Postgraduate Factfile: Health Psychology MSc

Download programme brochure

Course at a glance

Mode of study: Full Time (1 year) & Part Time (2 years)
Start date: September

  • British Psychological Society accredited for applicants with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)
  • British Psychological Society accredited for Stage 1 Training in Health Psychology.
  • Academic team includes RAPPS Approved Supervisors for trainees continuing onto the BPS Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology
  • 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


Course overview

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 conceptualises 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 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 a BPS accredited master’s programme in health psychology. Stage 2 training involves a minimum of two years spent acquiring a range of supervised competences.

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 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, mindfulness and wellbeing, 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:

This Programme:

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 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 a BPS accredited master’s programme in health psychology. Stage 2 training involves a minimum of two years spent acquiring a range of supervised competences.

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 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, mindfulness and wellbeing, 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
Behavioural epidemiology
Bio-statistics
Inequalities in health
Social capital, empowerment and advocacy

Biological mechanisms of health and disease
Psychoneuroimmunology
Physical systems underpinning behaviour: dietary, sexual etc.
Circadian rhythms

Health-related behaviour
Theoretical models
Protective / promotional behaviour
Behavioural risk factors
Socio-cultural factors

Health-related cognitions
Efficacy and control beliefs
Attributions
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
Self-efficacy
Negative affectivity
Emotional expression and health

Stress, health and illness
Causes / consequences of stress
Models of stress
Stress management

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 of 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 principles 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 smokers’ 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

 

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 requires 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 for a discipline such as Health Psychology where ethical and legal issues are of primary importance, and this is reflected across programme modules.

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 separate 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.

Programme Staff:

Programme Director: Dr Helen Poole C. Psychol, AFBPsS
Academic Staff
Professor Stephen Fairclough
Dr Paul Lattimore
Dr Lisa Newson  C.Psychol. AFBPsS
Dr David McIlroy
Dr Kanayo Umeh C. Psychol
Dr Mark Forshaw C.Psychol, C.Sci, FBPsS, FIHPE

Staff research interests

Programme Director:
Dr Helen Poole BSc PhD C. Psychol, Registered HCPC

Academic Staff
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

Employment and careers

Health psychology graduates work in a variety of areas. Many go on to Stage 2 training and subsequently achieve Chartered Psychologist status and become HCPC Registered Health Psychologists. Others work  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.

Map of UK

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that 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.

Scholarships

LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University from September 2014 onwards.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni
Name of scholarship Level of study Value of scholarship Number available Additional eligibility criteria
John Moores International Undergraduate Scholarship Postgraduate taught and research degrees (MSc, MA, MRes, MPhil / PhD) A full tuition fee waiver worth up to £12,000 8 You must:
  • have an English IELTS score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component) or recognised equivalent
  • be a self-funded student
  • have a valid offer to study a masters programme at LJMU in September 2014
  • submit a completed scholarship application form
Developing Global Citizens Postgraduate Scholarship Postgraduate taught degrees (MSc, MA, MRes) A one-off £4,000 fee waiver 20 You must
  • be a self-funded student from Africa, the ASEAN countries, the People’s Republic of China or Commonwealth country
  • have a valid offer to study a masters degree or research programme at LJMU in September 2014
  • submit a completed scholarship application form

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary is worth £700 and takes the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

English language requirements

Entry requirements

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 Chartership (GBC) 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.
www.bps.org.uk/membership/overseas-info/overseas-info_home.cfm

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, an interview is not required.

Fees information

Please contact the admissions team for details.

Financial support

How to apply

Further information

Please contact the Faculty of Science on:
tel:
0151 231 2888
fax: 0151 207 3224
email: scienceAdmissions@ljmu.ac.uk
web: Faculty web site

If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:

Course Enquiries
tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
email: courses@ljmu.ac.uk
web: www.ljmu.ac.uk

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.

International students

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 Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.


Page last modified by Marketing and Corporate Communications on 20 June 2014.
share
share was this page helpful?
helpful
unhelpful
© LJMU 2011 | disclaimer | privacy | contact LJMU
 
LJMU Logo banner image
LJMU banner image