MSc Clinical and Health Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Are you interested in better understanding the role of psychology in mental and physical health problems, and how psychological therapies and approaches can improve the lives of people?

The MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology provides a thorough grounding in the research, theory and practice of clinical and health psychology.

You will be taught about current and novel developments by leading researchers and clinicians within a highly influential research-active division of a Russell Group university.

The course has been designed to help prepare you for a career in clinical or health psychology and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

You will also learn about the principles and evidence-base of psychological interventions to change behaviour and cognition at the individual, group and population level, as well as the role of psychologists within healthcare settings such as the NHS and how the science of psychology is applied in clinical practice.

In addition, you will receive advanced training in the methodology and analysis techniques used within clinical and health psychology research.

You will benefit from the expertise of clinically active members of the course team who contribute to our teaching sessions and provide research supervision. You will also have the opportunity to attend seminars and a research conference showcasing new clinical and health psychology research at Manchester. 

This MSc does not replace or guarantee entry onto an accredited Clinical Psychology Doctoral training programme.

This MSc is not an accredited Stage 1 Health Psychology programme. Applicants interested in Stage 1 Health Psychology should apply for our BPS-accredited MSc Health Psychology .

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.

Special features

Shortlisting for the Manchester Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programme

Two additional interview places for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate are available for recent graduates from this MSc programme who meet shortlisting criteria and score highest in the application process.

Training in a research active environment

Our training covers a broad range of research methods taught by leading experts in their field.

We prepare you for a future research-active career, whether as an academic, clinical psychologist or another research-practitioner role. You will benefit from being part of a dynamic department with opportunities to attend research seminars and an annual postgraduate health sciences research conference, where you can learn about the work of PhD students and trainee clinical psychologists.

Flexible learning

You can choose to study full-time or part-time, enabling you to fit learning around your other commitments.

Teaching and learning

Our team are passionate about your learning and development. We combine traditional and contemporary teaching methods and formats to provide a varied and engaging learning experience.

These include lectures, group discussions, seminars, workshops, self-paced online training, student presentations and independent supervised study.

You will learn first-hand from clinicians, practitioners and individuals who have lived experience of psychological and physical health problems, giving you an invaluable insight into these difficulties.

Our programme team work to support the individual needs of our students. You will be allocated a personal academic advisor who will guide your academic and professional development, and provide pastoral support.

You will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with influential research-active staff to produce a high quality dissertation using qualitative, quantitative or mixed research methods.

For example, see our recent work on self-harm in lesbian, gay and bisexual students , or developments in the understanding and treatment of trauma .

You will benefit from strong links with our ClinPsyD Doctorate in Clinical Psychology . Clinical members of this programme are actively involved in teaching, supervising and providing support and advice on applying for clinical psychology training. Consequently, the ClinPsyD doctorate in Clinical Psychology often includes students who have graduated from this MSc course.

The course is led by Dr Louisa Shirley.

Find out more about postgraduate teaching and learning methods at Manchester.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessment methods, including exams, essays, presentations, poster conferences, case studies, practical reports and a dissertation.

Course unit details

You will take a combination of taught course units and a supervised research-based dissertation on a chosen topic relating to clinical or health psychology.

Key areas of the curriculum include:

  • evidence-based psychological interventions and therapies for mental and physical health problems
  • approaches to understanding mental health difficulties including self-harm, psychosis and substance abuse
  • integrative theoretical approaches to psychological interventions and behaviour change
  • psychobiology of health and illness
  • sociocultural aspects of health
  • advanced research methodology, encompassing quantitative and qualitative analytic techniques.

As a full-time student you will take four 15-credit taught units in each of Semester 1 and Semester 2. These will be taught using blended learning. There will be asychonrous materials for you to work through prior to a synchronous session (some of these will be online and some will be in person). Two of the synchronous sessions will be taught on Mondays, the other two on Thursdays. If you are a part-time student you will take two taught units each year (you will be expected to attend classes on one day of the week each year).

In addition, you will be allocated a supervisor for the dissertation (60 credits), a unit that runs for the full year (you are also expected to work on the dissertation over the summer). The dissertation consists of an independent piece of research.

Please note: we are aware that you may have other commitments outside of the MSc and we fit teaching into two days of the week to help you to manage multiple commitments. However, this is an intensive, demanding course, so you need to make sure that you are able to fit in full-time (35-40 hours) (or part-time) studying hours around external commitments.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Critical, creative and comprehensive research methodologies PSYC60001 15 Mandatory
Dissertation PSYC60010 60 Mandatory
Psychology in Clinical Practice 1 PSYC69741 15 Mandatory
Critical, creative and comprehensive research analyses PSYC69802 15 Mandatory
Health and Society PSYC69831 15 Mandatory
Professional Issues PSYC69841 15 Mandatory
Psychology in Clinical Practice 2 PSYC69742 15 Optional
Mind and Body PSYC69822 15 Optional
Health Behaviour Change PSYC69842 15 Optional
Illness & Health Care PSYC69852 15 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

What our students say

Read posts from our students on the Biology, Medicine and Health Student blog .


You will be able to access and benefit from the excellent range of facilities throughout the University, including our libraries (one of the best resourced in the country), careers, student support and IT services.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .