The MSc Health Psychology degree focuses on the psychological influences on health, well-being and illness. Accredited by the British Psychological Society, it meets the standards for Stage 1 of the training to become a health psychologist. Students develop clinical practitioner and professional skills. The programme will be of interest to individuals interested in health or clinical psychology, or those with a background in healthcare.
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. We offer a placement in a health psychology setting to all students who would like this experience, and our workshops help you develop clinical skills including communication with clients, ethical and reflective practice, judgment and decision-making, and skills related to formulation and assessment, cognitive-behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, and health behaviour change.
You will also study health-related behaviour, addiction and treatment; public health, health promotion and behaviour change interventions; stress, chronic illness and its management; working with patients in the health care system, research methods and professional issues.
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We focus on supporting your future employability by helping you develop a range of professional, research and transferable skills, especially professional and clinical practitioner skills (e.g. smoking cessation, cognitive-behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, health behaviour change and communication, ethical and reflective practice, and judgment and decision-making skills), through teaching, workshops and a placement.
For full-time students teaching is normally on Tuesdays and Thursdays and for part-time students it is normally 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 analysing case studies, a reflective log book, a health behaviour journal, designing health promotion materials, and a journal style article.
This module aims 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. Students are encouraged to apply appropriate principles of empirical research to an issue of their choice within the subject area of their degree registration. Students will be guided to present their research study in the form of a written journal article, using appropriate styles and conventions.
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. They will also be introduced to the applications of health psychology to health promotion and in particular, to behaviour change, including designing and evaluating interventions.
This module aims to introduce students to the physiological processes involved in the onset and progression of a variety of acute and long-term conditions. The process of health care delivery, from symptom perception through consultation to treatment/management from the perspective of both clients and health professionals will be discussed. The health care needs and experiences of clients across the lifespan will be considered.
This module aims to provide an insight into and help students develop the skills required to work in health psychology settings and students may undertake a 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 clinical skills, analysing and appraising the usefulness and application of health psychology theory to practice, and becoming an ethical and reflective practitioner and c) preparation for future employability.
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 and 3. Successful completion of this module provides partial fulfilment of the requirements for Stage 1 exemption for practitioner 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 conducting their independent research project, forthcoming supervised practice and enables them to choose appropriate methodologies and analyses for research.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
You will attend interactive lectures, including talks by speakers from the NHS, the public health sector, and academia, as well as doing practical work where you will take part in discussions, role-play and problem-solving exercises. You will work on case studies, a reflective log book, keep a health behaviour journal, design an intervention, and submit a dissertation in the form of a journal style article, 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 a variety of other types of coursework. These will include a health behaviour diary, a reflective logbook, designing an intervention, and analysing case studies.
There are strong employment prospects for Psychology graduates and salaries in this field are excellent. The range of professional skills that psychology graduates develop ensures that they are highly valued across the economy.
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. On this MSc you will take the professional practice in health care settings module, which not only gives you the opportunity to undertake a work placement but will also focus specifically on employability skills. Over 90% of our psychology graduates are employed within six months of completing their degree.
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.
In addition, graduates may also pursue further postgraduate training and/or study and those who have the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society may, for example, pursue clinical or counselling psychology training.