MSc Health Psychology

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (full-time, per year): £8,500

Home (per credit): £47.22

International (full-time, per year): £16,100

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.

  • Claire's story

    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...

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  • Esther's story

    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...

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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

Additional costs

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)

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  • 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. 

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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.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your course

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 BPS’s training towards Chartered Psychologist status
Students in classroom - Course modules

Empirical Project
60 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Research Skills and Methodology for Health Psychology
20 credits

This module aims to equip you with the research skills necessary to conduct and critically evaluate health psychology research, including the systematic review and synthesis of research literature. A secondary aim is to develop your knowledge of the variety and limitations of methodologies used in health psychology, and of the ethical, policy and professional issues related to research and practice in health service contexts.

Analysis for Health Psychology
20 credits

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

Long-term Conditions
10 credits

This module develops 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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
10 credits

This module covers the concept of stress and coping and how it relates to health outcomes. 


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

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.  

Teaching methods

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.

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Applied learning

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.

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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 techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

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 University’s Academic Framework.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Lisa Newson

Dr Lisa Newson

Programme Leader

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.

School facilities

What you can expect from your 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.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

(to meet the basis for Chartered Membership from the British Psychological Society): 

  • 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)
  • a minimum 2:1 honours degree in Psychology


  • to have satisfied the BPS conditions for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC)

Additional Information

  • IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme
  • 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 entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part-time

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the 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.

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

Important info about this course