About this course
MSc Health Psychology meets the Stage 1 training requirement for BPS accreditation. The course has a strong emphasis on psychological investigation and ethical issues.
- Study on this course which is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society for Stage 1 Training in Health Psychology
- Learn from an academic team that includes Health Psychologists registered with the BPS and HCPC and RAPPS Approved Supervisors for trainees continuing onto the BPS Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology or LJMU's Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology
- Access world-class facilities in the award-winning Tom Reilly Building
The primary goal of health psychology is to contribute to the understanding of how physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual factors influence health and illness within a sociocultural framework.
If you have an interest in how psychology affects health and illness behaviour, and how it can be used to enhance wellbeing and encourage healthier lifestyles, this Masters is ideal. If you intend to, or currently work with clients with long term conditions, you will also benefit from the course.
The curriculum aims to examine issues of coping and adjustment as well as relationships with caregivers. It covers all aspects of health across the lifespan, making the course suitable if you are working with children or adults.
During your studies you will learn about the application of psychology for the promotion and maintenance of health, the analysis and improvement of the health care system and health policy formation, the prevention of illness and the enhancement of wellbeing in those affected by illness or disability.
Staff in the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology produce high quality research in a range of areas of expertise including: health psychology, long term conditions (e.g. pain, diabetes, obesity, cancer, coronary heart disease), design and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health, screening, appetitive behaviour, mindfulness and the development and evaluation of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). The team have long-standing expertise in training and developing Health Psychologists.
Clare Austin studied Psychology for her first degree before coming to LJMU for her masters in Health Psychology.
I moved to LJMU as I had heard really good things about the place from friend...
Following her undergraduate degree in Psychology, Esther Gabriel joined LJMU to study for a masters in Health Psychology.
"I chose to study at Masters level because I want to be a Psychologi...
Professional body recognition
The programme is BPS accredited for Stage 1 Training in Health Psychology for those applicants with BPS Graduate Basis for Chartered Status (GBC). This means, by the end of the course, you will be provided with a qualification which meets the requirements of Stage 1 training.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- access to programme-appropriate software
- library and student IT support
- free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
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.
Post MSc, some students work in research settings and go on to doctoral research (PhD/Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology).
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 and work within the health service.
Graduates from the programme have secured roles including PhD Researcher, Health Trainer, Health and Migration Consultant, Assistant Psychologist and Smoking Cessation Adviser. They work for organisations including Ps4SE, The NHS, The Adelphi Group and mental health care groups.
Discover the building blocks of your programme
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.
Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules and an empirical project. The specific programme aims include:
- providing an academically rigorous framework through which students can study scientifically the psychological processes involved in health, illness and health care with reference to the application of psychology for:
- the promotion and maintenance of health
- the analysis and improvement of the health care system and health policy formation
- the prevention of illness and the enhancement of wellbeing in those affected by illness or disability
- promoting students awareness of the range of applications of health psychology
- providing students with a qualification which meets stage 1 of the BPSs training towards Chartered Psychologist status
This module aims to foster a profound understanding of the psychological aspects related to the course and outcomes of long-term conditions, particularly those relevant to the NHS and Public Health, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
The aim of this module is to provide you with the opportunity to gain practical 'hands on' experience of empirical research in relation to a question of your own choosing. It allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the conceptual, methodological and logistical problems that may be encountered when conducting research.
Fundamental Issues in Health Psychology
This module provides a historical overview of health psychology with particular emphasis on key philosophical, conceptual and theoretical developments. It covers theoretical models of health beliefs, anxiety, fear and perceptions of illness. Moreover, it focuses on health behaviours as well as theoretical analyses and criticism. It helps you to gain knowledge of fundamental issues and perspectives implicated in understanding and predicting health behaviour.
Analysis for Health Psychology
The module develops, to a professional level, your existing knowledge of, and skills in: data acquisition, validation, coding, analysis, interpretation and presentation of analysis in different formats. The module aims to:
- develop your understanding of the appropriate management of both qualitative and quantitative data
- provide an overview of, and training in, the use of mainstream computer packages used in the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data
- develop your ability to conduct appropriate statistical tests and interpret the results obtained from complex, multivariate analyses within the context of the limitations of statistical methods and research design
- provide you with the skills to present data analyses in report format commensurate with publication guidelines for the field of study
- develop to a professional level, your existing knowledge of, and skills in, data acquisition, validation, coding, analysis, interpretation and presentation
Health Psychology: Context and Applications
This module introduces you to the ways in which theory and knowledge covered in other MSc modules can be applied in context. It aims to:
- investigate and practise the basic interpersonal, communication, technical and professional skills required of a practitioner in an applied setting
- examine the role interpersonal factors have on patients’ decisions to seek and comply with treatment
Psychosocial Factors and Health
This module enables you to develop in-depth understanding of behavioural, cognitive, emotional and individual difference factors that contribute to health and illness.
Stress, Health and Coping
This module covers the concept of stress and coping and how it relates to health outcomes.
An insight into teaching on your course
Teaching for full-time students is on Mondays and Wednesdays. There is a mixture of teaching hours from 9am to 6pm, which vary across semesters. Formal teaching occurs in semester 1 (September to December) and semester 2 (January to May), although you are required to attend university to meet with your dissertation supervisor and to attend presentation days, etc until your final thesis submission date at the end of August. Around 35 hours student learning per week is recommended.
Part-time students attend on Wednesdays in year 1 and Mondays in year 2. Your final thesis is submitted in August in year 2.
The course provides a range of learning approaches. Workshop activities provide opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors and tutor support during the preparation of coursework also facilitates formative feedback.
Many students conduct their research project in applied health settings such as the NHS and charity sectors. As such, these research studies support you to build real experience in the working environment and create professional relationships outside of the university setting.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.
Assessment methods on this course include: essay assignments, practical reports, reflection portfolios, a research proposal and dissertation, written examinations, problem-solving exercises, intervention assignments, oral presentations and research posters.
The assessment strategy is informed by current philosophy in Higher Education, the BPS accreditation and curriculum requirements as well as the guidelines from the Universitys Academic Framework.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Tara Kidd
Dr Tara Kidd
Lisa's career began in the NHS as a Programme and Commissioning Manager within public health. She moved into academia in 2011 to develop her interest in healthcare research and to promote the field of health psychology. Lisa is an HCPC Practitioner Psychologist; a BPS Chartered Health Psychologist and a BPS Health Psychology Stage Two Professional Supervisor and Assessor. She is currently carrying out public health research in smoking cessation, physical activity and obesity plus healthcare research in Type 2 diabetes, the treatment of obesity, improving patient adherence to clinical advice and experiences of care.
The most rewarding aspect of my role is supporting MSc students in developing their career ambitions, particularly those who aspire to become Health Psychologists.
What you can expect from your School
The School is based in LJMUs City Campus at the Byrom Street site, which is located in the heart of Liverpool city Centre. We offer postgraduates excellent laboratory and research facilities, including appetite laboratories, psychology testing labs and neuroscience labs in our award-winning Tom Reilly Building.
You will need:
- Minimum 2:1 honours degree in Psychology and to have satisfied the BPS conditions for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC)
- IELTS English Language at a minimum of 7.0 or equivalent, with no less than 6.5 in any single component
Other international requirements
- International students applying to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU should check if they require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate
International students must be able to obtain GBC status from the BPS prior to commencing the MSC, and GBC confirmation is, therefore, a conditional offer
Applicants must be in date and have current skill ( to ensure BPS professional standards and ability to engage in Level 7 MSc)– where an undergraduate degree is dated (beyond 5 years), the admissions process may request for the candidate to complete an assessment to demonstrate knowledge of current health psychology practice (short essay) and a brief research analysis test. Failure to demonstrate current practice or ability would result in a decline or a specific recommendation to update skills for a conditional offer.
- RPL is accepted on this programme
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.