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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 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. Our graduates go on to pursue diverse careers in the public, private, and third sectors, including further training to become a Health Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, or Research Psychologist, education, research, specialist medical and hospital-based activities, social work, care work, and business.

Health psychology is the educational, scientific, and professional contributions of psychology to understanding; 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.

Visit the programme specification document for this course

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

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

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 develop and evaluate cutting-edge interventions to promote healthy lifestyles and effective strategies for coping with illness.

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Intake: 16

Average applications per place: 6

With effect from 2015/16, 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

Health psychology masters applicants may be interviewed.

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

Applicants will need a 2.1 in all statistics modules taken and preferably will have some knowledge of SPSS.

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 first need to take a further ('top-up') postgraduate diploma or accredited conversion course.

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)  

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.

The core taught component of this health psychology masters programme extends over two semesters. There are seven core modules, covering health psychology and research methods. In addition to the core modules, you will be expected to take one or two optional unit(s) and attend a bespoke series of skills workshops.

You can find a description of each module in this masters in health psychology programme eHandbook

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

All students take 7 core modules, 1 or 2 optional modules and a 10,000 word dissertation.

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 approximately (but not exceeding) 10,000 words (excluding references and bibliography). 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. Find out more about the health psychology research that our staff undertake at the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology.

Core modules

Semester One

Biopsychosocial Aspects of Health

Psychosocial Aspects of Illness and Disability

ARM-qualitative methods

ARM-planning and designing research

 

Semester Two

Psychology and The Delivery of Health Care

ARM-group comparisons

ARM-correlational methods

 

Optional modules

You should select optional module(s) to the total value of 20 credits from the modules listed.

You are welcome to contact the programme director, deputy director, or personal academic tutor for advice on choosing your optional module(s).

If you have studied with the University at undergraduate level, you must not select an equivalent module.

Semester One

Statistical Programming in R (20 Credits)

Evidence based treatments for Anxiety Disorders (10 Credits)

Introduction to CBT Theory and Skills (10 Credits)

Concepts and Skills (20 Credits)

Social and Psychological Approaches to Understanding Sexual Health (20 Credits)

Philosophy of Social Science Research (10 Credits)

Methods for Researching Ageing Societies (10 Credits)

 

Semester Two

Apprenticeship in Health Psychology (10 Credits)

Demographic Change, Ageing and Globalisation (20 Credits)

Ageing, Health and Well-being (20 Credits)

Advanced Statistical Methods in Psychology (20 Credits)

N.B. For this module you will need to have a general knowledge of statistics. If you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification in Statistics, please contact your Student Office.

Qualitative Methods 2 (10 Credits)

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 2019Full-time£9,250£22,268
Health PsychologyMSc2019Part-time£4,625£11,134
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.

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
StationeryPSYC 6022 Dissertation: Limited funding on successful application to the course director is available from the Psychology department to cover travel or other expenses for patients in research studies. Any student doing NHS research needs to take a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) course as well as get a research passport. You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksPSYC 6022 Dissertation: Limited funding on successful application to the course director is available from the Psychology department to cover travel or other expenses for patients in research studies. Any student doing NHS research needs to take a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) course as well as get a research passport. You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
EquipmentPhotography: Photographic and video recording equipment is available on loan from the Psychology department. Recording Equipment: Recording equipment is available on loan from the Psychology department.
Printing and copying£20 is available from the Psychology department to cover printing and photocopying of survey material for research studies.
FieldworkPSYC 6022 Dissertation: Students need to self-fund any travel expenses incurred in collecting data.
Any student doing NHS research will be required to complete a DBS check, the cost of which students are expected to self-fund.
Conference expenses Should students wish to attend any conferences during their study they would be expected to fund this themselves.
OtherOptional Visits (e.g. museums, galleries) For any optional visits organised by the course students are expected to self-fund travel costs. Parking Costs: Should students wish to apply for a parking permit at UoS they would be expected to fund this themselves.

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

Core and specialist knowledge and understanding is gained through a range of teaching approaches, including:

  • Traditional lectures, and seminars -  seminars, tutorials, and interactive workshops. Typical classes involve a mixture of activities, including involving some lecture material but also plenty of class discussion as well as individual, paired, and small group activities, debates and student presentations.  These activities allow us to give you immediate formative feedback on your learning
  • Interactive workshops - You will also have lots of 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 the 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 original and second-hand qualitative and quantitative datasets
  • Traditional essays and exams

 

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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