The MSc in Health Psychology is delivered on a full-time basis over one year or part-time over two years. It commences in late September.
The course comprises 180 credits, split across 120 credits’ worth of core modules and a 60-credit research project.
Part-time students on this course are taught alongside full-time students and the choice of modules (and therefore the timetable) is flexible and a matter for agreement between student and course director. In all cases, part-time students can access a wide range of teaching and learning facilities remotely via the student portal.
Over the summer period towards the end of the course, you will undertake an applied research project. This is your opportunity to complete a major piece of independent research in a topic related to health psychology under the supervision of a suitably experienced member of academic staff.
You will be required to study the following core modules:
Context and Perspectives in Health Psychology
This module seeks to develop an appreciation of:
- historical and current perspectives in health psychology
- the role of the health psychologist and associated professional issues
- current perspectives in European and international health psychology and an awareness of related disciplines, eg behavioural medicine
- the impact of gender, social and cultural factors on health and illness.
Introduction to Research Methods
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.
Understanding, Predicting and Changing Health Behaviour
Explore the cognitions and cognitive determinants of health-related behaviours in detail, through the study of a range of key models. You will also develop an understanding of changes in these behaviours and the intention-behaviour gap.
Other topics include:
- the role of information in health-related motivation and action
- how social influence techniques can maximize the impact of health promotion
- how the manner in which messages are processed determines their impact on attitude change
- the role of self-efficacy in motivation, health behaviour and health
- elicitation research, intervention design and evaluation
- behaviour change techniques and their relationship to psychological theories
This module begins by introducing students to the diverse ways in which psychological factors alter biological processes central to health and well-being.
- an overview of key biological systems
- the role of psychological factors in influencing vulnerability to new diseases
- the role of psychological factors in disease progression
- the application of health psychology to chronic illness, associated disabilities and both treatment selection and treatment outcomes
Health Care Contexts
This module develops an appreciation of key issues in the interaction between patients and health care contexts. These include:
- communication in health care settings
- the impact of hospitalisation on adults / children
- preparation for stressful medical/ dental procedures
- giving bad news
- adherence to medical treatment
Professional Skills in Health Psychology
The module covers:
- key professional skills within health psychology such as communicating with different health professionals and populations and presenting key research findings.
- career development and planning, including CV development and interview skills.
Qualitative Research Methods
This module considers a range of qualitative approaches suitable for psychologists. Students will be introduced to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and practical application of a number of qualitative research methods. The teaching will combine lectures, workshops, student-led seminars and self-directed study. Specific topics included will be:
- developing qualitative research questions
- consideration of philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative methods
- choosing an appropriate qualitative method
- the methods available
- ethical issues in qualitative research
- evaluation and critical appraisal of qualitative research evidence
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.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as providing the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, which is required for entry to many postgraduate professional psychology programmes.
Within the programme we focus on career development and through our Professional Development Centre you will have the opportunity to develop practical skills important for your future career development.
Our MSc Health Psychology students have gone on to varied and interesting careers and further study, including:
- Working for the National Health Service (eg within health promotion such as drug awareness officers and smoking cessations advisors; chronic illness management eg in pain management clinics)
- Clinical psychology doctorate
- PhD programmes
- Research assistant/associate (eg exploring binge drinking; obesity; aspects of chronic illness)
- Stage 2 doctorate
- UK Government departments (eg Department of Health)
Average starting salary and career progression
90.1% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £31,086.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.
As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, such as printing, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.
Scholarships and bursaries
Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding
Applicants who will be employed by the NHS in the East Midlands while they are undertaking their studies may be eligible to apply for Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding through the Health Education England East Midlands. Funding will be available for both full programmes and individual modules.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.