MSc Health Psychology

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Health Psychology Placement

Unit code PSYC66660
Credit rating 0
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This unit is designed to teach students what it is like to be a Stage 2 Health Psychologist by placing them in a work environment.  Students will apply their course content to activities in a variety of different settings, including schools, hospitals, and research placements.  For example, students will design outreach programmes, design and present behaviour change workshops for clients with a variety of chronic and acute illnesses, and school age children, engage in data management, translate research findings into usable content for medical care providers, engage in outcome assessment, work with social media to publicise research findings, and conduct focus groups.  The placement unit is designed to not only teach students what it is like to be a Health Psychologist, but also to help them learn valuable skills for the workplace such as interpersonal interaction and work within a team.  These placements may also lead to longer term positions, provide dissertation topics, and enhance students’ employability.

Aims

The unit aims to:

  • Enhance the taught component of the MSc in Health Psychology by introducing lived experience of working with a Stage 2 Health Psychologist, or similar professional, in the community
  • Provide students with transformational learning opportunities to enhance their learning experience
  • Help students gain valuable careers experience to help them make future decisions about potential careers in Health Psychology
  • Enhance students’ employability through skill acquisition and experience in the workplace

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Consider the key roles, skills and competencies of a health psychologist and be able to reflect on their own professional development.
  • Critically evaluate key elements of health psychology within the workplace, including leadership, managing change, inter and intra-professional relations, communication, and decision-making.
  • Apply a comprehensive knowledge of ethics in health context, including legal issues, statutory obligations, reflection and continuing professional development.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills needed for work within a team environment or health psychology setting

Students will also be able to do several of the following depending on their placement:

  • Design and implement behaviour change workshops in school, organisational and hospital settings
  • Engage in outreach about clinical and health services available
  • Translate health related research findings for non-academic audiences
  • Publicly present important health related information
  • Conduct focus groups

Teaching and learning methods

The Placement unit will begin with an introduction to the placements and a presentation of the placement options during Induction week.  Interviews by the various placement sites will take place during the first week of classes.  Placements will be allocated on a matching basis, with students and sites expressing their preferences.  Placements will start at varying time points throughout the year depending on the placement. 

Up to 75 placement hours will take place during the year.  These hours will be discussed between the student and supervisor at the start of the placement and will be signed off on by the Placement Coordinator.  The hours on placement are completely flexible, but should not in any way interfere with the students’ coursework. 

There will be a placement meeting at the end of Semester 1 to check in on students’ progress and request feedback on the Placement Unit for those students who have begun their placement.

The discussion board on Blackboard will be available for asking questions and discussing issues arising in on placement. The Placement Coordinator will respond to all discussion board posts as soon as possible and will also be available via email.

The assessment will be completed by students at the end of Semester 1 (where relevant) and at the end of the placement. 

There will be a meeting for all students at the end of the year to discuss their placement experience.

Assessment methods

There will be a Placement Report completed by the student and a Placement Evaluation completed by the supervisor after semester 1 (where relevant) and at the end of the placement.  These are optional and for informational purposes only and will not count towards the marks for the student or affect their course performance in any way.

Feedback methods

There will be a Placement Report completed by the student and a Placement Evaluation completed by the supervisor after semester 1 (where relevant) and at the end of the placement.  These are optional and for informational purposes only and will not count towards the marks for the student or affect their course performance in any way.

Recommended reading

These are key readings for the course. Additional references will be provided with individual sessions.

 Forshaw, M. and Sheffield, D. eds., 2012. Health psychology in action. John Wiley & Sons. 

Marks, D., Murray, M., Evans, B., & Estacio, E. V. (2015). Health psychology: Theory, research and practice (Fourth ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE. 

BPS (2018) Code of Ethics and Conduct 

HCPC (2016) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Tracy Epton Unit coordinator

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