Course overview

Join this unique branch of psychology, focused on the rehabilitation of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities, at the only course of its kind in the UK.

You'll take a journey from assessment of what difficulties someone might have because of their illness or disability all the way through to rehabilitation through what interventions may be helpful.

Making use of Nottingham's specific expertise in areas such as chronic illness, neuropsychological rehabilitation, and complex interventions you'll be taught by experts at the forefront of current research and clinical practice in the field.

You'll also have the opportunity to be involved in that current research through the research project where you'll have the potential to have a real impact on people's health.

Why choose this course?

One of a kind

Join the only Rehabilitation Psychology course in the UK

Current research

Our teaching is informed by current research so you'll learn the latest info in the field

Clinical application

Learn how to use your new skills and knowledge in practical settings.

Course content

You'll study across a number of compulsory modules designed to teach you about the impact of physical illness and disability on psychological functioning and help you understand issues related to assessment, rehabilitation and recovery of people with physical illness and disability. You'll also gain the skills needed to apply your knowledge in the real world.

Study takes place over three semesters, autumn, spring, and summer. Typically taught modules are delivered in the autumn and spring semesters with the summer used for the research project, though this is dependent on your mode of study.

Students must take all of the compulsory modules for 160 credits and one of the optional modules for a total of 180 credits.


Theoretical Foundations of Rehabilitation 20 credits

This module provides an overview of concepts central to all forms of rehabilitation.

You will be introduced to an understanding of disability from different perspectives: models of disability, the biopsychosocial model and the WHO conceptual framework. Links between theory, research and practice in rehabilitation will be considered. The module will cover research issues in rehabilitation research, focusing particularly on complex interventions, evaluating interventions and measuring outcome.

The module also explores how research evidence informs approaches to rehabilitation, using examples of rehabilitation in practice in different conditions from psychological and multidisciplinary perspectives. The module also considers the spectrum of rehabilitation, reviewing the broad range of health and social contexts in which rehabilitation occurs

Assessment of Cognitive Function 20 credits

This module considers various aspects of cognitive assessment. The tests used will be evaluated in terms of standardisation, reliability and validity. Practical issues in administration and interpretation will be considered. The role of cognitive assessment will be evaluated within a research context.

Cognitive Rehabilitation and Evaluation 20 credits

The content of this module is designed from the perspective of psychologists working in multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams. Topics are covered from both a theoretical and a practical point of view. These include intervention strategies for impairment of language, perception, memory, attention and executive skills. In addition, techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical intervention will be discussed. There will be an emphasis on evaluating the effectiveness of interventions and there will be teaching on systematic reviews as part of the module.

Introduction to Research Methods 10 credits

Gain the knowledge and skills to effectively plan and design research as well as to critically appraise published research. You will be introduced to how to write a literature review in a systematic way, how to write a research proposal, study designs (including developing research questions), ethics and practical issues when planning and conducting research.

The module also covers designing questionnaires, psychometric issues such as reliability and validity, using interviews and focus groups, and use if the internet and an introduction to online research methods.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

Qualitative Research Methods 10 credits

You will be introduced to a range of qualitative approaches and the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and practical application of qualitative methods.

Teaching will combine lectures, workshops, and self-directed study. Sessions will include a focus on interviews and focus groups, Realist Evaluation, thematic analysis, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, narrative approaches and Grounded Theory.

Students will be guided to consider developing qualitative research questions, ethical issues in qualitative research and the critical appraisal of qualitative research evidence.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

Quantitative Methods 20 credits

Through a series of lectures, practical workshops and assignments, this module will take you through the design, operationalization, data-collection, data analysis, and report-writing processes of a quantitative research study in mental health and applied psychology.

Advanced techniques and software including Multi-Level Modelling; Meta analysis; Factor Analysis; Path Analysis.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

Independent Research Project 60 credits

The project is designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage in, and learn from, supervised project work in health or rehabilitation psychology.

Optional modules

Physical Activity in Health and Disease 20 credits

The module will cover the relationship between physical activity and specific medical conditions; exercise under specific conditions and the practical aspects of medical management in sport. Encompassing internationalisation, physical activity and health and disease in developing countries is also addressed.

Common sporting injuries: An evidence base 20 credits

This course seeks to create an overview of common sporting injuries including the epidemiology, presentation, prevention and treatment. It will enhance understanding of the aetiology, biomechanical principals and problems associated with sports injuries.  Students will review the demands and injury risks associated with specific sports and discuss the current evidence base for management options of a wide range of sporting injuries.  The course will also cover the current public health issues relating to physical activity (and physical inactivity) with health and disease from an epidemiological perspective, globally, with respect to prevention and treatment. It aims to explore the intersect of changing public health issues, lifestyle and behaviour.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 17 May 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Examinations
  • Research project

Your work will be assessed during or at the end of each module through a variety of means.

To complete a module and gain its credits you will need to make sure you get 50% or over in your assessment.

In order to achieve the MSc, you will need a total of 180 credits.

Contact time and study hours

We encourage our students to think of the course like they would a full-time job and spend around 37 hours on it per week including teaching time. Part time students should consider it similar to a part-time job.

You are expected to work roughly 10 hours for each credit on the course including teaching and independent study, so a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours to complete or around a total of 25 eight-hour days.

Full Time

Full time students learn over a period of two semesters and a summer period totalling around 12 months.

Teaching is usually delivered on around two days per week during the semesters, with one of the days usually on a Wednesday. You'll have an average of 10 to 12 hours of contact time each week, however time and days of teaching will depend on the modules.

Non-teaching days are intended for private study and research.

Part Time

Part time students can learn the same course content over a period of 24 months.

Students typically attend teaching about one day a week or about 6 hours per week, though this depends on how you choose to structure your timetable.

We try wherever possible to be flexible to help you manage your timetable.

You're expected to devote around two and a half to three days per week to the course including attending teaching, private study, and research.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 in a Psychology degree or in a degree featuring psychology content


If you have any questions about applying to the course or studying at the University of Nottingham, please use our enquiry form

You can also contact the course director, Dr Shirley Thomas, if you have any questions about the course content.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


All listed fees are per year of study.

Qualification MSc
Home / UK £8,500
International £23,000

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses such as travel and accommodation.

You should be able to access the books and resources you need for the course through our libraries, however you may wish to purchase your own copies or get specific books which may cost up to £80 each.


Funding is available from Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) for post-registration healthcare professionals employed by the NHS in the East Midlands (excluding doctors and dentists) to undertake extra studies. You may be able to get funding for either the full programme or to cover specific modules.

Find out more about the LBR funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to varied careers and further study including:

  • Assistant Psychologist in the NHS or private settings
  • Clinical psychology doctorate
  • Research Assistant in areas of rehabilitation, health and clinical psychology
  • PhD programmes
  • Working for the National Health Service (e.g. rehabilitation support worker, clinical audit officer)

Career progression

90.3% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £38,889.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" You can’t do this course anywhere else. Plus, our teaching team are working at the forefront of research and clinical experience, they aren’t just teaching you out of a book, they’re often talking about the evidence that they themselves have been generating. From the feedback we’ve been getting from students, that’s what they really value because that passion comes through the people teaching them. "
Dr Shirley Thomas, Course Director

Related courses

This content was last updated on Monday 17 May 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.