MSc Health Psychology

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Looking to become a Health Psychologist? Our Masters degree is the course for you and meets the British Psychological Society’s requirements for Stage 1 training in Health Psychology.

Health Psychology

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September 2022
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months. Discontinuous - 60 months maximum.
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

Accreditations

British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society accreditation logo for Health Psychology

Overview

 

Health psychology is the study of psychological and behavioural processes in health, illness, and healthcare. It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioural, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness.

Health Psychologists promote healthier lifestyles. They try to find ways to encourage people to improve their health and also to improve the healthcare system as a whole. For example, helping people to lose weight or stop smoking, or advising doctors on better ways to communicate with their patients.

You’ll learn to use your knowledge of psychology to promote general wellbeing and understand physical illness. We will teach you the skills needed to help people deal with the psychological and emotional aspects of health and illness, and to support people who are chronically ill.

Our MSc Health Psychology has a strong experiential focus and emphasises the application of health psychology to real world settings. The course includes contributions from healthcare practitioners. You will carry out a brief placement in a healthcare setting, which can include the NHS, third sector (charities) or industry, and you’ll usually arrange this placement yourself with support from the course team. You are encouraged to carry out research in healthcare contexts where possible.

This Masters in Health Psychology is designed to meet the British Psychological Society’s requirements for Stage 1 training towards professional Health Psychologist status. Through formal teaching and practical experience, you’ll acquire relevant skills and core competencies as a basis for professional training in health psychology (Stage Two) or other applications of psychology to health issues.

 

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

This accredited MSc Course aims to provide the first part (Stage 1) of postgraduate training in Health Psychology, in accordance with the BPS requirements, by:

  • Enabling students to understand and critically appraise the theoretical basis of Health Psychology, including psychological models and methods applicable to the study and understanding of health and health care issues.
  • Enabling students to critically evaluate the application of Health Psychology approaches to practice, policy and research in health service or related settings.
  • Making students aware of the unique contribution psychology can make to the understanding of health, illness and health care issues, within a multidisciplinary framework.
  • Enabling students to formulate, design and carry out their own empirical research project to a publishable standard.

Via formal teaching and practical experience of Health Psychology applications, students will acquire relevant skills and core competencies which will provide a basis for continuing into professional training in Health Psychology (Stage 2) or other applications of psychology to health issues.

Professional accreditation

Students will acquire relevant skills and core competencies which will provide a basis for a UK British Psychological Society recognised professional training in Health Psychology (Stage 1).

Work placements

You’ll carry out a brief placement in a health or social care setting, which can include the NHS, third sector (charities) or industry. You’ll usually arrange this placement yourself with support from the course team.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Faculty facilities

The Psychology department has outstanding laboratory space fitted with high-quality equipment. It has excellent computing infrastructure, and both research and teaching activities are supported by in-house technical staff with computing, programming, electronic and audio-video expertise.

We've invested heavily in research infrastructure, including our own Psychology Kindergarten, which provides an outstanding facility for developmental research and teaching. Purpose-built laboratory space has also been created to support human electrophysiology research (EEG/ERPs), health research (including GSR and heart rate monitoring), face research (including eye-tracking) and vision research (including stereoscopic displays).

Research overview

Stirling has one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014). It was one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so, the others being Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor.
Source: Times Higher Education magazine.

Our quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. The relevance of our psychology research activity to society received the highest possible rating, which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Our MSc students get involved in our lively community of research excellence.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a 2.1 honours degree in Psychology or related subject or a Psychology (Conversion) degree with Merit.

A qualification recognised by British Psychological Society giving Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership is preferred.

Students accepted without a BPS-recognised qualification and intending to progress to BPS Stage Two training towards practitioner health psychologist status will be required to undertake an accredited Psychology conversion course following this programme. 

Find out more about our Psychology accredited conversion course.

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Indicator 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 105 overall with a minimum of 95 in each sub-skill
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 1 February 2021

If you are from India, Bangladesh, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

You’ll take three modules in each semester with a research project over the summer months.

Modules

The module information below is intended only as an example of what you may study and features details for the current academic year (2021/22). Modules are regularly reviewed and are subject to future changes.

Course Details

Teaching

We combine formal teaching, workshops and practical experience of health psychology applications.

Where possible, each of the course modules will include teaching input from practitioners working with individuals or groups, either in a research or service delivery context.

All members of the course team are readily accessible to students and will provide you with a flexible, individualised and engaging training experience that meets your needs. The modules are delivered in seminars which include lectures, workshops and practical/experiential activities. For the autumn semester, teaching will include pre-recorded lectures followed by a mix of online and face-to-face live sessions. These are scheduled to take place 2 days per week to allow for work commitments. However, it is important to emphasise that this is a full-time course with the workload (eg reading, course work, research project) and time commitment required for a full-time postgraduate course.

Assessment

You need to complete and pass the six modules above to be awarded the MSc Health Psychology. Assessment is by formal exams and coursework, including oral presentations, essays, group work and critical reviews of research.

Course director

Gozde Ozakinci (Course Director)

gozde.ozakinci@stir.ac.uk

+44 (0) 1786 467658

Nicola Hunt (Course Secretary)

+44 (0) 1786 466258

nicola.hunt@stir.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

  2021/22 2022/23
Students from the UK£7,700£8,200
Students from the Republic of Ireland£7,700£8,200
Overseas (non-EU) students£18,645£19,145
European Union students£18,645£19,145

Students from the UK

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

Students from the Republic of Ireland

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

EU Postgraduate Scholarship

Eligible EU students will automatically receive our EU Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides a 40% fee discount on full-time postgraduate degrees at the University of Stirling.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

We offer a range of funding options for overseas students.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

European Union and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

Health Psychology is one of the fastest growing areas of applied psychology and our Masters provides you with the first stage of professional training towards becoming a health psychologist. Students intending to go on to become registered Health Psychologists can achieve this by working in healthcare or in academic posts. Scotland is unique in offering a two-year NHS-funded training course for Stage Two health psychology trainees. A Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology (Stage 2; 3 years full time) is also now offered at the University of Stirling.

Health Psychologists are employed in various settings: 

  • health assessments and management strategies for chronically ill patients, for example, those with cancer or chronic pain
  • rehabilitation programmes, e.g. for patients with coronary heart disease
  • working with patients and carers in palliative care
  • working with primary health care teams in the community
  • health education and health promotion in educational or industrial settings
  • conducting evaluative research in order to provide a research evidence base for health policy decisions.
  • influencing health behaviours, for example in smoking cessation programmes, weight reduction, or sexual health
  • carrying out teaching and research in academic settings
  • teaching and training health care providers

More information about Health Psychology in general, BPS Chartership and careers can be found at the British Psychological Society, Division of Health Psychology website.

Employability skills

You’ll learn key transferable skills by carrying out observational placements in healthcare settings and dissertations that often involve delivery of an intervention. You’ll also carry out presentations, learn communication and interviewing skills and behaviour change techniques.

What our students said

Katie Heslop
Katie Heslop
Scotland
MSc in Health Psychology
Thank you, Health Psychology Team for a brilliant learning experience – I am so pleased that I chose to study at Stirling.
Read Katie's story
Robbie Snowden
Scotland
MSc Health Psychology
The course offered both theoretical knowledge and practical real world examples, this armed me with the ability to critically evaluate our current understanding of our health behaviours
Read Robbie's story
Heather Renwick
Scotland
MSc Health Psychology
The course allows you to learn so many important transferable skills that are beneficial for any future career. I can't recommend the course highly enough.
Read Heather's story

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

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