How do people stay healthy, why do people become ill and what happens when people become ill? This engaging course addresses these questions by examining the psychological influences on health and wellbeing. Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and meeting its standards for stage 1 of the training to become a health psychologist, the MSc takes a scientist-practitioner approach, giving students an excellent grounding in both research methodology and professional and practical skills.
We focus on supporting your future employability by helping you develop a range of professional, research and transferable skills through teaching, workshops and a placement. An exciting combination of health psychologists, clinical psychologists, other health professionals and leading researchers teach this course. You will learn how health psychologists apply psychological research and methods to promote health, aid the prevention and management of illness, help with the identification of psychological factors contributing to physical illness.
During this programme, you will study health-related behaviour, addiction and treatment; public health, health promotion and behaviour change interventions; stress and stress management; chronic illness and its management; working with patients in the health care system, research methods and professional issues.
A £3,000 scholarship is available for September 2014 entry. Please see our scholarships page for more information.
We focus on supporting your future employability by helping you develop a range of professional, research and transferable skills, especially professional and practitioner skills (e.g. smoking cessation, cognitive-behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, health promotion and health behaviour change), through teaching, workshops and a placement.
You will learn how Health Psychologists apply psychological research and methods to the promotion and maintenance of health, the prevention and management of illness, the identification of psychological factors contributing to physical illness, the improvement of the health care system and the formulation of health policy.
For full-time students teaching is on Tuesdays and Thursdays and for part-time students it is on Tuesdays in year 1 and Thursdays in year 2.
For students wishing to undertake a placement, this may be full-time or part-time and will generally take place during the summer after the taught part of the course ends.
Coursework includes case studies, health behaviour journal, designing health promotion materials, laboratory reports and essays.
Advanced Research Methods in Psychology (30 Credits) - Compulsory
This module conforms with the statistics and methodology requirements of the British Psychological Society Divisions of Forensic and Health Psychology, and National Occupational Standards for Applied Psychologists Key roles 2 3 . Successful completion of this module provides partial fulfilment of the requirements for Stage 1 exemption for chartered psychologists Health/Forensic . The module extends psychology students undergraduate knowledge of research methods, design and statistics with particular reference to advanced forensic and health psychology. It prepares them for their dissertation, forthcoming supervised practice and enables them to choose appropriate methodologies and analyses for research.
Applications of Health Psychology (15 credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to introduce students to the applications of health psychology to health promotion and in particular, to behaviour change. It aims to help students develop the skills to design and evaluate interventions. The module examines different settings for this work.
Processes of Illness and Health Care Delivery (30 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to introduce students to the biological processes involved in the onset and progression of a variety of long-term illnesses and diseases. The process of health care delivery, from symptom perception through consultation to treatment/management from the perspective of both the patient and the health professional will be discussed. The health care needs and experiences of patients across the lifespan will be considered.
Psychosocial Foundations of Health and Illness (15 Credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to introduce students to the discipline of health psychology, setting it apart from other related disciplines. Students will be introduced to the concept of health and the main theories/concepts relating to the psychosocial determinants of health/illness, including stress and health behaviours.
Professional practice in health settings (30 credits) - Compulsory
This module aims to provide you with an insight into the skills required to work in health settings and students may opt to undertake an eight week placement as part of this. The module aims to help students’ development in three areas: a) personal development, including self confidence, self awareness, self reflection, and awareness of strengths and areas for improvement, b) development of professional skills, including communication skills and analysing and appraising the usefulness and application of health psychology theory to practice, and c) preparation for future employability.
Advanced Psychology Dissertation (60 Credits) - Compulsory
This module provides students with an opportunity for an in-depth, advanced study in a specific area of applied psychology, pertinent to the degree for which they are registered, guided by, but largely independent of, tutor support. To enable students to apply appropriate principles of empirical research to an issue of their choice within the subject area of their degree registration. To enable students to present their research study in the form of a written thesis, using appropriate styles and conventions
You will attend interactive lectures, including talks by speakers from the NHS, the public health sector, and academia, as well as doing practical work. You will work on essays and case studies, keep a health behaviour journal, design an intervention, and submit a dissertation, which will allow you to specialise in a particular area.
You will have the option of doing a work placement as part of the course, in areas ranging from smoking cessation and drugs services to health promotion and chronic illness management. The placement will involve at least 300 hours’ work, and will normally be over at least eight weeks in the summer after teaching ends, but some placements will be part-time in term time too. You will produce a report and reflective logbook based on your placement.
The course also aims to develop your data analysis, numeracy, communication and critical thinking skills, and there will teaching on research and statistics. Our extensive facilities include three computer laboratories and a psychophysiology laboratory.
You will be assessed on the basis of your dissertation and research reports, essays and a variety of other types of coursework. These will include a health behaviour diary, a reflective logbook, designing an intervention, and analysing case studies.
You must have the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC; previously GBR) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and normally a second class honours degree or above in psychology. International students are welcome to apply if they are in possession of a degree in psychology recognised by the British Psychological Society as equivalent to them gaining GBC or a Graduate Diploma in Psychology undertaken in the UK. Information, advice and contact details are available from the BPS website.
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country. For details of other equivalent requirements that Middlesex accepts see entry requirements.
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all four components).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements.
81% of employers value employability skills above other factors – including type or class of degree - and so it's important to develop your employability skills while you are at University.
We have an ambitious vision to ensure that 100% of our graduates are employable and able to secure a job when they leave University. To realise this vision, we've created a dedicated Employability Service which is here to support you every step of the way. Furthermore, on this MSc you will take the professional practice on health care settings module, which not only gives you the opportunity to undertake a work placement but will also focus specifically on employability skills such as communication, interview skills and writing a CV and cover letter.
After completion of this MSc, students may work in the health service, universities, communities, schools or organisations. Work may include helping people to manage and cope with illnesses such as diabetes, pain, cancer, coronary heart disease etc; health promotion in communities, schools or the workplace; designing and delivering interventions for weight loss, smoking cessation, stress management, improving uptake of screening for cancers, research and teaching.
We offer stage 2 supervision at Middlesex via the BPS independent route but we do not offer a stage 2 programme. Upon completion of stage 2 training, trainees may become Health Psychologists, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and Chartered with the BPS.
Mandy Murdoch completed the MSc at Middlesex in 2008 and is now a Dental Public Health Strategist for NHS Islington and NHS Camden. Her role involves taking the lead on a range of dental public health work, including the development, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes designed to improve oral health, reduce oral health inequalities and support the equitable delivery of NHS and other services to people in Islington and Camden.
She also provides technical public health support, particularly on the development of dental public health strategies and policies. She contributes to the development and design of integrated programmes, using statistical analysis, literature reviewing, evaluation, project management and needs assessment skills. Examples of projects she has been involved with include: an oral health social marketing campaign, an oral health needs assessment, an Annual Public Health Report on Oral Health in Islington, a pilot on smoking cessation in general dental practices, a pharmacy campaign around sugar-free medicines and contributing to generic public health strategies and policies.
Anna Lose finished an MSc in Health Psychology at Middlesex University with distinction in 2012. She now holds a post in research in eating disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, and has recently secured a place on a doctoral course in Clinical Psychology at UEL. Her current role involves engaging eating disorder service users in research; recruiting and assessing participants for a Randomised Controlled Trial on treatments for Anorexia Nervosa; assisting NHS staff in providing information about the study so that service users can make an informed decision about participation; performing preliminary data analyses; and leading the day to day running of the trial. She also contributes to the write-up of publications, including co-authoring a paper that has recently been published in the Trials journal. This was a protocol for a Randomised Controlled Trial of two psychological treatments for Anorexia Nervosa. In addition, she has recently submitted a qualitative paper on patient experiences of the same two psychological therapies for Anorexia Nervosa to the International Journal of Eating Disorders and will soon present it at the BABCP conference.
Dr Nicky Payne is a Health Psychologist and Programme Leader of the MSc Health Psychology at Middlesex. Her research primarily focuses on occupational health psychology, especially work-life balance, including the impact of working life on individual and family health behaviours, interventions to promote health behaviour change in the workplace (e.g. exercise and diet), how users of assisted reproductive technology manage work-life issues, and the work-life experience of people affected by cancer. She is also interested in the barriers to and promotion of health behaviours, including breast screening with the North London Breast Screening Service. She is active in the British Psychological Society's Division of Health Psychology and has been co-editor of Health Psychology Update, Chief Examiner of the Health Psychology Qualifications Board and a member of the 2010 Conference Scientific Committee. She is also a member of the Division of Occupational Psychology work-life balance working group.
Dr Woodrow joined Middlesex University as a lecturer in 2013. Prior to this he worked in the Department of Management at King’s College London where he conducted research examining the relationship between workforce issues and healthcare service quality. Dr Woodrow has also previously worked as a researcher at the University of Oxford examining the needs of staff and patients involved in cancer screening.
Dr Starr joined Middlesex University in 1999 on a half time post. At this time she also worked as a senior clinical psychologist in Hammersmith & Fulham NHS Trust. Prior to this she practised as a clinical psychologist in Camden & Islington NHS Trust and within Simmons House Adolescent Unit. Middlesx University was her first academic post. Her clinical training was based at the Royal London Hospital, Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital, The Whittington Hospital amongst other NHS settings. Dr Starr completed a two year family therapy training at the Tavistock clinic in 1994. She now works half time with young people, children and familes in clinical practice and half time at Middlesex University. She is integrative in her clinical approach and draws on evidence-based CBT, sytemic and psychodynamic approaches to psychological distress.
Paul joined Middlesex in 2000 after a three-year spell of post-doctoral work in the Tyler & Marslen-Wilson lab at the Centre for Speech & Language at Cambridge University. Prior to this he had completed his PhD in the neuropsychology of semantic representation at Royal Holloway, University of London while working as an RA with Elaine Funnell.
Dr Camille Alexis-Garsee is a lecturer on the MSc Health Psychology Programme and joint Module Leader for the MSc Placement Module at Middlesex University. Her research focuses on the evaluation of theory-based behaviour change interventions especially those relevant to public health e.g. smoking cessation and chronic illness. She is particularly interested in the application of new technologies e.g. the use of the internet, mobile phones etc. to behaviour change, e.g. smoking cessation and breast screening, and the design and evaluation of these in randomised controlled trials. Dr Alexis-Garsee has worked on large randomised controlled trials evaluating the effects of tailored interventions for smoking cessation and is currently PI on a funded grant investigating the experiences of smoking and smoking cessation in smokers with COPD. She is currently a member of the European Health Psychology Society and the Drug and Alcohol Centre at Middlesex University.
Professor Olga B.A. van den Akker BSc PhD AFBPsS, C.Psychol is Professor of Health Psychology at Middlesex University. Professor van den Akker was Editor in Chief of the Journal of Reproductive & Infant Psychology and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Reproductive Psychology, Biomed Central and Expert Reviews of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is a member of the British Infertility Counseling Association, the British Fertility Society and the Society for Reproductive & Infant Psychology. Her research interests cover a variety of Health Psychology areas with a focus on reproductive health psychology, using qualitative, quantitative and experimental research techniques. As Principal investigator, she has been successful in securing funding on a number of research grants and was awarded a prestigious 5 year Senior Research Fellowship by the NHS R&D. Recently, she is PI on a funded grant with Dr Purewal on attitude change of Single Embryo Transfer; involved in funded research with Dr Purewal (PI) on a Systematic review of IVF success and, with Dr Alexis-Garsee (PI) on smoking cessation. Olga has published one book and has nearly completed her second book, she has written numerous book chapters, two Government commissioned reports and well over a 100 publications in scientific journals, presented over 70 conference presentations and appears regularly in the media.
Accredited by: The British Psychological Society