Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £9,000 *
International Fees £13,500 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Health Psychology plays a key role in improving the health and wellbeing of the population. This course, based in the heart of London, was one of the first Masters in Health Psychology and has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) since 1999. It includes an innovative portfolio of assessments geared to developing transferable skills, and relating directly to the world of work. The course also provides the opportunity to gain work experience and apply your knowledge in a health psychology setting, whilst considering future career plans. The course is taught by a core team of enthusiastic and supportive research-active staff, with collaborative links to external institutions in London and beyond. Successful completion of the course (Stage 1) is a prerequisite for the further training (Stage 2) to become a health psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC).

In addition to the core taught programme, we work with a range of practitioners to provide additional professional training in areas such as resilience, coaching and clinical practice.

The course will give you an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and applied bases of health, illness and disease. The main aim is to help you to develop the theoretical and methodological skills essential for conducting independent research and applying health psychology in practice.

We provide a coherent programme of study covering the content, methods and application of health psychology. In particular, the course emphasises the importance of an evidence-based approach to health psychology, and develops the core skills needed for Stage 2 training. Within the core modules, there is considerable flexibility for you to choose particular areas of study of interest.

Course structure

Core modules

This module takes a development approach to understanding relationships between psychology, biological and social factors that influence health and diseases through the lifespan. It emphasis the dynamics of change and a number of key topics are examined including children's health and the family context, normative transitions and life events, and vulnerability and resilience. Student-led panels explore the most current issues, controversies and methods within a lifespan framework.

This introductory module explores a broad range of topics in health psychology within a multidisciplinary framework. It considers the social and cultural context of health and illness, the importance of social cognition models in health care, and issues around communication and health care decisions. The module emphasises theoretical and methodological issues in health psychology research and application, including intervention design and evaluation.

Through lectures, seminars and practical classes, this module addresses the theoretical and practical issues involved in acquiring and analysing quantitative and qualitative data for health psychology.

This module examines a range of issues relating to health psychology practice, including client-related issues, ethical considerations, interventions, and professional development. You will have the opportunity to learn techniques such as mindfulness and motivational interviewing, with a range of practising psychologists contributing to the module. Personal and professional development is fostered through reflective practice and experiential learning, including designing and evaluating an individualised behaviour change intervention.

This module explores the role of individual differences (including social and cultural factors) in health and illness. It introduces the biological mechanisms by which stress can impact on physical and psychological health (psychoneuroimmunology), and how stress and well-being can be measured to enable evaluation of stress-management interventions. You will also explore the physiological and psychological correlates of acute and chronic pain, the theories and management of chronic illness, and the meaning and mechanism of action of the placebo effect.

This module is designed to enable you to realise your training in the context of a particular research problem or aspect of methodology. The area of work should bring together your occupational experience or preference with the substantive material covered during the taught components of the course. Projects are intended to give you maximum flexibility in selecting an appropriate area of application, and investigating and assessing potential research sources and their relevance to the existing field of knowledge.

This module will cover the areas of review writing skills, systematic review protocol, design critique, and grant application writing skills. Relevant professional issues will also be explored, including: inter professional working; research ethics; presentation skills; careers; portfolio development for project research; national and international perspectives on applied psychology; and practice specific issues.

Option modules

This module provides the opportunity to apply psychology to a real world work situation. You will work in voluntary or paid positions in health-related settings to gain valuable work experience and develop skills which will help to prepare you for the workplace. Students who take this optional module will then take a 40 credit Research Based Project.

Entry Requirements

Normally you should have a good Honours degree that confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the BPS. However, we will consider candidates without GBC with some evidence of interest in the discipline. This can be demonstrated by your choice of undergraduate modules, undergraduate project area, or your work experience within health psychology or a related field. You may be invited for an informal interview. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. The University offers presessional Summer programmes if you need to improve your English before starting your course.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

Normally you should have a good Honours degree that confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the BPS. However, we will consider candidates without GBC with some evidence of interest in the discipline. This can be demonstrated by your choice of undergraduate modules, undergraduate project area, or your work experience within health psychology or a related field. You may be invited for an informal interview. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. The University offers presessional Summer programmes if you need to improve your English before starting your course.

More information

Careers

The course is a prerequisite for those wishing to pursue Stage 2 training leading to Registration with the HCPC as a Health Psychologist. This route is only available to those who have Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the BPS. However, it also serves as a precursor to those wishing to pursue a PhD in Psychology, and other areas of applied psychology such as clinical or counselling psychology. The majority of our graduates work in academic or health-related professions, for example: psychology researcher or lecturer, smoking cessation advisor, chronic pain therapist, health consultant.

Graduates from the Health Psychology MSc course at the University of Westminster work at all levels and, in all areas of health and related professions. Most students go on to undertake further postgraduate training be it in research, teaching or work related training. Many alumni of the course work as HCPC registered applied psychologists including, health, counselling and clinical psychology. Others have worked to enhance their career opportunities in their chosen disciplines including Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Advertising and Recruitment. Others work as, consultants, freelancers and academics.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

From September 2014 all our students will undertake a work experience placement within a health related setting. Students will negotiate with tutors on finding a placement and arrange suitable supervision. Some recent examples of work experience opportunities include:

Hospitals: The Cassel Hospital (Personality Disorder service); The Royal Marsden Hospital (Neuro-oncology, paediatrics); Kings College (Dental Institute); Sussex Partnership Trust Children and Young Person's Mental Health Services; Great Chapel Street Medical Centre; Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore; Great Ormond Street Hospital; Mildmay Hospital; The Royal Brompton Hospital, London.

Charities: EnhanceAble (a registered charity that provides services for people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and autism); Westminster Drug Project; Southwark Your Way (a programme that offers flexible mental health support and guidance to suit service user’s needs); Headway Hertfordshire; Mind, Hammersmith and Fulham; British Red Cross; The 240 Project (a community and activity centre in West London which works with vulnerable and excluded people); Terrence Higgins Trust; Jewish Women's Aid; Westminster Parent Mentoring project; Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Service; Women and Girls Network; NSPCC; Kith and Kids; Alzheimer's Society; Freedom from torture; The Muslim Youth Helpline.

What our students say

Stuart Leigh

Shaun Leigh

Health Psychology MSc

Without the lecturers I’m not sure I would have done anywhere near as well I performed overall, their passion towards the subject is infectious and it made me feel passionate which really motivated me to want to do well and achieve better marks. I grew so much confidence in my own ability and improved every aspect of myself thanks to this course. I would definitely recommend Health Psychology MSc at Westminster to anyone wanting to improve their understanding and better themselves to help them in their own future.

Azharul Islam

Health Psychology MSc

The structure and contents of the course are very up-to-date (and of course accredited by British Psychological Society) with a good balance of theory, research and practice skills. I found classes and seminars are very stimulating probably because of highly qualified and experienced teaching staff. 

Additionally, due to the location of the campus (i.e., at the heart of London), one can easily access all other facilities. Studying here is not stressing, it is fun!  

Sigrun Thorsteinsdóttir

Health Psychology MSc

The lectures are highly informative, give tremendous insight and although challenging, have offered a great deal of reward. There is an emphasis on students following a line of interest in their research, something which is critically important at a Masters level. The course has deepened my understanding of theory and research, providing a good balance of newly published research and the nitty, gritty basics of health psychology. 

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £9,000 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £13,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

Our Cavendish Campus in the heart of London is home to the Faculty of Science and Technology. With first-class facilities, the campus houses subject areas ranging from biosciences to electronic engineering. For more details, visit our Cavendish Campus page.

Find out more

More information

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