MSc Health Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Are you interested in how psychology can be applied to health, illness and healthcare, and how interventions can be used to improve outcomes and the experience of healthcare?

Our MSc in Health Psychology is designed for students interested in a career in health psychology and has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

On successful completion of a BPS-accredited MSc in Health Psychology, students who hold BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership can continue to Stage 2 training to become Chartered Psychologists with the BPS and to become registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as Registered Health Psychologists.

You will learn from staff at the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology , covering topics such as:

  • key theories in health psychology and how to apply them;
  • current approaches to changing health-related behaviour at individual, population and regulatory levels;
  • the interaction between psychological processes (cognitions, emotions, behaviour) and disease and illness;
  • the ways in which social-cultural factors contribute to health;
  • advanced research methods and analysis techniques in both quantitative and qualitative research;
  • the role and scope of health psychology within academic and healthcare settings.

You will also have the opportunity to attend seminars and a research conference showcasing new health psychology research at Manchester.

Special features

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, health psychologist or other research or practitioner role.

You will benefit from being part of a dynamic department with opportunities to attend research seminars and learn about the work of staff, students and health psychology trainees.

Flexible learning

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

Conference award scheme

We are keen to support our students' career development. As a student on this course you will be able to apply to our conference award scheme.

The student with the best abstract will be awarded funding to attend a national conference where they can showcase their research. This is a great opportunity to develop your skills and network with others in the field.

Work placements

Voluntary work placements are available. These are up to 72 hours (2 weeks) and can be taken over the summer or throughout the full year. Work placements include working in a variety of settings (eg schools, hospitals, universities and other organisations) with trained Stage 2 health psychologists and research teams.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through face-to-face interactive sessions consisting of some lecture material with discussions and group work, as well as audio-visual stimuli.

All course units are supported by the use of Blackboard (a virtual learning environment) through which you can access lecture slides, reading lists and other accompanying material.

Each course unit on Blackboard also has its own discussion board, where you can post questions and interact with staff and other students on the course.

A significant amount of teaching and learning will take place through the dissertation unit (60 credits), where you will be expected to take a lead role in developing a research project with regular support, input, and mentorship from their project supervisor.

This course is co-led by Dr Tracy Epton and Dr Kimberley Dienes .

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

Coursework and assessment

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, problem-based learning exercises, self-paced online training, student presentations and independent supervised study.

You will learn first-hand from researchers, 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, but also 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.

This course is co-led by Dr Tracy Epton and Dr Kimberley Dienes .

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

Course unit details

Full-time students will take four 15-credit taught units in each of Semester 1 and Semester 2. Two of these units will be taught on Mondays, the other two on Thursdays. Part-time students will take two taught units each year of their studying (such that they will be expected to attend classes on one day of the week each year).

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

Note: we are aware that you may have other commitments outside of the MSc (eg employment) 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 (or part-time) studying hours around external commitments.

Semester 1:

  • Research Methods 1
  • Professional Issues
  • Facilitating Change (Part 1)
  • Health and Society

Semester 2:

  • Research Methods 2
  • Mind and Body
  • Health Behaviour Change
  • Illness and Healthcare

This course is taught in parallel with the  MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology and students on both courses take the same units for the first semester.

Students enrolled on the MSc Health Psychology may transfer to MSc Clinical and Health Psychology at the end of Semester 1 should they wish to do so.

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
Research Methods I: Conducting Applied Research PSYC60001 15 Mandatory
Dissertation PSYC60010 60 Mandatory
Facilitating Change 1 PSYC69741 15 Mandatory
Research Methods II: Design and Analysis PSYC69802 15 Mandatory
Mind and Body PSYC69822 15 Mandatory
Health and Society PSYC69831 15 Mandatory
Professional Issues PSYC69841 15 Mandatory
Health Behaviour Change PSYC69842 15 Mandatory
Illness & Health Care PSYC69852 15 Mandatory
Health Psychology Placement PSYC66660 0 Optional

What our students say

'Health psychology is a broad and evolving field, and the course content definitely reflected this. Considering the current state of healthcare and medicine, health psychologists are set to become increasingly important. For example, applying psychological theory to help people adapt to new types of diagnosis or medical procedure is vital. The course allows you to explore these issues and ideas in a lively, complex and engaging way.

The highlight of the course for me was the dissertation. The choice of projects offers something for every interest, and staff are also open to discussing students' own ideas.

Half way through the course I got a job as a research assistant in the NHS, helped largely by the research skills I was developing on the MSc.

I've recently applied to do a PhD in Manchester, which will hopefully allow me to expand on the work I did for my dissertation.'

Faye Johnson, MSc Health Psychology graduate 2018

Facilities

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 .