Health psychologists apply psychological research and methods to:
- promotion and maintenance of health
- prevention and management of illness
- identification of psychological factors in contributing to physical illness
- improvement of the health care system
- formulation of health policy.
Health Psychologists work in health and academic settings:
- teaching students and health professionals
- conducting research
- assessing patients
- managing clinical interventions
- informing health promotion and public health policy.
Health Psychology is one of the latest branches of Psychology to be given professional status by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This means that you will need to complete an accredited MSc in Health Psychology as the first step towards gaining Chartered Health Psychologist status and registration with HPC as a Health Psychologist. For more details, see the Division of Health Psychology web pages.
- The course follows the framework for professional training in health psychology developed by the Division of Health Psychology of the British Psychological Society.
- The MSc aims to give you an overview of health psychology with a focus on the methodologies and models underpinning health research and practice.
- Consideration of ethical and professional issues are central to the course.
- Graduates from this award gain Stage One accreditation towards gaining Chartered Psychologist status and registration with the Health professionals Council (HPC) as a Health Psychologist.
- Develop your skills to critically evaluate the current knowledge, theory and evidence base relevant to health psychology.
- Equip you with the skills and capabilities relevant to progression to health psychology practice.
- Develop your skills to use a range of techniques and research methods applicable to psychological enquiry.
- Enable you to apply relevant ethical, legal and professional practice frameworks and maintain appropriate professional boundaries.
- Develop your ability to communicate effectively (verbally and non-verbally) with colleagues, research supervisors and a wider audience.
- Enable you to demonstrate an ability to disseminate work appropriately in a range of written and oral formats.
- Equip you with the conceptual understanding, skills and knowledge to critically reflect on and synthesise all of the above to inform your developing professional identity as a trainee health psychologist.
The MSc in Health Psychology is awarded on the successful completion of the following modules:
- In Core Issues in Health Psychology you will study health psychology from a variety of perspectives, to develop theoretical and practical knowledge of health psychology, and to develop critical and evaluative skills.
- The Psychology Research Methods module covers qualitative and quantitative methods, including the philosophical underpinnings of research approaches, and the difficulties of conducting research and practice under experimental and non-experimental conditions.
- Communication Issues in Health Care Settings covers general issues relating to communication in health care settings as well as specific issues relating to particular patient groups.
- The Impact and Experience of Long-term Conditions investigates psychological impact and experiences of people who have been diagnosed with a long-term condition.
- Applications of Health Psychology focuses in particular on interventions to improve health.
- The Dissertation allows you to work independently, under supervision, to research a topic of your own choosing.
These modules cover the core curriculum of health psychology required by the BPS for Stage One professional training.
Staffordshire University Masters Program
The MSc in Health Psychology operates within the general framework for the University Modular Masters Programme. To obtain an MSc in Health Psychology you will have to complete modules worth 180 credits. This programme of study normally takes 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time to complete. It is also possible to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Psychology following the completion of taught modules worth 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Psychology having completed taught modules worth 120 credits.
Full time students attend weekly sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Part time students attend on Thursdays in the first year, and Tuesdays in the second year.