Health Psychology

Health Psychology MSc

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £6,500
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: N/A
International full time annual tuition fee: £14,450

Course type



Natural Sciences and Psychology

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

This Liverpool John Moores University's MSc in Health Psychology meets the Stage 1 training requirement for BPS accreditation. The course has a strong emphasis on psychological investigation and exploring ethical issues.

  • Fully accredited by the British Psychological Society for Stage 1 Training in Health Psychology
  • Academic team 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 the LJMU Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology
  • Access to world-class facilities in the award-winning Tom Reilly Building
  • Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)

I found the course stimulating and the teaching outstanding. The course provides a current and relevant grounding for a career in health services.

Katy Davis, recent graduate

The course was well organised and gave me 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

Emma Brown, recent graduate

Introduction to the School

The School is based in LJMU’s 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.

Research excellence

96% of research from LJMU submitted to the REF 2014 for the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience category is considered world-leading or internationally important. This research helps ensure that all of our degrees deliver a curriculum that reflects the latest developments in the field. 

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. 

Why study this course at LJMU?

This programme is BPS accredited for Stage 1 Training in Health Psychology for those applicants with BPS Graduate Basis for Chartered Status (GBC).

To meet the basis for Chartered Membership from the British Psychological Society, you must fulfil a number of requirements:

  • Stage 1 training involving the successful completion of a BPS accredited Masters programme in Health Psychology (the LJMU MSc provides this training)
  • Stage 2 training involving a minimum of two years spent acquiring a range of supervised competences (the LJMU Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology is designed to provide a framework to achieve this) 

The academic team also includes RAPPS Approved Supervisors for trainees continuing onto the BPS Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology.

This MSc is ideal 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.  You will also benefit from the course if you are intending to, or currently, work with clients with long term conditions, as it examines issues of coping and adjustment as well as relationships with caregivers. We cover all aspects of health across the lifespan which makes the course suitable if you are working with children as well as adults. 

Programme outline and structure

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 new ways of thinking about health and illness. This conceptualises health and illness as the product of a combination of factors. The research includes: biological characteristics such as genetic predisposition; behavioural factors such as lifestyle, stress, health beliefs; and social conditions such as cultural influences, family relationships and social support.

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 BPS’s training towards Chartered Psychologist status

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

  • Empirical Project       
    Offers a deeper understanding of the conceptual, methodological and logistical problems that may be encountered when conducting research.
  • Fundamentals Health Psychology
    Provides a historical overview of health psychology with particular emphasis on key philosophical, conceptual and theoretical developments.
  • Research Skills and Methodology for Health Psychology
    Provides the research skills required to conduct and critically evaluate health psychology research; develops knowledge of the variety and limitations of methodologies used in health psychology; and covers the ethical, policy and professional issues related to research and practice in health service contexts.
  • Analysis for Health Psychology
    Develops knowledge and skills related to data acquisition, validation, coding, analysis, interpretation and presentation.

  • Long-term Conditions
    Develops an in-depth understanding of psychological issues involved in the course and outcome of long-term conditions which have contemporary relevance for the NHS and Public Health – such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity.
  • Health Psychology: Context and Applications
    Introduces students to the ways in which theory and knowledge covered in other MSc modules can be applied in context. Covers the investigation and practice of basic interpersonal, communication, technical and professional skills required of a practitioner in an applied setting.
  • Psychosocial Factors and Health
    Enables students to develop in-depth understanding of behavioural, cognitive, emotional and individual difference factors that contribute to health and illness.
  • Stress, Health and Coping
    Covers the concept of stress and coping and how it relates to health outcomes.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods on the programme include essays, reports, seminar papers, exams, project work and an empirical dissertation.

The following assessment methods are used across the MSc modules:

  • Essay assignments
  • Practical reports
  • Reflection portfolios
  • A research proposal and dissertation
  • Written examinations
  • Problem-solving exercises
  • Intervention assignments
  • Oral presentations
  • Research posters

The assessment strategy has been carefully evolved over the years and is informed by current philosophy in Higher Education, the BPS accreditation and curriculum requirements and the guidelines from the University’s Academic Framework.

Staff research interests

Staff in the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology produce high quality research in a range of areas.

Areas of expertise include health psychology, including: 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.

Entry requirements (Home)

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.

International students should hold IELTS English language at a minimum of 6.5 or equivalent, with no less than 5.5 in any single component. You must have satisfied the BPS conditions for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC).

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.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. International students should hold IELTS English language at a minimum of 6.5 or equivalent, with no less than 5.5 in any single component. You must have satisfied the BPS conditions for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC). If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

Will I be interviewed?



6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

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.

During the course of the MSc, the programme team discuss the development of professional skills and career development (such as working in the NHS, for charities and in professional development). There is no formal work-based learning during the MSc, although many students conduct their research project in applied health settings such as the NHS and charity sectors. As such, these research studies support the student to build real experience in the working environment and create professional relationships outside the university setting.

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 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 advisor. They work for organisations including Ps4SE, The NHS, The Adelphi Group and mental health care groups.

International Study

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 for more information and advice.


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

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:

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

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.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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