Course overview

Join this unique branch of psychology, focused on the rehabilitation of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities, on 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, meaning you'll be examining the latest information in the field

Clinical application

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

Course content

You'll study a number of compulsory modules designed to teach you about the impact of physical illness and disability on psychological functioning. They will 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.

Your course 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.


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.

Clinical Skills 10 credits

An introduction to the practical skills needed for working with clients in a health care setting. Practical training is given in interviewing, assessment and counselling. Theoretical models is linked to clinical practice. Evidence to support clinical skills will be considered.

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.

Stroke 10 credits

This three-day workshop is aimed at a multi-professional audience and will be of particular interest to individuals who want to familiarise themselves with the current evidence for stroke rehabilitation, the gaps in current knowledge, the methodological issues and the difficulties in interpreting the evidence. Topics include recovery and rehabilitation, acute stroke care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, perceptual problems, stroke management and speech and language therapy.

Theoretical Foundations of Rehabilitation 20 credits

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

You'll 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

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.

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 Tuesday 25 October 2022.

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'll need to make sure you get 50% or over in your assessment.

To achieve the MSc, you'll 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're 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.


If you choose the full-time route, you'll study over 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 contact hours each week. However, the time and days of teaching will depend on the modules.

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


If you choose the part-time route, you'll learn the same course content over a period of 24 months.

You'll typically attend teaching for about one day or six hours per week. However, this will depend on your modules.

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 2023 entry.

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


If you have any course-specific questions, you can email contact the course director, Dr Shirley Thomas.

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

How to apply


Qualification MSc
Home / UK £9,225
International £25,000

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

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

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

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.


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)

Please note that some career routes are only available to those who previously completed a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited undergraduate psychology course including the Clinical Psychology doctorate.

Career progression

78.4% 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 £28,505.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time, postgraduate, home graduates 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 Tuesday 25 October 2022. 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.