Professional Doctorate Health Psychology

Our experienced health psychologists and placement learning will prepare you to become an independent scientist-practitioner in Health Psychology.

Health Psychology

Key facts

  • Award Doctorate
  • Start date January 2022, January 2023
  • Duration Full-time: 36 months; part-time: 72 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based


Health and Care Professions Council, British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society accreditation logo for Health Psychology

Health Psychology can help to address health challenges affecting people’s day to day lives, prevent illness and foster health and well-being.

This course will train you to develop scientific and practitioner skills in Health Psychology, and to be eligible to become a health psychologist. It is based on real-world placement learning, and includes brief periods of teaching and workshops. 

You'll acquire specific competencies as defined by the British Psychological Society. You'll also gain competence in carrying out a piece of high quality empirical research to a standard publishable in peer review journals.

Supervision is provided by the experienced and enthusiastic health team in Psychology. We have an excellent international reputation in the field of Health Psychology with a record of high quality research into health and health behaviour.

Overseas candidates are expected to commence and undertake most of their training in the UK.

Top-up Research Doctorate in Health Psychology

The Professional Doctorate award is also available for study via a two year part-time top-up research doctorate route. Applicants who already hold a doctoral level (practitioner) qualification in Health Psychology via the British Psychological Society (QHP), and are eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a ‘Health Psychologist’ will be eligible to complete the research module for award of the Professional Doctorate degree.

Students following this route will be required to complete the 240 credit ‘Applied Research in Health Psychology’ module, via one-to-one supervision.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • show an advanced knowledge of Health Psychology theory, research and methods
  • develop, deliver and evaluate evidence-based health interventions
  • maintain ethical and professional standards in Health Psychology practice and research
  • provide consultancy for individuals, teams or organisations
  • be competent in designing, delivering and evaluating training courses in Health Psychology

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of Stage 2 training, you'll be eligible for registration with the HCPC under the protected title of ‘Health Psychologist’. 

You will also be eligible to apply for full membership of the Division of Health Psychology and can become a BPS Chartered Health Psychologist.

This Professional Doctorate Health Psychology degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Work placements

Placements are an integral part of this course and you can work in a wide range of settings, including the NHS, local government, health and social care, third sector (charities) or other organisations. In most cases you'll identify your own main placement, and this will need to be organised and approved as part of the application and admissions process. Placements can be paid or unpaid, in your own workplace or elsewhere, or can be carried out on a voluntary basis.

Placements must cover at least two broad areas of work. This could be one main placement supplemented by shorter pieces of work elsewhere, or by time split more or less equally between two placements, or they can be sequential over time.

Overseas candidates are expected to start and undertake most of their training in the UK.

Examples of placements with our current trainees include:

  • A mental health charity, providing health behaviour interventions for clients, and training staff providing support for people with complex behavioural problems in GP practices
  • Providing training for hospital staff in motivational approaches and behaviour change, and contributing to staff well-being support during the Covid 19 pandemic
  • Working with people with learning disabilities

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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