MSc Health Psychology
Course starts:: October 2013
Accredited by:: The British Psychological Society
Course leader:: Dr Nicky Payne, Dr Georgina Hosang, Dr Fiona Starr and Dr Ilhan Raman
Health Psychology examines the psychological influences on how people stay healthy, why people become ill and what happens when people become ill.
This course fulfils the British Psychological Society requirements for stage 1 of the training to become a Health Psychologist.
It takes a scientist-practitioner approach and thus students not only have an excellent grounding in research methodology but also develop a range of professional and practical skills.
During the course 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.
You will have access to some of the best and most up-to-date psychology specialist postgraduate computer, laboratory and library study facilities for teaching and research in the UK.
You will be benefiting from the experience of our dedicated and enthusiastic staff. For example, Dr Nicky Payne has expertise in occupational health psychology (including stress and eating, and work-life balance), as well as health promotion and health behaviour change; Dr Camille Alexis-Garsee has expertise in smoking cessation and chronic illness; and Professor Olga van den Akker is an internationally renowned expert on reproductive health psychology (including infertility and surrogacy).
Find out more about our outstanding postgraduate scholarship offer and apply today.
- The programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as providing stage1 of the training to become a Health Psychologist.
- It is one of only a few MSc Health Psychology programmes in the UK to offer a health psychology placement (an alternative is available for those not wishing to undertake a placement). Examples of the placements we currently offer include smoking cessation, obesity management, cancer care, palliative care, chronic illness management, health promotion, stroke prevention.
- You will participate in teaching and workshops on practical aspects of health psychology, including stress management, smoking cessation, cognitive-behavioural therapy, health promotion and health behaviour change.
- You will be taught by Health and Clinical Psychologists and a range of other health professionals who are experts in their field through research and/or work as practitioners.
- It is one of only a few MSc Health Psychology programmes in the UK to offer training in the use of psychophysiology equipment.
- You will benefit from the use of new, purpose built state-of-the-art computer and psychophysiology laboratories
The superb Hatchcroft Building received its grand opening in September 2008 and as a student of Psychology at Middlesex, you’ll take full advantage of Hatchcroft’s state-of-the-art facilities which include:
- Fully equipped lecture theatres and tutorial spaces
- Pychophysiology laboratory
- Social observation laboratories
- Video editing suite
- Virtual reality laboratory
- Auditory cognition laboratory
- Testing cubicles
A £3,000 scholarship is available for September 2012 entry. Please see our scholarships page for more information.
- Year 1
- Advanced Psychology Dissertation (60 Credits) - Compulsory
- To provide 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
- 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.
- Health Psychology Negotiated Extended Essay (15 Credits) - Optional
- This module aims to enable students to pursue advanced, independent study on an applied health psychology topic not offered in depth on other modules, culminating in students having an in depth knowledge and understanding of the most up-to-date theory, research and policy of relevance to this applied area of health psychology. The module also aims to help students development in the areas of self reflection, communication, and the analysis and appraisal of health psychology theory to practice.
- Health Psychology Placement (15 Credits) - Optional
- This module aims to provide students with an insight into the world of work in health psychology and to help them think about their future career. More specifically, 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 graduate skills, especially team working and communication skills, and c development of professional skills by analysing and appraising the usefulness and application of health psychology theory to practice.
- 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.
- Professional Issues in Psychology (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module is designed to conform to the communication, practice and dissemination of research consultancy requirements of the British Psychological Society Divisions of Forensic and Health Psychology, and the Health Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Practitioner Psychologists. It enables students to further develop their appreciation of professional and ethical issues related to research and practice in health and forensic psychology within a framework conforming to statutory provisions and the code of conduct of chartered psychologists.
- 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.
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. stress management, smoking cessation, cognitive-behavioural therapy, 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, research proposals and essays.
The tuition fee for MSc Health Psychology is as follows:
Full-time students: £7,500
Part-time students: £63 per taught credit
You would not usually pay more to study part-time than the full-time fee rate. Find out more about how to calculate your part-time course fee.
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.
Full-time students: £10,600
Part-time students: £93 per taught credit
A £3,000 scholarship is available for September 2012 entry. Please see our scholarships page for more information.
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.
International Entry Requirements
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.
English language requirements for international students
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 are IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all four components) or TOEFL paper based 575 (no less than 4.5 in test of written English) or TOEFL internet based 90 (with no less than 19 in each component).
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.
Please apply directly to Middlesex University Codes Health Psychology L711
UK and EU students
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university.
International students from outside the EU can make a direct application. We have a network of regional offices across the world to assist you with your application. They have worked with people from your region coming to Middlesex before and can help. Read more on international applications.
After completion of the 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 etc.; research and teaching. Please see further information at http://www.health-psychology.org.uk/career-paths-in-health-psychology/career-paths-in-health-psychology.cfm
Upon completion of the MSc Health Psychology, students may also wish to undertake stage 2 training, which involves working in a health psychology setting and producing a portfolio of practice. We offer stage 2 supervision at Middlesex. Upon completion of stage 2 training, trainees become Health Psychologists, registered with the Health 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.
Dr Nicky Payne
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 Camille Alexis Garsee
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.
Prof Olga B.A. van den Akker
Professor Olga B.A. van den Akker BSc PhD AFBPsS, C.Psychol is Professor of Health Psychology and Head of Department of 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.
Jean A. Waugh, module leader, Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
Jonathan Sigger, module leader, Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
Dr David Westley, module leader, Professional Issues in Psychology