Health Psychology MSc
Modes of study: Full Time (1 year) & Part Time (2 years)
Start date: September
- The programme
- Supporting information
- Entry requirements
- Finance and fees
- How to apply
- Employment and careers
- LJMU and Liverpool
At a glance
- • British Psychological Society accredited for applicants with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)
• British Psychological Society accredited for Stage 1 Health Psychologist Training.
• Route to HCPC Registered Health Psychologist status
• Academic team possess Approved Supervisors status for students continuing onto the Stage 2 qualification
• Teaching is via small groups which means you can expect a high level of academic and pastoral support set within a friendly and informal atmosphere
• Access to world-class facilities in our award-winning Tom Reilly Building
The primary goal of Health Psychology as a discipline is to contribute to the understanding of how physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual factors influence health and illness within a sociocultural framework. Recent advances in psychological, medical, and physiological research have led to a new way of thinking about health and illness. This conceptualisation views health and illness as the product of a combination of factors including biological characteristics such as genetic predisposition, behavioural factors such as lifestyle, stress, health beliefs, and social conditions such as cultural influences, family relationships, social support. Utilising this framework, the primary goals of Health Psychology are centred on: understanding the aetiology, promotion and maintenance of health; the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical and mental illness; the study of psychological, social, emotional, and behavioural factors in physical and mental illness; the improvement of the health care system; and the formulation of health policy.
This MSc is suitable for anyone with an interest in how psychology affects health and illness behaviours, and how it can be used to enhance wellbeing and encourage healthier lifestyles. It is also suitable for those intending to or currently working with clients with chronic illnesses, as it examines issues of coping and adjustment and relationships with caregivers. It covers all aspects of health across the lifespan which makes it suitable for those working with children as well as adults.
This programme emphasises the application of psychology to health in different contexts and settings, identifying how psychological approaches can be used to understand and change the way people think and behave in relation to health, illness and health care issues. Our programme philosophy seeks to investigate individual differences in health and to review a range of health conditions applying the theoretical and practical aspects of health psychology.
Health psychology is a relatively young, but rapidly growing discipline. In order to become a Chartered Health Psychologist, students must have the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership from the British Psychological Society and fulfil a number of requirements. Stage 1 training involves the satisfactory completion of an accredited master’s programme. Stage 2 training includes two or more years spent acquiring a range of supervised skills connected with consultancy, research, teaching and training.
This programme is underpinned by a strong emphasis on both psychological investigation and consideration of ethical and professional issues. Accordingly, you will study two modules exploring the methods used in health related research. These include the theoretical underpinnings of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in addition to training in the use of these methodologies. You will also produce a thesis giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your grasp of the research principles at an appropriate intellectual level.
Staff in the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology produce high quality research in a range of areas in psychology and applied psychology, including health psychology, appetite, human factors, cognition, neuroscience, conscious and transpersonal psychology and substance abuse. For further information about LJMU’s Psychology Research Group go to: www.ljmu.ac.uk/NSP/97949.htm
This successful BPS accredited programme, draws on a multidisciplinary approach to health, covering the main areas of health psychology:
Contexts and perspectives in Health Psychology
Historical overview and current theories and approaches in health psychology
Awareness of related disciplines: medical sociology, medical ethics, medicine, behavioural medicine, health policy, health economics, medical anthropology
The impact of social and cultural factors
Epidemiology of health and illness
Causes of mortality / morbidity
Inequalities in health
Social capital, empowerment and advocacy
Biological mechanisms of health and disease
Physical systems underpinning behaviour: dietary, sexual etc.
Protective / promotional behaviour
Behavioural risk factors
Efficacy and control beliefs
Social and individual representations
Symptom perception, the perception of pain
Perceptions of risk
Decision making by health care psychologists, by patients / clients etc.
Mood and cognition
Health beliefs and attitudes
Individual differences in health and illness
Personality factors in health and illness
Dispositional optimism / pessimism
Locus of control
Emotional expression and health
Stress, health and illness
Causes / consequences of stress
Models of stress
Why study this course at LJMU?
The programme is accredited by the BPS. A major strength is the breadth and depth of funded research, publication and practice that the programme team brings. Specialist areas include pain, stress, and models of health behaviour; each a core component of stage 1 training. The British Psychological Society holds that a student awarded an MSc in any branch of psychology should have a sound grasp of appropriate methodology and of data-handling skills.
This is particularly relevant where ethical and legal issues are of primary importance within a discipline such as Health Psychology. The programme team have developed the modules within the programme to reflect this and developing a critical approach to the core subject matter forms a major element of the teaching outcomes of this programme for students.
Introduction to the School
The School of Natural Sciences and Psychology is part of the Faculty of Science, one of six faculties across the University. Formerly two seperate schools, the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology was formed in 2008. The Psychology section has recently relocated to the purpose built £8m Tom Reilly Building on the Byrom Street Campus.
Staff research interests
Dr Helen Poole BSc PhD C. Psychol, Registered HCPC
Dr Stephen Fairclough BSc PhD
Dr Paul Lattimore BSc PhD PGCert HE
Dr Lisa Newson, D.Health Psyc. C.Psychol. AFBPsS, Registered HCPC
Dr David McIlroy BSc PhD
Dr Kanayo Umeh BSc PhD C. Psychol
Dr Mark Forshaw C.Psychol, C.Sci, FBPsS, FIHPE
Staff in the school produce quality research in a range of areas in psychology and applied psychology, including health psychology, appetite, human factors, cognition, neuroscience, public health psychology, personality and social psychology and substance abuse. The following link provides further information about research in the school http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/NSP/97949.htm
How will I be assessed?
A range of methods are used throughout the programme to assess the learning outcomes of individual modules. These include: essays, reports, seminar papers, exams, project work and an empirical dissertation. This assessment strategy attempts to ensure a reasonable spread of assessments over the duration of the programme.
What do past and present students say about the course?
“I undertook the MSc in Health Psychology through an interest in understanding and helping to improve health behaviours, particularly within the area weight management. The reputation of Liverpool John Moores University as a vibrant research and teaching community meant that it was always a first choice when deciding where to undertake the course. Overall the course was well organised, adequately varied and gave a good grounding of health behaviour within the rapidly expanding discipline. The teaching was exceptional and it was gratifying to be taught health psychology by experts within the field.
The MSc required a great deal of motivation and hard work to achieve the best standards expected by the teaching team. However, as a result I completed the MSc with a solid grounding in the principals of health psychology, research methods and application. The knowledge and interest I gained during the course has motivated me to pursue a career within the field. I am now working as a Stop Smoking Marketing Officer, volunteering for the local council as an assistant wellbeing mentor and conducting research for a local weight management service. I am hoping to continue the work I started during the course, to look at smoker’s willingness to quit and increase physical activity in relation to perceived weight gain during smoking cessation.” Emma Brown, 2012
“I completed the MSc in Health Psychology in 2012 and really enjoyed the range of topics that were covered. I liked how the course addressed the theoretical concepts of health and illness with practical lab classes. The lecturers were extremely knowledgeable in their respective fields and their approachable attitude made it a safe learning environment where questions could be asked and opinions given during class discussions. I really enjoyed my time on this course and would recommend it to anyone interested in completing their stage 1 health psychology training. I now work as a lecturer and am thinking about applying for the stage 2 training to enable me to become a registered Health Psychologist”. Janine Carroll, 2012
“I thoroughly enjoyed the MSc Health Psychology course! I found the course stimulating and the teaching outstanding. With an emphasis on practical application of theory to intervention and research the course provides a current and relevant grounding for a career in health services. I have been able to apply knowledge and skills gained from the course to my daily work in disability support, and I am now hoping to build upon the excellent training I have received at Liverpool John Moores and complete stage 2 training to become a health psychologist”. Katy Davis, 2012
Graduates interested in pursuing health psychology as a career need a good honours degree in Psychology (upper second class or above) and eligibility for GBC. Applications from those who show that they have some experience of working in health are welcomed.
Overseas students whose qualifications have satisfied the BPS conditions for Graduate Basis for Registration will be admitted in accordance with the University's regulations.
In addition, international students should hold IELTS English language at a minimum of 6.5 or equivalent
Minimum TOEFL requirements:
Listening - 17
Reading - 18
Speaking - 20
Writing - 17
Health professionals or graduates from related disciplines with an interest in psychology related to health are advised to contact the course director or admissions officer for further information.
The programme runs on Mondays and Wednesdays and can be studied full time or part time. Full time students attend both days for 1 year while part time students attend on Wednesdays in year 1 and Mondays in year 2. The MSc/Diploma in Health Psychology is taught within the context of the University Modular Framework (UMF).
Will I be interviewed?No
Please contact the admissions team for details.
Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering Postgraduate study. However there is help available and you may be able to apply for funding from the sources below.
This will normally be from a bank. The most popular of these is a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL). These loans are from £300 to £10,000 in value and can be used to cover up to 80% of your course fees. Further Information from www.direct.gov.uk and look for PCDL
Charities and Trusts
Trusts and charities can offer assistance to some students. Eligibility for these trusts and charities vary enormously. Your local library will have a section of books and directories of grant making trusts.
Research councils may provide support for recognised postgraduate courses. Their websites offers useful information regarding the support and funding opportunities on offer. Competition for this type of funding can be very strong. For more information about Research Councils visit: www.rcuk.ac.uk
You need to be aware that most PG courses do not attract statutory funding. The ones that do attract statutory support (grants and/or loans) that we offer at LJMU are:
- PGCE courses , for more information please vist www.directgov.co.uk and www.tda.gov.uk
- MA social work for which an NHS bursary is payable to some students. For more information please visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
- PG dip in Architecture
Advice and support at LJMU
LJMU offers a Postgraduate bursary of £500 to students who go from an undergraduate course to study a taught PG course. For further information and eligibility see http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/feesandfunding/117585.htm
LJMU employs a team of staff that are experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based upon your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
How to apply
Please apply via the online application form
LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The university has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex. The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge in the area. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview.
LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
Please contact the Faculty of Science on: If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
tel: 0151 231 2888
fax: 0151 207 3224
Tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
Employment and careers
Health psychology graduates work in a variety of areas. Many go on to Stage 2 training and subsequently achieve chartered status as a health psychologist and eligibility to join the Health Professions Council. Some work predominantly in research and/or teaching. A growing number of graduates work in health education, health promotion, health administration and health audit. Others are involved in the organisational aspects of delivering health care work within the health service.
As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.
LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.
Our World of Work Programme – endorsed by FTSE 100 companies and leading business organisations – offers you the chance to get an additional certificate proving to potential employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. No other university in the UK or internationally, offers students the chance to develop these skills and organisations backing the scheme include the Confederation of British Industry, United Utilities, Sony, Siemens, Peugeot Citroen and Marks and Spencer.
LJMU offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top level research.
Whether you are studying on a taught master's course or embarking on a research degree, LJMU offers you a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and round-the-clock access to extensive resources.
Our research environment is rated as 'world-leading' in a majority of our subjects and all of our postgraduate programmes are taught by academics actively involved in research or consultancy projects with business and industry.
It is this combination of academic expertise and 'real world' experience that ensures LJMU's courses have real currency with potential employers and why over 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study six months after they graduate (HESA 2010).
We believe this expertise – coupled with world-class academic standards – 75% of LJMU's research is rated as internationally important – puts us in a league of our own.
To find out more about our postgraduate courses and research opportunities plus the range of facilities and support we offer, click on the links opposite.
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Liverpool is also a city that is very supportive of all the students who live, work and study in its universities. With such a warm and hospitable culture – Liverpool is the perfect 24-hour student city.
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