, different nationalities, and it’s just a really strong bond.”

“The staff are really friendly and really good - they are experts in their field and know exactly that they’re doing and are really helpful if you have any questions.”

“It’s a fantastic University to come and study at and the MSc Health Psychology course in particular is fantastic.”

“You learn so much in such a short space of time that it’s really worth the money that you spend on it.”

Improving health and wellbeing

Dr Felicty Bishop and Dr Daniel Schoth give an overview of the MSc Health Psychology programme

Learn more
Cover to eHandbook for MSc Health Psychology
Programme eHandbook

You are welcome to browse the MSc Health Psychology eHandbook, by clicking on the image.

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Intake: 16

Average applications per place: 6

The MSc Health Psychology programme is designed for graduates from BPS-accredited Psychology degrees, normally of first or upper second class (2.1).

If your first degree is non BPS accredited you may still apply for this programme but you will not be conferred Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)* .  If you need GBC you may need to take a further ('top-up') postgraduate diploma or accredited conversion course.  This can now be taken either before or after the MSc.  The British Psychological Society can advise you on how to proceed if you are not sure whether you will need GBC in the future.

* formerly Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR)  

Many students have successfully completed this MSc in Health Psychology without having studied a BPS accredited first degree.  If you have any concerns about whether your first degree provides an adequate foundation for this MSc, please contact the Programme Director, Dr Felicity Bishop , directly.

International applicants are required to have an overall IELTS score of 7.0 overall with a minimum score of 6.5 in each sub-score (or equivalent).

Selection for this masters in health psychology programme is on the basis of online application form with:

  • Personal statement
  • Degree certificate/s (& translated version if necessary)
  • Degree transcript/s (& translated version if necessary)
  • English Language Qualification (if applicable)
  • Two academic references

 

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

This MSc Health Psychology programme extends over one full calendar year for full-time students and 27 months for part-time students.

Unlike most other accredited MSc Health Psychology programmes, we offer a choice of optional modules. This means you can tailor your studies to your own particular interests and needs. We also provide regular bespoke hands-on skills training workshops as part of your core modules in health psychology. This means that you will not only be acquiring in-depth knowledge you will also be developing your abilities to apply that knowledge and work professionally.

During this masters, you may have the opportunity to carry out research or other work in a healthcare setting in the NHS. For example, some students do this as part of their dissertation or the optional Health Psychology Apprenticeship module. Any student doing NHS research needs to take a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) course as well as get a research passport, and will be supported by their supervisor in this.

Year 1

MSc Dissertation

The dissertation forms the largest single component of the MSc, and consists of an original piece of research, designed, executed and written up according to programme guidelines, in a report of up to 10,000 words. This work is carried out by students independently under individual supervision. Each year supervisors present their research expertise and opportunities to students to help them select a supervisor for the dissertation. Students 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 successfully by colleagues from elsewhere in the University, including the Macmillan Survivorship Research Group and psychologists based in the Faculty of Medicine, including Dr Kim Bull, Dr Mary Barker, and Dr Wendy Lawrence.

Core modules

In Semester 1 you will learn about the important contributions that psychological factors make to physical health, wellness, and illness.  You will learn how to use psychological theories and evaluate evidence to understand how some psychological factors can increase our risk of illness while others can enhance our wellness and quality of life, even when we are ill. You will develop your professional, academic, and research design skills, be introduced to careers in applied psychology, and acquire hands-on training in qualitative research methods.

Building on the work done in Semester 1, in Semester 2 you will focus on how we can apply psychological theory and knowledge to improve the delivery of health care. You’ll learn about major approaches to the development and evaluation of cutting edge health psychology interventions to change people’s behaviour and improve health outcomes. You will develop your advanced statistical skills through lectures and hands-on workshops. And you will have the opportunity to improve your specialist communication skills and to present your work at the annual Psychology Postgraduate Conference.

Optional modules

Students can create a bespoke course based on their interests by selecting up to 20 credits of the following Optional modules. Once selected the module(s) become Core.

Please note:

  • If you wish to select PSYC6106, you must also select PSYC6104.
  • If you wish to select PSYC6046 you will need to have a general knowledge of statistics.
  • If you have studied with the University at undergraduate level, you must not select an equivalent module.
Semester One
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
PSYC6001Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6003Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6022Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
60
RESM6009Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
RESM6012Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
Optional
GERO6017Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
HLTH6056Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6055Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6056Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6104Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
PSYC6106Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
PSYC6109Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
RESM6001Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
Semester Two
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
PSYC6002Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6022Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
60
RESM6010Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
RESM6011Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
Optional
GERO6019Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
GERO6020Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6046Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20
PSYC6106Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
PSYC6128Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
RESM6006Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
RESM6305Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
10
SOCI6046Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
20

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).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Health PsychologyMSc 2020Full-time£9,250£23,136
Health PsychologyMSc2020Part-time£4,625£11,568
View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowships may be used to fund MSc studies. If you are interested in a career in research methodology or are a practicing clinician, you might be eligible for this funding. Check out the  NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowships and the HEE/NIHS Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship Schemes on their website.

We are delighted to offer a 10% discount on fees to University of Southampton graduates.  You must mention in your application form if you want to take up this offer.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
Conference expenses The Psychology Postgraduate Conference is free of charge and the cost of printing posters to present at this conference is covered by Psychology. Should students wish to attend external conferences they would be expected to self-fund this. The cost of such conferences varies considerably.
OtherParking. Should students wish to apply for a parking permit at UoS they would be expected to fund this themselves. For further information see: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/transport/parking/student-parking-permits.page
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library will hold at least one copy of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies.
OtherOccupational Health, DBS checks or vaccinations. Any student doing work (e.g. dissertation or apprenticeship) in an NHS setting will need a research passport. To obtain a research passport, students may need a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Check (which costs approximately £25), may need to undertake a Good Clinical Practice course (free online course available), and may need to obtain occupational health clearance which may involve providing evidence of appropriate vaccination history. Some doctors levy a charge for providing a vaccination history; the cost of this varies by doctor. The cost of the DBS check may be funded by the programme. Any cost associated with obtaining a vaccination history would be funded by the student.
OtherStudents may apply to the programme director for funding to support well-justified costs associated with the Dissertation research. Such costs might include, for example, travel involved in data collection (your own or participants') and/or payments or other incentives for participants and/or printing of questionnaires/consent forms etc. Typically the programme is able to support applications of up to £50, but this is subject to the quality of applications.
OtherOptional Visits (e.g. museums, galleries). For any optional visits organised by the course students are expected to self-fund travel costs
EquipmentPhotographic and video and audio recording equipment is available on loan from the Psychology department. There is no cost for this.
Printing and copyingStudents are expected to self-fund any day to day printing costs. There are two exceptions to this: 1. the programme funds the printing of posters for the postgraduate conference; and 2. financial support is available for printing costs associated with the dissertation.
TravelStudents are expected to self-fund any travel expenses associated with the (optional) Apprenticeship module or the Dissertation. Not all apprenticeships or dissertations involve travel costs.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Teaching methods

On the MSc Health Psychology course you will gain your acquisition of both core and specialist knowledge and understanding is gained through a range of teaching approaches, including:

  • Traditional lectures and seminars involving some lecture material but also plenty of class discussion as well as individual, paired, and small group activities, debates and student presentations.
  • Interactive workshops giving you opportunities to develop your academic and practical skills in hands-on skills workshops and research methods workshops, with the support of staff.
  • Supervision – you will work with your dissertation supervisor who will give you individual expert guidance for your dissertation

Throughout this masters in health psychology programme you are also encouraged to undertake independent reading both to consolidate what is being taught and broaden your knowledge and understanding of particular topics. This includes academic text books, scientific journals and other selected sources. We support your ability to get the most out of your independent study with skills workshops on topics such as critical appraisal as well as the student-led health psychology journal club.

Assessment

Your learning will be assessed using diverse approaches across modules including innovative assessments such as:

  • A behaviour change diary
  • A mini systematic review
  • Three skills portfolios; containing professional development plans and training logs
  • Research methods reports on your own mini qualitative project and the analysis of quantitative datasets
  • Traditional essays and exams

 Meet our Academic Team

Felicity Bishop, Programme Director and Module Leader

Laura Dennison, Programme Deputy Director, Journal Club Facilitator

Daniel Schoth, Teaches on health psychology and research methods modules

Christina Liossi, Module Leader

Leanne Morrison, Module Leader

Cynthia Graham, Teaches on health psychology modules

Sarah Kirby, Module Leader for research methods, Teaches on health psychology modules

Study locations

Shackleton Building

Highfield Campus, Shackleton Building (B44)

This is Psychology's main base. It is also known as Building 44, and i...Find out more

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